Thursday, October 31, 2013

Feeling Much Better

I think Florida tried to take me out. After I left my friends, Larry and Jane, I went to the campground I had booked until January 24, 2014.  The intention is to get my finances in order and explore. What happened is that I got very sick and I am not sure if it was the humidity or what, I just know that I felt awful.   On top of that, I stepped on a fire ant hill while setting up and both my ankles got bitten.  My ankles looked like elephant ankles with little white knots. I was in pure misery for days. The other bad thing is that the Wi-Fi here is very inconsistent.  I have had to use my Mi-Fi more and have already used up almost all my data plan until the 19th. This just won't do.

Yesterday, I decided to get out because I felt better but still a little weak.  I really needed a change of scenery. The people here at this campground are very nice but their idea of fun is bingo and shuffleboard. I decided to go to the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg because a friend really was impressed when he went. The museum exhibit spans his entire career from 1904 to 1989.  The building opened in 2011 to house his works and tell his story. The collection shows 96 paintings, photos, sculpture, original drawings, and manuscripts.

The building which is a piece of art itself, was designed by Yan Weyrmouth

The building is a simple rectangle

 that from it erupts a large geodesic glass bubble made up of 1062 triangles and none are the same exact size.

  Inside the building is a helical staircase that you can take to the exhibit from the first floor (or take the elevator.)

Looking out of the triangle windows you can see a beautiful garden and waterfront.

Unfortunately, you can not take pictures of the exhibits but they are very amazing.  He was either mad or his imagination was out of this world.

As I was leaving the shopping area, I saw this car that water was flowing in the inside.  In the front was a diver in full gear and in the back was a lady.

What a fun time.  Well worth the trip.

Now that I feel better and have started riding my bike to get my strength back, it is time to see what I can get into..... air boat ride, sky diving, zip line, or what about a picnic by a lake?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Little Closer and Time with Friends

I am in Florida and heading to the campground I will be at for most of the winter.  In the meantime I am enjoying the journey.

On the way, I went to another Harvest Host location, The Golden Acres Ranch in the Panhandle of Florida.  The ranch raises Tennessee Fainting Goats.  Their muscles freeze for about 10 seconds when they are in a panic, the result is that they will stiffen and fall down.  These goats are raised for their meat rather than milk.  I had a chance to help water them.

The dog in the doorway is the guard dog for the goats and will not let anyone or anything come close to the goats except the owners.

Mr. and Mrs. Golden also raise sheep, chickens and lambs and will board your pets as well.  Sadly, I had just missed the local farm tour and the farm to table dinner.

They also have a country store with fresh eggs,  Mayhew jelly,  processed lamb and processed goat meat.

After a good nights sleep, I headed to meet my friends, Larry and Jane Frum who live in a place called The Villages.

The trip from Southern Oaks RV Resort  to the The Villages, which is a retirement community, is only 5 minutes. This is the campground I will be staying at for the rest of the week until I transfer to the campground I'll winter at.  They have a heated pool, awesome internet, good water pressure,  70 channels of cable, pull-thrus with 30 and 50 amps service, same price.  They accept Passport America 50% discount on their rate. The parking is on grass.

I got to the campground and called my friends.  It turned out that the next day was their 52nd anniversary and I was invited! They picked me up and took me on a sightseeing trip of The Villages.  The Villages is basically a huge city with three themed town centers.  We went to Brownwood Paddock Square which is reminiscent of an early Florida cattle town.


I really liked the inside of the Barnstorm Movie Theater.


From there we went to the World Of Beer which specializes in craft beer from all over the world.  I was able to get the only beer I like, Lambic Peach.  Larry was shocked at the price.

The next evening I was picked up for the anniversary dinner and we headed off.

Rebecca, Larry, Jane and Larry
Yes there were two Larry's at the table.

Anniversary couple, Jane and Larry

  I had so much fun,  the company and the food was amazing.

Larry picked me up today to take me to the Okoberfest in one of the other village squares, Lake Sumter Village Square.  Lake Sumter Village is in a waterfront setting which reminds you of  a seaside village.

We walked around looking at the customized golf carts as we headed to the fest.

Police golf carts....only in The Villages

Once at the fest we got some french fries and did some people watching and listened to music.
Larry and the stilt walkers

It was a fun time but I had to get back to Miss Kitty.  As we were leaving, Larry showed me this car tag and I thought that I need to make one that says, "I am a Frog, I will leave fulltiming when I Croak."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Almost There

I am on my way to Florida to spend a few months to relax, get a handle on my expenses and hopefully get some weaving, spinning, etc... done.  

I stopped in Wake Forest, NC to see a good friend Yvonne and her husband Eric. It was so great seeing them after all this time.

The next stop was not overnight but just a little detour on my way to my next Harvest Host location.  My mother loved stopping at the tourist trap South of the Border on our way to Florida for family vacations. I was afraid that the RV would turn on its own accord if I did not stop.

My next overnight stop was at the Harvest Host location, Willard Farms in Gable, SC.

This was not one of my most amazing stops and not because the people there were not nice, they were.  It was just that there wasn't much atmosphere compared to other locations I've stopped at. It's more like a roadside stand. They did let me know that this is the end of their season so that might explain why there wasn't much to see. I got a "Willard Original" hamburger and fries for lunch because they advertise that this is what they are famous for and a Pepsi float later in the day for a snack. The place you park is right against the road so there is a lot of road noise. The next morning, Jay made coffee and gave me a cup before I hit the road which was very nice.
My next stop was Keller's Flea Market in Savannah, GA. This is another Harvest Host location that I had planned to spend the night at but did not feel comfortable because the RV parking area is in a very remote location, so I left.  They bill that they have over 400 vendors, and I agree with them but a large amount of the merchandise seemed to be duplicates and triplicates of each other.  I walked around for awhile and then called Hardeesville RV in  Hardeesville, SC, and booked a site for two nights.  They are one of the few RV parks I've found so far that honors the Passport America discount, which gives you 50% off rates, for as many nights as you want to stay. The sites are simple as far as some have picnic tables and some do not.  They also do not have shower or restroom facilities but they do have 60 channels of cable and fast internet! The sites are full hookup on grass with most pull through and fairly level.  They have 50 amps and 30 amps sites.  You can not go down to 30 amps if you have a 50 amp RV. You have to stay in a site that has your amperage.  It appeared to me that the 50 amp sites were the ones that had pull thru.  Yes, I would stay there again if I were passing through.

I got up early and went to my favorite restaurant, Low Country Backyard Restaurant,  on Hilton Head Island for Sunday Brunch.  It is a hidden gem as the food is outstanding. It's not cheap eats but it is a good value for what you get. They have outdoor seating in the garden but it was a little chilly when I arrived.

I had hashbrown casserole and a heavenly biscuit with chicken and homemade gravy on top.

With a full stomach, I headed to the Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival in Bluffton, SC. This was there ninth annual festival.  The brochure said that the festival was created in 2005 to benefit the citizens, local area merchants and tourism.  It started as a one day event but is now a week long celebration.

This is Bill Dupont and his wife.  She is a wonderful singer, I am sorry that they do not have an album for sale.

I stayed until their set was almost over and then headed to the docks to see the Paddle Sports Race but found out that they had moved to another part of the Bluffton waterfront. I missed that race but was able to see the Stand Up Board race.  The participants could not use their boards but had to use identical boards that were brought by Marshgrass Adventures so that no one had board advantage.

Tomorrow I head to the Golden Acres Ranch in Monticello, FL, which is also a Harvest Host location.  I will only be there for a night and will then head to a campground near The Villages to see friends for a few days.