Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Enjoying the Warm Weather in SW Florida…

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, ocean, sky, outdoor, nature and water

With our winter stay waning we have reflected on all the fun we have had here in Bonita Springs, Florida.  Going to the beach, we have been fighting a lot of traffic (and fought to find parking especially in February) yet we find all that frustration melts away once we set up our Sportbrella and break out our beach mat. Settling into our beach chairs listening to the mild surf and watching the birds fly over the bluish waters makes it all worth it…

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor and natureImage may contain: sky and bird

We probably haven’t been to the beach as much as we have in our past visits to southern Florida largely because Collier County in Florida no longer sells a Visitor's Beach Parking Pass. We always purchased the $50 pass and with parking at some of the more popular beaches here costing $8.00 per day it doesn’t take long for such a pass to pay for itself.

Image may contain: cloud, ocean, sky, beach, outdoor, nature and water

Instead we now have to pay for parking or seek out those little “free parking” lots scattered about the coastline. We have been pretty lucky to score one of those free spots on most of our visits but when we don’t we usually end up at Lover’s Key where there is dirt parking lot which only charges $2.00 per person to enter on state parklands. Since we have no problem walking we secure a good spot then walk from there around the bend over to Lover’s Key State Park, a beautiful beach about 1/2 mile away. Thus we not only save $4.00 (which we can use later in the day for a frosty beverage) but we get in a good amount of exercise along one of the most scenic places to walk –the BEACH!!! We have had lots of dolphin sightings this year but every time we go we find beautiful shells and interesting things such as crabs or jellyfish washed ashore. It's always a great time.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, sky, sunglasses, hat, outdoor and closeupImage may contain: one or more people, pool, sky, outdoor and closeup

Other than just going to the beach, I have been playing a lot of cornhole and shuffleboard as those games are very popular in our park. Of course there are the occasional gatherings for happy hour and sometimes simple potlucks as well as visits to the Greyhound Track with friends. This park is also quite large so everyday we enjoy a long morning walk or bike ride around the park. We have also mapped out some good Happy Hour specials in nearby Naples and Estero for some outings a few nights per week.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting, sunglasses and outdoorImage may contain: one or more people, sky, outdoor and text

We have been focused this past week with the big chore of detailing the motorhome. Our technique was as follows… First I thoroughly detailed the roof by cleaning all the sap and debris off of it as well as under the solar panels and A/C vents. Surprisingly I noticed some lichens growing on the roof this year so I will have to read about how to treat them to kill them off. Next we washed the rig using dish soap and water to clean it, then rinsed it with fresh water and hand wiped it with microfiber cloths to get rid if any water drops. Lastly we used a Maguires Wax to get a high gloss finish. Indeed it was a lot of work but in the end our efforts were well worth it even though it took nearly a week to accomplish it all. It sure is great to see it all shiny and ready to go.

Our daughter Katie is surprising us with a visit our final weekend here so it will be fun to share our favorite activities with her before we start packing and preparing to leave beautiful SW Florida...

NOTE: We are in our winter home until March 1st in Bonita Springs Florida at Imperial Bonita Estates RV park and Coop.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Getting Hitch Itch and Making Spring Plans…

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, tree, sky, cloud, plant, outdoor, nature and waterIt's hard to believe that our three months stay is about to be over here at Imperial Bonita Estates, but it's true! The time has passed fairly quickly and with only a few weeks left I am definitely starting to get the itch to hit the road. It’s not that we haven’t been having fun with all of our activities. We have done a little hiking, played a little disc golf and reconnected with RV friends from the past. It is just that it is about time to go!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sittingImage may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, table, outdoor and indoor

We sure have gotten a lot done while we've been here though. We were able to install new slide toppers on our slide outs and they were definitely needed as they had begun to tear. We also bought new shades to replace out old and stained day/night shades and I installed all of them in our motorhome. They really do make the inside of our RV look real nice. All we need to complete our interior re-do is to replace what little bit of carpet we have left. We have also done a lot of other odds and ends and small chores to get the motorhome ready for the next season. So where we going to go next?

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, tree, shoes, car and outdoor00003IMG_00003_BURST20180209151731 (2)

To start with I'm having the plan a lot more now than I used to in the past because it seems that there are so many more people are on the road now as compared to several years ago. So I have made our reservations from here all the way to Texas! Our first one is a stop outside of Tampa Florida for about three nights. at Little Manatee State Park. From there we'll hug the coastline and we'll stay at a little park at Keaton Beach FL for 3 nights. Then it's on to Mexico Beach, our last Florida stop, where we will stay at a park called Rustic Sands RV Park. We really love the Mexico Beach area so we're going to spend four nights there.

Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, outdoor, nature and water

After Rustic Sands we scored our next two nights in Gulf Islands National Seashore at Davis Bayou Campground and we are looking forward to staying at this new location. Then we will leave Mississippi and enter Louisiana where we will be at Bayou Segnette State Park just south of New Orleans. We will stay here for three nights so we can get our New Orleans fix and get us ready for the Cajun hospitality. From Bayou Segnette we move east to our next stop which will be a longer stay of 15 days at Betty's RV Park one of our favorite little places in the world. At Betty’s we should get our fill of Cajun cuisine and Cajun music before we head into Texas.

Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoorImage may contain: sky, cloud, tree, twilight and outdoor

In Texas will spend one month at are former hometown in College Station where we can check out our rent house and reconnect with old friends. Here we can visit some of our favorite bars and restaurants (at least the ones that are still open) before moving west over to Lockhart State Park to get our fill of fabulous Texas BBQ. Our last planned stop for this leg of our travels will be for a two-week stay at Potters Creek Park, a Corps of Engineer park near Canyon Lake. Here we will spend some quality time with our grandchildren. Then we will have to make our late spring and summer plans and who knows where we will end up as we haven't got any plans yet! Stay tuned to find out where we head this summer On the Road of Retirement…

NOTE: We are in our winter home until March 1st in Bonita Springs Florida at Imperial Bonita Estates RV park and Coop.