No gifts, please, although a GPS would be really terrific.
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Finally, a chance for you to tell me where to go.
I've already had a few helpful trip ideas from readers and friends, which will be the fodder for future dispatches. I'd like more, though, and would be delighted to receive them at email@example.com.
For now, let's pull out the old postcards and reminisce.
If you know me, you know that I like to start with a barbecue spot. One of the best is BC's General Store, along an unassuming stretch on County Road 48 between U.S. Highway 27 and State Road 19 in Lake County.
The interior is packed with rusted license plates, straw hats and books, most donated by customers who have frequented the place for almost 30 years. The real attraction is the 'cue, served in Styrofoam trays that you can eat on a picnic bench under the trees. Not fancy, just good.
(Officially, it's open until 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and until 6 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, but it's a good idea to call first at 352-324-3730.)
Another unique Florida stop is the twice-monthly bluegrass picking sessions at the Community Center in Cassia, on State Road 44 between DeLand and Eustis. The gatherings happen on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, with pockets of musicians playing from late afternoon into the night under towering oaks and weeping willows or on a small stage inside.
If you make it out to Cassia, you're not far from Barberville Produce, a quirky landmark at the corner of U.S. Highway 17 and State Road 40. You can buy peanuts, honey and produce, of course, but the real attraction is the cast-aluminum Clydesdales and roosters out front. It's like Noah's boarding area.