Bonsai And Beef

 Posted by at 1:05 am  Nick's Blog
May 112023

One of the odd things we have found living in Alabama is that while the local Publix grocery stores stock several different varieties of their Greenwise bagels, which are the house brand, they don’t stock the Greenwise egg bagels, which are my favorite. Many times all I want for breakfast is a bagel or half a bagel and glass of milk. When we’ve asked at the Publix stores here, they say they have never heard of them. But every Publix I was ever in in Florida has them. So the first order of business after we checked out of the Hampton Inn in Jacksonville yesterday was to hit the nearest Publix and buy seven packages of their egg bagels. Terry will put them in the freezer and I’ll be good to go for a while.

We left Jacksonville somewhere around 10:30, made our way to Interstate 10, and headed west. If I had a nickel for every mile we’ve ever traveled on Interstate 10 over the years I would have to buy a bank vault to hold all of them. We stopped at the Busy Bee near Live Oak, Florida for gas and a quick snack, and then we were back on the road.

Eventually we made it to US Highway 231 and took it north. A few miles up the road there is a place that sells bonsai trees, and every time we’ve driven by we keep saying we’re going to stop, but we never do. So yesterday we did.

I knew it was my kind of place when I saw this sign out front.

Bonsai is a Japanese term for “tray planting,” the Asian art of growing and training miniature trees in containers. This little mom and pop business has been featured in Southern Living magazine, and they had all kinds of bonsai trees, from very small to huge. Terry has always wanted a bonsai tree, and she found a nice one to come home with us.

In another 15 miles or so, we crossed into Alabama and were soon in Dothan, where we stopped at an antique mall and spent an hour or so looking at all the goodies on display. It always tickles us to go into these places and see things that we grew up with, now called antiques. Then again, at age 70, I guess we’re antiques, too.

We enjoy browsing at antique shops, and a couple of times I’ve seen the little town of Brundidge listed as the Antique Capital of Alabama. Brundidge is just a few miles south of Troy, where we had planned to spend the night, so we took a detour through town. I don’t know who came up the idea of it being the antique capital of the state, but all we saw was a bunch of vacant stores in the downtown area. One had been an antique mall at one time, but that was quite a while ago.

Back on US 231, we stopped at the Santa Fe Cattle Company for dinner. There was a time in my life when I could happily eat red meat seven days a week, but now I seldom have it once a week. But sometimes a guy just needs some beef. I had a rib eye steak and Terry had steak tips with sauteed onions and peppers, and both were very good.

Usually when we go from Florida to Alabama or back we stop at the Hampton Inn in Troy for the night. This breaks the trip up nicely. That’s what the plan was, and then we thought we might visit a couple of antique malls in Montgomery and another one in Prattville on our way home today. But as it turns out, they were booked solid except for one handicapped room, which was going for a premium price. So we decided to heck with it, we would just drive the extra three hours home.

When we were a little over 100 miles from Tuscaloosa, it was starting to get dark, and my night vision is bad, so we switched drivers and Terry drove the rest of the way. By the time we got home we were both worn out and more than ready to wrap this trip up.

I don’t think we’re going to do much of anything today except catch our breath and enjoy being home. After driving over 1,000 miles in three days, and Terry’s long day at the Mayo Clinic, we need it.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day –Everyone has the right to be stupid; it’s just that some people abuse the privilege.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

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