Sunday, December 29, 2013

Shooting The Locals

 Now when I say shooting, I mean with the camera and when I say locals I mean the iguanas. The RV park and Sigsbee housing area is just thick with them, even though they can be a bit elusive. I first noticed them around the park grounds, but it wasn't long before they would disappear into the foliage. Then one day while kayaking in the marina area I noticed there were several hanging out on the branches of the mangrove trees. I tried a couple of times to get some good shots of them, but as you moved closer in the boat, they would retreat into the trees.

 Yesterday, I went out to see if I could find a good vantage spot from land and use my long lens to capture them. Well as you can see I hit the jackpot, the little and not so little (5-6 feet long) guys were out in force.

Hope you enjoyed the shots as much as I enjoyed finding and capturing them in pictures. Take Care and see you back here next time.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Kayaking the Mangrove Tunnels of Key West

 Yesterdays adventure consisted of Kayaking the Mangrove Tunnels on the south side of Key West. We were lucky enough to have met some avid kayakers at the Sunset Grill here on base the other day. Yesterday morning they came pecking on the door wanting us to come with them on a impromptu trip. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, we got ready and headed out. There turned out to 11 kayaks all together and our guide was a gentleman that has been coming here for years and knows all the great places to go.
 This particular area was just a short drive off base to a waterway lined with beautiful homes and a nice little boat ramp at the end. We all put in, paddled down the canal for a short bit then turned east into the groves. The tunnels came out into a salt marsh just north of the Key West Airport, but seemed miles from nowhere.

Out in the shallow marsh area, we were surprised to see that it was loaded with small, not more than 3" across, jelly fish. Wanted to get a picture but the wind rippled the water just enough to make to difficult. We were out for a couple of hours and had a great time meeting new people and just having fun. We have another Kayak trip scheduled for New Years Eve in a different location so stay tuned for that report, we can't wait. Until then we'll keep you updated on all our other activities here in Key West, see you then.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas to All

 Sheryl and hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as we did. Even though we are here at the end of the earth (Key West) we were still able to spend Christmas with most of our family. With a son living in Miami and an extra special event to take place besides Christmas, most of our family gathered there this year, but we'll get to that in just a minute. We drove up from Key West on Christmas Eve to our sons house, where they put on a great Christmas Dinner.

 Then of course it was time to open all the gifts. We just enjoyed watching all the kids and grandkids open their presents. We visited for a while then it was off to bed.

 Christmas Day arrived and the Baptism of our newest Grandson, making this Christmas Day extra special.

 The proud Dad, Mom and big Sister.

A rare opportunity to get a family picture, a little fuzzy as the church was dark. It was great getting to spend time with everyone again and do a little catching up. Then for us it was time to head back south to our little house in paradise.
Again we hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday. Now it's time to start preparing to New Years in Key West, which should be quite the event!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Moving Day

 Yesterday we were served with our eviction notice, thus moving us from the dry camp area (no water/elec/sewer to the full hook up area, which has it all. So this morning we packed up and moved to our new site. We were sad to leave our waterfront site, but the lure of our own shower and A/C was hard to fight. The site we scored this time wasn't to bad, second row from the water, but still has a nice view, the shot above is looking out the front windshield. If you are not familiar with the Sigsbee rotation, you have 2 weeks in a full hook up site then it is a mandatory move to dry camp until your number comes up again, which may be anywhere from 1 week to a month. The longer it goes into the season the longer you wait in dry camp. This year they are expecting over 500 RVs, they don't turn anyone away, so it's up to you if you want to follow the rotation rules to spend a few months during the winter in paradise.

 We have actually been quite busy these last couple of days, yesterday Sheryl, Scrappy and I spent quite awhile out on the water, paddling in the Gulf of Mexico. Scrappy has become quite the sailor as he loves going out in the Kayaks.

 One thing they do have loads of here is Iguana, I found this guy hanging out in a mangrove tree. Was able to get a shot of him from the Kayak.

 After a long day on the water it was time to relax with a couple of drinks at the Sunset Grill here on the base. This Tiki style place is great, as you don't have to go downtown and fight the traffic and crowds to enjoy a good sunset.

It's just a walk or bike ride away to see the same beautiful sunsets.

We have also stayed busy with life in general, as we have found no matter how far you go, you just can't escape it, even here in paradise. Shopping, cooking, laundry, cleaning all find away to suck the fun right out of you day, but hey, the rest of the time we're still in Key West and Life is Great!!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sunset Cruise, Key West, FL.

 While we were in Miami, Mike and Jamie surprised us with a Key West Champagne Sunset Cruise. The day finally came yesterday and were really looking forward to it. The cruise was put on by Fury Adventures and we must say they did a great job. The boat was very clean and the Captain and crew were great.

 We set sail at 5:00 pm for our 2 hour excursion. We sailed out of port near Mallory Square and out toward the setting sun. One nice thing about this cruise was we actually got a free upgrade as our original cruise was not full enough, so they combined us with a better one which had a live band and appetizers as well as the all you could drink adult beverages.

 The band did a great job with lots of classic rock, while Sheryl and I danced the evening away as we awaited the sunset.

And of course the star of the show!!!

We had a more than wonderful time. Thanks again Mike and Jamie, you could not have picked a nice gift!!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Key West.....Ahhhhhhhh

 We left Miami, Key West Bound Monday morning. The drive through the Miami wasn't to bad but was a lot farther than we thought just to get into the Keys. Once in the Keys, again we were expecting much more open driving rather than alot of long slow island roads and short bridges, I know quit complaining, your in paradise!!!

 It was getting on lunch time so we sought out a recommended seafood place on Marathon Key. The Keys Fisheries is quite the place with quite the menu and views that won't quit!!!

 Being ever adventurist, we try the Lobster Ruben Sandwich. It was pretty good with a completely different taste, but that's what we were after. It was very good, but at $15.00 would we get it again, probably not.

 Once we arrived at Key West the hunt was on for the RV Park. We followed the directions posted on Military Campgrounds, which are usually spot on. however, where it says turn right after, it should say turn at. Needless to say we took a tour of Key West in the motorhome, not by choice mind you, but with lots of road construction and very little in the way of real estate to park or turn this puppy around, we found every narrow road in town. Eventually we just stopped in a neighborhood, blocked traffic for a bit, got our bearings and made it in. Once checked in, with the help of one of the Camp Hosts we scored a waterfront site. It is in the dry camping area and looks like we'll have a week or so before we can get into a full hook-up site, but with views like this, Who Cares!!!

So for the last couple of days we been doing this, just relaxing and enjoying doing nothing!

I'll do a write up on the park later, so until know the drill............see ya then.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Key West Here We Come!!!

 It's been great here, spending time with Mike, Jamie and Mason, but alas, Key West calls. We are leaving today, heading south to warm tropical breezes and the unknowns of boondocking for an undetermined length of time. The Navy base at Key West only has 90 or so full hook up sites, and the rest are all dry camping. I understand they do their best to rotate folks in the full hook up sites out every 2 weeks and get others in. It'll be a new experience for us, but one we are more than ready to undertake.

 We did manage to get in as much Grandma and Grandpa time as possible with the little guy!!!

My two favorite ladies in South Florida!!!

We sure enjoyed our time here, as we don't get to see Mike and Jamie as much as we'd like to. That's the only thing with them living down here in paradise, it just so far away from the rest of the country. Ahhh but we shall make plans to return, can't have little Mason growing up not knowing his Grandma and Grandpa!!!

That's it for this installment, next stop key West and the Florida Keys!!! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sunset Dinner

 Last night Mike and Jamie treated us to a sunset dinner. They took us to their favorite local restaurant in the Hollywood Florida area. The restaurant sits right on the water of the intercoastal waterway (actually over the water). It was a beautiful evening with temps in the 70's for dinner and not a bug to be found. This evenings fare was Deep Dish Pizza and drinks, it was a great pie and we dove right in (no time for pictures here!!!). We sat, ate and talked the evening away, it sure was nice to just hang out with kids, it been a couple of years since we've seen them.
 The views were amazing

 and the company not bad either :)

But the sunset was the star of the show!!! 

We've been having a good time here in South Florida, mainly catching up with Mike, Jamie and Mason. We need to get some better pictures of them before we leave. My problem is I just get all caught up in the moment just visiting, taking pictures is the last thing on my mind, but we do need them for the memories. Again another great evening in the bag, so until next time..........................

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Foggy Sunrise and off to South Florida

 I was up bright and early on our day to leave Lake Wales. Opening the front windows, it was a foggy sunrise and I just couldn't pass up capturing it before it faded. A few hours later it was time to head out for our next stop, Ft Lauderdale.

We had reservations at the Paradise Island RV Resort, so after a quick check in, they showed us to our site. We stayed here a couple of years ago and concerned where they would put us as it's a pretty tight park, however this time they hooked us up with a nice pull through on the corner, easy in, easy out. This is also the only Passport America park in south Florida that extends it's discounted rates until Dec 15th. So we got 5 nights in south Fl. for just over $60.00, we are happy campers!
For those of you authorized to stay a Military Campgrounds, we have found that we can save a considerable amount staying at Passport America and Military Campgrounds and have rarely not been able to find one or the other.
We are here to visit our kids Mike and Jamie along with our newest grandson Mason. We will be spending as much time as possible with them so stand by for adorable baby pictures!!! Until then........................

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lake Wales, FL.

We left Sanford this morning headed south. Decided to make it a short day and just take a break from the traveling and just have a day of rest. We consulted our handy dandy Passport America directory and found this little campground off the beaten path. We scored a lake view site as you can see the shot looking out the front window. Threw a steak on the barbie and we were all set.
Tomorrow we head into Miami for 5 days to see our newest Grandson and then on to Key West for how long we haven't decided yet, we'll play it by ear there.
Just a quick post to say hey and let everyone know were doing well.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sanford Fl and the Wekiva River

 We made it into Sanford Fl. yesterday all safe and sound, as my fix actually held!!! I;ll hit the highlight of the stop first, Kayaking the Wekiva River. The Wekiva River is one of a handful a designated wild and scenic rivers in the U.S.. It is located in Central Florida just north of Orlando. The river is approx 22 miles long and the water is crystal clear the whole way. A couple of years ago Sheryl and I canoed the upper part by the State Park. This time we started down river, which luckily, is just down the road from the RV Park we were staying at, nice!!!

 The state runs a nice little area to put in Kayaks and Canoes, so we made that our put in point.

 The river is pretty wide in this area, the rest of the river is not much wider than 30 feet of so for most of it;s length.

It was a beautiful day to be out, temps in the mid 70s with a nice lite breeze, ahhhhhhhh. We didn't stay out long as we got a late start, but had a nice relaxing paddle none the less. This is one of those must do's if you are in the area. You can rent canoes at the Wekiva River State Park and there are also several outfitters in the area to rent and provide shuttle service if you so desire.
On to the amusing part of the trip so far. If you've ever been to Florida I'm sure you have seen the many Bear Crossing signs throughout the state. Sheryl finely ask me, do the really have bears in Florida??? yup they sure do (even though I lived here 25 years and never saw one). Last night around 7:30 we took Scrappy out for his evening walk and to take the trash out. The dumpsters are about 100' from our RV so I walked over to throw the trash in the dumpster while Sheryl and Scrappy were at the corner 50' away. As I'm walking back Sheryl is frantically trying to scoop up Scrappy, I ask what she's doing??? and she points at the dumpsters and low and behold there was a large Black Bear at the dumpsters!!! Holy Cow I was just there! well we back away toward our rig and watched from A FAR. Our next door neighbor saw us watching the bear and came over to let us know he comes around each evening and usually walks right infront of our rig on his way to the dumpsters. I guess him and his family are quite the attraction around
Other than that, we visited friends in the area and are headed out in the morning. We are going to take 2 days just getting from here to Miami since our reservations begin on the 10th.
That's all for now, so we'll see you back here before long............................