Being recent empty nesters and preparing to celebrate some milestones this year has brought questions in our mind about what is next for us. We have a business that we love in central Florida but something within both of us knows that our purpose is beyond just that business and beyond Florida.
Late last year, we met a great guy that introduced us to a unique product that we quickly fell in love with. He was traveling to Florida in January so he came over and within a week we were up and running with our new nutty adventure. A roasted nut business. Not just any roasted nuts as you will see if you follow along.
What began as just an addition to our event concessions, has turned into something that has changed our lives. In a few short months we have developed a business that has reconnected us, sparked some travel and adventure in our lives and allowed us to connect with some amazing people. It has been life changing.
After a couple of months traveling around Florida selling at festivals and events, we decided it was time for something different. With Anthony turning 50 in June and our 30th anniversary coming up in August, we knew we wanted to celebrate in a big way. So we bought a small trailer, packed up everything but the kitchen sink (Anthony loves this by the way), and left the day before his birthday for 80 days of adventure. There's something special about hitting the open road with someone you love, especially when you're on an adventure celebrating milestones in your life. We have a general route in mind, and just a couple of places we have to be but are going to let the road guide us as we explore.
Day one we packed up the trailer and headed to the east coast to get closer to our first destination. We got up the next day and started with a great workout at Planet Fitness in Palm Coast. We decided that exercise is going to be an important part of our trip. Our membership there comes in handy for sure!
Day two was the first big celebration for Anthony's birthday. It was a little out of the way of the direction we were headed and we had been there before, but Anthony wanted to go there to visit Hurricane Patty's, a restaurant owned by some new friends we met on the nut trail at the Blue Crab Festival. One of our favorite parts of these last few months at all the events we have attended is the friends that we have made.
We headed to Hurricane Patty's where we got the best seat in the house right on the dock and had some amazing shrimp, bacon & cheese covered oysters, gator tail, Mahi Mahi bites and drinks. Jeff and Stacey took time out of their day to spend it with us and we ate, laughed and got to take an adventure out on the water with Bluewater Adventures. Seeing St. Augustine from the boat was amazing. And of course I love crosses, rainbows and lighthouses so that view topped off the day!
The next morning we met a man while we were preparing for our day getting things out of the trailer. I was intentional to say hello and ask him how he was doing and he noticed us preparing for the day getting things from our trailer and commented that we must be going on a trip. We told him about our journey and before we left he very sweetly went to his trunk and gave me a book he had written named Intentionally Nice. What a blessing it was to meet this kind man. This journey is so much more than just about Anthony and I. I have started writing a book called God's Not A Coincidence and I believe every moment that happens in life and every person you meet, happens for a reason. Sometimes you just have to stop and be intentional and pay attention to those around you and what that purpose might be. Strike up a conversation. Give a complement. Offer some help. Be nice. I can not wait to read the book he blessed us with while on our travels.
We made our way into Georgia and at the end of day three found a beautiful campground named Sweetwater Campground on the banks of Allatoona Lake and got the last perfect lake view spot. We got in a quick run with some challenging elevation we are not used to in Florida and I was literally so excited to sit and watch the fireflies as the sun went down and then wake up to the view of the lake and peaceful sounds of the nature around us. I got to just stop for a moment and take in the simple things in nature around me and do what I love. Take pictures.
Day four was mostly a travel day through Alabama with a quick stop at a state park and another Plant Fitness stop in Oxford. I happened to realize we were close to a hometown friend and we got to drop in and visit. We gave them some of our amazing roasted nuts and I was super excited to get the sweetest picture of her daughter saying the Sweet N Salty were amazing with Tillamook Vanilla ice cream! Just a side note...the cinnamon nuts are an amazing ice cream topping too! Thankful for time spent with familiar friends.
Our next adventure will take us to Memphis. So far, our journey has been amazing. I am sure we will have challenges along the way and will have some good and maybe not so good moments, but we are committed to enjoying every one of them.
Stay tuned to follow our journey and to hear more about our nutty adventures while we travel this summer on our 80 day adventure as we seek to find our purpose. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
We were married on 8/28/1993, I knew that God had a purpose for us and I have always clung to that verse. We were really young when we started our life together and it has been a long road full of mountains and valleys, but we have made it and we are going to have fun and experience life in a different way in this phase. Wherever that road takes us.