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

Henry David Thoreau

2016 Year in Review-January to June

2016 from Florida to the Finger Lakes and back again                                Most Recent Posts
Part 1   January 2016 to Late June 2016                                         Birds and Beach Before the Storms
                                                                                        On to Oscar Scherer and Warm Temps in South Florida



I know it’s late and I know it will take me two posts to cover the entire year but hopefully I’ll manage to get them both posted before the end of January which for me is pretty good.


Jan- June 2016 in Florida map

I’ve seen lots of year in review posts and they were all much better than this one is going to be because it doesn’t have a complete map.  I can’t find a reasonable way to do a map with 50+ points which would show our entire year.   Google limits me to 10 now.   If you have an idea of how I can do it without spending hours in learning mode pleeeaaaasssseee let me know and I’ll add a better map to this.   All I can do now is pretty crappy section maps.  At least MapQuest will give me one with letters to indicate the order of our travels.  DRAT GOOGLE!

Can’t fit the May and June in Maryland and Virginia on this map and have any detail on the Florida Trip so the line headed out of the state represents that.  We started in the Southernmost part of Florida and wandered around for 4 months before heading north for very special occasions in our family.





Our 2015 November and Decmber were spent in the Florida Keys where our weather was amazingly bad.  We returned from there in early January spending a few days in Big Cypress Swamp one of our favorite spots in Florida.



Later in January we moved to Koreshan State Historic Park and while there visited the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary



and the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge where we saw our first bathing osprey and some beautiful Roseate Spoonbills.







David celebrates his birthday with a trip to a favorite bakery, Sweet Odin’s, breakfast at First Watch, stops at Sun Harvest Citrus shop, the Columbia Outlet and Fords Garage for dinner. He gets me to do all this eating and shopping which are not on my list of fun things, because it’s his birthday and on your birthday, you get to be King/Queen for the day.

We visit Lover’s Key State Park and really enjoy the beach and the shells.






In the middle of the month it’s time for the annual multi-medical visits so we return to Hillsborough River State Park where we are parked next to Nancy and Bill.  We do a slew of doctor visits and make time for  the RV Supershow in Tampa.



After all those doctor visits we need a treat so we spend 5 days at Disneyworld to perk us up but sadly the Tiger is closed in Animal Kingdom.  Nancy and Bill are here too so we have lots of fun including a trip to Beaches N Cream where we empty those No Way Jose glasses.  FUN FUN!


S&D at Beaches







From Disney we move to Myakka River State Park where we are still hanging out with Nancy and Bill.  We actually did not get together and plan these stops. It just worked out that way.

While at Myakka, David and I go off trail, get temporarily lost in the Palmettos and call Mills Mapping Service to confirm with a map that we know where we are.  The service is terrific! . David’s on the phone in the photo. ,

We kayak the Myakka River and watch a cormorant eat a fish. We bike, play games, go hiking and just have an all around good time with Nancy and Bill.


 03 - Biking the Legacy



Sadly it’s time to part ways with Nancy and Bill as we move on to Highlands Hammock State Park where we find ourselves in the middle of Scamp Camp.  What fun to see all these little 13-19’ eggs.  The group welcomes us and we join them for several of their activities including the walk throughs.  These seem pretty perfect for a single full timer or double part timers.  They sure don’t have any trouble finding a spot in any campground.



Highlands has beautiful hikes especially the stunning boardwalk through the swamp where you often aren’t sure which is up and which is down.  They also have great biking, huge trees and wild oranges.




After two weeks at Highland, we move to Darren Thomas Glass in Sebring to take care of the fogging in our rear windows.  They do a great job and we continue to this day to be totally satisfied.






From there we spend the last days of February and the first ones of March back at Koreshan State Historic Site.   Staying at an historic site is quite different from a regular park.  This group, the Koreshans, were an interesting Utopian Community. You can learn all about them and visit the remaining buildings of their community. There is a wonderful walk along the river from the campground over to the settlement grounds. 

While here we kayak the Estero River, buy wonderful produce from the Farmer’s Market on the park Grounds and visit nearby sites like the Ford and Edison Winter Estates which are connected to each other by a breezeway.  We also do a wonderful paddle at nearby Lover’s Key State Park







In March we move from the Gulf to the Atlantic and enjoy our favorite ocean front site at Gamble Rogers State Park.  While there we spend lots of time walking on the beach, we go to the Flagler Friday market, and visit  Washington Oaks for a hike and to see their fabulous beach rocks. We also go over to Bulow Creek for a wonderful paddle and up to the World of Golf to see Zootopia in their Imax theater.  GREAT movie!







We’re really sorry to have to say goodbye to our front row seat for sunrise, and our short walk to sunset not to mention swimming in the Atlantic in March right outside our front door.








At this point we have a reservation gap.  We planned to go to Salt Springs for the rest of our gap days.  It’s a large federal facility that has some reservable sites and a lot of walkins. They almost always have walkin sites available but not this time.  When we get there, there are no sites.  Oh dear!  

We call Silver Springs State Park in nearby Ocala and amazingly are in luck.  Because their sites are not yet back up on Reserve America from some campground renovations, we are able to snag one.  SCORE!  

While there we of course kayak the beautiful Silver River with all its wonderful wildlife, native and not so much.  We take the Cracker Village Tour and spend time in the Silver River Museum which is really well done and a must see if you are in the park.  We visit the local Bruster’s of course.  We had hoped to kayak the Alexander Spring run while at Salt Springs so we just drive up there anyway and do it.




This year we celebrate Spring Equinox at the springs and take the famous glass bottom boat ride.  I’d taken this same ride when I was 7 or 8 with my mother and my great aunt Carrie.  What a walk down memory lane.  The driver of our boat is retiring next month after SIXTY YEARS as a captain.  He might have been a brand new captain when I was on his boat. 

And of course we celebrate with Bruster’s Ice cream!





At the end of March, we move on to Wekiwa Springs State Park where we do yet more kayaking.  We really love kayaking in the in Florida’s springs parks.  We kayak the Wekiva river (yes they are spelled differently) and the Rock Spring Run which is a gorgeous paddle.  It’s warm enough to swim in the spring now so we do and we hike our first VolksmarchIMG_3828




We take our final swim in the Wekiwa Spring on April 5th and for our last fling in Florida before heading north, we go back to Disneyworld.  We have annual passes now as Florida residents and we want to take as much advantage of them as we can.

Because we are at Epcot much later than we usually are, we get to see the Epcot Flower and Garden festival which is fantastic.The blossoms and the topiary are beyond belief.  We also whoop it up at the Hoop De Doo Review for the first time and the tiger is BACK!  It’s another great visit at Disneyworld










We make a  fast route north where our main mission is a trip to Maryland for Carrie’s baby shower.   Boy does that seem like a long time ago now.




In May of course the highlight is the birth of our Granddaughter Celia Claire on May 19th.



Mother, father and baby are doing fine when we leave to give them family time together.

IMG_7413Carrie24-M and Celia


We have doctors and dentists and opthamologists visits. David’s brothers come to try and help with the barn fiasco. 




Due to the generous family leave policies of our country, Matthew only has a week to spend with his wife and new daughter.  When he has to go back to work I go up to Maryland for a few days to help Carrie out.  Although these pictures look like all we did was enjoy her sleeping, Celia actually has colic.  She is understandably unhappy and sleeps in fits and spurts.  But she does love to go “strolling” and for rides in the car.



She’s a month old when we leave for our summer in the Finger Lakes with promises to see her as soon as we return.