Exploring in Florida requires a tank of gas and interesting destinations. Let’s see where we can go. The truck has a full tank and we’re headed north. This day included several cool spots to see a bit of real Florida and of course………..lunch. Curious what MKR stands for?
M = Marjorie
K = Kinnan
R = Rawlings
Although born in Washington DC, she spent a number of years in Florida and some of her most widely read and best known works were written in a tiny rural town called Cross Creek. Her and her husband purchased a 72-acre orange grove and she brought national fame to the area with her writing. Now, the farm is a Florida Historic State Park.
She wanted solitude and a chance to save their marriage, however 5 years later they divorced. The community became her solace and although initially hesitant to accept her, she eventually made friends. Indeed, some were included in her books. Her farm has a number of buildings still standing. This was the main house for living and entertaining.
To the right of the main house are the bedrooms.
The kitchen was in the back and alas, no photo. A barn still stands and when tours start up again, the guided tours meet here for a brief introduction before going inside the house.
LOVED the chicken coop, but no chicks inside.
Her most famous novel was The Yearling. In 1938 it was the best selling novel in America. The small community cashed in on the name with a local restaurant serving Southern cuisine as their specialty.
Opened in 1952 it is definitely off the beaten path. They serve food that rural Floridans have hunted, fished and prepared. Fish dip and a cold beer started our meal.
This was followed by fried pickles. Whoever thought of that?! Don’t know how it happened but we had them a number of years ago and if they are on a menu, they are usually ordered. The paper doily was an interesting touch.
We had varied selections. Mine was blackened catfish and fries.
Eric ordered the fried catfish with collards and zipper peas.
Adrienne’s selection was free-range venison with her selected sides being zipper peas and collards.
The restaurant has a number of dining rooms with very eclectic furnishings – very woodsy and rural looking. Loved their bulletin board with (mostly) antique Florida postcards.
A trip to this part of Florida, usually includes a stop at another natural highlight – Paynes Prairie State Preserve. It has the distinction of being the first such preserve in Florida opening 1970.
There were herds of wild horses and bison roaming and still exist today. I saw one bison.
There was a 50′ observation tower that was a nice climb.
A nice relaxing day seeing the natural side of Florida.