Third Rest Stop: IHOP in Wildwood!

Okay, I admit it — I was feeling a little nervous getting onto I-75 so soon and barreling over to the left-hand lane to get onto Florida’s Turnpike. I’m nervous sometimes when I do that in my car.

So I needed to fortify myself. And I remembered Sunshine=Sometimes’s suggestion to stop at an IHOP during my trip.

So here I am! — about five miles farther down the road from my stop in Rutland yesterday.


I’ve never been in Wildwood in real life. The town is actually on the other side of the interstate — it’s the same exit off I-75 that I use to go home, just in the opposite direction. So it’s time I made a (virtual) visit!

(Hey, I know that exit!)

Founded in 1877, Wildwood is also called “The Crossroads of Florida.” CSX had a railway station on Main Street. Since 2004, this old station has served as a CSX maintenance yard:

Wildwood got a bit of notoriety a few years ago, in the form of Buddy’s Bar-B-Que. Buddy’s chose to ignore Florida’s indoor smoking ban. First, it posted a sign permitting smoking. Second, it had a plastic jug by the cash register, not for tips but for donations toward paying the smoking fines.

And third…

(Story at Tampa Bay Times)

Buddy’s took the 10-foot-long, 5-foot-tall fiberglass pig attached to its roof, stuck a plastic pipe painted to look like a cigarette in the pig’s rear end, and turned the pig around so that its tush faced the road. The pipe blows smoke.

Or, rather, blew smoke. According to Wikipedia, Buddy’s is now out of business.

I can tell you all sorts of stories about how I can’t stand cigarette smoke, which makes my eyes tear and my throat close up. My mother had smoked until she suffered her first heart attack at age 44 and had nearly died from it then. Let’s just say that cigarettes and I have never gotten along.

My longest one-day real bike ride, of 137 miles, had taken me from Boston to Provincetown, MA (part of that mileage was some extra riding, so that I could rendezvous with my cycling buddy). The ride leader, a man in his 60s, had quit a decades-long smoking habit and had then gotten into shape. He left the rest of us in the dust. :-)

So here I am at IHOP! That IHOP For Me Balsamic Glazed Chicken Meal looks good.

And some strong black coffee.

Well, maybe a touch more coffee…because my virtual bladder is super-strong!


And then it’s onto I-75 and a quick jog to Florida’s Turnpike! I’m sure these nice people will let me scoot over to the left.

Time to get out my quarters!

Oh, wait — I’m on a bicycle! I don’t have any axles! No charge. :D

That chicken fortified me enough to travel 14 miles for the day in 63.5 minutes, for a three-day total of 39.5 miles. And I’ve just passed this sign:

My progress after Day 3 — 58.5 more miles to get to Jane’s!

Avatar of ejourneys

About ejourneys

Ejourneys cares for her partner, who has MS that acts like traumatic brain injury.  Author of Caregiving in Five Lines (all proceeds from sales benefit and contributor to several CareGifters anthologies, ejourneys is a panelist on Your Caregiving Journey's "Hot Topics" show.  She manages the groups Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Caregivers; MS Caregivers; and Caregivers Create; and is a co-founder of VRide.

3 thoughts on “Third Rest Stop: IHOP in Wildwood!

  1. Avatar of Sunshine=Sometimes

    Hi everybody (and good morning, ejourneys!)
    I love this stop at IHOP! Mom and I went to our fav one yesterday – which we rarely do over a weekend! – and had a 55+ meal. It’s reasonably priced and not too much food and delich! Then we did our grocery shopping for about 2 1/2 hours. I wanted to count it as exercise but didn’t! :)

    It’s about 5am and I awaken to this second stop along our way. I am thrilled! (Really! Check out their 55+ meals!)

    I am ready to brace up to at least a 10 minutes virtual bike ride on my steady steed in the basement. (I’m sore but really excited. I’ll wait until the sun comes up though.)

    It’s my 60th birthday today! In celebration along with MLK. (After all? Who else could claim fame along with MLK and be so great eh? :) ?)
    Keep pumpin’ everyone!

    HHMMmm! Mom wants to treat me for my dinner. Maybe IHOP? Again? :) It’s going to be a good day! Thanks for the morning treat, ejourneys! Your post is going to make me happy all day long! :)

  2. Avatar of Sunshine=Sometimes

    OOooppss! I mean our 3rd stop, of course! I guess it is a little early to be concentrating! I’ll get a cup of tea and wake myself up! :)


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