Saturday 10 March 2007

A Bit of Sightseeing

It’s another beautiful warm sunny day. By 9:00 a.m. it was already 74F (23C). I was up at 7:30 a.m. for my walk. I’ve pretty much walked the whole park now. After breakfast I got the laundry together and got that nasty little job done. It’s a hot job in this weather! Our high today was 86F (30C) again.

This afternoon we took a drive through Bonita Springs and crossed the bridge into Fort Myers Beach. We located the motel we stayed at some 18 years ago – amazing its still there. It’s just a little 2 storey motel right on the beach amongst high rises and hotels. The traffic was pretty bad especially on our way back. We weren’t able to find a place to park in the area where Gordon wanted to take photos so we stopped at Lovers Key State Park and walked on the trails there and took some photos which you will see below.

This is part of the beach at Lovers Key State Park

An egret looking for some lunch at Lovers Key State Park

Friday 9 March 2007

A Nature Walk

This white ibis flew right in front of me this morning on my walk

I slept really well last night and this morning was mostly sunny and 64F (18C) when I got up. It quickly reached 70F (21C) by the time I had returned from my walk.

Betty and Garth have gone to an antiquarian book fair in St. Petersburg for a couple of days so we’re on our own.

I sat outside and read for most of the morning. This afternoon with temperatures reaching 86F (30C), we drove to Estero River Scrub which is not far from where we are. I only had sandals on and Gordon is fighting a cold so we decided not to walk there today and continued on to Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. Here there is a boardwalk that goes through the preserve and a lot of it is shaded so we walked around there and got to see a fair number of birds as well as some swamp iris. It was very hot today but with a slight breeze so it was only bad in the sun. On our way back we stopped at Walmart to pick up a few things.

It’s very warm here during the day but cools off nicely with a breeze at night. Ideal!

This is a photo I took at the Estero River Scrub this afternoon

Little blue heron at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Water iris at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Part of the swamp area at the preserve

Wood stork at the pond at Walmart

Thursday 8 March 2007

We Visit Betty & Garth

This morning was 56F (13C) and bright and sunny. I had a nice walk around the park. It’s not a beautiful park but it’s nice enough and has some nice features like the Ten Mile Canal that runs along one side of the park. By the time I finished my walk and got back to the rig it was 64F (18C) already and it warmed up to the low 80’s F (26C).

I called Betty (my sister) this morning and we went over to their condo this afternoon. Garth was playing golf so we caught him just before he left. We took a tour of the complex. It’s very large and has condos and single houses. It’s a very nice complex based on a golf course and has lots of little lakes throughout.

Betty took us for a drive to Bunche Beach and to one of the outlet malls that is close to them. Garth got back shortly after 5:00 p.m. and we had a nice dinner and chatted for a while. We called our younger sister in Ottawa where it was -22F ( -30C) with the wind chill this morning. YUK! Sure glad we’re here (except for the TRAFFIC!)

Betty and I walking on Bunche Beach

Dinner on Betty & Garth's lanai - L to R - Gordon, Sandra, Betty, Garth

Wednesday 7 March 2007

We Have An RV Emergency Then Move to Fort Myers

We were packed up and ready to go shortly after 9:00 a.m. this morning. I had talked to my sister last night who is in Fort Myers and she had invited us for dinner at the restaurant at the condo they are renting. I just had to call them this morning to be sure they had something Gordon could eat (gluten free). I had called and confirmed that they could accommodate him when Gordon looked at the right rear tire of the fifth wheel and noted it had lost air – 36 lb to be exact. So we pulled the RV up to the garage at the campground and tried to put air in but couldn’t get enough pounds in it to continue on our trip. Off to Goodyear in Bushnell – after 1 ½ hr wait and a screw taken out of the tire, patched and put back on, we were on our way – 2 hour later than expected. I had called my sister when we reached Goodyear and told her that we wouldn’t make dinner tonight. Plans on a day that we’re moving is just too much so from now on – no plans on moving days!

Thanks to the guys at the Bushnell Tire Co. for getting us back on the road and working us in to their busy schedule.

Our fifth wheel with the tire off and under repair

We arrived at Fort Myers RV Resort around 2:30 p.m. under mostly sunny skies and a high of 81F (27C). We had some traffic backup at our exit off I-75 and some construction along the street that we traveled off I-75 to get to the park but other than that we made fairly good time.

After checking in, we were taken to our site which we were happy to see was fairly large. The park itself is a good size so I should have enough place to walk in the mornings. We were set up including changing the mount for the TV on the ladder to a higher location by 4:15 p.m.

Our site at Fort Myers RV Resort

Tuesday 6 March 2007

We Meet Canadian Icons of Rving and Tour the Area

I had a nice walk through the campground this morning and on my way back signed us up for another night here. It’s a very large campground with not many park models. It’s well laid out and the seasonal sites are very large for a Florida park. Even the short term sites aren’t a bad size. I can’t give you a temperature for this morning as the sun was on the thermometer but the radio said 50F (10C) although I think the station is probably in Orlando. It didn’t feel like 50!

We got our phone call right at 9:00 a.m. saying that Fort Myers Campground has a site for us for a month. I really hate booking for so long a period without seeing the campground first but since it was so difficult to find a spot (that might be telling us something), we’re there for a month regardless.

After lunch we drove around downtown Bushnell – it’s not much, most everything is out where we are near the interstate. After that we stopped off to meet Peggi and John McDonald. They are at the RV park across the street from us called Red Barn. They have been fulltime RVers for 22 years and are fellow Canadians. Their site – is a wealth of information. If you want to know everything about RVing, ask them. They also have written several books. I bought the first one, Spirit of the Open Road before we started this lifestyle and it answered most of my questions. We didn’t stay long as we were headed to the Gulf Coast just for a drive but it was good to finally meet them. If I have a question, I send Peggi an email and I always get the answer to my question.

John and Peggi McDonald in front of their motorhome

Lots of Spanish moss in the trees around here

Flowering bush within the park

The drive was nice as it was a beautiful sunny day and reached 75F (24C). We didn’t see much over there, couldn’t get near the Gulf, too many houses and buildings but we had a good afternoon.

Monday 5 March 2007

Tallahassee to Bushnell

Our site at Blueberry Hill RV Resort

A canopy of live oak trees cover the road

A view of the river that runs through Floral City

It was only 32F but sunny when I got up this morning. We got on the road by 9:05 a.m. and decided not to drive so far today so I made a reservation at Blueberry Hill RV Park in Bushnell, FL. We arrived there around 1:00 p.m. Our 212 mile drive was under sunny skies with little wind. We were set up by 2:00 p.m. even setting up the internet. We get enough local TV channels that we decided not to set up the TV dish.

The good news is that this park is right across the street from a SuperWalMart. After I had a bit of a rest I walked over there and Gordon came and picked me up when I was finished.

I spent a while on the phone trying to locate a site for us in Fort Myers. It’s amazing to me that resorts in Florida can charge $1100+/month and get away with it and be full! We’re thinking this is our last trip to Florida with the RV, too many people and too expensive! This is one park that is supposed to get back to me tomorrow so we’re planning on spending another day here in Bushnell.

Just before sunset we drove over to Floral City about 14 miles away as there were some scenic live oak trees that met in a tunnel over the road. We also drove to a little river that had some wood storks and limpkins. On our way back we picked up an Asian salad at McDonald’s and a Southwest steak bowl at Taco Bell for dinner. Yummy!

Sunday 4 March 2007

We're Back in the Eastern Time Zone in Tallahassee, FL!

This is our site at Tallahassee RV Park

There are azalea bushes all around the park

A cold front blew in last night so it was only 46F (8C) when I got up this morning – mind you it was 6:30 a.m. Central time. We started to pack up around 7:00 a.m. and were on our way by 8:30 a.m. It hadn’t warmed up any and the wind was strong. There was serious consideration given to staying another day but we wanted to get through Mobile and Pensacola on Sunday so off we went.

It was bright and sunny the whole way and we reached a high of 61F (16C). We crossed into Florida around 10:00 a.m. and arrived at Tallahassee RV Park at about 3:00 p.m. Eastern time and since we weren’t setting up either satellite (both cable and wifi are free) we were set up by 3:30 p.m. It’s the satellites that take the time.

This is a nice little campground run by a couple from New Zealand. It’s not cheap though at $32/night but I expect that’s not the most expensive campground we’ll see as we continue south.

We relaxed for the rest of the day. I took a walk around the campground and photographed some of the pretty flowers and also got a pretty good shot of a cardinal with my camera which is rare other than reading my book and watching TV, that’s about it. It’s supposed to get down to freezing here tonight!

We leave tomorrow hoping to make Venice, FL. Haven’t looked at campgrounds yet.