Travel Date: Wednesday, Dec 03 2014
I got up early, before Saderrick went to work, said goodbye and headed out to Florida. The last state that I needed to visit on my contiguous state tour across the US: meaning all 48 except Alaska and Hawaii.
I passed the state border line.

And drove on towards Gainesville for a stop to see two friends with my final destination being Tampa.

I was planning to meet Paul aka Coach Spangler. He decided to meet up at Harry’s in downtown Gainesville.

Paul coaches the track and cross country at the University of Florida, but I met him in Lexington where he was the head track and cross country coach for Virginia Military Institute (VMI). It was a great reunion, catching up on life with him and his family and the excitement of coaching one of the top track and cross country programs in the nation. And we also talked about our favorite mutual friend Tim.

Apparently this is one of his hot spots. Who doesn’t like bread and butter.

I get one of their Cajun Poboys. And it is tasty, but far from authentic Cajun cuisine.

After the delicious lunch treat, Paul had to head back to work. I headed back to my car and drove on to another part of Gainesville.

I recently met Payal at the Vipassana Meditation Center in Jesup, Georgia. She mentioned that she lived in Gainesville and since I was going to be in the area if we could make it work out we planned to meet for coffee.

She told me to go to one of her favorite sports CYM Coffee Co. So I got there and parked.

It was quite full and packed with students probably from the University of Florida. Highly likely guess. And just for the record there were no sightings of Tim Tebow.

I stood in line and ordered a coffee treat.

And decided to blog for a few hours until around 4 PM ish when she could come by and visit.

And sure enough her shy self came by, and we caught up on meditation, the business of life right after and our challenges in keeping our meditation practice going.

Around close to 5 PM we left, I said goodbye and headed on my drive to Tampa to visit Marcus and family.

Reflections:
My original plan was to stay in Gainesville for a night, but unfortunately logistics didn’t work out.

Fortunately I was still able to visit Coach Spangler. Thank you for generously picking up lunch. You just extended my travels a little longer. 🙂 I’m glad we were able to reconnect and catch up on our lives, plans for the future and family… and Tim.

And it was great to reunite with Payal, whom I briefly met at the Vipassana Meditation Retreat. Going to the retreat was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I was very excited to reconnect with someone so quickly after the retreat and share our post retreat experiences experiences together.

Expenses: $21.04
Gas: $16.04
Coffee: $5.00 (CYM Coffee)