I have to be honest, I did not expect to have anything worthy of sharing with you all just yet. I mean, we only drove as far as Tallahassee yesterday and I really only expected an uneventful evening. But I was wrong.
We got out of Tampa around 3:00 and made our first stop in Gainesville as I needed a Gator hoodie. I say "need" because Colorado is a cold place and also because Gator Nation, baby. The bookstore was closed for spring break, but as we headed off we passed the UF bat house.
The school built the bat house way back when I was there (don't ask how long ago) to relocate the bats that were defiling the stadium. Problem was, they could not get the bats to stay. However, many years later the bats all moved into the bat houses of their own accord. The population must have grown because now there are two houses.
By this time it was close to sunset and I noticed a considerable crowd gathering. It dawned on me that the bats must all come out en masse and create a lovely show, so we decided to stay and watch. Said show did NOT disappoint. During our year on the road we missed seeing this sort of event at Carlsbad Caverns because we were there when all those bats are off vacationing in Cancun, and we did not get to the place in Texas where they all come out from under the bridge because we don't actually know where that is. So this felt like a do-over. We even got a bit of a National Geographic bonus moment when a few opportunistic hawks swooped in and snagged a bat meal.
Speaking of snagging things, I was not about to give up on the hoodie search so easily and after a few misses, found one at Alumni Hall. Perfect size, perfect style, and on sale for $20. Score! The young sales clerk was very friendly and we were chatting it up when she mentioned there is a discount if you have your student ID. I chuckled and told her I surrendered that some years ago, but she said they honor it no matter how long ago you graduated. She said, "A man was here just yesterday and when I told him that he went out and searched his car and came right back with his ID. And, I mean, he HAD to have been at least 45!" This was when I ceased to like her.
We dragged in to Tallahassee around 9:30, so tired we could barely do much beyond dropping stuff on the floor and crawling into bed (because when you're 43 you are positively ancient, Ms. College Sales Lady). I might have mentioned we are traveling with two cats, both of whom are fairly vocal about their feelings regarding car travel. I'm not certain what they're saying. It could be, "This is awesome! Drive faster!!!" Or else it is, "I'm going to kill you in your sleep tonight." They did not make good on that threat, but they did make enough noise to keep us up much of the night. This morning when we left them to go down for breakfast we were about 40 yards down the hall when we realized we could hear Harley yowling at the top of his lungs. Traveling with cats is awesome.
We are in Boloxi, Mississippi tonight and headed for Dallas tomorrow. We are so very thankful for all the help so many of you have provided over the past week to make this process smoother, and all the prayers have been felt! Thank you!
and Go Gators!
We are missionaries with Engineering Ministries International, based in Colorado Springs, and traveling around the globe to serve.
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