Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Guess Who’s Coming to Linner :)

From Urban Dictionary…Linner: The meal between lunch and dinner, just as brunch is the meal between breakfast and lunch.

We rarely go out to dinner but love to enjoy Linner occasionally and today was such a day. After several emails back and forth, we settled on Tamara’s CafĂ© in Apalachicola at 3 PM.

Rick and I hadn’t yet explored Apalachicola so we arrived early.  Apalachicola is a small town at the mouth of the Apalachicola River and maybe, 30 miles from Ho-Hum RV Park. We drove around, walked around, checked out a few local establishments including the Apalachicola Sponge Co. who has a pretty cool spongeman sitting outside :)

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We happened upon the Raney House and decided to take the tour.

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David Raney made his fortune in cotton.

The Raney House

We learned that, prior to Florida becoming a state, it was split in half. West Florida with Pensacola as it’s capital and East Florida with St. Augustine as it’s capital. What we know as central and southern Florida was still swampland at that time. When they combined and eventually became a state, a central city, Tallahassee, became capital.

If we had more time, and there’s always a next time, I’d love to spend more time in this little town. It may be mostly touristy stuff but there is history here and you never know what you might find. :)

It was time to meet our Linner companions. It’s Sherry and David!

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Tamara’s was a wonderful choice that we happened upon by accident. The food was absolutely wonderful! Sherry and David had the oyster poor boy sandwiches, Rick had the Creole Pasta and I had one of the daily specials of a Key West pork chop with rice and black beans. Everyone was happy with their choices.

Linner at Tamara's

Although we were all full when we finished, somehow we managed to drag ourselves next door to the Apalachicola Chocolate Co. where we all enjoyed a gelato for dessert.

Dessert

Several hours and much good conversation later, we left them to do their grocery shopping and we returned to Lucy to ready her for a move to Grayton Beach State Park tomorrow. We totally enjoyed our visit and hope to meet again soon. Thanks, Sherry and David!

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ho Hum… Just Another Day In Paradise

A week ago, we did something we rarely do in this lifestyle. We packed a bag, hopped in the Jeep and drove 300 miles to check into a hotel. It was a quick trip to attend the wedding of our nephew, David. Sometimes taking a side trip without Lucy makes sense. The total for gas in the Jeep, hotel and a couple of meals out did not come close to just the diesel cost if we had brought her along :) Of course, I would have loved to have had her along. I don’t do well packing and sleeping in strange beds anymore :)

The bride and groom saying their vows.

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The groom and his mom at the reception.

(I loved this picture, so I “borrowed” it from Facebook :) Thanks to whoever took it!)

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The wedding cake…yum!

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It was a lovely wedding and we’re glad we made the trip.

Congratulations David and Allie! May you share many happy years together!

A couple days after returning we found ourselves, once again, on the road. It’s always so much fun to see what’s around the bend. In this case, it was the Ho-Hum RV Park in Carrabelle, FL. This is a small, very friendly park with limited to no landscaping but, it sits right on the Gulf!

Can’t get much closer than this!

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Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to nab one of the waterfront sites this time of year, but that’s OK. A few steps out our door and we’re on the beach :)

We’ve done a bit of exploring since we’ve been here. Gotta take advantage of the warm sunny days before more rain comes!

We started out on Thursday just wandering to see what we might find locally. Our first stop was at the local Carrabelle History Museum. We spent a bit of time there but I totally neglected to take any pictures. If you have an interest, their website can be found here.

Crooked River Lighthouse

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Another stop, just outside town, was the Crooked River Lighthouse.

“For 118 years the Crooked River Lighthouse has stood as a beacon, guiding timber ships as well as local fishermen and oystermen through the treacherous pass between Dog and St. George Islands, along Florida's Panhandle.  Built in 1895, this iron and steel structure replaced the lighthouse on Dog Island, which was destroyed by hurricane in 1873.” Taken from crookedriverlighthouse.org

Carrabelle Beach

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Beautiful white sand beach just outside the city of Carrabelle.

Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum

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This was a large, very well done museum, dedicated to preserving local involvement in history and honoring its veterans.

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We finished Thursday off back home watching some pretty good NCAA Basketball :)

On Friday, we headed about 20 minutes west to St. George Island State Park. It was a beautiful, sunny, but windy day.

Bridge to St. George Island

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This reminded me somewhat of the bridge heading into the Keys…beautiful!

The St. George Island Lighthouse greeted us as we arrived on the island.

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We turned left and headed to the state park. Admission was $6 per car. There were several parking areas with beach access as we drove but we continued on to the end.

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There were a few people out and more continued to arrive as the day got warmer.

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We chose to head away from civilization and took a nice long walk on this section of heaven :)

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This beach is a shell collector’s dream. There were thousands of beautiful shells, in perfect condition, just for the taking.

shells

I don’t collect shells because I have no idea what to do with them :) Also, it sort of reminds me of Lucille Ball collecting rocks in The Long, Long Trailer :) If you haven’t seen that movie, try it. You’ll like it. :)

On the way back we stopped to admire a few sand sculptures. The sculpture in the UL corner is an alligator. It was much more obvious in person than in this picture.

sand sculptures

We also stopped to talk to this guy :)

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It was very obvious he was used to people. He let me walk almost all the way up to him before he calmly walked away.

We drove through the state park campground before leaving. It’s a very nice campground with several sites that would accommodate a large rig. It did not have a Verizon data signal though and only about 1/2 bar of phone signal. For us, that could be a deal breaker, especially coupled with the fact that we rely on OTA (over the air) TV off our antenna and we’re guessing there isn’t much of that either. We won’t rule it out for a future stay but we’ll be sure to check out alternatives first.

Heading out of the State Park, we just happened upon the Blue Parrot, highly recommended by Gin and Syl, so we stopped in for a little Linner :)

Blue Parrot (2)

Excellent choice! We were definitely full when we left. We were apparently hungry when we arrived too. I never thought of a food pic till it was way too late :)

I’m catching up on some laundry today while Rick did a little fishing. I had more luck with the laundry than he did the fishing :) There is also much more good basketball to watch yet this weekend. I love March Madness :)

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wrapping Up Our Time in Crystal River, Florida

We are currently back at Suncoast Designers In Hudson, FL having a couple of our recently repaired windows redone. There’s not a lot to do while we wait so it seemed a good time to recap February and the rest of our time in Crystal River.

Our time at Lake Rousseau RV Park in Crystal River is over. The park is right on the lake and while we were there, Rick caught several fish. Early in the winter, he invested in both a fresh and salt water out-of-state annual license. It was a good investment. It was cheap entertainment for him over the winter and some good eating :) When he wasn’t being entertained by fish, we were both entertained by our park mascot :) His/her most popular landing site was on top of any vehicle :)

Lake Rousseau RV Park

We even found a job we could apply to do in our spare time but I don’t think we’d qualify :) We think our friend Tricia would be perfect for it :)

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We had few sunny days in February but we tried to take advantage when we did. One day we were lucky enough to paddle the beautiful Rainbow River with Nancy and Bill, Dan and Tricia, Gin and Syl and Dot and Charlie.

Rainbow River Paddle 1

What a beautiful place! Crystal clear water; absolutely breathtaking!

Rainbow River Paddle

The next day, most of us met up at the Cedar Key RV Resort for a quick picnic lunch and then we all headed into Cedar Key proper for a nice bike ride.

Cedar Key

Another day, Rick and I paddled the Crystal River to see all the Manatees. It was a beautiful day and it brought a lot of people out on the water. Even so, we managed to spend 4 hours out there just paddling around enjoying ourselves :) I do need to clarify that it was mostly Rick who was paddling around :) I was enjoying the ride…and taking pictures :)

Crystal River

The month ended on a wonderful note with a great visit from my sister Sheila and BIL, Vern. We didn’t do much exciting (rainy, cloudy, chilly weather again) but we sure enjoyed some good conversation, some good food and even a little good wine :)

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Once we moved to Hudson over the weekend, we took in the Florida Strawberry Festival with Ronnie and Cynthia. This is an annual event in Plant City and it’s absolutely crazy! It is so popular that I’m pretty sure the entire state of Florida showed up for it last Sunday! :) We never even got into the main festival grounds. Traffic was unbelievable! We did, however, make it to Parksdale Farm Market, the largest family run strawberry and citrus market in the state of Florida. Their shortcakes are world famous and their strawberry shakes  were voted America’s best milkshake by the Food Network! :)

This was the line to get in the door :)

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Once we made it close :)

Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City

It was a great way to spend a Sunday and when we left, we no longer needed another meal that day :)

We finished up our window repairs this afternoon and will be headed to Cedar Key in the morning. We plan to spend a couple weeks visiting friends there before moving onto the Panhandle.

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle