May 16, 2011

Florida: Driving across from the Atlantic to the Gulf coast

If you enter Florida via I-95 and are heading over to the Gulf Coast, you will need to drive straight across Florida at some point and most of us do it on Hwy. 301 through the speed trap, tiny-motel infested towns like Starke and Waldo.  As you approach Gainesville, stay to the left on 301 for the quickest way to I-75 and soon you'll go through the town of Citra. 

You will be thinking, "I should have gone through Gainesville so I could stop for something to eat or drink."  You will be falling asleep and thinking this a long, boring drive, when suddenly in front of you, looms this:

It will be a mystical moment, an Alice-In-Wonderland moment, where a fresh-squeezed orange juice will be labeled "DRINK ME."  And you will imbibe in delirium...

Stop at the Orange Shop, don't pass by.  It gives you that "I'm-In-FLORIDA!!!!" happy feeling, an I-have-to-text-this-to-all-my-friends" feeling.

The Orange Shop is open 8-5, 7 days a week from October 15 - June 1.  The Orange Shop opened in 1936 and is now run by its third generation citrus growers.  They know what they're doing.   

I was there in May and theValencia was in season.  I thought about asking if they had a Ponderosa Lemon so I could go home and make a lemon merengue pie, but I didn't want to carry the lemon around for 6 days.

Tom and I guzzled this juice in a matter of minutes.  It was the most refreshing thing I've ever done in my life.  Find out more and get citrus recipes at their website,

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