Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Farewell to Florida

I will start off by admitting Florida was not so bad like I thought it may be (I feared too flat and not enough to do - I don't do well at sitting still).  You were right, honey!  The time did fly by and we had a great winter!  But I will say I did miss hiking.  Lots of that to come this year with our plan of hitting approx. 15 high points.  Ok, back to FL...

Looking back on some of the things we did...

We were fortunate to get together with my Aunt Edie & Uncle Randy several times while in the Port Charlotte area.  They have been coming down from PA for 20+ years so they know the area very well and are great tour guides.

Uncle Randy playing Bocci Ball

Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary - This is a rescue for animals that were previously pets, retired from a circus, etc.

 Corkscrew Swamp

We also had the pleasure of getting together with Tom's cousin and wife, Mickey & Sharon, several times.

Dali Museum

Andy Warhol Exhibit

Phillies Spring Training in Clearwater - even though the Phils lost to the Pirates it was still a great day to be at the ballpark

a little pre-game tailgating
Paparazzi Poremba

Ryan Howard

happy cousin Mickey

Becky & Sharon

Cole Hamels

Sanibel Island

A brief visit with my brother, Michael, in Miami Beach - He was in on business so I took a road trip from Wauchula to Miami to stop in and say hello.

business/pleasure dinner...Michael, Becky, Nancy, Tom, Jonathan
Orange Blossoms - tis the season for the wonderful aroma of the acre after acre of orange trees and blossoms!  You'd think you just drove through a perfume factory.

"Mountain" bike ride - Ocala National Forest - There are no mountains but there is plenty of sand on this off-road trail through the forest.

Pickleball happy hour - We've had fun playing pickleball and meeting great people.  It's been 2 years since we first learned this game/sport in Wauchula.

Reconnecting!  In August, 2012 we met a great great guy, Jake Acton (click Jake's name if you'd like to check out his amazing blog), on top of a mountain in Washington. He is a kindred spirit who lives each moment to its fullest and has a life that's a story to tell!  As we said our goodbyes in WA in 2012, we were convinced our paths would cross again one day.  Never in a million years would I have guessed it would be in FL!  Jake started on a 9 month journey just a few short weeks ago and it brought him to FL for the Tigers Spring Training.  Serendipity!  Jake came to visit us in Wildwood and became our first tent guest (we did offer our couch so don't think we're poor hosts).  We enjoyed a wonderful evening of catching up, sharing oysters and laughs at O'Shucks and a great day of kayaking the Silver River (crystal clear spring, turtles, birds, gators and wild monkeys).  Thanks again, Jake, for spending the time with us!  Keep on living the good life and enjoying the beauty around us!  We'll catch you on the road again one day.  Hmmm...wonder where it will be?

sharing some oysters at O'Shucks

Jake, our first tent guest

Jake, "Silver" and the little "stuff" for a great journey
We pull out of Florida tomorrow and work our way north:
3/19 - 3/26 - Unadilla, GA
3/26 - 4/9 - Fair Play, SC
4/9 - 4/16 - Lenoir, NC
4/16 - 4/30 - Quinby, VA
5/1 - 6/19 - "home" to PA (PA Dutch and Hershey TT)

As always, the offer stands open for anyone to come visit and enjoy some time on the road with us.

Til next time...Happy Trails!