RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!





Sunday, March 15, 2009

Crystal Rivers, Fl / Elite Resorts

03/10/09

Left Inglis and headed south to Wal-Mart, in Homosassa, Fl. We did some shopping, and just kicked back and enjoyed a free evening of Wal-Mart traffic noise.

03/11/09

Left Wal-Mart and headed to our new campground, that we have reserved for a month. We set up on site 302 at Elite Resorts in Crystal Rivers, Fl, just 5 miles north of Homosassa, Fl. This is a multilevel campground, with many campsites in a valley, another level of sites above the valley sites, and then upper level of sites on top of a hill. There is a total of 450 sites. We are paying $17.58 a night, because we are staying here a month. Daily rates are $40 a night til April 1 and then it drops to $32 a night. After we arrived, Joe did the whole shebang set up. All the awning came out, (only one other time, have we had the main awning out - this time all awnings on all the windows came out), tire covers on, and the floor mat is out, with chairs put out under the awning. While he set up outside, I set up, on the inside and checked out the Internet connection. With our Sprint card, we had zero percent connection. We picked this park because we were told all sites had wifi. I connected to the wifi, and it was at 10 percent, with an occasional minute at 20 percent. I called the office and talked to a camp host, and he told me, all sites have a strong connection, and it must be my computer. He also said he was located way back in the corner of the park, the farthest from the bathroom where the tower is located, and he had a strong connection! He said we were just 7 sites from the bathroom, and should be getting a much better signal than him. Joe came in and told me to forget it for now. Maybe the signal will get better later.

03/12/09
Internet worked good this morning, for while. I didn't check the percent, I was just happy it was moving along, and got some stuff done while I could. We are located on the top level of the campground. After lunch, we took a walk around the park. Mallery was walking way to slow, and at this rate, no one is getting any exercise. We went back to get the stroller and continued our walk, with Mallery riding and us getting some exercise. The temperature is in the high 70's today. After our walk, Joe decided to go down to the pool to cool off, and I stayed at home and did some catch up things. While Joe was gone, I tried to use the computer, but was unsuccessful due to the 10 percent connection again. Again I called the office, and they said, there are probably lots of people on the Internet, and that can slow it down. Not a happy camper. And we are going to be here a month!

03/13/09

This morning Joe and I drove around the park with the laptop, trying to find a strong signal. Sure enough, way in the back corner sites, where the camp host lives in his RV, who I talked on the phone about this issue, had 80 percent connection. We could not figure out why some sites were better than others. The sites right next to the bathrooms had 100 percent, but just 7 sites away around the corner, where we were, we had only 10 percent. We found a site in the middle level with 80 to 100 percent connection. Once we found this site, we checked our phones to make sure we had at least 3 bars, then called the office to see if we could move to this site, # 240. With the OK, it took us 2 hours to pack up and then re set up at site 240. Our new yard is more shady, which makes our move even better, since temps are in the low 80's. After lunch Joe drove into town to set up mail delivery at the Post Office as they do not take mail at the park. I stayed home, and did some cleaning while he was gone. Now that we are here for a month, we plan on doing boring stuff like cleaning out stuff in the basement (what the storage is called below the bus). When we sold our house, we had very little time to go though some stuff. So I boxed it up, thinking I would have time to go though it, while traveling. With the constant moving and sightseeing, I've not been able to do so. This month is dedicated to doing that, and other reading and finally having enough Internet connection to catch up with our church services that are on line. If we do something fun or exciting, I will blog it, to share it with you all. So if you do not hear from us for awhile, not to worry, we are just doing some catch up.

03/14/09

Today we did many things- catch up work- and went and enjoyed the pool ( year round heated at 82 degrees). It is in the 80's today also. Take care, be back soon. Diane, Joe & Mallery.

Gated community

Our new yard - Site 240



Rec. room

side of rec. room with pool in Lanai
Pool with a Lanai

Jacuzzi - (not me in jacuzzi)


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Inglis Fl

03/08/09

Packed up and left Old Town 'N Retreat Campground, and headed south for a hour to Inglis Fl. Pulled into Northwood Estates Mobile Home RV Park. It was supposed to be full hook up with cable. With our passport membership it was $13 a night. But no cable and the place was run down with many travel trailers that looked like they had been there forever, if you get the picture. Not a happy camper, but we only have two nights, so we'll do our best. We were in a dead zone again also. After setting up, and lunch, we covered up the computer (don't want anyone looking inside and getting any ideas), locked up and went and looked at 3 other campgrounds in the area. One about the same, as where we are, and two others that didn't have cable available. I know cable sounds important to us, but it's just we don't want to stay some where for a month with not knowing what is happening out in the world.

03/09/09


Drove to Crystal Rivers and Homosassa Fl., 10 miles south of Inglis Fl. We spent the checking out about 10 RV parks. Some didn't fit in our budget for what they had (not nice enough or not worth the extra price), some didn't have cable available, or good phone or Internet connection. We finally decided on Elite Resorts Crystal Rivers. We drove home and called it a day. While walking Mallery at our mobile and RV park we notice someone driving around in a golf cart with the word security on it. Hey, this place has security, that made me feel much better. It did look like the owner was trying to fix up the place and maybe in a few years it will be better. It just is the worst we have been at to date.

While we were checking out Turtle Creek Campground, (a nice campground in Homosassa Fl, but no openings for a month) I got this picture. Do you see what I see?

He was about 2 feet long.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Old Town Campground 'N Retreat

03/07/09

I forgot to mention yesterday while we were at Manatee Springs, I was really hoping to see some manatee's. We went at 3pm, and were told at the ranger station that visitors saw 10 at 12pm, so I was very hopeful. I was very disappointed when I, nor any one else saw them while we were there. Joe got tired of looking and went back to the car with Mallery, and I spent another 30 minutes looking, hoping as the day cooled down they would come back to the spring. I finally gave up around 5;30, and went to the car where Joe was waiting and reading a book. Today, we visited 2 more parks. the first one we visited was Yellow Jacket in Old town on the Suwannee River. It is rated one of the top ten in the USA. It was very nice, with 10 individual shower rooms and a very nice, new rec. hall and dock on the river with rental pontoons boats. We could get it with our Passport membership for $14 a night for 7 nights, but zero bars on our cell phone, and we want to find somewhere for a month.

Yellow Jacket Campground- recreation room looking down at the river.


Yellow Jacket Campground- docks, boat slips, boat rental.

After lunch we went to Chiefland, just down the road 10 mile. Along the way we stopped at a fresh fruit and vegetable stand (awesome fl oranges), Dakota Winery for wine tasting, and ended our day at Wal-Mart. We also stopped and checkout 2 other campgrounds in Chiefland, and would be OK for a night or two, but not what we are looking for for a month.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Old Town Campground 'N Retreat

03/05/09


Packed up and left Keaton Beach. Headed south to Old Town Fl. The road was a nice two lane and wide and smooth, the way Joe likes it. He doesn't like the narrow two laners. We arrived at Old Town Campground 'N Retreat in short order and we were escorted to our site. This park has some sites with sewer and 2/3 without. Sewer hook up site were all gone, but we did have cable and good phone connection and somewhat good Internet connection. Wifi was extra if you didn't have a card, as we do. We payed $12 plus tax a night. The facilities weren't much, but the owner was second to none. Very personable and friendly, and drew a map showing where every thing was and how to get there. Most just hand you a printed paper with information and no explanations. He takes the time to draw the map, explain and ask if we have any questions. We were very impressed with him as a owner. as soon as we stepped out of our RV, our neighbor to the right approached us with a welcome and told us she was from Belle Plaine.

03/06/09

Did some paper work in the morning (can't be all fun), then visited a campground down the road. It was very nice, but no bars on our cell phone. We are looking for a place to stay for a month at a reasonable price with full hook ups, cable, and Strong phone and Internet connection. You get the best rates if you stay for a month. Joe has us budgeted for $25 a night, but with the economy the way it is, we are not getting the interest rate on the CD's as we were before. So we need to be staying at $18 a night, until CD rates return to at least 5%. We all need to live with in our means and not live beyond our means as that is why our government and half the population is in such sorry shape.


We visited Suwannee River Hideaway. It was a nice place, but we had zero bars on our cell phone. No way for a month. It did have this very nice off the ground boardwalk that was about 1/2 mile in length to the river, with a dock at the end on the river.


After lunch we drove to Manatee Springs State Park. The water in the spring is 72 degrees year round. I stepped in it and burr. I thought 72 would be warmer than that. After a few minutes it felt better and I got in to my knee. I didn't have a swim suit on, so I couldn't swim. Picture below show a man swimming in it as many others did, as well as divers. Temperature today is at least 72 if not warmer.



This is a picture looking off the board walk along the springs to the river. Do you see the deer? The pointed things, by the trees are part of the root system.



This deer came right up to the board walk, as if I were not there.



This is a picture off the pavilion on the river.

This is a picture of boardwalk on river to pavilion.

Keaton Beach

03/04/09

Got down to 32 degrees last night. Highs in the upper 50's today. Watched the tide go out today leaving a large mud flat between us and the water, about 30 feet. The tide comes in and out 2 times daily. The water is perfectly still here. Looks more like a lake rather than ocean shore. Breezy today on our walk to the beach, fishing pier, and up the road. Very quiet and peaceful here. Not too many people yet.We met some neighbors from Pennsylvania, and another from Michigan. We visited as the sun set on the ocean.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Keaton Beach, FL-Old Pavillion RV Park

03/03/09


Pack up and left our cheap "digs", (kind of a dive), but keeping us on our budget! Headed south to Perry Fl, then south west to Keaton Beach on the Gulf. The town is a very small community, for tourist and fishing. The park was a nice small park of about 20 permanent trailers and 5th wheels, and 15 transient sites facing the ocean. The highs were in the low 60's today. After setting up, we drove around to the small beach, fishing pier, and an island call Dark Island. The island had the ocean on the front side of the homes and a canal on the backside of the homes, for dock and boats. A really nice home cost $900,000.00, and a small cottage cost $425,000.00. The cheapest we've seen for ocean front property.

Tide is out. When tide is in, water comes to the rocks.

Looking at small beach from pavillionSmall beachOld Pavillion RV Park from pavillion next to small beach
Fishing pier next to beach. Off in distance, canal going through small community
Poles decorated out front our window - tide out

Friday, March 6, 2009

Panacea, Fl/ Wakulla Springs

03/01/09




Last night it poured rain for about an hour. We missed the strong wind that blew threw a few miles north. We drove 10 miles north to Crawford, to make phone calls, and shop at Wal-Mart. We spent the rest of the day, doing catch up things and just chilling.


03/02/09


Today was a cool day. We drove to Wakulla Spring State Park, just north of us. We went on the 3 mile river tour of the Wakulla River and over the Wakulla Spring, which is one of the world's largest and deepest fresh water springs. The water comes from as far as Alabama, and maintains a temperature of 69 degrees year round. First, we walked over to the observation tower and looked down into the spring. It was the cleanest, clearest water I've ever seen. And they say, it is not as clear as it use to be. You can also swim in the spring, but it was too cool today. Then we went on the river tour, and saw numerous wild life. Joe and I really enjoyed this tour and would recommend it to everyone, at a $6.00 price. At one point, the boat was shut off, and the sounds of the wild life was really cool and peaceful. After the boat ride, we took Mallery for a short walk on one of the trails, ( she had to wait in the car, while we were on the river tour) and also view the 1937 lodge on the grounds.


View from tower-you can see the ledge into the spring


Lots of birds- don't know all the kinds, but I'm sure Rena (Joe's sister does) as well as are new RV friend's Dawn & Jeff-all birders




Lots of alligators-even one with baby alligators



Birdie in nest


Can see fish in water if you double click on picture and enlarge

Cypress tree in middle of river


Panacea, Fl

02/28/09 We left St. George State Park today. I want to let you know, Joe and I made a milestone this week. We stayed at St. George for 7 days without sewer hook-up, and made it all week. Four months ago, we could make maybe 2 days. We are learning! We drove maybe an hour and half to Panacea Fl. Joe found a RV park in Panacea online for $10.90 a night. We were told there might be a site opened up with sewer, and if not they had a site with electric & water, and if you had a 80 foot cable cord you could hook it into a post across the road for cable. When we arrive to the address that we put in the GPS, we thought it had got confused again. It took us to a marina and restaurant. With both our phones without connection (still in a dead zone), we were perplexed what to do. We saw a small run down mobile home park with a couple empty spots, up a block, and Joe said maybe that was the place. eeeew, I hope not, but then again it is only $10.90 a night. Joe, said he was going to walk down the road a piece to see if there was something down the wooded lane. He was gone for awhile, and I envision what I would do if he never came back! You know, a women alone in a bump in the road secluded little town, with no phone and not knowing how to drive this beast! Mallery and I got out of the RV and looked down the long wooded road. No sign of Joe. All the sudden I see him coming across a empty lot, from a different direction. Whew, glad to see him. He had gone around the block and had found a business, to ask where our park was. The guy told Joe it was back a few blocks, and we were about ready to go looking for it, when I remembered, maybe my old phone, pay as you go, Virgin phone had a connection. It did, so Joe called, and the owner said the address where we were, was where his mail goes, his other business, a marina. He proceeds to tell Joe, he's out of town, and the employee who was suppose to be at the office, was not there either. We were to go and find a site and relax. A very relaxed business man, I'd say. Two blocks away we found the park and drive in. We drive around a empty looking gift shop building located in front of the park, with a sign pointing to the building, which says: RV office. Neither of us spotted the office door. Now, where is the office? After circling the building without finding the office, we wondered, what now? (No sign out front saying the name of the park. We do want to make sure we are in the right place). Out of the blue a man walking his dog, walks beside us, and Joe rolls down his window for information. Finding out we have arrived at the right place, Joe turns off the engine, and we go out to unhook the car. (Yes, I help unhook the car, unlike what Joe lead others to believe. I am not too much of a princess to do that kind of stuff). While unhooking, the man with the dog starts to talk to us, and tells us he has been here longer than he planned, but his other dog had gotten sick, and had to have surgery, but still died two days latter, and was now waiting for his ashes. I asked what was wrong with his dog, and he told us his dog had trachea problems and couldn't breath. A vet had do a tracheotomy on him and then surgery. This is the problem Mallery has, and what causes the coughing and choking episodes. Cold , hot, dry and stress aggravate things and you need to keep them calm and not over exercise them. We find only a spot without sewer or cable. ( The spot that was suppose to maybe open up, was the man whose dog died). Joe asks this guy what direction he thinks, we should pull in, to be the closest to the cable connection. ( Joe knows I really wanted cable tonight, because the last episode of a show I'm watching is ending tonight). He promised me cable and he would drive to the next town ( 10 minutes away) for more cable cord if we ended up in a no cable spot. With the advice of the other RVer, Joe starts the engine and heads toward our site. He get out, hoping his cord is long enough to reach, not having to make the trip to Wal-Mart, save the money for the cord and still have a $10.90 a night stay. (the cheapest stay to date- except for Wal-Mart of course). I was sitting inside the RV for quite some time, wondering what the two of them were doing. He kept saying he didn't need my help, so I just waited inside and read my book and a few set ups inside. When he came in, he told me this guy had gone over and had got a spare cord he had and they tried that with ours, and it still was not long enough. Then he went back to his rig, and unhooked his cable cord, then re hooked a smaller cord that barely reached, on his rig. He than brought over the longer cord, that he had taken off his rig, and with connector, he connected his cord to the other he had all ready brought over, and than with more connectors, connected to our cable. Still not reaching, Joe finds a 6 foot cord in his storage, and viola, we have cable. Now that is why I like RVing. The people you meet are so incredibly helpful, even during their sorrow. Something, all of us could learn, if we just learned to slow down, and smell the roses and not fill our lives with so much stuff.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

St. George State Park, Fl

02/21/09 We left Mexico Beach at 1:00 (we had to wait for the office to open to get our mail and wait for someone to fill our propane tank-office closed for lunch). We crossed two very long bridges, one from Apalachicola to Eastpoint. And one from Eastpoint to St George Island. I told Joe I felt like it must feel like going to the Keys. On the island the GPS took us to a dead end street, and indicated we had arrived. There were just houses on the beach around us. Obviously the GPS was confused. The GPS has helped us tremendously and we would have made many mistakes without it. But when you get in the boonies, sometimes it gets confused. As Joe was surveying the situation, a man came out of a house. He told Joe the Park was about 2 miles down the road. We unhooked the car, so Joe could get turned around. At the end of the island you enter the State Park. After your enter the gate, you drive 4 miles of white sand dunes before you turn into the park. It is a very beautiful island. The island is 20 miles long, with the last 8 miles of the island being state owned.




As we pull into the park, I thought I saw a RV like Dawn and Jeff"s, the couple we meet at Grayton State Park. We knew they were coming here, but I thought they would be gone by the time we arrived. Our lot # was 30, and was very nice. After setting up, we walked Mallery around the park. When we came to the RV that looked like Dawn and Jeff"s, Joe went up and knocked on the door, not seeing them in their back yard. After hugs and hand shakes, we talk awhile, then headed home for dinner. They invited us over for an Oscar Award Party tomorrow night. We are in another dead zone-no phone and a weak Internet connection, and no cable. And to top that, we are in a state park, and that means no sewer! Time to conserve again, and park camp showers.

02/22/09 -( 4 months on the road)- This morning we walk on a two mile trail on the island off from the campground. As we got farther into the woods, we started to get where it was near ponds and what they call slough (waterways between the ocean and bay). Naturally Mallery wants to sniff the brush off the trail. I had to keep pulling her back. I picked up a big stick, ready to hurt any alligator who might grab my baby. After our walk, we drove across the bridges to try to find a phone connection. We ended up having to drive 40 miles back to Mexico Beach, before we got enough bars on the phone to make a call. We needed to call and find our next stop. After 30 miles back, we stopped in Apalachicola for groceries. We got home at 6pm, dashed into the RV, put the groceries away, and headed for Dawn and Jeff's RV . We brought strawberries and fruit dip, crackers, cheese, rice krispy snacks. They provided pizza with truffles, devils eggs, celery, cherry tomatoes and guacamole sauce, & pot stickers. We had a great time. They are a great couple and fun to know. The biggest plus was Dawn help me with my computer. I brought it over and was having some issues with my blog. She solved all my problems and we were home by midnight.


02/23/09 Today we did some dreaded paper work, I sent our youngest daughter a 28th birthday e-card. (in a dead zone-she thought I had forgot her birthday, because I didn't call, until I talked to her on instant messenger and explain our situation- I had already sent a regular card and had bought her b-day present when visiting her in Alabama)

Our 28 year old daughter -Happy Birthday Tiffany


We went to a beach off the State Park to take Mallery for a walk on the beach. After our walk we stopped at a fresh fish vender on the island and bought some Amber Jack and smoked Mullet. Joe grilled the Amber Jack for dinner. Yummy!

Sand Dune leaving campground

02/24/09 Mallery woke us up in the middle of the night with one of her coughing, and choking episode. It took us a while to calm her down. I gave her some Melaleuca pro-vex, in her favorite treat It seemed to do the trick. Needless to say we slept in -or should I say, we slept in longer than usual. After Joe got back from a chilly shower in the bathhouse (hot water ran out on a chilly morning and no heat in the bathhouse), we walked Mallery around the campground and stopped to talk to a couple from Washington Ia. They have been on the road since January and were headed back to Iowa. We drove to the beach and walked an hour and 45 minuets. (There was a lot of shell hunting with that walk). After lunch, we drove around looking at the houses on the bay side of the island and watched a beautiful sunset. We got home by 7pm, and Joe complained he felt he was traveling with his brother Dave!( ever -ready travel bunny)
Found this on the beach. Anyone know what it is? We don't.
Anyone know what this is? We think it is some kind of spine from some animal.



Sand Dunes on island
Bridge coming across to Island Bayside

Cutie yard ornaments we saw while driving around in someones yard. As I'm taking the pics the owner drives into the drive. I just give a big smile!
Bay Sunset
02/25/09 Drove across the 2 large bridges to the small community of Apalachicola. This town and this area produce 90% of all the oysters produced in Florida. We walked around the historic down town, which has been turned into quaint little shops. We had lunch at the Seafood Grill. Joe had the oysters and I had crab cakes, and key lime pie. ( pie was good but not as good as my friend Val's key lime pie-I hope I'll get some from Val, the next time I see her with that compliment). Back at the camp we saw 8 foot alligator in the pond next to our campground. I've been telling Joe I wanted to see an alligator in the wild. Another first!



Lots of these jelly fish on the beach

02/26/09 Today we pack a lunch to walk to the end point of the Island, to reach the bay side. We knew it would be a long walk, so we brought snacks also so we could take a few breaks besides lunch. I wanted to do the walk, because there are more shell at the point, because the only way to get there is to walk. Joe was a good sport and went with me, though on our way back it was getting hot (at least for Joe), and I could tell he wasn't having fun anymore. He did help me carry my 20 lb bag of shells off and on, besides the backpacks we had. Our trip was a 5 1/2 hour one, and Joe said we would not do that again.

Lunch on the State Park Bay




My find
Joe's Find

Oppressive/Compulsive Personality



02/27/09 Today I clean, sort, & pack all my shells. It is a warm sunny day in the 70's. Joe went to a fresh fish market on the island and bought some Amber Jack, Grouper, Reds, and 1 pint of Oysters. I had Amber Jack and I tried 2 oysters, and Joe ate the rest of the oysters for dinner. Joe founds some wood from the woods and he successfully built our first campfire since we've been on the road. We burned some sensitive papers, since we don't have our shredder with us.