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April 1 is a day to watch out for the antics of the Lords of Cosmic Jest.

This morning, I was securing the fridge’s contents for getting on the road and noticed that the quarter-pound stick of butter that fits so nicely just on top of the little rectangular fridge light was shrunken and empty in the middle of its wrapping. Just below the light were waxy yellow drippings that had pooled and hardened around a plastic-wrapped Asian pear. Perhaps the door hadn’t ‘clicked’ completely last night and the light had stayed on but everything seemed as cold as usual. I laughed, saying, “I’ve heard of Tibetan yak-butter lamps, but this is ridiculous!”, as I cleaned up the mess.

On our journey today, from Carabelle to Navarre along the Emerald Coast, we passed through Apalachicola. Last evening we’d received an email from Sallynavarre6.jpg and Gary, Fly Creek friends, suggesting that if we were in Apalachicola we should look for ‘the restaurant on the corner’ where they’d had incredible fried oysters. Undaunted by the precise instructions, we entered downtown Apalachicola about to make our turn on Rt. 98 and there it was, the Apalachicola Seafood Grill and Steakhouse on the corner and miracles of miracles, there was a long parking spot for us just across the street. Though it was only 11:30, a bit early for fried oysters, we picked up an order to go. Sally, you were right! Delicious! The pretty town invited exploration, so we did a walk-about with oysters and Sprocket in hand.

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Apalachicola, love the way that rolls off the tongue, historically was a fishing village specializing in the harvesting of sea sponges. Today it still has small fishing-related businesses, but is turning more and more to tourism. We bought a yellow sea sponge at the historic sponge exchange that is now an antique shop/boutique.

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Along the way we had a couple of chats with people, mostly about their dogs. That happens when you have a little white dog in tow. They’re great icebreakers.

The road landscape was varied and more interesting today, with stretches of white beaches, palmetto and pinewoods, faded little fishing towns, as well as ambitious, newly developed areas with lots of ‘for sale’ signs. At one point, Rt. 98 became a heavenly ribbon of new road, but our Garmin indicated that we were in the middle of a tractless nowhere.

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Eunice R. Garmin kept recalculating, sounding more like Lily Tomlin’s Ernestine with each passing mile. Our best guess is that the section of coastal road had been moved inland and no one told Eunice. Eventually, the little auto icon got back on its designated fuchsia route.

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Later, when approaching our campground, Eunice instructed us to do a very hairy set of turns that took us across a busy divided highway with a narrow median meant for a normal car, not a truck hauling a 28’ trailer. The traffic gods were with us and we pulled into the Emerald Beach RV Park, a bit frazzled, and Bruce took a well-deserved nap soon after we set up.

I went down to the beach with a book and a camera, to take advantage of the good weather before the predicted rain. A mockingbird ran through its repertoire on a nearby treetop. So tranquil. The sand is Appalachian quartz. White, not quite sugar-white, but sugar-textured. It shines through the water and adds very little brown to it, so the water looks very green: hence the name, Florida’s Emerald Coast.

To celebrate our success in reaching our final campground in Florida, and to honor the Emerald Coast, we enjoyed a couple of emerald Margaritas. Befitting the April fools theme, the container of drink-rimmer actually contained sugar, rather than salt, so we invented the sugar-encrusted Margarita glass.

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