Sunday, February 5, 2012

Friends, friends, and more friends

At the RV-Dreams Rally in Tennessee last April, we met Joan and Steve and Deb and Jim from Florida.  We enjoyed their company and we all rode the motorcycles out to the Tail of the Dragon one day during the rally.  They are the ones (along with Dave and Maxine) that we were with when Dan's wallet was "lost"! 

When we finally made it down to Florida, we were able to meet up with them again.  We met at the Ivy House in Williston, FL for lunch and enjoyed catching up and chatting for a few hours. 

 

Steve, Joan, Deb, Jim, Dan and I
Steve and Joan are getting ready to start their full-timing adventure next month and would love to have Deb and Jim join them.  Maybe someday!  The conversation was good and we quizzed each other on RVs, modifications, work-camping, motorcyles, and a number of other topics.   Our time ended too quickly but know that we will see them again "down the road"!!

This past weekend, we also met up with friends, Mary Ann and Bill.  They are "snow-birds" and are in Florida for the winter.  We met at the outlet mall in Ellenton for lunch and a little shopping.  Not sure how I did it, but I ended up with the most bags (and all I really needed were some new clogs!!)

Dan, Mary Ann and Bill
We had a nice time catching up and look forward to seeing them over the summer when we are in PA.

The weather here has been absolutely marvelous and we enjoyed a motorcyle ride out to Longboat Key and Siesta Key.  Siesta Key has been voted as one of the top ten beaches in the US and needed to be checked out by this beach lover!!

We stopped along the way at Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island for a picnic lunch....


The water was amazing shades of blue!  We saw our favorite type of bird hanging out...
Pelicans!!
And Dan spotted what he thought would be the best work-camping gig for him.....


See that green tractor?  It is raking the sand so it's level!  Can't you see him doing that? 

Longboat Key was beautiful but we did not stop to visit the beach.  The sign advertising condos for $3,000,000 was a bit of a turn-off for me so we continued down to Siesta Key.  We parked the bike and headed to the beach....

The sand was like nothing I had ever seen before.  It was powder soft and so white! However, it was very, very crowded.  We hung out for a bit watching the bitds....

It was a nice day but we were both glad to get away from the crowds.  Traffic was a bear also!

One of our neighbor campers had told us about a manatee viewing area that was close to the campground we were at (Little Manatee River SP).  Tampa Electric Company operates this and it is a fascinating place to visit....and it's free!  The viewing area is a state and federally designated manatee sanctuary and includes a tidal walk, butterfly garden, and education facility.  The waters from the power plant are warm and this attracts the manatees.  On the other side of the viewing area is the power plant.....
and it's a bit noisy and "big" to have this so close to nature but I guess it's a catch-22!  In addition to a few manatees, we also saw bonnethead sharks, tarpons,  rays, and snooks.  The manatees were too far away to get good pictures but I was able to get a couple of cool shots of a heron scouting for lunch....



  
During our stay here, we also met up with friends Gin and Syl and Sherry and David.  We headed over to "Pelican's Point" for a little kayaking.  We also were anxious to see Gin and Syl's new home!  It's a beauty!!
Tawanda!
We were able to put the kayaks in right at their campsite!  The afternoon was gorgeous and we meandered thru the mangroves....

 and out in the bay.....


Sherry and Syl

David
We saw tons of birds....
Sherry pointing out a bird in a tree...




It was a great afternoon with great friends!  So great that we are headed back over to their campground again today to spend more time with them!  Life is good!

10 comments:

Sherry said...

Had no idea you had been such social butterflies. And here we thought we were your only dates! :-)

Very nice pictures of the great time we had together!

Gail and Rick (Gypsy Turtles) said...

Sounds like you are really enjoying Florida. Those beach pictures were gorgeous. My favorite place to be :)

Gin and Syl said...

So Dan's gonna work the "Sandboni" at the beach eh. We're enjoying Florida a lot too.
Syl

Elaine said...

Looks like you're continuing to enjoy wonderful adventures in beautiful locations! Be glad you're down there in the warm Florida weather because it's only 41 degrees here in Raleigh right now and mostly cloudy. At least I can get a "virtual" warm-up by viewing your fabulous photos while downing a cup of hot green tea:-)

Much love to you sunbirds!

Nancy and Bill said...

Well, your photos are fantastic!! You have really learned to use that nifty new camera;o))

I don't know if the 'Sandboni' is the right thing for Dan. He has quite a talent for eradicating ANTS;o)) Perhaps fire ant patrol;o))

Keep having so much fun so we can have fun reading about it!!

Catherine, Jo Beth and Grace said...

Looks like a great time.

Jill & Paul said...

I want to see the "modifications" Dan would do to the Sandboni. You know McGiver couldn't leave it original. Glad you are having such a good time. We miss our Carolina Clan. Jill and Paul

Barbara said...

Love the 'Sandboni' idea! Looks like you two have gone to the birds! Love the pics...the beach water was gorgeous...reminded me of our Turks trip.xoxo

Ceal said...

We've been to Anna Marie Island but it was a few years ago.
I am so enjoying your travelogue & the nature pics. I told you about being an Audabon(spelling?) photographer, now I think National Geographic also. You should get paid.
I bet Dan would put Harley decals on the Sandboni.
Miss & Love you.

Dave and Maxine- Wandering Wingers said...

We really need to get to Florida more. I love all of the birds. Siesta Key has the best white sand beach I have ever been on. We are waiting for You and Dan, Steve and Joan and Jim and Deb to get out west. We will try to catch up with Steve and Joan as they head to Washington. Safe Travels!