After leaving Tim’s place in Margate, Florida, I headed North West to Panama City, Florida. This City felt personally good, and, as soon as I arrived I knew I was going to stay for a couple of days. I got in late, and ended up camping out in the Wal Mart parking lot for the first night. I met and chatted with a nice father and son from Germany that were also traveling in a campervan like mine. The next morning, I left to find a campsite or hostel nearby. I found a campsite near the beach, but there was no hostel in that City. That was a surprise for the size of the city! That started me thinking about an idea to build a hostel here [I do own the domain name “Panama Pete’s Hostel”]. I took the next step and saw a realtor, but there was nothing worth looking at right now. I know it would be a great location year round because of the heavy population from the neighbouring States.
After a couple of days in Panama City, Florida, I began to plan making my way home for Easter to be with my family, friends and my friend Margaret’s 103rd birthday (she was on the news before I left) what an amazing lady.
I decided to look at my US road map for the first time. Most days, I would wake up and rely on my intuition to look for new adventures. I initially choose a warmer Southern route and wanted to avoid the cold Northern route. After checking out the best weather for travel, I chose the middle route. I would travel through Montgomery Alabama [I own the city of course], Nashville, St Louis, Kansas City, Denver and Montana. I heard Nashville was the place to see! After arriving late in Nashville, I found the campsite was closed. I checked Google maps on my phone and found a Wal Mart, where I could stay the night. The next morning I searched for a campsite on the outskirts of the City. I stayed two more nights because I loved Nashville. Wow, where else could you see a one man band playing in McDonald’s restaurant! Took a $10 return shuttle to downtown to see a hockey game and experience a fun filled city full of noisy bars, museums and music madness! The people were friendly and the mood electric! I WILL return!
After leaving bright lights of Nashville, it was time to get serious about getting home. I experienced some problems along the way with Old Faithful. Who knows, maybe the cooler weather was not acceptable to both of us…lol. Some mechanical problems occurred but I kept focused on achieving my destination. Maybe I pushed her to much? Had to buy her a new re built transmission but I had a lot to be thankful for .Old Faithful was totally reliable, dependable, honourable my rock and my trustworthy campion. Took me return from Calgary to Panama City, Panama, and, in five months, covered over 22,500 kilometers. SHE IS A KEEPER!
It took me almost two weeks to get my campervan back from customs; and after all that the company that shipped my van here ended up charging me more than double of the quote.
I ended up staying in hostels around the south beach area in Miami and they were the most expensive hostels on the whole trip. They charge what the market dictates, I got charged from $33.00 to $56.00 a night for 6 bed mixed dorms. I had a great time there I met a lot of good people and enjoyed so many events going on every weekend.
Thanks to facebook I connected with an old friend I grew up with in Toronto (Rexdale). Now it’s hard to start heading anywhere else as we are having a great time! We went to Daytona Beach for a couple of days during bike week; we saw so many nice bikes. I got to ride Tim’s pedal electric bike down the main strip and received a lot of attention. I could see lot of people trying to get their cameras out to take a photo; I was having a good laugh with it all.
Hanging out with Tim at his place in Margate, Florida has been great we’ve had so much fun. It's nice to talk about the good old days when we were in our teens just a few years ago ;). It’s hard to leave here, I am a car lover and Tim has a big collection. At his home in King City Ontario he has 35 cars and trucks I would like to see his collection this summer and could also visit lots of our old friends we grew up with, perhaps a get together at Tim's place that would be great. He only has a few cars here down in Florida a Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Harley Davidson bike, three custom golf carts a really big campervan bus and lucky for me I got to use his Nissan GT-R sports car while I’m in town, he also has some cars here in storage.
The bottom line it’s always nice to get caught up with old friends from the past and reminisce all the old stories both good and bad, I definitely got in a bit of trouble in my day, shh don't tell my kids ;). I have two great daughters that I am missing, maybe home soon (maybe) just living and loving life and they understand.
Pete Montgomery from TravelCheapWithPete.com
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