Friday, January 27, 2017

Fun Finale

Usually, on the way home from a road trip, we get into the must-get-home-ASAP mode. Thursday was different, however. Bill had a conference call at 10am, so we lingered around camp and enjoyed a slow morning with nature. We arranged to meet vacationing sister, Nancy and Terry, and blogson Will for lunch. At 2:15pm we pulled into a mutually convenient location in Bonita Springs, Doug's Seafood, and enjoyed a family reunion but not the disappointing meal. We sat in the RV and had a couple of beers in the parking lot (losers) before the last push home.
It was a good trip. We crossed the 10,000 mile mark. That's a lot of miles in 6 months. For the first time, we returned home with no major repair issues to take up with the dealer. Perhaps we have worked out all the RV kinks. 

The Airstream has been a fun mode of travel. We enhanced our overall experience with a major improvement: the RV Superbag. The Airstream bed is really comfy, but it was difficult and time consuming to make up every night because the mattress pad wouldn't stay put. There's no room under the bed for which the corners to adhere. The sheets get all bunched up as a result and the bed becomes lumpy with bedding. Bill discovered a solution: the RV Superbag. For what it is, I thought it was a little pricey, but after this trip, it's worth every penny. It's a custom made comforter on the bottom and another one on top with velcro sheets that attach to the comforters. There are three different weights: summer, winter and tropical. We used the winter weight on the bottom for extra cushioning and the summer on top for this trip. So easy and super comfy. The bag zips up for storage on three sides leaving the top open. It just lays on top of the bed and everything stays put. Nice addition.

It's always good to be home. Tune in soon for more adventures!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hillsborough River State Park

Our last night on this fun little getaway was just north of Tampa as we worked our way home. We packed up camp in Destin and were on the road at 8am Wednesday. Who knew the Panhandle was in the central time zone? It's a big state and we drove over six hours with a little over three to go.

We booked the last campsite at Hillsborough online and we're happy to have a spot, but it is our least favorite park so far. It's old with lots of mature foliage, which is very pretty but that makes it dark. The sites are crammed in next to each other like a parking lot. No space between neighbors. Oh well, it's just one night. We heated our fabulous dinner leftovers on the campfire and tucked in early.

Our campsite is very close to the river and we came upon this big guy while walking Solo. See the gator on the bank next to the tree?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Really Glamping

It was a half mile walk from our campsite, so we saved an Uber fare and made dinner reservations at the Henderson Inn Beachwalk Café. The restaurant next door to the state park was rated #1 in Destin on TripAdvisor. With sunset cocktails in hand and a flashlight in my bag, we ventured along the Emerald Coast. The emerald color of the water was really apparent in the setting sun.

We had an amazing dinner and bottle of wine while taking in the beautiful waterfront setting. The flashlight came in handy as we walked along the dark and empty beach back to camp. The stars were out but there was no moon to shed light our journey. It was a fun night hike and spectacular evening all around!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

No Bugs but Plenty of Other Air Traffic

This weather is so perfect! Severe clear sky, bright sunshine and temps in the 60s. The best part of it all is the fresh air in the van with the door wide open. No worries about bugs getting in our space because there are no bugs. Perhaps the stormy weather blew them away or it's just the way it is here in Destin FL in January.

There is no mistaking the presence of a nearby Air Force base, however. I'm not sure what's with all the training missions, but it is a very active area. The roar of fighter jets, carrier planes, helicopters...sonic booms and g-force rumbles deep inside the inner ear are plentiful here on the Emerald Coast. Bill is totally enjoying the sights and sounds overhead.

Coffee in Bed

It's a bright, sunny, brisk 49 degrees this morning. The heater is on and we're reading the news feeds and blogging on our devices. Solo's curled up in a ball.

Yesterday was almost too windy to play outside so we rode the bikes a couple miles to Destin Commons, another top attraction in the area. There we took in a matinee: La La Land. It was cute. Back at camp we made chicken wings on the barbie with another show-stealer side: creamy polenta. So good! The new Instapot has been useful in the RV.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Henderson Beach State Park

According to TripAdvisor, Henderson Beach State Park is the number one attraction in Destin. We were lucky enough to get a campsite here for three nights. This is our third FL State Park and equally impressive as Anastasia in St. Augustine and our first foray with the RV at John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo. Each park is on water, clean, private, offers nice amenities and is a bike ride away from commercial activity.

We made a fire after we set up camp at 3pm and started drinking earlier than usual (haha) after the anxious ride and tedious conditions. Luck and timing were on our side as predictions of the continued severe weather in the Panhandle were unfounded. Apparently, 14 people died from the storms that blew through the area.

With gratitude, we enjoyed our cocktails around the warmth and comfort of the campfire. The fire provided the perfect heat for slow roasted, caramelized Brussels sprouts, which stole the show at dinner. With sleeping weather in the 50s we were out like babies.

Feeling rested and content after a morning hike with Solo, we're off to further exploration!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Eglin Air Force Base Beach

The stormy skies opened up to sandy seas. We arrived on the Emerald Coast safely. This beautiful country amazes me with stunning new sights around every bend.

Adventure in Travels

"Getting there is half the fun," travelers like to say. Life on the road is filled with adventures and that's what makes RV travel so exciting. We left St. Augustine this morning for the next leg of our journey: the FL Panhandle. The severe weather that has passed through the south over the last 12-18 hours is definitely a factor as we head west on I-10. Tornado and thunderstorm warnings are currently in effect for this region as we navigate serious gusts of wind on the last 87 miles to Destin. It's a little scary, but we're in good hands; God is our co-pilot.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

30 Mile Reward

When you have protein shakes for breakfast then ride the bike 30 miles, you can have French fries covered in clam chowder, bacon and cheese for lunch. Whoa. We rode Anastasia Island from north to south on a gorgeous day. Lunch at the Sunset Grille was almost a guilt-free splurge.

Campsite Breakfast Dishes

It's a simple life of French pressed coffee and Isagenix protein shakes. Makes for easy clean up, too!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Long Walks on the Beach

Such a pretty area. Loving the surrounds. We're living a clean life of exercise and good campfire food while working in visits with the kids.

I had some drama with my phone yesterday. It fell through a crevice in the wall of the RV. It looked like a window sill but ... down it went.

We took the Airstream to a mechanic and his genius mind rigged up a tool, which was able to retrieve the phone. Brilliant work by this young man! He said no charge, just say something good on social media. I did; and I'm back in business.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Oldest Town USA

It's odd to think of how many times I have passed through St. Augustine and never once stopped to take in the civic and historical sites of the country's oldest town.

So, after a lazy morning, which included a nice nature trail hike with Solo, we mounted the bikes and headed out to highway A1A. While busy, the road was not as dangerous on the bikes as it may sound.

The first detour was the St. Augustine light house for a quick walk through the museum and grounds surrounding the site of the first light house established in FL.

We then crossed the Bridge of Lions from Anastasia Island to downtown St. Augustine. After a ride around the little streets surrounding the beautiful Flagler College campus, we stopped at Castillo de San Marcos: an impressive old fortress, now a national monument, in ruins on the Matanzas River.

We walked our bikes down the cobblestone village of boutiques and ice cream shops before heading back to our camp on Anastasia Island.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Anastasia State Park

From France to St. Augustine, FL on the travel blog here. Actually, we had a road trip up the coast to NYC and NJ in early December that didn't even get a mention or photo on the Blogagerie. But, here we are in one of the most beautiful state parks ever! An amazingly private campsite with the Atlantic Ocean a mere breeze away. The foliage is perfectly tropical, lush and plentiful. $18 a night!

We pulled in just before 3:30pm, plugged the rig into shore power and corked a bottle of wine! Steph and the kids are on the way for a visit and hopefully some songs around the campfire. It's good to be back in the RV!