Saturday, September 6, 2008

Drive By Shootings My Way

I love taking photos. I'm not nearly as good at it as I wish I was. Part of the reason I'm not is probably due to laziness. The other part is because I am not bold enough to get out of the car and make a spectacle of myself in order to get the best shot. So I take a lot of "drive by shootings."

Here is a little taste of all I saw on my way to Florida and back last week.

As I drove further and further away from home, I left the mountains and rolling hills behind quickly. Once I past Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, my route was mostly along two lane highways through rural farmland. The towns were small with only one or two red lights.

I stopped for a sandwich and to stretch my legs in Florala. You might guess by its name that this Alabama city sits squarely on the state line. This old home was across the street from the Hardees. Notice the Spanish moss hanging from the tree.

This bed and breakfast was next door to Hardees. Both houses look like they are only shadows of their former beauty.

And here is the state line, only a couple of blocks away.

Florida is even flatter than LA (lower Alabama) and the sky is very big.

These are some drive by shots of Seaside. It is a lovely upscale resort town that was the setting for The Truman Show movie that came out in 1998 starring Jim Carrey. It is a great place to go for an afternoon of wandering through the cute little neighborhood on foot or on bike. I took 2 of the girls over there one afternoon for snow cones. There is an old fashioned grocery store/deli there where my daughter-in-law and I went to pick up lunch one day...deli sandwiches with tubs of pasta, olive and shrimp salads for the sides.

I don't know who made this YouTube video but you can get a sense of the market by viewing it.

On my way home I saw this Florida style camp home.

It wasn't far from this small river. I thought the piers and reflections in the water were gorgeous. I turned around and went back for this shot.

In DeFuniak Springs I caught sight of this great old Motel sign. It looks like something out of the 50s or 60s doesn't the land time forgot.....

I stopped at a red light across from this fantastic home and quickly turned left to take a shot of it. If you are like me you would have liked to ask the elderly gentleman, who was puttering in the yard, if he would take you on a guided tour. But if you are like me in reality, you would take your picture on the sly and be on your way before you were noticed.

Before I knew it, I was back in Alabama again.

I drove a couple of blocks and caught sight of something I had missed in Florala on the way down. In front of what looked like municipal buildings, I saw four Greek columns. There was a marker underneath. Now that I am home and have had time to ponder things I am kicking myself for not getting out of the car for once and reading why there would be four Greek columns in the middle of an small Alabama town.

I bet they once held up the porch of an Antebellum home.

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at a few of the things that inspired me to take a second look on my trip.


  1. I think your pictures are wonderful! Drive by or not. Don't you love the Florida camp house - aka cracker house? The only thing it's missing is a tin roof. The older houses are built on cement blocks - mainly to keep the varmints out of the house. Like wild boars and such. I don't always stop to read the historical signs either and then regret not taking just a minute to really get the feel of it and an understanding what took place there.

  2. aha Cracker house! You said it, not me! I'll have to find some Alabama cracker houses to take pictures of. They are on cement blocks too, probably for the same reason.

  3. Hardees in Florala was always one of our family stops. When I think of Florala I think of Spanish moss.

    Love your shots, Stevie, especially Florida's big sky and that great motel sign. Seaside... sigh... would love to be there right now, but you know, ultimately it's way to pretty and planned to be real... kind of like Disney World -- a good place to visit.

  4. Hey, thanks for the tour! I felt like I went right along with you on your trip. You had some glorious skies!!!

    I love the old Florida house. It is very much like the one my great grandmother was born in near Century, FL. Also makes me think of The Yearling!

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. The retro motel sign and the Greek columns and the river (looks like a bayou?) with the still reflections. You sure did see a lot, and what variety. The house with the pinky lavender shade...lovely Floridian character. I haven't been to Florida in many years...thanks for this little 'mini return'!

  6. you must have vacationed close to where we go every april. it is very close to seaside -- seagrove. love the photos, especially the ones with all the wonderful clouds!

  7. Julie, Seagrove is exactly where we stayed, on the beach side of the road. It was a great location.

    I think my favorite picture is the one of the motel sign also.

  8. Willow you are exactly right...that house does look like the one in the Yearling. Maybe that is why I had to stop and get that shot. The tall pines around it added to the effect as well.

  9. I love old Florida cottages. We went to the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings homestead on one of our trips to Florida. I felt like I could have stayed there forever.

  10. I was born in DeFuniak Springs in the late 1950's and lived there until 1968. I visit occasionally and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere.

    I haven't been there in about 10 years but I do remember that Motel sign. I think I remembered it all my life so it may have been there since the 50's.

    Your photos are gorgeous; thanks for sharing.

  11. Debby, I would love to visit her home. Where in Florida is it?

    Vanessa, thanks for stopping by my blog. I thought DeFuniak Springs was pretty interesting and I didn't veer off of 331 at all. No telling what I might have uncovered if I had gotten off the beaten path.

  12. First, your grand daughters are beautiful and look so happy! Who wouldn't be, a vacation in Florida? I love your drive by shootings! There is a large field of sunflowers a few miles up the road from me that I want to take a picture of. But I hesitate because I will have to get out of the car. Monday, if they are still there I will take that photo. I will step out of the car and do it!!!

  13. Great pictures!! I love that Spanish moss, too. That name Florala makes me think of the ones where I'm from: Arkoma, Texoma, Texarkana. I guess every state has those:)

  14. Great drive-by tour. Pretty decent shots from the car. Love that Motel sign.


I'm glad you stopped by and I look forward to your comments. As Dr. Fraser Crane would say, "Hello, I'm listening."