I last left you with an overview of the Venice area, which we thoroughly enjoyed and were sorry to leave, but on March 1st, that’s just what we did.
We meandered toward the Panhandle, but not before stopping off in Central Florida to break up the long, 10 hour drive. We stayed at a state park called Rainbow Springs, located about 30 miles outside Ocala. This was our first time staying at a state park and we didn’t know quite what to expect other than reading good reviews.
As are most Florida state parks, the site was spacious but unlike many state parks, we had full hookups. (For those of you unfamiliar with that term, basically when you park your rv you ‘hook-up’ to water, electric and sewer. Many state parks do not have sewer hook ups, which means depending on how long you stay, you may have to disconnect everything during your stay and use the dump station at the park/resort, then hook up all over again. So the moral of the story is, leave your laxatives at home).
Rainbow Springs is well known for its waterfalls and its unique blue/green water. The water really is this color (no editing) and it stays fairly warm all year round.
Of course, wherever there is water in Florida, there’s alligators.
True story: A man who used to be a police officer told me he got a call to report to a neighborhood and when he got there a woman was without one arm and an alligator had it in its mouth. He then swallowed it (they swallow their food whole). The alligator was shot and was then opened up, her arm was retrieved and reattached. No lie.
We took a looooonnnng kayak trip down the river near the campground and I was able to get some neat wildlife pics, but this next one is my favorite. It almost looks photoshopped, doesn’t it? The heron doesn’t even look real, and it certainly looks a lot bigger than it should in comparison to the house.
The houses along the river are relatively modest for the most part, but very much in demand and pricey. Although it’s great to be on the river, rumor has it during the summer when it’s crowded with kayakers people routinely stop and think nothing of walking on other people’s property and even asking to use their bathroom.
That’s why some people put up ‘no trespassing’ signs. I guess there’s a down side to everything.
I got this shot just as he caught himself a fish.
Nearly every day this bird seemed to be fascinated with our car side view mirror, and we had the bird poop to prove it.
You might have seen this if you follow me on IG or FB. Cute, cute, cute!
We stayed in Rainbow Springs for five days, which was more than enough time. Two days before we were to leave, our car had transmission problems.
If you recall, we had to have it fixed shortly after arriving in Naples in early January, but it’s not really an issue that can be permanently fixed (we were just hoping it wouldn’t konk out on us until after we got home).
We couldn’t drive anywhere for the last two days in Rainbow Springs. It’s pretty isolated and there was no where to service it so we towed it to the panhandle where we once again had to slooooowly drive it to the dealer located about 20 miles away. We were driving so slow with our emergency lights on a cop stopped us. Ugh!
We once again got it ‘fixed’ and started exploring the area. We were staying at Topsail state park which we really liked, located just a five minute bike ride to the beach and about 15 minutes east of Destin, but one of our favorite towns is called Seaside, which looks like something out of a picture book.
I will have lots more to show you next time, but here’s the ADORABLE post office.
But back to Topsail.
I was thrilled to find a place that serves beignets that are every bit as good as the ones served at the famous Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. They’re made to order and served so hot you have to wait a bit to
devour eat them.
After we left the Topsail area, we headed just an hour east and settled in at Emerald Coast RV Resort in Panama City Beach. This was the view from our site.
We stayed here for one week, so there was plenty of time to explore nearby towns. One day we came across this shop that reminded me of Miss Mustard Seed. 😉
I bought a cute top while I was there, but that was it. At more than $600, Betty Boop was staying right where she was.
Panama City is a bit commercial, but they had some fun things to see like this upside down building.
And of course, there is always the beach…
In other news…
Spring is taking her time to arrive, but it’s resurrection is indeed happening. Today I noticed our forsythia beginning to bloom and the daffodils rearing their lovely heads. We’ve released our outdoor furniture from the confines of the shed, and a new umbrella for our outdoor dining table arrived from Amazon. Our next project is having some stone steps installed (and no, we are NOT doing it ourselves this time).
We are preparing for our Singapore/Cambodia trip, getting the proper vaccines, arranging a tour guide for Cambodia, and trying to fit everything we need to bring for the full three weeks in carry ons. Should be interesting 😉
Some people wonder why we would want to go to Cambodia, but it’s actually a wonderful destination filled with history, beautiful temples (Tomb Raider was filmed there) and tons of culture. This is just one of many temples we hope to experience.
We have also connected with a lemon law attorney who is confident we have a case against the manufacturer of our car, so that will be nice to get that resolved once and for all.
Lately I’ve been spending a TON of time putting the ‘featured images’ on each of my posts. That’s almost 500 folks! While going through all my old posts I realized there’s a lot of stuff most of you have no clue exist, so it’s time to fix that. Instead of worrying about blogging while we’re away, I’m going to do a couple of themed round up posts that I think you might enjoy reading, but not until I do one more Florida post.
Oh, and depending on when you’re reading this I may be hangin’ with Deb aka Mountain Mama! Squeal!!!