Thursday, March 31, 2016

Exploring RV parks in Florida

It's hard to believe that a week has already passed
since we returned from our 20 day escape in our "Escape 19" to frolic
on the white sand beaches of Florida!



Let me tell you ..... it's a long haul down the I75 from SW Ontario.
We were literally rocked by the endless stream of semis as they roared passed us
with enthusiasm to their destinations, going both South and North -eek!

The fearless farmer firmly grasped the steering wheel with determination,
trying not to be intimidated ... as we headed for warmer climates.

Once we arrived, we soon forgot those long 2 days of travelling
and settled in to our first camp site at E. G. Simmons Regional Park
in Hillsborough County. Our GPS called it EggSimmons.
A great RV park with large open sites.
We were surprised to meet some fellow "Escape" campers that we had met
at our Fiberglass RV Rally in Niagara Falls last September - small world!

Next we headed further South to Siesta Key and stayed one night (it was all we
could get or it would certainly have been longer) at Turtle Beach Campground
If you watch the youtube link you'll know why - heaven!
It's a teeny tiny campground but so unique.
We set the sun on the beach that evening.



It was a short jaunt to our next one week campground reservation in Ft. Myers.
Here we settled in and got our "glamping" on. 
This campground offers many services and comfort
(i.e. heated pool, huge hot tub, bingo, community suppers and breakfasts,
shuffleboard, etc.)
We felt a bit like small potatoes amongst these giants but everyone was friendly and kind.


Most RVers stay here from Fall to Spring - can't blame them.
We met some really terrific people, especially Sandy and her son Kevin from MI.




Woodsmoke has a lovely little wildlife area
sporting many birds and a huge turtle pond.














Ft. Myers area is a bit crazy with lots of traffic and such but in this area we took
advantage of shopping at the Miramar Outlet Mall, shelling at Lover's Key and Sanibel Island and meeting up with our 
friends Ralph and Yvonne a few times who were vacationing in Cape Coral.






Lover's Key - we almost had the whole beach to ourselves that morning!


























Ft. Myers Beach wasn't quite as 
quiet!!
I played with my Waterlogue app to create this picture - the umbrellas were so pretty.















It was hard to leave that very early morning and think of a 7-8 hour drive
to our next destination on the Pan Handle - but we made it!

The white sand beaches, dunes, and turquoise sea were unbelievable in this area.
We stayed at 3 different RV parks in this part of the state:

Grayton Beach State Park - my personal favourite!

The sand was so fine it literally squeaked - just so beautiful!



Here we met up with our friends Ron and Karen who were vacationing in Destin. We had a late dinner (late, that is by Florida standards it seems). It was so dark we had to use our cell phone lights to read the menu - lol! And our reading glasses of course.
Most restaurants are buzzing and over booked in the late afternoon - go figure. Are we seniors yet?









St. Andrews State Park - right beside Panama City Beach

View from the pier - we saw dolphins here as well







There were gators in that there pond!





















Wildlife galore!












We had a rain day so the farmer and I went to the movies!
Zootopia is a must see ...



Top Sail Hill State Park - simply beautiful and worth staying for more than one night!

The "haul" back home was uneventful (thankfully) with dry roads
and a little less stressful driving - maybe we're just getting the hang of it?

The Redbuds were blooming - said with a southern drawl!


We made it home in time for the Easter weekend activities
and pictures of the cutest Easter Bunny ever!



Now we need to decide what to do for next Winter.
Did you know that you have to book these places a year in advance for March bookings - Wow!

That was fun .....


This post was almost as long as our trip - sorry about that!!!

Till next time ......... hopping on a jet plane next week to see that little Easter Bunny!





10 comments:

  1. Lovely photos and post ! My in laws are on their way to Florida with truck and trailer to visit family who live in an RV park it is their first trip to Florida this way . My neighbors also do the RV thing there each winter and come back here for our summers something hubs and I would like to do when he finally retires . Thanks for sharing , looks like fun . Have a good week !

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  2. Your little bunny is getting so big. I guess you'll be hearing that for the next few years! That looked like a mighty fine trip. Will you be returning to the same area next time? You'll know the best spots to book this time around if that's the case. Glad you get to fly away and see your little huggable! I enjoyed your post...

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  3. I'm so glad you documented your RV trip...so we can enjoy it along with you! That looks like a lot of fun to me! Enjoy your time out west with your wee Easter bunny!

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  4. This was always a goal of mine...to be a Snowbird. Alas, John does not share the dream. He's driven to Florida twice and hopes never to do it again. Wah... Your time in Florida looks marvelous.

    Oh my goodness...is she 8 months old already? It is unbelievable how fast they grow! You'll have a wonderful time.

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  5. Sounds like a fun adventure!!! Not sure I could stomach the drive, though! But that's how we saw the US from coast to coast when we were kids (in a station wagon!). And I bet you're excited to see your sweet granddaughter---she's getting so big!

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  6. Sounds like you had a wonderful adventure! Loved seeing your pictures. I recently "discovered" some of those panhandle areas, and I'd love to visit someday. Do you know Doreen from Fox Den Rd. (formerly "Househoneys")? She and her husband just returned from their first 3-month RV adventure to Florida. She did a post on some of the places they stayed. Wonder if you stayed in any of the same places. Enjoy your visit with your sweet little granddaughter! She is adorable!

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  7. Hi Rosella! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I read your post with great interest as we might have been passing each other on the road. Maybe we were one of the rv's causing you to shake rattle and roll ;).

    What kind of RV do you have? We have a motorhome that is just under 35' and is an oldie but goodie. I can so relate to how your hubby felt while driving. It really is intimidating when those REALLY big rigs pass you going 80 miles an hour lol.

    We stayed at top sail state park for a week as well as emerald coast RV resort in Panama City beach. St. Andrews was one of our favorite beaches.

    I'll be posting about our trip over the next few weeks so please drop by again and give your feedback. I'd love to compare notes!

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  8. Rosella, what a fun post to read. I guess that travel is the equivalent of us travelling all the way to San Diego. I love the look of some of those resorts you stayed at. I would have loved to have seen your campsite set up with your little trailer.

    Your little grandgirl is just darling! She is so very cute!

    Thanks for sharing your 20 days of sunshine and sandy beaches.

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  9. What an adventure! I like your watercolor photo and that pic of you at the movies! Fun!
    So glad you get to visit your cute little Easter bunny!

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  10. How did I miss this? It looks like you had a great holiday and I'll bet it left you wanting more!

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