Sunday, March 29, 2015

Heading North.

Has the winter already come to an end?  I know, friends from PA, it couldn't be soon enough.  The time has flown by and it's time for us to work our way north and back to PA.  Our plan is to be there by Friday, April 3rd.

We've enjoyed this winter in FL and kept busy.

Catching up with friends...
Tony & Marilyn

Tom, Tuffy & Sandy - friends from Mount Gretna, PA

Tom and his cousin, Michael - at the Phillies game

Sharon & Becky - at the Phillies game

Marty and Elizabeth - Tom went to High School with Marty

Faye & Ken

Sis & Paul

Marie, Keith & Barry
Phillies Spring Training - the Phils lost horribly at both games we attended but we still had a great time!

Bike Riding...There was a great paved trail running from Bartow to Lakeland, one around Lake Jackson, one at Lake Okeechobee as well as a set of Mountain Bike Trails in Alafia State Park.  Great riding in all areas with a great variety of terrain and scenery.
Lake Jackson

This trail had inspirational quotes on about every 3rd power line pole

Mountain Biking in Alafia State Park

Lake Okeechobee

Strawberry Festival...We hit the top two important things - Strawberry Shortcake and Chocolate Covered Strawberries!

Solomon's Castle - This is a place to visit one time while in the area.  We've been told about it several times so finally decided to take a trip this year to see it.  Howard Solomon built this castle and all of the unique artwork and items in and around it.  He and his wife live here and provide tours daily along with a nice cafe to dine in after the tour.

Beautiful Florida scenery...
The orange blossom aroma is heavenly!

We'll be in Lakeland, FL for a few days having some work done on the RV and attending a Pirates game with Tuffy & Sandy.  Then on Wednesday or Thursday we'll start our 2-3 day drive back to PA.  We'll miss the warm weather, the beaches and the greenery of FL but we're looking forward to time with family and friends.

Til next time...Happy Trails!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Heading inland

We cannot believe our 8 weeks on the west coast of FL have come to an end as we pack up to head inland to Wauchula for a few weeks.  We just love this area of FL and have had a wonderful time.  The last 2 quick weeks were spent at Rambler's Rest RV Resort near Venice.  By far this has been one of our favorite campgrounds with a great site, a beautiful park on the Myakka River and central location to several beaches and local towns.
setting up our beautiful site at Rambler's Rest near Venice
Close by was another dog beach so Moxie had lots of fun in the sand while we enjoyed gorgeous mornings on the beach.

spotting of an armadillo on the way home from the beach - we see them daily in this area around Venice

Heidi, a good friend of mine from "home", was in the area for a week so we met up for lunch and laughs at John's Pass.  Thanks, Heidi!  See you soon!

lots of dolphins in the bay

these guys love fish cleaning time
This area is flooded with State and County parks so we took advantage of a little hiking, nature exploring and geocaching.

Tom's geocache fine
Becky's geocache find

Tom looking down from the walking bridge through the canopy

Becky looking down from the bridge

a large gator just caught a fish for lunch

another large gator resting

momma raccoon and her babies out for a mid-day hike

Jon, a good friend of Tom's from "home", now lives in Sarasota with his wife, Diane.  We met up for a Polo match along with Jon's brother, Joe, and his wife, Holly.  This was our first Polo match and it was a magnificent thing to see (especially good since no horses were hurt!).

Becky, Tom, Holly, Joe, Diane and Jon

Diane, Jon, Becky & Tom

We heard about these Warm Mineral Springs close to us so we headed over for the day to soak in the soothing, and supposedly healing, waters.  Not sure if we've found the Fountain of Youth but apparently people come from all over the country to take a soak.

While you did see heavy jackets in some of the pictures the weather warmed up quite nicely the last few days and we headed to the beach!

a Banyan lined road on Gasparilla Island near one of our favorite beaches

The Legacy Trail is a rail-trail in Venice running towards Sarasota.  We took a 21 mile bike ride on this beautiful trail.

Til next time...Happy Trails!