When we decided to start this website nearly 1 year ago we thought, we are given so many great travel suggestions it would be a shame to keep these to ourselves. We were finding some of the best breweries around the nation all thanks to the people we’ve met and suggestions we have received along the way…and this past month was no different. It’s funny how sometimes your path’s cross with people, then you leave them, only to be reunited later down the road. This past month was possibly one of the most serendipitous occasions of our trip and it all started from one little email our good friend Jen O. sat down and took time to write to us and for that I will be forever grateful.
You see all it takes is one little email, one suggestion, one note in my long list of notes on my iPhone of suggestions from others. I first read this email lying in bed, while trying to wake up, as I do most mornings. The email had an extensive list of all the coolest Florida destinations Jen had visited. At the time we were in Texas, hell, maybe we were even in New Mexico at the time, I don’t specifically recall, but I do remember thinking, “oh our good friends Bill and Debby and Dennis and Jeanette (Check out CheddarYeti’s RV Adventures!) are also going the same way”. So I forwarded it without even finishing my review of all the great spots Jen mentioned.
Well, Debby, who is just about the most active person I know on Yelp, reading and leaving reviews, took that forwarded email and ran with the suggestions too, which just so happened to land them in a tiny little island town in nowhere Florida, Cedar Key. Our friend Jen is very artsy, a painter and a writer, so I usually love the suggestions she gives me. When she said there was this “wonderful, tucked away hippie fishing town” I thought, I’m in! And luckily Debby had repeated the same sentiment when she arrived here a couple weeks before we did. Debby said she loved it, Jen said she loved it, surely I would too, so off we went! Jen had mentioned in her email that we should stay at least 3 days, but it turned out there was a tiny RV campground about 1.5 miles from “downtown” that only cost $420/month to stay. We’ve never paid to stay anywhere for a week, let alone a whole month, so it was definitely a change a pace for us, which ended up being very welcomed. After we arrived we were able to convince the Yeti that they should also do something they’ve never done before either, and stay here with us as long as they could, and that they did.
What we didn’t know before we got here is what we would be getting ourselves into, which is to say, a good thing. The second night we were in town we wandered down to this little Tiki Bar that Debby had rejoiced nights before, sipping cocktails and watching the sunset over the gulf. Well, it just so happened that the couple running the Tiki Bar, Pat and Cindy Bonish, were fellow nomads themselves, previously RVing around the country for 3 years up until they found themselves down here in Cedar Key two years ago (Read more about Pat and Cindy’s story and adventures at EveryMilesAMemory.com). See, the thing about nomads is you’re always a wandering spirit, even when you aren’t technically roaming around. Even though Pat and Cindy have been soaking up their time on the island for the past two and a half years, their photography and sense of adventure continues strong, with some of the most breathtaking views anyone should hope to see in their lifetime.
When we set out on our RVing adventure we never thought, “oh we should visit all these breweries”. Nope, in fact the idea never even crossed our minds. The real reason we set out on our trip was to meet more like-minded individuals, which at the time to us meant, young entrepreneurial-minded, self-staring individuals looking to create their own income and success (and still does really). When we started doing brewery tours, we met so many hard-working, dedicated owners and brewers, that the story of the small, local start-up creating wildly successful products that people loved was more than inspiring and exactly the type of people we set out to meet. After being on the road for a few months we started to realize that the distance from our friends back home was not only growing in miles but also growing light years ahead of the “typical lifestyle” mindset they were all in. Climbing the corporate ladder, buying your first home, having kids, these are all things we really have no interest in doing, not to say these stepping stones are a bad thing, or our friends that are in the middle of this kind of life aren’t living right, I’m not saying that at all. What I am saying is we have discovered along our journey is that this freedom we have given ourselves is exactly what we should be doing and at this point, I can’t really imagine life any other way. The hard part is being able to connect with old friends and being able to share stories without coming off as boastful or receiving any type of jealousy or resentment in return. Not that it is on purpose, but it just gets more difficult to relate our lifestyle with “the norm”.
Which brings us back to Cedar Key. And brings us back to fateful rendezvous with Bill and Debby, Dennis and Jeanette, Chris and Cherie (from Technomadia – Giving you everything you need to know about RVing) and now, Pat and Cindy Bonish. The stories we tell, the experiences we can share, everything from the horrors of dumping the shitter to mechanical breakdowns on the side of the road, are all things we can relate to and feel more than comforted to be able to share with our Nu friends that know exactly how it feels. I knew that we wanted to meet like-minded individuals, and it would be a hard sell to convince any of our 20-something friends that they should join us on the road. I feel blessed and privileged to be in the company of our new nomadic friends we have met and am really looking forward to the time that we all converge on the same road again.
This past month has been filled with stories that will be told for a lifetime.
And here is some beer porn from the Tiki Bar. A perfectly poured Guinness from a can. When Pat poured this and I had my first sip I thought this is the best Guinness I’ve ever had, next to the one we enjoyed on the top of the Gravity Bar at the actual Guinness Brewery in Dublin and next to my favorite hometown English Pub, The Red Lyon, that serves in on draft and always draws me the most perfect little shamrock on the top in the foam.
Special thanks to Pat Bonish for allowing us to show off his beautiful photos and to everyone we’ve met and spent time with in Cedar Key. We will return for more memories!