Monday, 4 January 2010

Arctic winds in Florida

They both had a very content and peaceful sleep. The previous 3 days of cycling over 206 miles into head winds that gusted up to 20mph had their muscles and minds beaten into submission. As dawn rose and shone her golden locks through the slightly shabby but perfectly adequate curtains of the motel room, Anthony gently nudged Kat and suggested it was time to get up and face another day, though he secretly wanted to stay in bed and pretend the 60 miles that beckoned was just a bad dream. Kat reluctantly grunted back with sounds of disapproval and although this was not the right response Anthony welcomed the extra 30 minutes he had been awarded in bed. Somehow that 30 minutes squeezed itself into 3 mins and 47 secs (we must remember to call Peter Lynds about the theory of time and space) and it was now 8am. Kat still giving no visible evidence of moving out from under the cosy duvet, Anthony pulled himself out of bed and switched on the TV to see what meteorological nuggets of joy to expect along the 60-mile journey to Tallahassee…quel surpris! Freezing Weather Warning: Flood Risk Warnings: NW Winds gusting between 10 - 20mph. Being a ‘cup is half full’ sort of guy Anthony decided not to disrupt the ‘Katnap’ and took a hot shower. Revitalised and returning to bedroom Anthony found Kat was out of bed with a sullen look on her face. Unfortunately she had woken up to the weather channel and was less than excited at the prospect of freezing gale force winds.

Carefully selecting 4 layers of clothing including some very cute wind-stopping shoe covers to minimise the probability of any bodily part turning into blocks of ice, we set off to conquer the 50 metres to Subway for breakfast. The Motel provided “breakfast” but all they had left at 10am was cold coffee. Left with no other option we survived the 100 meter round trip to Subway and scoffed the BLT’s back in our Motel room. Unfortunately Subway didn’t sell coffee and the Motel’s caffeine offering was now frozen solid, so our breakfast was without the compulsory black stuff, which was a first for the both of us… that’s like “fish without the chips”: “ham without the mustard”: “cheese without the god damn pickle!” Come on America if you’re a food outlet that opens before 10am you need to sell coffee. Kat tried to put this major setback behind her and focused on our calorific reserves now being at an acceptable level to tackle Southern America’s freak weather conditions. It didn’t take long for our bodies to warm up as we span our legs frantically in an effort to stand still. The road was long without many a winding turn but we soldiered through and eventually got within striking distance of Hotel Duval in Tallahassee, only to be faced with 3 consecutive killer hill climbs crammed into the last 0.7 miles. You couldn’t have designed a more inappropriate end to the day if you tried.

Despite everything, the über chic hotel managed to lift our spirits. After showering in the best shower ever that rained piping hot water from a head the size of the plasma TV, we headed to the roof top bar with great views across the city. The cocktail waitress, Alix November, catered for our every need and was great, seeing that we were in need of pampering. We then got talking to Polo and Penny who bizarrely enough built Hotel Duval. Penny’s father built the original hotel in the 1950s, which was then refurbished by Penny’s husband Polo just last year… small world. Fatigue was starting to kick in and after two Bloody Marys for Kat and a couple of whiskies for Anthony, we decided to take room service, chilling out in front of the TV.

Tired and looking forward to a lie in tomorrow, we say goodnight and god bless

Us x


  1. You have loaded some interesting ornithological photos to see if we are still paying attention...and we are...are they indigenous to the neighbourhood?

  2. Hi Beans. Well done on making it to your rest day! More snow here today - getting a little boring saying that now! We braved ASDA yesterday which was quite a painful experience - someone even took my parking space as I was about to reverse in - but probably not quite as grim as your day! Apparently we can call US mobiles for free on our calling plan so let me know if you want to set that up at some point. LOL SB xx

  3. We were very glad to share a part of your adventurous journey! (And am also glad to know that you made it up the "lift" with your bikes) :)


    Stephanie Colvin
    Director of Guest Experiences
    Hotel Duval