Alison and I picked up Winston and drove from Austin to San Antonio on Sunday. After Charlie fixed a great dinner we slept well in preparation for the long drive to Florida for the 2006 J/24 Mid Winters. Monday morning Charlie added lines to help keep the genoa on board, we did other last minute things and loaded up the Suburban. When Karen arrived about 1PM we headed for I-10 East with boat in tow.
Before long (about 6 hours) we were stopping for gas at a Louisiana Chevron, Karen smiles while Winston takes a smoke break. With 5 of us in the Suburban, we start taking turns sleeping in the third seat.
In Lafayette, Louisiana we turned north to eat at Prejeans. We were glad we did, the food and service was great.
Alison and I had fun, Prejeans is a great place to eat. I'm trying to get some sleep.
We sat next to the live music, a guitar and violin combo sang cajun songs while couples danced. Karen and Charlie posed for this one.
After another 6 hours or so in the truck, the sun rises and we stop for gas at yet another station on I-10, this time a BP.
Sometime early morning we reach Florida, but since we are driving through the panhandle we still have several hundred miles to go. Charlie is still smiling, and is ready to go sailing when we arrive in Tampa about 11 am after 22 hours on the road. Alison and I check into the Howard Johnson on south Dale Mabry for some much needed sleep, while Charlie and Winston take the boat to the Davis Island Yacht Club to step the mast and launch.
On Wednesday we take the boat out for practice and leave Alison ashore. She's waiting on the point at the yacht club when we return. For more about the races see the 2006 J/24 Midwinters.
Thursday the first day of racing we sail to the course. Our crew continued to improve through the races, and our standings rose!
Thursday we tried the Nuevo Cafe across the street from our Howard Johnsons, and we were so glad we did. We ate there every night until we left Tampa! Cuban food with real flavor, it's at 3301 south Dale Mabry.