Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

It’s the Day After Crash, Tornadoes and We Move On

Saturday and Sunday                                                                                       Most Recent Pasts:
January 9 and 10, 2015                                                                                    He’s King for a Day! What does he do?
Koreshan State Historic Site to Hillsborough River State Park                          Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Estero to Thonotosassa, Florida



Saturday is a lost day for David.  Probably in payment for his over eaters Friday.  He naps all day long.  At about 1:00 I figure out this is going to go on all day long so I leave him to it and head out to the beach at Lover’s Key State Park.





It’s $4 to enter the park for one person and $8 for two or more.  Lover’s Key State Park Recreation Area is made up of Lover’s Key, Inner Key, Long Key and Black Island.  It is 712 acres and features 2.5 miles of beach on the Gulf of Mexico, canals and tidal lagoons fringed with mangroves

It’s a Saturday, not a day I usually go to the beach, and thus by 1:00 all the near by parking spots are taken.  So I drive further away and cart my chair etc 1/2 mile to the Gulf Shore.  There is also a tram for those who do not want to walk or can not.  Luckily I still can, so I do.

I walk over a couple of boardwalks, the mangroves line the banks of the channels.  I can see the ocean ahead.




I pick my spot, set up my chair and head out to the water.  It turns out to be chillier than I was anticipating so I settle for a walk on the shore with my feet in the waves.




There are a couple of bathing beauties along the shore.  Not sure what that’s all about in terms of posture.  I look around for the camera they are posing for.  I guess I’m it.




They were set up a ways down the beach from each other but don’t they look like they’ve had the same lessons on how to pose?




Lover’s Key has shells all over the beach.  They are so thick at some points that it is difficult to walk through them in bare feet.





Those who follow my blog regularly know that I love beaches and shells.   I don’t collect them but I do take pictures of my favorites.














I love the way the late afternoon light sparkles on the water.  Since my photographer is at home sleeping it off, I try to get a selfie without getting my camera full of sand.  Not terribly successful but at least I’ll know I was there.






The clouds really begin to mass.



About 4:00 the clouds when the sun is gone it becomes much cooler and although I had intended to stay for the sunset, the chill changes my mind.   A group of birds sends me off as I pack up my things and walk the mile back to the car.




When I get back, David is up and making a big salad for dinner.  We’re listening to the second book in the Outlander Series when my phone gives me the weather alert noice.   We turn on the weather radio and find that there is a tornado warning for Lee County which is where we are.  A hurricane in January in Florida?

Since we are near enough to Fort Myers to get a TV signal we turn on the local news.  They have stopped normal programming and are giving minute to minute reports about where the tornadoes, 2 of them, are currently in the upper atmosphere.  It’s amazing that they know this stuff.  They are waiting to see whether they will touch down.  All the red is the most critical areas.   It’s interesting to us that our former weatherman from Charlottesville Virginia is now the weatherman for the station here.  We recognize him.   Here’s what we watch over time.   Our park is just south of Estero in the bottom of the screen.

At this point the problem area is north enough of us that we aren’t worried.


But by now the rain is getting close.  As long as that red stuff stays to the north we think we are OK. 



The yellow circles are exactly where the tornadoes are.   But they are still in the upper atmosphere swirling around.  Should we head for the bath house?  Usually the camp hosts come around and warn everyone but it’s after hours so we don’t know what to think.



While we’re deciding whether to grab up our records box and head out the rain changes from light to torrents and comes pounding down.  We are now in the red zone.  I open the door to see about wind but there isn’t much.   Enough that I know we aren’t in they eye of anything so we just hang out and within 15 minutes it has all moved on.  Ultimately it rains all night long.  Pours actually but no one around gets a tornado on the ground as far as we know.










The rain stops just after I wake at about 5:30am.  I go out at dawn to walk over to the Art Building for a morning yoga class which starts at sun up.  Walking through the hammock in the very dim light is a wonderful experience.  When I get to the historic area the color is just beginning.

The yoga class is wonderful in the beautiful art building with the giant windows.  So relaxing.  I can feel my body sighing with happiness. No rain the entire hour.  I walk all the way back to the coach again along the river.  David was asleep when I snuck out at dawn.  When I return he has gone out to the Farmer’s Market held each Sunday morning.  I must have the chasrmed life today because I have just come inside when the rain starts and it pours.  He comes back in about 10 minutes and is soaked.

Unfortunately for us we have to move today.  We did pack everything up but we still have to take off the water and electric and dump in the rain.  Oh well, that’s part of the full time life.  The rains do come and this winter so far has been full of them.


It’s an easy 175 mile drive up I 75 from Koreshan to Hillsborough River State Park EXCEPT that we get caught in an accident and are stopped mostly and crawling along at less than 5 miles an hour some of the time for an hour which means that added to our late start it is nearly 3:30 before we pull into our wonderfully large site.  Nothing in the way, no limbs hanging down.  Plenty of room for Winnona, Ruby, the awning, the dolly and probably 20 friends.



Nancy and Bill are parked in an equally large site right next to us.  Nancy has graciously offered an invitation to dinner for her delicious potato soup.  We are tired and on the irritable side because of all the rain and the traffic so we happily accept.  Luckily the rain stopped along the way and Hillsborough River is dry.  Still we do a minimal set up and head over to the Mills’ rig for dinner and fun.  It’s so much fun that I don’t even get my camera out.  So no pictures of them until tomorrow and none of that disappearing soup, salad and bread.   Thank you Nancy and Bill for such a wonderful welcome.   Now what mischief can we get in to?



I neglected to get a picture of the delicious soup, salad and bread Nancy served and the wonderful pumpkin brownie with cashew cream for dessert. I think their place is my favorite restaurant.


  1. Where was that super zoom on your SX-50 when the nice beach babes were out?

    Sure hope the bad storms are past when we get there in two days.

  2. The Mills traveling restaurant is one of our favorites too :-) There's nothing like pulling into your new home and having a traveling friend already there, waiting with hug a loaf of homemade bread and bowl of soup. I smile remembering the mighty fine fixins you had waiting for us in Stony Fork this past June.

  3. Looks like El Nino is doing a number on Florida this year.
    How nice to have friends with dinner ready after a stressful day!

  4. You must be getting the rain we had last week. It's very unusual to have more than one day of rain in a month, but I think we even saved some for you.

  5. Wow, you really have been having your share of rain this winter! So glad to hear that no tornado touched down but I expect that you must have been a little jumpy when you saw the red area entering into your area.

    Your spot at Hillsborough River looks like a nice an what a great way to end a stressful day.


  6. Sure is scary to watch a severe storm overtake you on radar and wonder if you should vacate your home!

    Love the shell photos!

  7. It's a good life when a day of indulging can be easily followed by a day of sleeping it off. Or sitting on a beach in January :-) I think the brunette best pulls off the pose. Wonderful pic of the bird send off! I'm afraid that red zone would have been way too close for me :-( sure glad it was just rain. Love the big site with all the trees, and the tasty neighborhood eatery right next door!!

  8. Even with the rain, fortunately no tornado issues. I like those closeup shots of the shells.

  9. So funny that David had to "sleep it off" after his big birthday celebration. Glad you took yourself to the beach -- great idea to "collect" your shells in photos. Looks like you have a beautiful site at Hillsborough -- how fun to be welcomed (with a yummy dinner!) by Nancy and Bill. Hope you don't have any more close calls with tornados!

  10. Glad you didn't get in the way of a tornado. It would be even more frightening in an RV. The shells are beautiful!

  11. So weird you are so close to Tampa, I was just looking at airfare and trying to decide whether to fly down that way next week or drive to Kentucky!

  12. I saw a lot of those tornado watches/warnings on Facebook from fellow RVers in Florida. Glad that you didn't get hit by one. So nice that you get to spend time with Bill & Nancy!

  13. Oh, that was scary. So glad that nothing touched down!

  14. So nice that you're next to Bill and Nancy. Just so you know, I have plenty of money set aside to bail you out when you get in trouble from all the hijinks ya'll may get into... :cD

  15. Glad that the weather caused you no harm!! Lovers Key is a very lovely place:o))

    Also glad you enjoyed our "Traveling Restaurant!!" Of course, there is only one thing on the menu since I am married to "Potato Man" ;o)) Please note, I need advanced notice if you want pumpkin bread with cashew cream.

  16. We haven't been to Lovers Key for many years, but I remember it as one of the prettiest beaches in Florida. Glad the tornados didn't come your way. Always risky in an RV. We were at Mom's that day and I thought to myself how much safer I felt in a sturdy concrete block house.

  17. Glad you let me sleep and went on to the beach without me. I felt much better after the rest. Love your shell pictures, very unique collection.

  18. The storm looked a little too close for comfort!

  19. How interesting that the weatherman from Charlottesville showed up there to report on the possible tornados - glad nothing happened and there was no flooding - like there was at Long Key - after all that rain. Also glad you got to do yoga and the move brought you close to friends, even if you did have to go through rain and an accident to get there :)

  20. I saw the destruction and did not realize you were close to it. We enjoyed a bike tour at Lovers Key but at that time the wind was blowing that we left right after a pose on the beach.
    The king deserves a rest!
    - MonaLiza

  21. That Lover's Key beach didn't look Too crowded. I've discovered that instead of collecting "things taking photos is better. Well, maybe an occasional rock or shell. ;) Being so close to tornadoes is scary. I grew up in tornado country. Thank goodness for the ability to watch it through technology. Glad you were missed. Thank goodness for friends who will cook on moving day.

    Playing catch up.


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