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!





Thursday, March 24, 2016

While the Paska dough rises ...

We arrived back from our quick "Escape" to Florida
just before the ice storm and in time to prepare for the Holiest of Days ....

My Mennonite Girl's Can Cook book is open to pg. 133  and Lovella's dough is on the rise.


I have adopted this wonderful Easter Bread tradition as one of my own.
It reminds me of the celebration of our risen Lord...

"Easter is the most significant day in the life of those that have accepted
the forgiveness of Jesus Christ"
by Lovella Schellenberg, Mennonite Girls Can Cook.
Amen ...


While the dough rises:

 I will attempt to get caught up on my blogging, both reading and finally posting.

I have struggled with keeping up and our internet connections were sparse to say the least while travelling!

I will prepare the homemade mustard for the delicious ham dinner to be shared with my Family In Law tomorrow on Good Friday.

I will bake some homemade bread - my cupboards are bare.

I will carve the Easter Butter Lamb.



Just a few more groceries to pick up but that will have to wait till the Paska is done ... that is if the ice storm that makes my hydro go on and off this morning lets me - eek!

I guess this post is somewhat of a "throw back Thursday" one.

Now skedaddle dear reader and I'll catch up with you all later. 
So much to share about our recent trip to Gator country.



Till next time ..... Happy Easter to you and yours!




Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Warm Thoughts



Last year on this very day we were packed and on our way to Costa Rica
to celebrate my retirement and for a lovely warm get-away with friends.



Today my cupboard doors have been flung open and
I am packing for the RV kitchen pantry ... warm food coming soon.





























Some meals on the menu will include:
Steak
Pineapple Chicken
Crock Pot Ribs
Rice Pilaf
Pasta Crab Salad
Spaghetti
Slow Cooker Apple/Fruit Crisp
Chili Dogs

I'm premixing some of the meat rubs,
dessert toppings, home made mustard ingredients,
etc. to make it easier on the road and also so I don't need 
to pack too many spice ingredients in their original large containers.

Also trying to be mindful of what foods we can and cannot
take across the boarder.
A grocery list for once we are at our destination is growing.
Can't wait to taste the fresh citrus fruit, sea food, and produce!


She is waiting patiently for us to fill her cupboards and travel somewhere warm!



Eek!  What am I forgetting???
Will the oncoming March Lion Winter Storm hamper our plans?
We'll see ......... thinking warm thoughts.

Till next time ......... looking forward to sun rises, high noon sun, and beautiful sunsets on the beach, and making many more warm memories!