We got home on Friday the 25th of March, which means we were gone more than 3 months, the longest we’ve ever been away from home. When you’re gone that long, you learn a lot.
Like what to bring along next time (more casual clothes) and what to leave behind (less dressy clothes for starters). Basically, if you’re not barefoot or wearing flip flops, you’re overdressed.
You learn how little you need to actually get by. During the entire three months, I had a total of 5 pots/pans in the cupboards, and hardly cared. And this is coming from someone who likes to cook.
Where we were and what we did has gotten fuzzy. I’ve forgotten many details, although I did occasionally keep track of our whereabouts in my Evernote app. I couldn’t possibly share all the pictures I took (over 400) or all the places we went, in one post, so I’m just going to give you some highlights and break it up into a few posts over the coming weeks.
I’ll admit, we were both a little nervous when we started out. We weren’t certain BAM would make the trip unscathed. I kept waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop, but when we made it to Florida in one piece we were at least a little more relaxed. That’s not to say the trip was trouble free, but *most* of the bumps in the road had nothing to do with BAM.
For starters, we had major car issues the beginning of January while in Naples (more on that another time), I experienced a LOT of stress due to my blog redesign gone awry, Fisherman had a mild case of Bronchitis for almost two weeks in February, I lost my driver’s license while in Venice which meant Fisherman had to do all the driving, we experienced yet more major car issues in March, and while driving home BAM’S windshield shattered.
So now we need a vacation :).
But let’s get on with the trip, shall we?
We spent Christmas on Tybee Island. As far as islands go, it’s not, in our opinion, a ‘must see’. It’s ok. Very quiet, not much to do, and not much of a downtown to speak of. For me, the best part of Tybee is that it’s close to Savannah, one of my favorite places ever. We stayed in Tybee for 4 nights before moving on to Tampa where we met some friends and spent New Year’s Eve at Lazy Days, which, if you don’t know, is the largest RV dealership in the US. They also have a resort area, and they did a nice celebration on both the 30th and the 31st, but we won’t be returning next year.
After Tampa we made our way to Naples, where we stayed at an RV resort for the month of January. Some of you may be aware that January was the rainiest it’s been in Florida for over two decades. What that means in the ‘rv’ world is you better hope your site is on a concrete pad, or you’ll be swimming in mud. Fortunately for us, it was. The resort, while nice enough, isn’t one we will be returning to. It was a little too small with not many activities, although it was nicely situated and allowed for easy access to both Marco Island and downtown Naples, both of which are lovely places to visit.
The highlight of the resort was getting to know our neighbors, Nancy and Ray. We shared several meals together and went on a few outings as well, my favorite being Stan’s, located in Marco Island just over the bridge.
If you like to people watch, I highly recommend it ;).
We left BAM behind and took a one night trip to Key West in the hopes of finding a place we might like to stay in for next year, but it was not to be. We were most interested in the State Parks, as their sites are quite spacious and practically right on the beach, but they’re so popular, it’s almost impossible to nab a reservation. They literally sell out 10 minutes after they are made available on line.
Some of you wanted to know what activities I would recommend in the Naples area, so here goes:
The Everglades is relatively close by (within an hour). We took an airboat tour while visiting which was lots of fun!
Take a drive to Sanibel Island (where I got this shot). If possible, visit late in the day, just before sunset. We didn’t, but rumor has it you can get some beautiful pics because the egrets are most active then.
Go to the White Elephant Thrift Shop in downtown Naples
Take a dinner cruise (that’s what we did for my birthday and where my profile pic was taken). We took the one out of Marco Island but Naples has them also.
Have dinner in downtown Naples at night. The street is lit up so nicely, it looks magical!
And of course, if you’re luckier than us and you get good weather, go to the beach 🙂
February 1st we were off to Venice for the month, which proved to be not only our favorite area, but our favorite resort. I’ll be back with details and pics later in the week.
In other news…
The last couple of days have been exhausting! Getting the stuff out of BAM is the equivalent of moving a small apartment, plus we needed to thoroughly clean it before storing it. Putting everything back has made me realize we have a lot more stuff than we need. Time for some Spring cleaning!
I’ve noticed I’m not getting nearly as many emails at my new email address. I think I’ve missed out on many of your post updates, so forgive me if I haven’t visited lately. I had my househoneys email forwarded, but I think since it’s no longer up and running, the forwarding isn’t working. If you’re reading this and I haven’t been by, don’t be shy! Let me know and I’ll resubscribe.