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Excellent Clayadventures in Florida

Pleasant and Unpleasant Surprises My mom recently drove me down to Florida for vacation and 2 Clay Aiken Christmas concerts. The trip and experience was great except for a few things. Our car's speed sensor started messing up and the car acted up a bit, but a worker at Auto-zone checked us out and said that we'd be okay until we got back.  It really got bad on the way home near Atlanta, but we made it, and saw only 2 bad wrecks during the trip.    photo FloridaVaClaytion2012010_zps63e06fac.jpg           We rode down Thanksgiving towards Florida and stopped by Cracker Barrel in Valdosta, GA for our feast. It was a full dinner -turkey and dressing, with sides, drinks and dessert for about 10 dollars each. Mom enjoyed having the day off. We spent the night at Country Inns and Suites in Valdosta(great stay-great service ), and got 30$ off with a discount card. Then we were off to Sarasota and Siesta Key. Between Valdosta and Siesta Key, we thought we'd left our maps and concert tickets, but after we finally got to Captiva Beach Resort and unpacked, we found them.  Then, we were disappointed that the motel was not right on the beach, but otherwise everything was terrific. However; Will CarlsonMy mom and Will Carlson in the office @ Captiva Beach Resort , who works at Captiva, arranged for a limo for me, my mom, and 2 fellow Claymates( floridaclayfan1(Colleen) and her friend Alice) to and from the Sarasota concert. My mom rode but didn't go in to the concert. Mom's car; r My regular chauffeur, Mom,  consulting the map for the route back home   The driver Jimmy and our limo for the evening;
  Photobucket Me,Alice,floridaclayfan1(Colleen) and my mom by the limo
  We had  a blast and the fun was just beginning. As the concert ended, Clay went by m y row-just 3 seats away. I didn't take my camera in to this concert, but did in the Clearwater concert. However, my pictures did not turnout so hot. Both concerts were great, but Clay seemed more relaxed and to joke more in the Clearwater concert than the Sarasota. Yet, the concert and evening in Sarasota will be the most memorable. Clay ended the concert 3 seats from me in Sarasota, and 2 rows from me in Clearwater. We made it to Sarasota fine, but almost got lost on the way to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, but we had left early from Siesta Key.
DSC00139_zpsa543106f, Clay Aiken Joyful Noise 2012 Tour Clearwater, FL One of my attempts of Clack gathering in Clearwater  #jnt2012 Clay Aiken Joyful Noise 2012 Tour Clearwater, FL                            Later in the week, we found out that Will was the nephew of the owner of the motel and the limousine service. He invited Mom and me to a monthly Gospel music festival that he was co-hosting at the beach near the motel, called Point of Praise, but we were leaving the morning before. We had already stayed an extra day. The reason why is because my uncle(my mother's brother) was placed in the Alzheimer's unit in my mom's hometown, and couldn't see anyone for 2 weeks. We had to wait until time was up.  The night before we left Florida, the 2 Claymates-FloridaClayfan1 and her friend Alice- visited us at our motel room.             Two strange things happened on our way back home. We stopped at a rest area near Gainesville, Florida for lunch. We were finishing up and had some extra sandwich materials. It was cold and a man pulled up in a nice motorcycle. My mom said "He looks cold, I'm going to offer him a sandwich." It turns out that the man lived in Ocala, but was born in Chattanooga. Then, we were between the Florida line and Valdosta when my mom got a cell phone call from my cousin Brent. He was traveling for his job at Hickory Springs, and happened to spot us on I-75. He called his mom and she told us we were on our way back from Florida. Brent then called my mom and we met him at Starbuck's a few exits up, and he b ought us coffee.                    I want to give special thanks to Will Carlson, his uncle and cousin, and all the staff at Captiva Beach Resort, for treating mom and me like celebrities.  Special thanks go to Clay Aiken, all of the musicians and all of Team Clay for two great shows. Extra special thanks go to my brother, my sister-in-law and their family for keeping my Yorkie Ziggy while we were away.                I tried to upload my photos while I  was in Florida, but  ASUS Live Update  locked up my usb ports on my laptop. I did discover that I  had a sd drive under the computer  and uploaded all of my photos.  The photos in this blog and the rest of the photos from my trip are in a photobucket slideshow: http://s144.photobucket.com/user/ccol4him1/slideshow/FloridaVaClaytion2012




 
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