After the reception, we headed back to Dan’s apartment so that he could change.  Then we drove a few blocks to our Inn.  Dan suggested we forgo a typical hotel for the weekend and instead book one of the many Inns.  I researched all the Inns near Dan’s apartment and booked at The Laurel Oak Inn.  As you can see from the photographs, it was lovely.  When we arrived  the Innkeepers, Peggy and Monta greeted us with chilled glasses of  Chardonnay and delicious appetisers.  After cocktail hour, we cleaned up and headed out to dinner.

When we first planned this visit, Dan suggested we dine at a  fantastic Gainesville Pizza Place.  Sadly, they recently had a fire and will not be open until later this summer.  Although there were several great restauants within walking distance of the Inn, Dan thought it would be more interesting to dine at The Yearling Restaurant, a short drive to Cross Creek, Florida.  

Well, it was a lovely drive through the country.  The Yearling is located next to The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings state park You remember her, she wrote The Yearling.  Well, we got there too late to visit the park, but the restaurant was very interesting.

Old Truck on display outside of The Yearling

Vintage Farm Machinery on display

Dan and Peter at Dinner

Dan chose The Yearling for dinner for a “Real Florida” experience.  Well, it really is just that!  First off, we entered the front door and heard the music.  Willie Green plays the Blues on Friday and Saturday nights.  He was AMAZING.  He played harmonica and guitar and sang.  Just wonderful, real, BLUES!
The menu has a lot of dishes you can only find in Florida, Alligator, Turtle, etc.  They call turtle “Cooter”!  Sour Orange Pie was for desert.  When I told Lisa about The Yearling, she immediately said it sounded like having dinner at that restaurant in True Blood!  In truth, the atmosphere of The Yearling was not that far off! 

A small footnote about The Yearling is that when Dan and Lisa were very small I remember reading The Yearling aloud to them.  Actually, I read it once to Dan and then again, to Lisa.  We all cried both times!  It remains one of our favorites books to this day!  Dinner at The Yearling was very “Old Florida” and very special!


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