2/5/19 to 2/8/19
Rented a car and stayed at Airbnbs as I traveled the length of the Florida Panhandle, as far west as Destin.
Travel Tampa airport to Cedar Key
The flight in was non eventful. Tampa is one of the nicest airports I have ever visited. It was about a 2 hour drive. The drive was very quiet, once I left the Tampa area. This part of Florida is very rural. The road approaching Cedar Key was quite desolate. The houses, what there were, were old and very modest. I arrived at the Airbnb after dark. The host was waiting for me and getting in my room was easy. I had a private room, bathroom with a private entrance, which I like. The house overlooks a gulf inlet body of water, I caught a glimmer of the sunset remnant. I went into “town,” a small, single road strip of land with some restaurants and shops over looking the water. I had a nice dinner. After dinner, I went back, watched some Netflix (one show max), read, and went to sleep. Next day started with 2 hours of work. I also set up a new email domain. I left around 10a to head to Tallahassee.
Travel Cedar Key to Tallahassee area
The road was very quiet, much like yesterday. I listened to a fabulous pod cast, an interview with Psychologist Iian McGilchrist. He discussed the brain hemispheres roles and complexities in driving human behavior. His book is The Master and the Emissary. It is on my list. Similar but different from the Fast Brain / Slow Brain model of Danny Kahneman. It is about a 2 hour drive from Cedar Key to Tallahassee. Tallahassee is a nice medium sized college town. Kind of emerges from nowhere. Nice drive in to be greeted by the majestic courthouse building. Tallahassee is the home of Florida State University and Florida A&M University. 60,000 students when school is in session. Not sure what else drives the economy, other than state government and university. I worked for 2 hours at a Starbucks. Focused on networking, setting up meetings, and reading / preparing my thinking based on the book Applied AI. I really like the book and plan to interview the author (s) for my upcoming white paper. I did edit the abstract and intro as to Daryl’s suggestions. I left Starbucks to check into my next Airbnb, about half way between Tallahassee and the gulf coast. The Airbnb was a cottage off the main house. It is nestled in the woods, about a half mile from a main road. The people were very nice. The place was simple and completely to my liking. Just what I needed. I headed to the gulf coast to catch the sunset. I chatted with a bartender about my age and seems stuck in her college days. Or Maybe, she peaked in college and never grew beyond? Just the same, very nice and had a great music list. I went back to a café off the water, had a nice taco dinner and headed back to the Airbnb. Watched Netflix (one show) read and crashed.
Travel Tallahassee area to Destin
The day started with my phone blowing up. The merger between SunTrust and BB&T was announced. Not really surprising but lots of chatter with my SunTrust contacts. I did some work and had a call with Bob Deangelis. I was surprised to learn he announced his retirement. I left around 10 for the 2 hour drive to Destin. Beautiful drive on the water. There are many small and not so small (like Panama City) beach communities between Tallahassee and Destin. The area seems very geared toward retirees. Also, I learned that retired US military people favor the Florida panhandle. I listened to an interesting pod cast about Manufactured Housing. It was very helpful. The pod cast series was sponsored by SunRise investments. They invest in buying and managing MH communities. I believe they do accept partner investments. They were of the belief that park owned homes are very necessary and is their focus. (as opposed to owner occupied) Mainly because if someone has enough money to buy a MH home, they likely can buy a starter home. Thus, the volume will be in folks that are willing to rent to own, or just rent until they leave. These a low income folks, many living paycheck to paycheck. I did notice Florida seems to have lots of MH. When I got near Destin, I stopped at an Applebee’s and Starbucks to work. Similar to other days, I focused on networking and followup. I also had a call with Tim Hurley. Good guy and willing to help. The Airbnb was the least sensory appealing. It was in a low rent “projects” area in Destin, though very near the beach, so great location. The home did not have a private entrance. I sometime feel bad and wary of walking through the host’s house. The house also hit you in the nose with cat odor. Kind of Nasty. But, it turned out the people were very nice. I enjoyed chatting with them and sharing stories. That late afternoon and evening, I walked on the beach, watched the sunset from a nice bar, went to an off beach ale house for dinner, then headed back to the water front area and walked a boardwalk. The boardwalk was almost empty, as it is off season. Funny, Daniel will be coming here soon for his CNU spring break. I watched some Netflix and crashed.
Destin back to Tampa Airport
I was kind of dreading this 6 hour drive. I got up at 5:15a to head out. I listened to everything on the way, including another couple Manufactured Housing pod casts. I stopped several times to stretch and try to manage potential back pain. Good news is I had very little pain. Just a little in my neck after I got to the airport. Rental car drop off was uneventful. I got to the gate about 2 hours before my flight. I followed up on several work items and confirmed meeting / calendar. If I do this trip again, I will fly to Tampa and do a one way rental and fly out of Pensacola. Would be a more reasonable way to handle flying out. I talked to Patti a couple of times. I really missed her. I look forward to holding her.