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16 February 2015

More Life In Florida Lately

Time for some more bits and bobs about what we’ve been up to lately while we’ve been in Florida. The big news is that we’ve found places to camp which aren’t Walmart parking lots!

Boondocking

Scamper Babcock Webb

After trying to camp at the Babcock Webb Wildlife Management Area area during the middle of the week (which is a big no-no when it isn’t hunting season), we made it back down over a weekend. It was exactly what we were looking for. Big campsites, a nice natural setting, not many other folks around and cheap as chips ($3 per day). Of course, you have to dry camp there (no electric or water hook-ups), but that’s not a problem for us. The only downside is that you hear constant gunfire from the shooting range during the day, but a small price to pay for such a sweet spot. 

Doro Wat Deliciousness

Ethiopian Palm Trees

We rarely go out to eat, but we do make an exception when it comes to Ethiopian food. Now we can add Sarasota to the list of places where we’ve enjoyed doro wat and miser wat. We’re starting to lose count of how many cities we’ve eaten Ethiopian around the world. We might be up to 14 now. That’s how serious we are about Ethiopian. If you’ve never tried Ethiopian before and you’re in the Sarasota area, check out Queen of Sheba – delicious! And I loved their palm trees with the Ethiopian colors on them. They also have a sister restaurant in Tampa. 

Canoeing

Canoing Collier Seminole

Surprisingly, Scott and I have never canoed together. Not sure why, but for some reason, it’s never happened Which is a bit surprising as we’ve been together for over 20 years. You would think a canoe would have entered the picture long before now. So, when we were at Collier-Seminole State Park, we rented a canoe ($5.30 an hour) and headed into the mangroves. So much fun! We only paddled into some trees once after we got hit by a gust of wind. Not so easy to turn a boat without a keel. No one lost an eye or got whacked in the head though. 

Alligators

Alligator Everglades

You would have been so proud of me – I got super close to a bunch of alligators sunning themselves in the Everglades and I didn’t scream once. In addition to a number of big guys, we also saw some juvenile gators. They almost looked cute and harmless – almost. 

The Florida Keys

Marathon Public Marina

You might have read our post about how having a laid back approach to travel and central and southern Florida haven’t been really working for us. But since we like warm weather and don’t want to leave the Sunshine State quite yet, we’ve had to change our ways. Finding a State Park to stay at in the Keys was impossible, but after a few phone calls to RV parks, we managed to score a last minute cancellation for two nights at Jolly Rodger Travel Park in Marathon. And luckier still, we ended up getting a third night on the day we were due to leave. Awesome beyond belief. We had a great time in the Keys – sunsets, exploring Key West, meeting new people and hanging out on the beach. (Details on what we got up to coming up in future posts.) Now we just have one “homeless” night before we head up to Jonathan Dickson State Park outside of Stuart for a few days. Things are looking up!

That’s what’s been happening with us lately. What’s been going on where you are?

Update as of 14 February 2015

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10 comments:

  1. Glad the two of you escaped the 'life of walmart' camping experience and found a mucho better spot to sit for a while!!!
    Ethiopian food?..now that is something we have never had..

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    1. Thanks Sue - we're pretty glad to have managed to avoid Walmart camping for a while! You should definitely try Ethiopian food one day. It is delicious! Do you like Indian food? If so, then you might like Ethiopian too. And it is kind of fun to eat off a communal plate with your hands.

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  2. Gunfire and camping doesn't work for us. We were 45 minutes away from civilization in New Mexico (Gila Cliff Dwellings) and one of the guys camping by himself decided to go on the piss that night . . . hard. He was ranting and raving about Bush, the Iraq War, and might how nobody understood him and then he shot his 45 mm off. He thought he had a father and daughter cornered in the loo but they snuck out and came to our tent and we all went for help. By the time the cops got there, it was 2 am and he'd passed out. They said there was nothing they could do, so we all broke camp and David and I ended up sleeping in our truck at the Visitor's Center. We sure could have used a Scamp then!

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    1. Wow!!!! I can't even begin to imagine how horrible that must have been. How could the cops have not done anything with the guy?!! He threatened people with a gun - including a child. I'm stunned! Fortunately, no one went on a rampage while we were boondocking. Just crazy - literally crazy.

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  3. Those gators would have given me a scare...even if they are juvenile!! So glad to hear you are moving our of your scenic site at Wal-Mart!
    We have never tried Ethiopian food....another item for the "to do" list!!

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    1. Things have definitely been looking up since we said so long to Walmart! Of course, we're constantly scrambling to find campsites and paying more then we would like, but the scenery is so much nicer, especially when you're some place like the Florida Keys :-)

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  4. Jolly Roger cost $59 to 91 a day, plus 12% taxes....whew! I guess the Keys are expensive!

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    1. I know - it was super expensive! We paid $74 a night (taxes included and with the 10% Good Sam discount). It was a definite splurge for us. Our average daily campsite rate as certainly gone up in February. The State Parks are much cheaper in the Keys, but they're booked solid. We were lucky to get a spot at Jolly Rodger, pretty much nothing else at any of the other RV Parks. And Jolly Rodger is one of the cheaper places. We talked to some folks who spend the winter at Jolly Rodger - they're paying $2,000 a month for waterfront sites and they said that is one of the cheaper monthly rates you can find down there. If you're more organized then us, book at State Park a year in advance :-)

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  5. Irene and I are quite literally following your posts. Last night and tonight at Shell Mound. Rain but nevertheless a great campground. Watching for Aliens

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    1. Awesome! Glad you liked Shell Mound. Hopefully, you only encountered good aliens :-) We actually saw a big RV full of aliens the other day at the Miccosukee Casino outside of Miami. Their license plate said "ALIEN" - helpful to know who you're parked next to. If you get out towards Miami and the Everglades, the casino is a good place for free overnight parking.

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