26 October 2018

Flashback Friday | Now, I'm Too Warm! {Cedar Key & Shell Mound, Florida}

Flashback Friday takes place on the last Friday of the month. The idea is to give a little more love to a blog post you've published before that maybe didn't get enough attention, or is something you think is still relevant or even a something that you really love and want to share again.

Many thanks to Michael d’Agostino for starting Flashback Friday and inspiring me to go back and revisit some of our earlier blog posts.

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This is a flashback to our time camping across the States while in search of our next sailboat, which ended up being a Moody 346, Tickety Boo, which we found in Florida. It's been ages since we've gone camping and I've enjoyed looking back at some of the pictures from our travels on land, as well as reading my strange observations on life - in this case, about being cold blooded and possible UFO sightings.

This post was originally published in February 2015. You can find the original post here.

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Not too long ago, I was complaining about the cold. Now, I’m complaining about being too warm. 

Scott thinks I’m reptilian in nature, having a very limited temperature range where I’m comfortable and not complaining. It seems unfair that he can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. When we were in North Dakota last, he was wearing his Keen sandals in the snow, while I refused to leave his aunt and uncle’s house until the snow melted. When we were in Thailand, he was cool and comfortable, while I sweated profusely. It’s tough being cold blooded – too much warmth and you die, too much cold and you die. Okay, maybe not die. I tend to exaggerate. But I would rather be too warm in Florida then too cold in North Dakota any day. 

And here’s why – look at how pretty it is. I swear the sky is bluer here. 

Cedar Key Beach

Cedar Key Pier

After spending a few days at Manatee Springs State Park, we headed down to Shell Mound in search of the county campground. In some ways it’s much nicer than Manatee Springs. You’re right on the water, hardly anyone is there, the people are so incredibly friendly and go out of their way to chat with each other (doesn’t always happen elsewhere) and it’s cheaper ($16.35 for water and electric). While I missed seeing the manatees, there is something to be said for cheaper.

Scamper at Shell Mound

I wonder how many people might struggle with the rules about no alcohol and no profanity?

Shell Mound Campground Rules

The county campground is right next to the Lower Suwannee Wildlife Refuge. We took in some amazing views at sunset our first night there.

Shell Mound Sunset

Shell Mound Sunset2

While we were there, we chatted to some other folks who came up from the campground for the sunset. As the sun went down, this bright light was shining in the sky while planes kept flying by. We had all sorts of theories about what was going on and what the bright light was. The boring theory was that the bright light was the International Space Station and the planes were just doing military drills. The most interesting theory was that the bright light was an alien spacecraft and the planes were out there trying to prevent an invasion. If you know anything about me, you can probably guess which theory I was a proponent of.

Turns out it was just the planet Venus. Or at least that’s what they want you to believe.

The next day we headed to Cedar Key – a colorful town not too far from Shell Mound. Big Decks is a great place to have a few beers. I haven’t had a Rolling Rock in years. They’re pretty tasty.

Rolling Rock Cedar Key

This cat was really disappointed we didn’t order the seafood special with our beers. It was hoping for handouts. So it ignored us and took a nap instead to punish us. 

Cat Cedar Key

We strolled around town, dodging people in golf carts as we went. Which seem surprisingly expensive to rent ($25 for an hour). Cedar Key has lots of cute shops and restaurants. And oodles of hotels and rental properties. I imagine this place is heaving with folks in the summer.

Cedar Key Fish Sign

It was the kind of day where you wished you had a sailboat like this little beauty moored off of the beach.

Cedar Key Sailboat

I’m really loving our time in Florida – the landscape is so different from what I grew up with. Just across the road from the campground are a couple of short walks which take you through the woods and along the water. Perfect for a cup of coffee in the morning.

Cedar Key Walk

And, of course, if you’re going to camp near Shell Mound, then you have to walk up to the mound. It is basically a giant trash heap (or midden if you want to get all archaeological and technical), where Native Americans dumped shells and other refuse. They basically used their rubbish to infill the swampy areas. Not surprisingly, there are shells everywhere as you walk on the mound. 

These cheeky little polar bears just had to get their picture taken with the shells. Such demanding little creatures. But surprisingly, they never complain about the heat. (The polar bears are hard to spot among the shells with their white fur, but they're there.)

Polar Bears Shell Mound

We had a wonderful time down in the Shell Mound and Cedar Key area, but I have to say the highlight was Scott’s spicy marinara sauce with shrimp. Delicious! Some of the best shrimp we’ve ever had. If you want some, just head up to Robinson’s Seafood. More expensive then the ones we got in Grande Isle, Louisiana, but then again everything seems more expensive in Florida. Robinson’s was a tip from Steve, the nicest camp host you’ll ever meet. So generous in sharing his local knowledge and tips. Thanks Steve!

How do you handle temperature extremes? Would you rather be too hot or too cold?
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  1. That's a tough question to answer. Too hot and I'm miserable and the same for when I'm too cold. I don't want either.

    I love all the shots of your camping adventure. How fun.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend, Ellen. ♥

    1. I just want to perfect weather. Is that too much to ask? :-)

  2. If it wasn't in California, i'd take San Diego weather, neither too hot nor too cold. Cold is painful for me, i tolerate heat much better.

  3. I’m likecyou, I only function properly somewhere in the middle!

  4. Oh, I spotted the bears! Too funny. I'd rather be too cold, as long as it's not fever chills. If I'm not ill, I can always move around or bundle up for warmth. Too hot and humid, I get physically sick. I actually *lost* weight on a summer trip to Key West because it was a struggle to keep food down. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yay - you saw the bears! I'm not sure what I did with them. I should dig them back out and do more photo ops with them.

  5. Great pics! And you're right... I think the sky IS bluer in Florida.

    If you go to Cedar Keys again, check out a restaurant called Tony's. It isn't fancy or anything, but they have the BEST clam chowder in the world. Really! They won three international contests. Reeeeally good.

    I'd rather not be too hot OR too cold, but given my druthers, I'll take the cold, because I can always put on more clothes... When it's close to the triple digits, I don't even want to stick my nose out the door. (Thank God for air conditioning!)

    1. Thanks for the restaurant recommend - will definitely check it out!


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