Hit The Ground Running
First thing Friday morning, Dot and Liz met up at the Crystal River Mall, transferred Dot's gear from her truck to Liz's SUV and put Dot's kayak in the trailer Liz was towing behind. From that point, they car-pooled together up to Cedar Key stopping only to snap a quick picture of a travel camper Liz hopes to own one day. Colorful way to start the day.
Dot and Liz arrived in Cedar Key first, of course, and spent the early morning just strolling up and down the streets taking note of some of the small boutiques and specialty shops until the rest of the group arrived. Alice and Delores, who were both driving from Ocala in separate vehicles finally made it onto the island, spotted Liz's vehicle and pulled into the two open parking spots right next to Liz. No. 5 pulled up and parked along side within the next half hour. By 9:00 a.m. all five gals were in Cedar Key and making their way to the Community Center where the Hidden Coast Paddle Festival registration was taking place.
It was just a short walk around the corner and down the street a few blocks to find the Cedar Key Community Center where the sign-ins were taking place.
The check-in process went smoothly. Everyone formed a line, the volunteers made sure that the proper safety waivers had all been signed and then handed out orange wristbands that identified who was a paid participant in the event. The wristbands had to be worn in order to participate in any of the paddling events. In addition to that, each person was given a generously filled goody-bag with all kinds of cool stuff to use. A very well organized process!
As the girls wandered through the small town of Cedar Key on their way back to their vehicles, Delores was on the look out for a Post Office in order to mail a small package. As she took care of that small detail, Liz and the others wandered into the liquor store right next door and perused the wine aisle hoping to find a nice bottle of wine to end the day with.
As the walk to their vehicles resumed, one of the ladies suggested a stop for brunch in order to sit down for a few minutes, relax, and chat about the planned activities for the rest of the day. They discovered a quaint little eatery called 'The Gathering Place', went inside and sat down. They were greeted by a young man named Josh who happened to be the owner's son and he gave us a brief history of the eatery, telling us that it had only been open for a week and that it was a form of outreach of the non-denominational church that his father pastors. Quite an interesting story and the food was great!
Next stop - the condo -
Next stop - the condo -