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

Henry David Thoreau

Back at the Beach and Shocking Shopping

Wednesday February 4 and Thursday February 5, 2015
Koreshan State Historic Site
Estero, Florida


Let me start this post with an answer to a question Judy asked about mosquitoes in the places we’ve been.  We did see a few mosquitoes at Highlands Hammock but nothing much.  Here in Koreshan and at Oscar Scherer we haven’t had any problem.  Winter seems to be the best no mosquito season in Florida.


Wednesday, February 4th

Another one of THOSE problems recurs.  When we arrive here on Monday and level up, everything is fine. But by this morning we notice that we are not as level as we were.  The back has sunk.  David goes out to look and our passenger side rear jack has retracted an inch or so.  We re-level.  When he checks an hour later it has snuck up again.  Luckily this site is asphalt and not terribly sloped so things aren’t too bad  with only 3 jacks but we call HWH.   Of course you can’t get a technician, they have to call you back.




We figure they can call us at the beach just as well.  Or at least we hope we have enough of a signal and if history is any authority, they won’t call until after 5pm anyway.  Off we go to Delnor Wiggins State Park for a day at the beach.  It was predicted to be a high of 78 and I’m pretty sure it makes it.  

Since the local beaches in Naples and Fort Myers all charge $2 an hour to park, we thought it would possibly be less crowded and nicer to just go to either Lover’s Key State Park or Delnor Wiggins.  The latter is closer, so that’s where we go.  My notes from our last time here said this was the beach we preferred.

$6 entry fee for the day.  Same cost for 2 people as for 8.  That seems rather unfair but I guess their thought is, a car is a car.  We park in parking area 3 out of 4 in an effort to be somewhat mid way between the high rises.  We pass two sandwich boards at the edge of the walkway to the beach.  One side advertises the rentals – paddle boards, kayaks, chairs, umbrellas  the other advertises the food.








The walkway boardwalk first takes us to the very nice shaded picnic area at the rear of the beach.  These must be coveted spots in the summer when the heat is blazing.   







At the edge of the beach are loaner children’s life jackets.   I’ve never seen this before but it’s an excellent idea.  I hope people do return them and not just consider them “free”.









We stake out our spot and in a fairly short time discover that the sun is seriously acting like summer so David goes back to the car and gets the sportbrella.    Next comes our mistake of the day.  Not getting the sportbrella, but setting everything up without just hanging out a bit to check out the neighbors given the narrowness of the beach.







Turns out the neighbors just to our right and behind are big talkers and big smokers. That’s them just beyond David’s knee. 

But the shore has filled up and there now isn’t much of a place to move to.  So we stay.   Well David stays.   I go out into the water and find it REALLY COLD so I don’t go in, I just walk in a bit.  It cools me down.  I come back to try to read.   Smoking continues.  I know it’s outdoors but the wind seems to be coming our way unfortunately and there are several of smokers so it seems pretty constant..


I’m actually gritting my teeth here waiting for my feet to warm up.



Ok that’s enough, I’m cooled off.


Back to reading.  This is a great book on the importance of darkness in our lives.  Darkness as in after sunset with no artificial lights outdoors.  I picked it up at one of the National Parks on the Starry Starry Night Tour this summer.








We go for a walk down the beach to the state park sign and back.  When we return, clouds have rolled in and the sun has gone behind them so the umbrella isn’t as necessary. With the absence of the sun, things have thinned out so I can take my chair and move it far enough down the beach that I can’t hear or smell them.   Much nicer. I stop coughing.







We stay until about 4:30 and by then the smokers have left.  It’s wonderful here now with so many of the people gone.  I’d love to stay for sunset but we aren’t really prepared.  We brought lunch but that was a long time ago and we’re hungry.  The clouds are thickening up.  Rain is predicted for tonight.

We return to Winnona where HWH does call and diagnoses that we need a new solenoid to fix the problem.  Sounds reasonable except for the fact that we had replaced this one in January of 2012.  That’s just 3 years before failure for a jack solenoid?  We find out they only have a 1 year guarantee and HWH will be happy to ship one off to us for a mere $180 plus shipping.  It is supposed to cheer us up that if we return the old one they will give us a $50 rebate.  Thank goodness David can do this repair since it would be over $100 in labor to get someone else to do it.  So for now we are sitting on 3 jacks.   Anyone else had jack or slide hydraulic problems fairly repeatedly?  

After dinner David uses the second no oil pie crust we made for the infamous banana strawberry pie to make another pie.  The crust is actually very good.  He alters the recipe and uses blueberries.  It’s definitely much better with his alterations but we still aren’t that much for frozen pies.


So once this one is gone in slivers for me and pieces for him, that’s it for this vegan pie recipe!


Unhappily all those clouds which rolled in covered up the moon tonight.  Not a trace of it so my plan to go over to the settlement is thwarted again.  Those clouds bring rain all night long.  Heavy rain.



Thursday, February 5th



The rain lasts into the morning and spits most of the day.  What to do on a cloudy rainy day?   Seems like a lot of people consider those the days to go shopping.  We didn’t know when we came here last time that this area is a big outlet mall draw. 

The shopping isn’t actually shocking it’s just shocking that I’m shopping.  I avoid it at nearly all costs.   Those of you who know me know I am seriously not a shopper, not even in the grocery store,  but I have been wanting to go to the Columbia Outlet to look for some light weight hiking/kayaking shirts so we decide today is the day.



On our way over in Ruby, another one of our continuing problems reminds us.  The clutch has to be put all the way to the floor to shift into first.  Sounds like the reservoir needs to be filled again.  We are hoping we can keep it going until we get up near Tampa to a mechanic we trust.  Like the solenoid which didn’t last as long as it should have in my opinion, we just had the master cylinder replaced back in October.  What is this with junk for parts these days??





When we arrive, the acres of parking is packed.  I’m surprised then when we get to the actually fairly attractive mall, that it is apparently big enough to accommodate all the people since it doesn’t seem overly crowded.

For me the Columbia Outlet trip would have been a one hour venture but of course David has other stores he wants to look at.  I tag along for as long as I can manage and then use the exit strategy that works best, I suggest it’s time to go home and eat.   It works!

On the way out I just have to take a shot of this example of what young women are doing to their feet these days. It’s like walking around constantly in toe shoes.   I’m betting they will have hip, knee and ankle problems when they are my age and wonder why.






On the way home, we stop at Mother Earth Natural Foods to pick up some chia seeds I need for a tortilla soup I’m going to make tonight for dinner tomorrow.  We park in front of the store next door and I have to post this new to me enterprise.  Have you seen anything like Paw-radise?




Don’t think David’s going to find chocolate chip cookies or chocolate croissants in this bakery.



We have vegan burgers, big salads and broccoli for dinner and then make some delicious home made potato chips for dessert.   YUM!!   We call them Small Batch Hand Crafted Vegan Lightly Salted No Oil Potato Chips.   We both agree they are better than any chips we’ve ever had. 



Tomorrow I hope we can do the tour of the settlement in the morning and a paddle on the river in the afternoon as our last outing before the week-end sequester.  <grin>.   Way better than shopping!!


  1. I keep saying I'm going to make those chips one of these days but haven't gotten around to it. They look so good!

  2. we have jack problems a lot. Ours drop down at an angle, not straight down. I am not even sure if they are HWH. haven't researched it at all, we just deal with it. They lose pressure and drop the rig a bit now and then during the night. Sometimes often, other times not so often, I just re level when it happens. Since we aren't full time it seems much too expensive to deal with and we haven't bothered yet. Maybe someday we will.

  3. Isn't it awful when you are the big beautiful outdoors and you have to breathe someone else's cigarette smoke? Makes me so frustrated when you can't escape it. Hope the jack problem gets resolved.

  4. we do not have jacks but I did replace my desk chair for the same reason. . .I would sit down, it would sink all the way to the bottom. . .LOL!

    I did make the potato chips. . .they were delicious. We are now making a huge attempt to stay away from the carbs, so I am going to try making zuchinni chips. . .I'll let you know how they turn out!

  5. I see shoes and boots like that, and I find myself wondering why women want to murder their feet by wearing them.

  6. Hope the shopping found your pants, otherwise, malls are just a people watching place and I'd rather do that at the beach. My legs hurt just looking at those heels yet I remember in a past life being able to run in heels that tall.

  7. Just looking at these white sand beach photos, and you wadding in the water, makes me long for the ocean...either one! Though Pismo Beach is on our radar for April! MH issues are never fun as we know from recent experience here in Anza Borrego.

  8. The chips look very good. Donald makes them sometimes; I like a little more potato and less crisp. Anyone who would put a dress on a dog would certainly not think twice about buying that kind of food for it.

  9. HWH must be pretty proud of their products to sell them for that price. Imagine what they'd charge for one made to a better quality standard that would last a lifetime.

    I have one sticky jack that doesn't want to come up all the way sometimes. Replacing the springs didn't help. WD-40 to the rescue. Much cheaper than buying a new jack.

  10. Hope you get that Jack issue resolved!!

    Now, when you ramp up production of those chips, I really will be interested to see how you get "Small Batch Hand Crafted Vegan Lightly Salted No Oil Potato Chips" on the package?!?!!! Maybe you could just call them "SBHCVLSNO Potato Chips" ;o))) Honestly, it is amazing how such a simple thing as microwaved thin sliced potatoes can taste SOOOOOOOO good!!!

  11. I grew up breathing second hand smoke and I actively avoid any and all smoke. I walked into someones house today that smoked in the house and nearly coughed out loud. Yucko.... I certainly had to laugh of your photo of the chimmney! Dear, you and I would get along fine......no shopping for me as long as I can help it. What ever did we do before internet? I have avoided making those chips as I certainly am concerned that I might not be able to live without them. I am currently avoiding cooking as much as possible. Soup seems to be my go to meal.

  12. Smoking outdoors is just as bad as smoking indoors. I feel badly for people who are addicted to cigarettes, but I feel worse for those of us who are unwillingly subjected to their habit and nasty secondhand smoke. I'm with you on the dark night skies, too. Many people don't realize just how important it is for us physically, mentally, and emotionally to have complete darkness at night.

  13. That is such a beautiful beach. Too bad it got ruined by the obnoxious smokers. Wonder if they put all their butts in the sand. I'll bet they did.... most smokers and fishermen are such slobs.

  14. The COE lake we worked for last summer provided loaner vests at each of the day use parks. Children and adults alike! I thought it was wonderful, and they didn't lose too many either :) I'm with you on the smoking thing. Nothing worse than an outing being spoiled by cigarette smoke. Don't find that a huge problem here in CA now.

  15. Well, the frozen pie was not a winner, so get me some blueberries and we will try the Engine 2 Blueberry Dumpster Cobbler next.

  16. The chips look good! The blueberry pie.......not so much. The beach looked nice. It always stinks when you end up next to loud smoking people. We often drive to the National Park beaches towards Hatteras when the beach in Duck is crowded.xxxooo

  17. That's the tough part about the beaches in FL. The more accessible areas get crowded with very loud people and smokers!! Nothing like a ruined beach day. We have decided the next time we return to FL we will only stay in Cortez. We aren't going to return to Ft Myers. The beaches are so crowded, parking is so expensive and there isn't much. In Cortez we can ride our bikes to the beach on Anna Maria Island and find a place car visitors can't get to. And all parking is free and there is a lot of it. Much better experience. Glad you and David did get some time without the talker/smokers:) The beach is gorgeous!

    Sorry to hear about your jack issue. It's great that David can fix the problem once the part arrives. Hope you car holds out.

  18. Vehicle problems are the worst! So frustrating. So are smokers...why people try even one cigarette in their lives in beyond me. I have absolutely no interest...never have, never will. Guess if your family does it so will you-smells icky. Does sound like a very yummy dinner!! Not so yummy pie.

  19. I used to wear high heels in another life, but never quite that high. I never did understand why people would want to SHOP in them however.

  20. When we were there last winter, we go to Bonita Beach and Barefoot Beach Preserve as early as possible to get a parking spot and avoid the crowd. And just liked what you had experienced, the crowd starts packing in by midday. Its too bad these smokers seem oblivious of the effect of smoking as well as that lady wearing those high heels (i never wore one at my younger years) .


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