Wednesday, January 19, 2011

RV Show and More (Titusville and Tampa, FL)

Since we last "talked" Debbie and I returned to Merritt Island and also explored the Canaveral National Seashore.

The Seashore, like Merritt Island is untouched natural habitat.  Our best spotting there was a wild boar (pig).

As I mentioned before,  Merritt Island is a great place for novice birders.  The birds are everywhere and they sit still so you have lots of time to work on the identification.  This Anhinga seemed to pose just for us.

And we were happy to catch this Great Blue Heron about to take off.

This guy is so cute! We think he might be a Pied-Billed Grebe, but not sure at all.


We wondered if this could be an Black Scoter?

We know these are Sandpipers of some type, maybe Western?



Although our guide books says they are uncommon at Merritt Island, we think this might be a Loggerhead Shrike.

So we had another great day of birding that included fantastic weather! Thanks for bearing with us while we attempt our bird identifications.  We hope if you are an experience birder you are not laughing too much right now!

We took a 5 mile walk that led us through the marshes and along the canals. In addition to the birds we were also fortunate enough to see an Otter...

this unidentified snake...

and a few Alligators.

If anyone knows what kind of snake that is, please let us know.

It was a great day!

On another day we simply cruised the surrounding area.  We drove from Titusville south to Sebastian Inlet State Park.  Along the way we cruised the camping at Patrick Air Force Base in Melbourne.  We had such a great experience at the Navy Air Station Key West that we will likely do more camping on military installations.  We traveled Route 1 along the coast.  We checked out the real estate. The prices are too tempting to even talk about.  We won't buy now, but we certainly could one day.  I'm confident that Debbie will be monitoring the market.   Sebastian Inlet SP also has camping.  We had reservations there at one time but we canceled them as we revised our itinerary so we could spend more time in Key West.  It's a great location and I imagine we'll camp there one day.  Fishing is an important pass time there.  The day we visited the ocean was mighty choppy.  We enjoyed watching the fishermen, the surfers and the Pelicans.

Before heading home we also cruised the Long Point County Campground in Melbourne Beach.  It was an OK campground but what really caught our attention was the Wood storks waiting around the fish cleaning station in the hope of getting some leftovers.  They were totally fearless of humans!

12 Jan we left The Great Outdoors.  We really enjoyed our time there.  We once again had a site with a water view. We could have stayed in this area much longer, but it was time to move on.

We had made plans to attend the Tampa RV Show.  We camped there at the show.  We were camped among hundreds if not more campers.

90% of them were in motor homes rather than 5th wheels or travel trailers.  We were there for 5 nights.  The result was that we had the opportunity to walk back and forth to the show at our leisure.  We didn't have to spend marathon days trying to see it all at one time. While there we stopped by a little afternoon "drop in" with Linda and Howard Payne.  They're the authors of a blog we follow called RV Dreams.  They're also delightfully positive people.   We attended a full-timing rally they put on April 2010 while we were in the mist of transitioning to our full timing lifestyle.  Their blog is quite entertaining and informative.  That evening we also joined Howard, Linda and several other full timing folks for dinner.  The meal was great and we enjoyed wonderful conversation with some fine people who live as we do.  Back at the RV show we looked at gadgets, all sorts of camper related stuff, campgrounds and campers. We are quite satisfied with our choice of camper.  There may be some that have nicer features, but none that we would have been willing to pay the price.  Our traveling to Indiana to buy our camper saved us thousands!

Monday we moved to Alafia River State Park.  The first half of the day it rained horribly!  By this evening it was clearing.  The park is relatively new and quite large.  I'll report on our explorations.  It's located maybe 40 miles southeast of Tampa.  We'll be here 10+ days.

Loving Florida.



  1. I was enjoying all the animal pictures until the snake and gators!
    Glad you had a good time at the RV show.
    Keep the non-gator and snake pictures coming! I enjoy them. :)

  2. Your unidentified snake is a Florida kingsnake. They are actually fairly rare in Central Florida, which makes it a good find.