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

Henry David Thoreau

What DID we do in 2013?

January 4, 2014
Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey Florida


2013 in review

I’ve had a difficult time trying to put this post together since it seems we moved around entirely too much in 2013.  I learned this from our wonderful summer in Maine, but first things first.

I apologize for the length of this but I wanted at least a mention of “almost” everywhere we were this year so I can go back and see it in years to come.  We were just in too many places.

As our usual plan for the past 3 winters, we mostly moved around Florida’s wonderful state parks in 2013.



Disney Day 3 081

We rang in the new year at Oscar Scherer State park just as we did this year.  From there we moved over to beautiful Kissimmee Prairie thanks to the urging of our friends Karen & Al of RV Travels with Karen & AL.  They were right, it was fantastic.

From there we went to Disneyworld to celebrate David’s birthday.   He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma just after his birthday in 2012.   It had been a long 2012 and he deserved a great time after such an ordeal.

From there we headed back toward Tampa for a doctor’s appointment at Moffitt and took Winnona in to Lazy Days who found far too many problems that needed attention – in their minds.   We agreed with some of them and left with a fair size hole in our wallets.

We spent a few days checking out Highland’s Hammock State Park for a possible future longer visit.  A definite yes.   We were on our way to Big Cypress Swamp where we stayed at the Midway Campground before moving on in February to the Everglades.





Eco Pond Morning 088

The Everglades are one of our favorite places although it was difficult being there with no internet and no phone.  Only AT&T has a tower near Flamingo.   But it was great being out of the techno world and into the mangroves, alligators, birds and dark night skies.  We paddled and paddled and it was marvelous.

We left the Everglades in mid February and moved to Sebastian Inlet State Park where we closed out February and spent time in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.




1 First Day Blue Spring (64)

March found us at Manatee Springs where the manatee were still enjoying the warm spring run waters and we were enjoying them.  HOO RAY!!   I was afraid we might be too late.  But we saw them every day!!

After two wonderful weeks we moved to Paines Prairie, another great park, where we spent 10 days before moving westward to Oleno State park for a few days in April.





Ochlockonee 029

Then further west for 10 days at Ochlockonee State Park where Carrie came to visit us.  YEA!!   We searched for Bear Creek, visited St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge and went down to the gulf to see our friends Gin & Syl.

It was too bad Carrie couldn’t stay long enough to move with us to St. George Island State Park on the Gulf.   What a great place.  While there we met blogging friends Pam and Vic of Travelin’ in the Big EZ.  More fun! 

We then began a series of one week stays in the “Saints” as I call them.  Although all the state parks going North up the Panhandle do not begin with Saint. 

Late April found us at St. Joseph and and St. Andrew



Walter Anderson Museum 188

In May we moved on to Grayton Beach and then to Henderson Beach which was the only one of the Panhandle Parks we didn’t care for.  Still on the move we stayed at Fort Pickens in the Gulf Islands National Seashore before moving on around to the Mississippi side of the Seashore and staying at Davis Bayou while visiting Ocean Springs Mississippi and especially the museum of the works of Walter Anderson.

We began moving North toward Maine.  We stopped at Prairie Creek COE in Alabama and visited the very moving Selma to Montgomery Trail Federal Visitor’s Center.  We marked  a short stop at White Tail Ridge COE in LaGrange Georgia  as a place we would definitely like to return to.  We picked up speed even more stopping over night in South Carolina, and for a short week-end visit with David’s nephew David Jeffrey and his family in Charlotte North Carolina.



Fallingwater & Ferncliff walk 156

We rolled back into Virginia for two weeks of doctor visits and other business before heading north to  Pennsylvania, Tub Run COE park and a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s amazing Falling Water.  Ohio Pyle State park provided wonderful hikes nearby.  We made a couple of stops in New York on our way to visit friends in Vermont where we stayed at Winbrook Hall COE campground and seriously loved it.  The farmer’s market was one of the best we’ve ever been to.   We got to visit the Vermont Country Store.  Too soon we had to move on New Hampshire.




Wolnderland & Ship Harbor 191




July found us just outside of Boston where we stayed 4 nights while David made a visit to Dana Farber Cancer Institute and we both visited the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Center.  She’s a hero of mine.  Then on to Camden Hills State Park in Maine where we had the best lobster roll of our entire Maine trip to come.   FINALLY on July 5 we arrived in Blackwoods Campground in Acadia National Park where we stayed for two weeks.  Ah, slowing down.  Can’t come too soon.   We were there until the 9th of the month when thanks to a tip from friends Gin & Syl, Dan and Tricia and Nancy and Bill about a special monthly rate, we moved to Narrows II Campground in order to get back on the Grid.







Lubec Pirate Invasion 337

We stayed at Narrows two from the 19th of July until 19th of August and staying in one spot was heavenly.  The campground isn’t my cup of tea but the price was better than any of the other private campgrounds and we weren’t able to generate enough power in the woods of the Acadia Campgrounds.   But that was a simply wonderful 6 weeks of exploring Acadia with our friends and we still have more to do.  I could come back every single summer and do it all over again I do believe.

We then moved further north to the edge of the Canadian Border and spent the rest of August in Lubec Maine.  What a wonderful time we had there.  Definitely a return to spot and for sure while the Pirate Festival is going on.  While in Lubec we went across to Campobello Island to visit Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s home and hike all around the international park there.  Tea with Eleanor was a big highlight of our time there.





West Shirley Bog 080A

We left Lubec on September 1st headed for Moosehead Lake and hoping to see some Moose.   BINGO!   On a great paddle in West Shirley Bog.  While there we also had our first Whoopie Pie ever.

Time to head back south now due to a previously scheduled medical appointment in Charlottesville which we realized too late we had scheduled too early and we would miss the New England Fall color show.  DARN!   A GREAT reason for another summer return.

We stopped at Orchard Beach before spending a week on Cape Cod where the biking there was great but the prices were high high.

Mid month found us staying at Fisherman’s Memorial Park in Narragansett and visiting a former home of mine in Newport Rhode Island along with the homes of some pretty rich folks along the Cliff Walk which was sadly still closed due to the damage from Hurricane Sandy.  It’s due to open back up in June of 2014.

At the end of the month we did our first Walmart Parking Lot stay on our way to Cape May New Jersey.  It wasn’t much of a success.   In Cape May we visited Cape May Point and the Painted Ladies all around town.  Winnona got a fabulous inside cleaning from Cape Carpet Cleaners owned by the son of a high school boyfriend of mine.





Assateague Tuesday 034

In October Winnona took her first ferry ride from Cape May to Lewes Delaware were we spent one night at Killens Pond State Park before trying to check in for our reservations on Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland.   Seems I got my dates confused and we were two days early so we had to hang out at Frontier Town.  What a hoot that was!  We played a seriously bad game of miniature golf on into the dark.  Didn’t affect our scores at all.  Smile

We finally got into our site and were having a wonderful time when the infamous government shut down happened.  What a great place Assateague is with wild ponies in your campsite, the fantastic ocean waves and kayaking everywhere.  It was unclear how long we could stay after the shutdown was announced so we tried to lay low and ended up only losing one night of our reservation before moving on to Williamsburg Virginia.  On the way to Williamsburg, Winnona went under the sea through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. 

We had an great week at the amazing Colonial Williamsburg.   Prior to our take off to full time in 2010, I’d lived in Virginia since I was 22 years old and had been to Williamsburg MANY times.  We were actually married there but I had never spent a week as a tourist and it was a real eye opener.  They make history come alive.

We headed back to Charlottesville for more medical visits for David and dentists and all that stuff that some of us do in our former home towns.  Carrie came for a visit which was the highlight there for sure.



Congaree 034

October was unseasonably cool in Virginia.  Downright cold.  It seemed a bad omen for a difficult winter and I was more than ready to head south.  This winter has so far proved out my hunch.  

On the way south we stopped for a couple of days at Santee State Park in  South Carolina where we went to the fantastic Congaree National Park.   We were both in big tree heaven there.  Thank goodness for someone’s foresight in saving this wonderful place.   From there we spent 4 very expensive and terrific days at Edisto Beach State Park also in South Carolina.  I am sorry to see that South Carolina has raised their beach campgrounds to a crippling (at least for us) $40 a night.   We loved Edisto and would definitely return if it were in our budget.  Maybe some day.

From there we settled down for 9 days at one of our favorite South Carolina State Park, Hunting Island.  The price here goes up next year so our stops here may be eliminated or greatly curtailed.  If you are brave, you can get an entire month in South Carolina State Parks, any of them, for 50% off in December-February.   But we were so cold during our pre Thanksgiving stay that I don’t think we would even consider it.  

We spent the very end of November at Walkabout Camp and RV Park.  Troy and his family made us very welcome as usual.  We had hoped to meet Carrie, spend Thanksgiving with her and go to Cumberland Island National Seashore.  Unfortunately she waited to late to get an airline reservation and the prices were….well…..frankly just ridiculous.   David and I tried to go to Cumberland but it was just too cold and rainy for our entire stay at Walkabout.   We did have one of our most wonderful breakfasts at Steffens Diner in Kingsland Georgia.





Finally some warm right?   We hit Florida December 1st and the winds were 22 mph.    We spent too short a time at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine and definitely will return there.  We loved being there while the city was all lit up.  Henry Flagler’s Hotel, now Flagler College, was an amazing treat.   But we didn’t get warm weather,  yet!

We spent the rest of the month at what was one of our very favorite state parks, Sebastian Inlet.  It is such a wonderful spot with the campground on the Intracoastal waterway and within walking distance of the Atlantic.  We were actually swimming in the ocean on several days.  I spent my birthday there and Carrie came for the holiday.  It was warm and wonderful EXCEPT that we had the continuous low voltage problems for which the park is well known and every single day all day on the ranger’s white board of what was biting today, at the head of the list of fish was always NOSEEUMS.   Being on the beach was a refuge but there was no sitting or eating outside.   Not sure if we can return given those two big drawbacks.

The main thing I learned from this year is how wonderful it was to have David feeling well and almost forgetting this problem lurking in the background.   AND how much I would rather stay one month at each stop and skip the one night, two night even 5 night stays.   Unfortunately to be in Florida you have to make your reservations a year in advance so I’m not going to get to put this wish into practice until the Spring if then depending on where we head out for.


On to 2014!!



  1. It was a fabulous year thanks mostly to your great research and planning! I love the places you choose - they all have something for us - including great surprises like Congaree National Park and Steffens! Thank you, thank you thank you!!

  2. Sherry you never have to apologize for the length of your blog. What a great, great review. We are so thankful for David's good health this year, for the fact Carrie could spend time with you once in a while and I so enjoyed all the tree hugs, and history lessons and your happy smile in almost every picture. Looking forward to another year of your wonderful blogs. Happy New Year to you again.

  3. How fun to read the review of your fabulous 2013! You've given us lots of ideas for great places to visit when we travel up the East Coast.

  4. Is that ALL you did? ;c)

    It was a wonderful year and thanks for letting us "tag along". It made our grounded months so much easier by knowing there are still lots of fun things waiting for us.

    PS: Never knew David looked so much like Dick Van Dyke until he stood next to Mary Poppins!

  5. Great review, Sherry ... fun seeing the pictures again and remembering with you ... and yes... the greatest is having David feeling good... that's the best ;)

  6. Thank you for putting your year in review, brings back memories for me. Favorite is Maine. Yet I just don't remember you being so busy. HA

    Sure look forward to following you in 2014, and hopefully, plus selfishly, westward.

  7. What a great year for you both!!!! Good pictures picked for each month..

  8. Great review to Great year!!

    The last photo of the 3 of you is an absolute favorite:o))))

  9. I think 2013 was a perfect year! You saw some of the nicest places in the US :-)

  10. What a great year you had, so nice to have tagged along for the ride.

  11. Following along with you throughout the year it didn't seem like you were moving as much as you did. This review really shows how much you did.

  12. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful year. I especially love the campground references and look forward to visiting some of them in 2014. Safe travels!

  13. You had a busy year! Hope 2014 is just as good or even better, and maybe our paths will cross if you make it out west.

  14. Excellent review! What an amazing year! When you go back to Maine; I want too try some lobsta' and smell the pine :) So glad I got to come out twice last year - now that I'm accruing more vacation, let's make it three times this year!!! What an amazing life you've created. Makes me want too say 'congratulations'; you are living the dream :) May this year be as good or better!!

  15. Love love love the moose! They are fabulous! You (and especially David) deserved a great year after 2012. David looks great in the Santas on the beach picture. Wishing you an even better 2014! Do the guides tell you about the potential low voltage and no phone/internet problems? I would think that guides would tell you all the wonderful things about the campground forgetting to mention that it backed up to a railroad track@#@!?
    XXXOOO Pam

  16. Oh, yeah! So glad to see David looking so well.

    One month is a minimum whenever possible. If not possible in the same park, then in another in the same area. Our longest (unplanned as to length) stay was eight months! We had expected to stay two days, and then head home. Didn't happen!

  17. What a lovely recap of your fabulous travels. I think I could do a whole summer in Maine too. I forgot that you had that great moose sighting.

    The longer we travel, the more I have become a fan of month-long stays in the special places we have discovered.

    We are not too far from you now. Perhaps we can meet for a hike or bike ride mid-way?

  18. Thanks for the post... I traveled with you all year and it was nice to see it all in review..... someday I hope to spend time at every state park in Florida.... since I live here it would only be appropriate I think..... thanks again.. looking forward to your earlier this year

  19. Had typed up a previous comment... and the computer "ate" it. grrr. Love your year-end review ...and it is dazzling. That's a lot of moving and packing up... and seeing new places... and having new adventures. The best part of it all is David's improved health. He looks stronger as the months pass by. We are glad to see both of you enjoying all that life has to offer... and having the added big bonus of visits from Carrie. Stay away from no-see-ums... and colder weather... and continue enjoying the beautiful beaches. Happy New Year!

  20. Since I missed out on three months of blog reading, it was fun to read all you were up to while we were on vacation. Enjoyed your reminiscences.

  21. Nice recap of your year Sherry. You two certainly did a lot of traveling, and packing up and moving. I agree with you. I like staying at least a month in a place that I really like. I hope this year allows you to spend more time at the places you love. I'm anxious to travel along with you again this year. Isn't it too bad that we have to make reservations and plan so far ahead? It would be so much nicer if we could stay as long as we want and then the next place have a spot for us.

  22. That was a good read! Enjoyed it and also enjoyed many of your posts during the year (didn't get to them all but read quite a few). Have to say that our spontaneous trip to Acadia was your fault - and we loved every minute of it! We love Falling Waters too - really good picture of you two there. Think we may head up there again in the spring. So glad this has turned out to be a good year health wise for you both. Me thinks the benefits of the full timing far outweigh the drawbacks for you.

  23. Thank you indeed for the wonderful read and great review of your year. Wow, what a year it was! You did so many wonderful fun things and went to so many incredible places. Makes for terrific memories.

  24. You certainly did cover a lot of territory, and while all of it was interesting I think Maine is my handsdown favorite!

  25. Gosh! Reading this makes me realize how quickly the year just flew by! Seems like I was just reading about some of these adventures. Of course, the fact that I'm usually at least a week behind doesn't have anything to do with it. ;-)

    I sure like that picture of David with Mary Poppins. Spending his birthday at the happiest place on earth was certainly fitting following the harrowing year you both endured.

    Let the good times continue in 2014!


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!