The days are flying by so let me begin with our last activities in Key West. The weather remained spectacular! High 70s and a steady breeze.
We went downtown one last time primarily to visit the Ernest Hemingway House and to have a nice lunch. We parked at a Navy installation about a mile from downtown and walked the distance. We saved $10 -$12 in parking, enjoyed the walk and burned a calorie or two. We first walked to the cruise ship piers. That's normally our first stop. We will always love the idea of a cruise. We like to see the ships, evaluate the size, count the balconies, discuss the cruise line and conclude with a discussion about how/when we'll cruise in the future.
We continued our stroll through town to Duval St. We were headed for a rooftop restaurant for our nice lunch. We didn't make it to the rooftop. I'm embarrassed to say that somehow our "nice" lunch became a horrible buffet. We were so disappointed with both ourselves and the meal! Again we swear off buffets.
The Hemingway House experience was nicely satisfying.
We began the event with a guided tour. I must begin with our tour guide. He was a fellow about my age. I think his name was Bob or Barry or some other B but I'm sure he was from Boston. He was soooo knowledgeable but more importantly he had this wonderfully unique delivery. He was very articulate thick with a heavy Boston accent. His rhetoric was laced with what appeared to be well spoken Spanish and lots of theatrics. He was so entertaining you could have listened to him read the phone book. Too cool! Back to the tour. We learned lots about old Ernest, including the dismal history of suicide that plaques the Hemingway family. The grounds were quite lush and rich with cats, many with six toes.
The cats are very well cared for and even have their own Key West "condos".
Eventually we did our little walk back to the car and returned to the Camper - home.
We left Key West 6 Jan. We drove about 6 hours without incident to the Jonathan Dickinson State Park. We stayed there on our way down to the Keys. Easy in and out. We left the next morning headed for Titusville, FL Enroute we stopped at a truck wash to have the camper washed. It looked dirty but we also wanted to be certain that we washed off the salt spray that may have settled on the camper while in the Keys. That was a "trucker' moment. It was fun and went well. We then moved on the The Great Outdoors (TGO) in Titusville.
TGO is a very unique community. It caters entirely to folks with RVs. You can buy anything from a simple concrete RV site to a custom home with a garage large enough for a 40 foot motor home. In between those two extremes are out buildings that one would use in conjunction with your RV, small homes where you could still park your RV or endless other combinations. The community is 21 years old, is extremely well maintained, has tons of amenities like pools, fitness center, golf course, tennis courts etc and an activity calender that is jam packed with infinite activities! The community is 2 miles off the main road and the developer has done a great job of retaining large portions of natural habitat. The result is that the community is delightfully QUIET! Aside from all that I've already highlighted, it's the kind of place where you can have your camper at your home and when it's time to travel, you lock the door and drive away. We can easily see ourselves living here one day. Sunday we shopped the place with a realtor. It mostly was a fact finding mission.
Earlier Sunday we spent several hours at the nearby Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
We discovered the area is huge and demands much more of our time. We plan to return on Tuesday. We spent most of our time on a nature drive. We worked "hard" at our birding!
Coastal/wading birds are an easy place to start one's birding because they stay put so you can watch them, refer to your field guide and discuss their identification. We had a great time and feel somewhat confident about some of our conclusions.
|Spoonbills, Ibis and Snowy Egret|
|Great Blue Heron|
|Great Blue Heron Close Up|
|Little Blue Heron|
Florida is such an interesting, beautiful place. We joking said we may never get out of Florida. We''ll be at TGO until 12 Jan. We then go to the Tampa RV show for four days.
We'll talk later - Goodnight.