Orlando to Gainesville and in-between

We were off to a very good start after our first show in Tampa and the second in Orlando was right on par. We played for a multi cultural crowd of young and old at the lovely home that we were based out of during our stay in Orlando. Since we had a lot of younger ones there we finished off with a few fun interactive songs, getting the children engaged and they seemed to love it.

Orlando Devotional gathering
(Photo by Elena Miller)

The next day we had off so we planned to go visit some friends in Cape Canaveral. First a lovely Muslim family who bought Gustaff and I lunch at Grills near the water. They explained to us how their landlord was raising the rent and gave them 18 days to figure out either how to pay it or to leave. They said they were pretty bummed out but that there must be some reason for it all. I couldn’t help but feel inspired by their optimism. We continued talking while their baby girl laughed and played with the birds that hung around the table waiting for scraps.

Lunch in cape canaveral
Dinner at Grills in Cape Canaveral

Afterwards we wandered the beach for a while before heading over to a Baha’i families house, mother from Mexico, father an astronaut (one of the first in line to head to Mars), and two lovely children! We had a wonderful homemade dinner and the conversation continued right up to the moment we left, headed back to Orlando. This world is full of so many interesting and inspiring people!

Evening with an astronaut
Didn’t want this evening to end!

The next morning we left Orlando after breakfast. Our first stop was in Daytona Beach for lunch with some young Baha’i friends of mine. We ate lunch at a neat little local Mexican restaurant then we headed to my friends donut shop called Donnie’s Donuts for, you guessed it, donuts!! Before we left we had a quick jam session in the alley beside the shop.

Donnie's Donuts with friends
The crew at Donnie’s Donuts
alley jam donnie's donuts
Jammin’ in the alley beside the shop.

Last stop before Gainesville was the historical Saint Augustine. Gustaff and I parked the van and walked through Saint George Street passed all the unique shops to the end where we crossed over the main drive to Castillo de San Marcos. We wandered around the fort for a while and decided to head out of the city just before sunset.

St. Augustine sunset
Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine

The road winded though the Spanish moss covered trees towards Gainesville while the sun set ahead of us, painting the sky a bright yellow, the smog from the factories drifting through it in dark purple clouds. The last couple days had felt like weeks of adventures and I was ready to have a good sleep when we arrived in Gainesville.