Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Variety is the spice of life!

We traveled to Hillsborough River State Park on February 12th.  Gin and Syl came over for a visit on Monday the 13th and we were supposed to go kayaking.  We sat outside and chatted for a few hours, ate our picnic lunch and then decided to hike instead of paddle.  The weather was cooler and I just wasn't feeling being on the water.  Gin and Syl have some really nice black diamond hiking sticks....
You can have "shorty" hiking sticks too!
 We headed out on the River Rapid trail.  This nice poem is at the entrance of the trail....
The views were amazing.....

We had so many laughs while on the trail and it could be over the silliest things....
Dan and Gin were trying to make it look like his head was coming out of Gin's hood on her sweatshirt.     We also wanted to see if we would fit in the opening of a huge tree we saw.....
Sizing it up (and making sure there were no snakes!)
I told you we were silly!!

We also hiked on the Baynard trail.  All in all it was about 3 miles from the start of our hike until the end.  
View of the stationary bridge

Dan hanging out in the trees!
While we were at Hillsborough River, we also had breakfast with the rangers that was coupled with a tram ride to Fort Foster.  For only $3 a person, you sure couldn't beat it!  Entertainment and food!  Fort Foster is the only standing replica of the Second Seminole War Fort in the United States.  It was very informative and included a reading (as well as a few surprise "gun" shots!) by Turkey the Seminole dressed in period costume.  We didn't get back to the campground until almost lunchtime!

We also spent some time with a couple that we had met at Little Manatee River and had met up with them again at Highlands Hammock.  Tony and Cathy are from Ohio and we had some great conversation with them.  We hope to meet up with them over the summer or, worse case, next time we are in Florida.  

We really enjoyed our time at Hillsborough River State Park and wished we could have stayed longer. Oh well, it's the price we pay for "living on the edge" by not making campground reservations in Florida for the winter! 

Over the weekend, we stayed at Lazy Days in Seffner, FL.  Although we prefer state parks over commercial campgrounds or RV parks, we wanted to check out this place that we had heard so much about.  We also made sure that we stopped by Parkesdale Farm Market for some strawberry shortcake!
The menu board
There were about 50-60 people in line but it moved fast.  We decided to splurge and were quite the little piggies....
Two number 5s, a number 1 and a number 2
Yes, that's right, two strawberry milkshakes, one strawberry shortcake with whipped creme and one strawberry shortcake with whipped creme and ice cream!  My eyes were bigger than my tummy and I had to take 3/4 of my milkshake home.  Needless to say, we did not eat dinner that night!

Fast forward a few days and we arrived at Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont.  We really, really like this park.  It's about 3 miles from the ranger station to the campground.  There are 60 sites on 3 loops and it is very, very, very quiet!  Plenty of places to paddle (although we didn't get a chance!), hike, and bike.

We went to Showcase of Citrus one day and picked 1/4 bushel of spring navels, blood oranges, honey tangerines, and honeybell tangelos. 

I'm ready to pick!
Yum Yum Yum.  There is absolutely no comparison to "grocery store" fruit.  The smell of these fresh picked fruits is divine and the flavor is delish!
Some of our loot!
We also spent one day at Epcot.  No pictures of this - didn't want to drag the camera with us as we had plenty of other stuff to tote (lunch, water, etc etc)!.  We had a fun time and really liked the ride Soarin'.  It's modeled to make you feel like you are hang-gliding thru California.  Very very cool.  We took advantage of the "free" transportation within the Disney World complex and rode the monorail over to the general transportation hub and hopped on the boat to Magic Kingdom.  We then rode the monorail back to Epcot.  ;-)  It was a fun day but we were pooped by the time we got back to the RV.  Grilled a few burgers for dinner and then it was zzzzzzzz. 

Life is good! 


Michael and Dee said...

Can't wait to do exactly what you guys did today! Maybe next year.


Gail and Rick (Gypsy Turtles) said...

I think Dan's head fits in Gin's hood rather well! :) I can just hear you guys laugh!

The strawberry shortcake looked yummy.

Nancy and Bill said...

What a fun couple weeks. Love the photos of all our 'Pelicans' ;o))

You've given us some ideas for our return trip to Tampa area!!

Safe Travels and Happy Trails....

Sherry said...

Wow you guys know how to pack a lot into 10 days - 3 parks, strawberries, citrus AND epcot! Don't think I could keep up with you but it sure looked like fun. I've got the strawberry and citrus places on my list for sure. Mmmmmm good!!

Gin and Syl said...

I guess we need to go back since we didn't get a chance to try the strawberry milkshakes or pick oranges. Mmm...Carolina Clan in Florida next winter?

Ceal said...

What a fantastic time you are having. Sure beats sitting in an office.
The oranges & strawberry stuff looks yummy.
You've been so busy you won't pack on any pounds.
You both look happy!

Elaine said...

I'm with Mom - the oranges & strawberry stuff looks divine - do you think you can save some for me when you come back to Raleigh? Just kidding. By the way, it's going to be 75 degrees here in Raleigh today so I'm going to read a book outside this afternoon. Much love to both of you!

Cathy said...

I'm glad you're having some never-ending adventures, but I'm a little jealous when you send picture texts to me at work of all the fun! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

WOW, you guys are really doing alot! What a fun time. I also could hear you guys laughing with Gin and Syl! How fun!

Bruce and Laura

Steven and Robyn Roscoe said...

Hi guys, It's been a while. Looks like you guys are having such a good time. I just signed up to follow you all. Hope I did it right.