Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Monday, March 18, 2019

Florida: Family Visits and Water Time

March 3-17, 2019
March 3-7

After our fun times with Mike & Liz we headed 106 miles further south to Hillsborough River State Park where we were back among the trees and FL nature. A nice but tight campground and not a lot of sites would have fit us, but site 92 did, the payoff of planning early-having a decent sized site. We managed to find one hole in the canopy for one of the satellites to receive a signal, there was decent Verizon and the sites were water and electric only with an onsite dump station. Between trips for strawberries and fresh produce, a canoe paddle and walks around the park our time was very relaxing.

We hiked most of the trails though Seminole trail was closed. Found a geocache along the way.

We took a paddle on the Hillsborough River to see what we could see.

March 8-13

A 179 mile ride brought us to Ortona South Campground in Moore Have FL. This is one of just a few COE campgrounds in FL. There is a lock on Caloosahatchee Canal right across the canal from the campground. Site 18 wasn’t on the canal but it, along with all the other sites, was out in the open so we were able to get both satellites to work. Verizon signal was good, water and electric at the site, dump station on the way out. Family visits and down time before we head to the east coast of Fl.

Ortona is about an hour away from Dave’s sister, we hadn’t seen her since early 2012 so we spent her days off catching up with her and her husband.
A day on the boat in the Gasparilla Sound - Charlotte Harbor!!!

One afternoon Deanna & Craig came out to check out how we live. 

 March 14-17

107 miles and we were in Fort Lauderdale and the crazy traffic. We were fortunate to find Easterlin County park which is in close proximity to both of Dave’s uncles who live in Ft Lauderdale. It’s a very tight campground with narrow roads, shall be interesting to see how we get out. There is always some sort of noise, interstate, airplane or train, noise all hours of the day and night.

Local wildlife
We hadn't seen Dave's Uncle Ed and Uncle George since 2/2012 so a visit with them was of utmost importance.  
Due to him not feeling well we got a short visit in with Uncle Ed. 

We got to enjoy a few visits and meals with Uncle George and his friend Mike. Lots of reminiscing and catching up. Who knows when we’ll see them again, so thankful for the time with them. 

George and Mike were curious about our home so they came to check it out. I think they were surprised by our home and how the RV really did feel like a home.

I don’t think we’ll be visiting anyone else till we get the Outer Banks of NC.  On to Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake in Orlando tomorrow, after we figure out how to squeeze out of this spot.

Until next time…

Thursday, March 7, 2019

FL to GA to FL-Lots of Fun with Friends

February 21-March 2, 2019
February 21-24, 2019

A late start since our travel day was only 147 miles. An uneventful ride found us pulling into Topsail Hill Preserve State Park about 1:30. A quick check in and we were soon parked on site 90 home for 4 nights, it’s starting to really feel like we’re in coastal Florida. This park was once a private resort so we have full hookups and cable, most sites even have some natural privacy between them. Our friends Debbie, Jeff and Rick volunteer here and they soon found us.
Site 90

When we first went on the road little did we know how many friends we’d make in just the first 5 years. In the winter of 2014-2015 we first met Steve and MonaLiza while they were staying in Port Aransas TX. That meetup has led us to meet them in some of the most beautiful places, the last time being in Page AZ. A while back we knew this was an area we thought we could make a meetup happen, we had fish heads to exchange for lumpia and beer.  We met them at Pana Roma Pizza and Pasta in Panama City for a late lunch. It just happened to be Steve's birthday, great to celebrate with them. Thanks for lunch!!! Hours, of talking and catching up, we always enjoy seeing them even in just a few hours. See you next winter in the desert.

MonaLiza was the only one to catch the handoff!!
We spent a lot of time walking around Topsail Hill Preserve SP, talking with the Miller’s and Rick. Lots of stories, what we’d seen and their volunteer experiences around the states. Fish fry and other fun dinners, our 4 days flew by. Can’t wait to see them in the desert next winter.

Geocaching is always better with a friend
Anxiously awaiting the fish fry!!!
February 25 & 26, 2019

Our short 120 mile ride, landed us just over the GA border at Eastbank COE campground in Bainbridge GA. We were here almost 5 years ago as we made our way north to VT. We enjoyed dinner around a fire one night, got some nice walks in and relaxed for a few nights.

Site 3

Wannadinger dinner!!

February 27-March 2, 2019

Our next ride of 226 miles was our longest since we left TX. A beautiful ride on US 98 with not much traffic found us pulling into our friends, Mike & Liz, side drive, where they have 50amp service and water. We first met Mike & Liz on our Alaska caravan in the summer of 2016. We’ve seen them a few times since, the last being in CO last summer.
Thanks guys!!

Chez Quigley's
We spent part of one day going to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, where we got to see some rescued Manatees feed. Other wildlife and beautiful plants in bloom made for a fun time.

Even found a geocache

Good food, beer tasting and monkeys!!!
Fresh strawberries, enough to enjoy and some to freeze
Fresh shrimp from Mike's brothers boat-thanks Karen

Fried Clams at Dans Clam Shack!!

Usually apps are small,  not here

 Some beer sampling!!

Some monkey viewing from the Monkey Bar!!!

Thanks Mike & Liz for a wonderful time, great food and friends, lots of laughter and card is good. We appreciate the hospitality. 

Up next, Hillsoborough River State Park.

Until next time....