Hey there peeps!
Sorry we haven’t touched base for a while, but we’ve been enjoying some of the
famous Florida sunshine and warmer temps finally!
We have also been
busy getting our little home on wheels all set up now that we have arrived in
the beautiful Sarasota area. We’ve been here now for three weeks if you can
believe it, and will be here until March 5th.
What I mean by
getting set up I mean that we’ve had to shop around for an internet provider,
opened a U.S. bank account and grab ourselves a U.S. cellphone number so we can
stay connected with y’all!
I won’t go into too much detail about where we
are at this particular moment because I want to keep that for a separate post.
This particular post is about the last place we stayed at just prior to
arriving at Sun-n-Fun on December 1st.
Wekiva Falls RV
Park is located in Sorrento
between Daytona and Orlando. It was an okay place, but it really just
didn’t do it for us for a variety of reasons. It was a pretty big place and
they packed people in like sardine cans.The clientele left a lot to be desired as well if you get my drift; I
swear we were next door to drug dealers.
It was a relatively pretty
setting with the Wekiva River running through it, and had a natural Sulfur
water spring that they had turned into a water park type feature. The concept
is a novel one, all except for the fact that depending on what direction the
wind is blowing you could be easily nauseated by the pungent odor that comes
with a sulfur spring! You know that wicked fart and/or rotten egg smell! UGH!
Unfortunately we had
to stay put there for 5 days because of our timing. The American Thanksgiving holiday weekend fell
in between our trip across the state from the Atlantic side and our arrival to
Sun-n-Fun. We originally wanted to stay at Disney’s wilderness park but it was
sold out for Thanksgiving Day. Everywhere else was sold out as well so we were
stuck there basically.
We arrived there on
the day of a torrential rain storm, and Chillax’n pretty much sat on a soggy
wet lot for at least three of those five days. When the skies finally cleared
and the temps warmed up we did manage to get out and about taking some photos
of what we think were the nicest areas in the park.
Above is that smelly
natural sulfur spring and a cool palm tree growing out of the hill sideways.
Apparently it fell over but never died!
A little marina where
you can rent canoes and kayaks. On the opposite side you can fish, but be a little heads up the resident sand cranes will steal your catch, hook and all if you're not careful!
I’m not sure what
particular sea bird this is, but what an absolutely gorgeous colour it was don’t
A few vultures
hanging around for leftovers perhaps?
I love these next two
pictures, Rick totally captured that Florida flora.
Lastly, our sardine
can and very soggy site.You can’t see
the drug dealer in this shot, he was on the other side of us.
One of Rick’s jobs
during our adventure of firsts is to seek out RV Parks along our route, and he found
this unique KOA located in Loxahatchee, Florida. This one is actually part of a
245 acre wildlife preserve called Lion Country Safari. It is home to over 800
animals from all over the world, and they roam free; albeit with the exception
of a very large fence that separates them from us of course!
For those of you that
have ever been to the African Lion Safari in Ontario Canada, it is exactly the
same concept; that being you drive through the park in your car.
The animals have the
right of way of course as they frequently cross the roadway stopping your
vehicle. You are provided with a CD that narrates your journey as you drive
along, and is very educational to say the least.
Staying here was definitely
a unique experience to say the least. It was as if we were camping in Africa at
times. For example as you settle down for the evening or wake in the early
morning you can literally hear the sounds of Africa at your doorstep. Lions
roaring, cranes calling and gibbons whooping most certainly provided a surreal
experience. Even Toby’s ears were tuned into these very foreign sounds.
If you stay here you
are also provided free and/or discounted tickets into the reserve itself. It
was our luck that at this time of the year we were given free entrance.
Taking in some rays at our site
Loxahatchee is about
35 miles from Delray Beach. While we were here we had the opportunity to visit with some of
Chris New, a lifelong friend of Rick’s and her fiancé Sean just
so happened to be vacationing at an amazing oceanfront condo. So we stopped in for
lunch and major gab session one day. It was a very warm and extremely windy day as you
can tell by this picture above.Too much for a
beach day so we all took shelter on the not so windy side of their 800 square foot
wrap around balcony enjoyed a pizza, and proceeded to enjoy this awesome view for most of the day!
The next day we
visited with another one of Rick’s friends, one who he hasn’t seen for 22 years.
Marco Knoop and his family
actually live in Delray Beach, and we had the opportunity to spend time with
him and his great family at their beautiful home. We had a wonderful day full
of reminiscing, good wine and good food.
Below are some pictures of their
Rick being creative
with the lens…
Thank you for making
our adventure more meaningful everyone!
On our third day in Loxahatchee we took advantage of our free admission to the Lion Country Safari. Below are a few photos taken during our visit …
Putting faces to the
voice so to speak…
We will be heading
toward Sarasota tomorrow making another pit-stop near Sorrento. Rick has us booked
into Wekiva Falls RV Resort. We will be spending 5 days there, which will
pretty much have you caught up to our exact location.
While we here we will have the opportunity to
enjoy our first American Thanksgiving.
We hope you’re
enjoying our adventure as much as we are, so stay tuned for more to come.
In keeping with
the theme of our adventure of “firsts” what a perfect place to visit, St.
Augustine Florida, America’s first successful colony and oldest city.
In 1565, Spanish
explorer Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles arrived with 800 colonists to settle the
New World in the name of Spain. It was an ambitious attempt indeed, and on
September 8th, St. Augustine was founded.
We picked another
nearby KOA to park Chillax’n at for a couple of days. St. Augustine Beach KOA
is located about 3 miles from downtown, and has public transit available just
steps from the front entrance. Sorry Rick forgot to snap a photo of our
campsite however, we did manage to take a few pictures of the resident
This cool bird above
could be seen on his perch for most of each and every day, with the exception of course when
Mr. Hawk arrived below!
fellow and his entourage regularly paid our site a visit in the hope that we
would feed them, which of course we did not. I’m sure many people do though
because they were unbelievably tame and not afraid of humans. Toby enjoyed
rolling in their poop too if you didn’t keep a watchful eye UGH!
Of course there
will always be these little critters around when there is an abundance of live oak trees.
The name "live" oak
comes from the fact that evergreen oaks remain green and "live"
throughout winter, when other oaks are dormant.
When the term live
oak is used in a specific rather than general sense, it most commonly refers to
the southern live oak, the first species so named, and an icon of the Old South.
We spent a
beautiful warm sunny afternoon walking around the downtown core where there is so
much to see and do understandably. There was everything to do from sports and
recreation, sightseeing and walking ghost tours, both fun and historic
attractions, shopping galore, art galleries, and lastly an abundance of bars
The first Spanish Military Hospital now a Museum
Scarlett O'Hara's Pub
When you’re in
need of a good restaurant and/or pub who better to ask than the local constabulary...
Sangrias Tapas & Wine Bar where 1 beer + 1 glass of wine + tip equalled 20 bucks!
Of course Wee Shaemus tagged along with us! Just to enlighten you a little - prior to entering this place we had enjoyed a fantastic dinner out at an Italtian restaurant called the Chianti Room. Several glasses of wine, and we're not telling you just how many + 2 Caesar Salads + 1 Lasagna and 1 Veal Parm dinner equalled $49 less the tip.
What is up with that ???
Oh well, at least this little musical duo was worth the coin!
But after a fantastic belated Birthday dinner / date night we waited for our
taxi in front of Tini Martini Bar all decked out in it's Christmas bling. A little over the top perhaps?
Tomorrow we will
be moving further south to the West Palm and Delray Beach areas so we can enjoy
another couple of firsts. We also have a couple of friends to hook up with
there, both who are friends of Rick’s from his pre-Sandra days.
If you ever get
the chance to visit St. Augustine please don’t hesitate and let the opportunity
pass you by. St. Augustine is most certainly a compelling narrative of
exploration, innovation and let’s not forget its enduring human spirit.
marked by so many milestones such as being the first permanent European and African
settlement; the site of the first Christian mass in the Americas; the first
port to develop into a centre of trans-Atlantic trade and commerce; the site of
the first hospital; the first tavern just to mention a few.
such as these will be celebrated next year during the 450th
Commemoration of what is known as the first colony.
Our visit definitely was a
first on so many levels!
Thanks for hanging out with us, and don't forget to catch up with Chillax'n after
our adventure of first continues on to West Palm and Delray Beach Florida.
We’re happy to report
that we had an uneventful trip down to Historic Charleston South Carolina.
It was a beautiful
sunny day and we stayed at the Mount Pleasant area KOA. This particular KOA
just so happens to be on the grounds of a real Antebellum Plantation, and there's
no mistaking you're in Carolina low country when you camp here. Azaleas, oaks
and loblolly pines give this campground a signature touch to its charm.
Sandra and Toby
attempted the 1.5 mile nature trail, but after reading the sign warning to stay
on the trail or take your chances with alligators, poisonous snakes and/or
vegetation they opted out, simply coining the phrase “let’s not and say we did”.
On site is a 30-acre private
lake where you can simply relax rent a boat, or fish (catch and release only). We
deciding to lay low on our arrival day and simply enjoyed the front row view that
Chillax’n had of the lake.
The next day we
headed into Historic downtown Charleston where horse-drawn carriages clip-clop
along the historic harbor and beautiful cobble stoned streets and gas lit
alleys. It was one of our hit and miss very warm days. However it was extremely
windy, which made walking around somewhat difficult and not so fun.
There was also the threat of severe thunderstorms and a tornado watch in effect.
So as we watched our beautiful skies turn gloomy around noon, decided to for-go the
carriage ride and take some pictures of the gorgeous 18th century
homes and buildings, architecture and harbor as quickly as possible.
Here are a few photos to try and entice you to visit this enchanting beautifully preserved city so rich in history...
On our way back to
the campground we took a quick detour to Patriots Point so we could see the aircraft
carrier USS Yorktown, the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the United States
Navy. It is out of commission now, but you can walk in the footsteps of
YORKTOWN's sailors and officers as you tour the Flight Deck all the way down to
the massive engine rooms that powered this great ship.
We made it back to Chillax’n
just in time before the skies opened up and technically “rained on our parade”.
So with that we will leave you will this gorgeous photo of the night sky as it
appeared out the front window after the storm had passed.
We will be heading
out in the morning to make our way down to St. Augustine Florida. The weatherman is
forecasting another cold front to make its way as far as Georgia, so we've decided to by-pass
Savannah and head to where we won’t have freezing temps.