Updated: Mar 26
Yesterday, hub and I hopped in Betty (my Mini Cooper) and headed south. We drove the short journey that led us to our happy place. It's a place where stress leaves your shoulders the moment you see water. A place that is peaceful and easy. A place where we feel closest to our Creator. A place that slows us down and bids us to live in the moment. Where is this place you ask? It's a short stretch of highway on the Northwest panhandle of Florida. It's 30A.
I've been coming to 30A since the 80s. It's grown a lot since then, but has maintained its charm. There aren't rows and rows of condominium towers lining the shore. Instead, there are several little "towns", all with their own unique personality. There are fantastic restaurants, art galleries, shops, and events for all ages. The sugary white sands are the prettiest in the country. We try to make it down this way several times a year to refresh. It never disappoints.
When we were here in May, we tried something new. We rented electric bikes. Hub was gung ho, I was a bit leery. I hadn't ridden a bike in a couple of decades, and a trip to the doc in a box wasn't on my 'to do' list. He explained that the electric bikes were much easier to ride. He said they would basically go without pedaling, I simply had to steer. He boosted my confidence and I relented. I knew how to ride a bike by golly, and the area was extremely bike-friendly. I was in.
We got a crash course in how to operate the gears and off we went! About 3 miles into the trip, I noticed hub wasn't pedaling as much as I. I casually brought this up, to which he replied, "Are you pushing the button?" "I am, but my bike won't go as far as yours does without pedaling", was my answer. The button I was pushing was relieving a little pressure, but not "pedaling for me" as he'd described. Not even close.
He asked if I needed to go back, but I pressed on. I was too stubborn and prideful to let him know how much I was struggling, although the sweat pouring out of every pore in my body was probably a dead giveaway. There he was, gliding along in front of me with hardly any effort, and here I was huffing and puffing trying to keep up. He would race far ahead, then circle back to me plugging along. It was infuriating. There may have been some ugly thoughts running through my mind, but I'm not going to confirm or deny. Let's just say I wasn't having the time of my life.
After about 12 miles, we made a pit stop at The Hub. Thank. You. Jesus. My legs felt like jello as I tried to walk. Hub was truly concerned, because I had to somehow make the trip back to return the bike from Hades to the shop. I refused to call an Uber to take me and my rented torture device back in defeat. Before we began the return journey, hub checked on my gears. He showed me a button that I had't been pushing. It was the 'ON' switch to make the electric contraption work. I almost cried. I'd been biking 12 miles manually. You've got to be kidding me. What a dummy.
The jaunt back was exhilarating. I zoomed ahead of him and took the lead. The breeze was blowing through my hair, I was singing at the top of my lungs, and all was right in my world. We made it back in half the time it took us to pedal the first 12 miles. That one little button changed my entire afternoon. My happy place was happy once again. Now we're budgeting to buy a couple of those wonderbikes.
Where is your happy place? Comment and let me know. I'm always looking for new places to travel.
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