We left Mobile early this morning (well, early for us is 8:00) and had plans to stop along the way and go to church. We had addresses and times but we were never in the right place at the right time! As our options dissolved and we found ourselves in a new time zone we made the bold decision to head for a Southern Baptist Church (our motto: "While in Rome...we want the full meal deal!") The Garmin is great for finding gas stations and hotels so when we put in "churches" we got a list from which we selected, "Hickory Hammock Baptist Church". It was a mile off the freeway and we were singin' and clappin' as we drove down the gravel road. We parked, walked in and found ourselves in a TOTALLY WHITE congregation. No kidding. After being handed a welcome kit (paperbound NT, pamphlets, pen, donation tray envelope, a little needlepoint cross etc.) we were welcomed into a large room where we sat in a pew and chit-chatted with our neighbors (hugging some). Finally, things got underway with some singing and some clapping and some "amen, brother", and some talk about our "sin nature". The music was great (trumpets, drums, piano, guitars) and it was hard not to dance! The 10 singers in front (choir?) each had their own microphone! The minister was fantastic and really had some good lines. Things were hi-tech with dimming lights, power-point, surround-sound. At the end of his sermon he told us to pray for sunshine today and rain tomorrow (to rain out the Pensacola Gay Parade). He also told us about a local School Board/Principal/Superintendent ACLU case and told us to pray for them. After 1 1/2 hours, I felt prayed out! Somehow, I still need to work on my "sin nature", whatever that means. It was a very facinating morning--longer than we wanted to spend, but worth it for the entertainment value.
After setting our watches for Eastern time (we're now 3 hours ahead of Spokane). We were off for the coast of Florida. We drove 410 miles today and we are about an hour north of St. Petersburg/Tampa in little town called Crystal Springs. We just had a great fish sampler dinner from a real fish market/restaurant. This was the view from our table!