Thursday, May 29, 2014

A day in the sun

Another beautiful day here in Florida.  Low humidity, I think that is what I love the most.  You can actually sit outside (as long as the flies aren't out) with the wind blowing in your face and just enjoy the view.
I walked out on the pier and looked down and thought I saw something move.  Yes I did.  What is it"
 A blue crab feeding on microscopic "whatever".  I could see him scooping whatever it was up with his claws and putting it in his mouth but I couldn't see what it was. All I could see was the water but his mouth was sure moving fast. It was fun watching him run sideways with the waves, scooping and fast as he could.
Doug and Buddy took a walk along the beach and came back with some found treasure.  First they found the orange water pistol.   I foresee a water battle in the future.
                                                  Then they found the horseshoe crab shell.
                                                        Here it is turned right side up.
                                              The underside sure is creepy looking.
It was just a lazy day with nothing really happening around here.  We just spent most of the day outside.  Several of the guys here at the campground go out fishing in those boats I posted yesterday and everyday they come in with lots of fish. That and this barge was all there was to today.
Edit:  I changed the name of the shell we found.  We are such land locked people, we don't know a manta ray from a horseshoe crab!  Our son told us.  Mike said,  Mom, a Manta Ray can be bigger than a person and showed us a picture of one.  Nope, its not a Manta Ray.  He laughed at us and showed us a picture of a horseshoe crab.  Yep, that is what it was.  Learn something new everyday.  Already knew I knew nothing about sea creatures.  LOL  This just proved it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ho Hum has biting flies in the evening!

We were all set for an evening outside since the weather was so nice and it was cool and breezy.   It was not to be though because of a bee-looking fly that bites!  It looks like a large fly but it is yellow and I think it has stripes on its back.  Anyway they came from nowhere in swarms and starting feasting on us.  We were forced inside.  These pests aren't around during the day (thank goodness) but you better go in around dusk because they will swarm before you know it.
Today we decided to ride over to St. George Island State Park.  This island has beautiful beaches with white sand.   The first thing we saw when we crossed the 4 mile bridge to get to the island was this lighthouse. Cape St. George Lighthouse has a very interesting history.  This lighthouse is actually the 4th one.  The first was built in 1833. It was destroyed by a storm in 1846.  It was 1848 before the 2nd one was completed. Unfortunately it was destroyed only 3 years later by a deadly hurricane in 1851. The 3rd one was built in 1852 on what is now called Little St. Georges Island.  The government cut a channel into the island making two islands in 1854.  This lighthouse stood until 2005 when yet again a storm took it down. This lighthouse had served for 140 years and the people of Florida didn't want it to just not stand again.  Through hard work the current lighthouse was built  in 2008 and placed at the intersection as you enter the island.
Past the lighthouse starts row after row of condos.  These were so tall and skinny they reminded me of the houses on monopoly.  LOL

The park is a few miles down the road. You pay $6.00 for a car of 4-8 people.  The beaches and water were beautiful.  They were not crowded either.  They said it was a good place to look for shells.  This man was sculpting an eagle in the sand.  You have to look hard and use your imagination but in person you could tell it was a bird.
                                          Libbie is checking it out here.  Notice the attitude!
                                    The water wasn't as pretty as the keys but it sure was pretty!
                       Look hard and see the kite!  It was a beautiful day, a perfect day for flying a kite! It was so easy they had just tied it to a chair.
                                    The seagulls were waiting on someone to drop some food.
 This was a very nice picnic area.  The gulls thought so too.  There were some people under the cover having lunch.
                                  They just knew they would be invited to join in on the feast.
 When we left the day use area, we headed for the campground inside the park.  It has water and electric and a dump station.  The bathrooms and showers were very nice.  It is rustic so if your looking for concrete pads and lots of lights move on down the road.
 This VW bus caught my eye. If you look hard you can see the box fan up above the window. I guess that is where the bed is up there.
 It almost looks like it is about to take flight.  I would like to have seen inside it.
 Back at the ranch... oops wrong state.  Back at the campground.  Buddy is ready for a walk.
 You can barely see her, but there is a woman raking the gravel.  She worked on raking up the pine needles, then raking the gravel smooth and even and then she raked lines in it like in the Japanese gardens.  I have no idea why she did this but we have been here 2 days and she has done it both days.
 Notice the boats in the water.  Both just got in, both caught a bunch of fish.  The seagulls and pelicans were happy to help them clean the fish.
 Doug and I (but you can't see me in the other swing) enjoying the breezes.
 The same boats this evening when the tide started going out.  The boats will be completely on sand before the night is over.
                                 Just noticed the turn in at the campground is called Arkansas St.
Later folks

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Back to the Gulf, We are at Ho Hum!

We got up early for us, and left Williston this morning.  We enjoyed our time there and hated to leave. Yesterday evening we did have some wind and a very large dead tree top fell on a fifth wheel across from us.  Scared them to death, I bet!  They did come out pretty fast.

 We stopped for lunch at Perry, FL.  The dogs were ready for a break too.  Buddy sure is becoming a good travel dog.
 Rusty came over and tried to break into the treat box.  He has before and would have again if I hadn't stopped him.  He had already had plenty.  He was scratching on the box here.
 We stopped at this empty lot next to a boat sales place for lunch.  As we were leaving Doug picked out a boat for Father's Day.  Now to get the boys to buy it for him.
                                                                This is the one boys!!!!
 We also had to stop and buy fuel.  We found some this time for $3.77 gal.  That is much better than the $4.29 a gal. in the keys!
 We were on Hwy 98 most of the day and even though we didn't have water for a while it was still a pretty drive.
 Our first view of water again.  It was nice to get back to the beaches.  There is always a cool breeze.
 We arrived at Ho Hum Campground around 3:00.  As you can see, it sits right on the water.
Buddy was anxious to see that water.  Later he even tried to dig up a crab.  Silly dog!

 They have a dock you can fish off.  I will walk out there tomorrow and see if I can see any fish!
                                              This is the view out of my window.
Our site #54.  They are close together but I guess they want to squeeze as many motorhomes as they can on their property.  This is a 55 and over campground.  With the GS discount it is $29.70 a day.  The down side is that they are having a bear problem at night. No garbage outside your MH and be careful going to the dumpster at night because that is what they are raiding.  Hmmmm I will send Doug out to take a picture of any bears out tonight!  Since it's travel day, we don't cook.  We are going to eat at The Fisherman's Wife restaurant.  They have their own fishing boat.  Should be fresh.
The food was excellent.  They were out of a lot of their menu items but what we did get was great.  The shrimp was large and very good.  Doug got a platter that was huge and had just about everything on it (cod, shrimp, oysters, scallops, potatoes, cheese grits and hush puppies.  Oh and salad....  yep... it was a lot....

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Weekend

                     Saturday was Jim and Libbie's anniversary so we went out to eat at The Ivy House.

This over 100 year old house used to belong to Dr. Willis whose father founded Williston, Fl.  The house was purchased and turned into a restaurant in 1993.  It has been chosen "Top 500 Places to Eat in Florida" many times.  The food was excellent and I would definitely recommend eating here if you are ever in the area.  I had the seafood platter an it was way too much for me to eat.  The home made Mac N Cheese was wonderful!  I love good mac n cheese.
After eating we rode around looking at the neighborhoods and then watched a little of the rodeo that was there Friday and Saturday.  They take their horses seriously in this "neck of the woods".
Today we just did some chores around the motorhome and enjoyed the weather.  It tried to rain all day but just sprinkled for a short while.  The campground really filled up for the weekend.  Families are here spending time together, fishing, swimming and cooking outside.  It really smells great around here.  Bacon cooking in the mornings, smokers going into the evening.  Yum....  We didn't use a smoker to cook supper but it sure was good.  I hadn't had this before.  Libbie made " chops for hungry chaps".  You pan fry your pork chops till done, then add a can of diced tomatoes, can of corn and a cup of rice. Cook until rice is done.  This was very good.  Add some yeast rolls and supper is done.  I made an egg custard pie for dessert.  Simple, easy to make and very good. You can't ask for more.
Remember our soldiers serving our country at home and abroad, in the present and in the past. Thank any and all that you know or encounter for their service to us and our country.  Freedom is not free, many have paid a high price for it.  I am grateful to all that have served our country, including my son.  I thank you.  May God bless our service men and women and keep them safe.
                                                          God Bless America!

Friday, May 23, 2014

There be Manatees!

                                   Today we drove to Homosassa Springs to see the Manatees.
These huge gentle creatures are so graceful.  They have 4 that live there full time at the Homosassa Springs State Park.  The animals that they have there were all injured and unable to return to the wild.  Manatees have to live in warm water.  The springs here at Homosassa stay around 72 degrees.  In the winter they put the full-timers in a closed pen and open the gates so that wild manatees can enter the springs.  They have had 80-90 manatees come into the springs to stay warm. Can you imagine that many in one place?
A smaller one is resting on a larger one.  I thought the larger one was a rock when I first saw it.
They had 3 eagles that had lost part of their wings.  Such majestic creatures.  How  appropriate   to have the American flag in the area with them.

A closer picture. Still not good. I had to use my iphone today. I left my camera at the motorhome.
This a beautiful place, if you have the chance you should visit it.  Entry is $13.00 ea. for adults.
 You can ride a tram or a boat from the main building back to where the animals are all kept.  The picture above shows just how close "town" is to this nature center.  That is a motel on the left.  Of course the park is in it's natural state and the animals are a ways back into the woods and nearer the bay.  There are more than just manatees here.  There are flamingos, alligators, swans, owls, fox, wolves and even a hippo!

                               The pretty blue water is the deepest part of the natural springs.

Later he says!