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  Cindy's February 2007 Blog  

Every Miles A Memory

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If you've found yourself here without reading the January Blog, you might want to start there so you can find out how we got to where this one picks up, from here you can skip to the March Blog.  If by mistake you've already read these Blogs, please feel free to skip to the Current Blog

At this point you might be saying "Who's On First?"

Monday February 05, 2007  Our First Month on the Road Fulltime!!

The past week has been so much fun for all of us that I haven't really had time to sit down and put some words on paper.  On our way down to Florida we heard they were getting some bad weather so we decided to stop to see a friend that just moved to Savannah Ga.  Her name is Christina and she works at the Wild Wing Cafe in down town.  We met her manager Josh and he volunteered to take us on a small tour of the downtown area.  Christina, Josh, Pat myself and some other friends set out on a mission. 

I don't know if any of you are familiar with restaurant workers, but we all know the best local bars to enjoy , with the best people and food.  Josh also gave us quite a bit of history on Ol' Savannah which I can almost remember most of!!! 

Needless to say, we had a great time, shared a few drinks and learned some history at the same time.  The following day was filled with rain so we ended up spending another lazy day due to the ill feeling stomach of my husband, and my 'not want to get out of bed' mentality, we did absolutely nothing all day. 

Thank goodness that we did, considering our destination was exactly where the tornados hit in Florida. 

We decided to take our time on our south bound journey since we aren't meeting our family until the 10th in Orlando Florida.  We stopped at the Crooked River Campground in St. Mary's Georgia to stay the night and see what we are going to have in store for us on our kayaking trip at the end of the month.  We are very pleased to say it is beautiful here. 

The weather is not too bad, not great, but it is better than the blustery 9° at home.  We spent our first day just getting familiar with the area and decided to stay a second day to take the ferry over to Cumberland Island.  For the past 5 years we have talked about camping on Cumberland Island and kayaking around its salt water marsh for a few days and I am very excited to come back and indulge very soon after seeing the island up close.

We walked around taking pictures and exploring the ruins and the wild life until around 5 pm and by then I was beat.  I saw quit a few people fall asleep on the ferry ride home and can completely understand why.  It has been a challenge for me to stay up until 11pm lately but last night I fell asleep at 9pm. 

I would recommend the island to anyone  visiting this area even if it is just for a day hike.  The Dungeness ruins, preserved historic buildings, dozens of wild feral horses and other various animals on the island were enough to keep anyone occupied.  If getting a glimpse of the Carnegie families lifestyle while hiking amongst armadillo's, wild turkeys and the solitude of the island wasn't enough, the icing on the cake was the school of dolphin that followed behind the boat playing in the wake.

Ok, I just thought I would mention my tick phobia has not left yet.  I found my self in a huge panic the other day when I felt 4 big ones on my beagles belly.  I made Pat hold her down while I got the tweezers out only to find out they were her nipples (HA! HA!). 

I actually asked some nice woman on the ferry to look at my head just above my ear because Pat was out on deck taking pictures.  She informed me that if I used a little more scrubbing that I wouldn't get pimples in that area. 

All joking aside every time I go for a walk I do find at least one of them waiting to grab ahold of some skin on my dogs.  I have called my vet in Michigan and my parents are bringing down a 6 month supply of Frontline. (Thanks Hutch)  I guess I'll just keep up my tick finding rituals until we see my in-laws on the 10th.  Make sure you check out the galleries Pat has been uploading onto our gallery page, they're getting more exciting with each day! 

The Cumberland Island Gallery is especially good with all the animal shots!

Wednesday February 7 2007  Manatee's and Dolphins

As Pat and I were driving home today I said to him "If we never use these kayaks again having them today was worth every mile of worrying about them on the way down here."  We finally made it to Central Florida and we're staying in the Crystal River area.  Our day was so exciting I just can't stop thinking about it. 

We got up early this morning and decided to finally get outside and do something we love.  We had heard about seeing the manatees in Crystal River so we thought we would give it a shot.  We went to a local outfitters in downtown Crystal River Florida by the name of Aardvark's where Matt, the owner was extremely helpful in guiding us to the good spots to see the manatee. 

We put in at a local park and within 15 minutes Pat had already seen a couple of Sea Cows.  I was scoping the water, very determined to get a glimpse also when we came upon a group of people snorkeling. 

The closer we got we realized we were at a Manatee Sanctuary, which is an area that is roped off and the manatees cannot be bothered.  As we were watching them play we noticed they would come out to see us and loved to be touched.  Some of them even went so far as to turn over so their bellies could be rubbed. 

Pat and I were in our boats so we did not partake in the rubbing, but a baby manatee did come up to my boat and push me around with his nose.  It spit some air out of his nose holes and I felt its ugly, big, algae covered face which felt like my dogs nose, only much bigger.

The springs in the Crystal River area keep the water clear and warm which is a perfect habitat for these migrating animals. 

After we watched the sea cows and calves far awhile, we continued on to another point on our map with the hopes of seeing more wild life.  We were intrigued by watching the different species of birds when a local boater pointed out to us that a dolphin was feeding on a school of fish only 100 yards from us! 

We kayaked over and this was quite a sight to be seen.  The dolphin would circle the small fish and get them so wound up that they would jump strait up in the air.  As they jumped out of the water, the dolphin would catch them in his mouth. 

The best part is that he never even paid any attention to us.  He swam under my kayak and so close to me that I could have reached out and touched him.  He even turned on his side a couple of times as though he was looking right at me.  We must have watched the dolphin swim back and forth across the canal for at least an hour.  His splashing and jumping out of the water and squeaking noises were just too entertaining to leave his sight.  I think he was having one hell of a time catching his lunch, at least he made it look like lots of fun.

We are staying in the Rock Crusher Canyon Campground and my hopes are that we can stay so busy with the things to do here that I wont have time to tell if I like the park or not. 

I'm hoping to have something good to report tomorrow if anything can be better what we witnessed today!!!  It just keeps getting better.

Make sure you check out our Crystal River Gallery kayak trip to see how much fun it was

February 8 2007

Not a lot to report today, we basically hung out and caught up on some sorting and laundry and such.  Went to the pool for a few hours and took a short bike ride around the park which is huge.

February 9 2007  My New Medical Condition - Slide Out Envy

It is around 8 in the morning and I just got back from taking the dogs for a walk.  As I walked around the park it made me think of one of my favorite things to do. When we lived in Michigan, Pat used to drive me around the small neighborhoods at just about dusk and I would look into peoples houses and check out the curtains, the paint color on the walls or the gardens and what flowers looked the best.  He would say I was just like a baby, after a short car ride I would be ready for a nap. 

Well after I've had the chance to walk around this giant park with over 300 campers to compare, and checking out the stuff that I would want, I have decided that I have "slide out envy", you know those large sections of the camper that slide out to give you more room.

We purchased our Sunline (Which I truly love) for practical reasons.  Its better built for the multiple years of constant traveling we will be doing, for this reason we decided on no slide outs to avoid the maintenance of them, since we will be moving around every 7 days or less. 

Now that I have walked around and done the observing of others that I love to do, a slide out looks huge, like a single wide trailer turned into a double wide.  Some of them actually have 4 or even 5 different slide outs.  They actually have table lamps which seem to fit nicely on a real end table.  The space inside seems immense, like I could have Thanksgiving Dinner in one with all 30 of my relatives, enjoying the decor and the roominess. 

I think about where I would like to "add on" to our current home and how much square footage it would give me and what color I would want the walls.  Ok, do you see where I'm going with this?  "Slide out envy"  Any kind of envy is a bad thing but "Slide out envy" I thought I would never have. 

I feel like I'm cheating on my trusty, practical, 25 foot, no frills yet all the needed options Sunline.  She's easy to maneuver and no worries about failed slide motors, worn out seals or any of that cumbersome stuff.  I'm sure as they say, "This too shall pass". 

Until tomorrow my friends when I will share with you my dog walking pride. 

February 14 2007  Job Bags and My Many Job's

Happy Valentines Everybody!!  I hope everyone is having a Great Day!

My agreement with my husband when we started this trip was that the dogs are my responsibility.  He doesn’t have to feed, bath, walk, or clean up after them ever.  He hates walking the dogs due to the embarrassing moment of the dreaded Plastic Bag.  Considering the moment after they finish their “Job”, as a good member of park society, the walker must scoop up the yucky, warm, sometimes not so solid “Job” which our beloved pets have left.  He especially hates if they accomplish their “Job” while someone else is close enough to witness this embarrassing deed.

I shared the shame of this awkward doggy achievement with him until I recently found a new aspect on the situation.  Stay with me on this because it is quite difficult to understand.  I know that every time a person passes us during our morning ritual they are looking for my “Job” clean-up bag. 

I used to hide them and feel ashamed of the degrading purpose of which they served.  Now I carry two “Job” bags out in the open with pride, as though they are my badge of honor.  I feel as if I am saying “Look what an outstanding citizen I am, I have not just one but two “Job” bags, I am prepared for anything. I now smile and display the bags, one in each hand sometimes I even rustle them together as to draw attention to the plethora of bags that I am carrying.  When people pass me now I smile and say “Good morning’ with confidence.  Since I have had this mind set I feel as though people are saying “Wow did you see her, she had TWOJob” bags!  She is quite an outstanding citizen.”

I am sure that this is only in my own mind and the passer buys are probably wondering why I am smiling so much consider my two bags look full, and I just picked up after a 70lb and a 30lb dog.  Hey what ever it takes to make this “Job” a little easier to handle (No pun intended) is what I will do. 

If you happen to pass a woman with two full time “Jobs” walking past you in a park and she has a big grin on her face, stop and say “Hello” because it is more than likely me.

February 21, 2007

It's been some time since I have been on here, so let me see if I can sum things up.  We have pretty much spent the whole month of February worn out, between running around with Pats family, our journey further south to the Palm Beaches to see my family, and meeting up with some friends that we haven't seen in ten years, this month has been non stop. 

The weather is great here and I had forgotten just how spectacular the sun rises and sunsets are in South Florida.  We can sleep with the windows open at night, and not get super hot during the day, so its pretty much perfect weather. 

We have managed to sneak in a few bike and motorcycle rides through the week, other wise we have been going to meet someone some where to catch up on things.  When we do some things of interest I shall come back and let you know.  

I did want to mention the campground we are staying in, John Prince Park in Lake Worth, it is great.  It's right on the lake and we can do a lot of bird watching.  We saw about a 3 foot iguana walking down the road the other day and I hear they have some gators around hear, but I've yet to see one.  Its really quiet, except for the small air port located a few miles away, and it's close to the beach which I plan on spending my whole day at today!! 

I find myself wearing a 30 SPF and I am still getting a sun tan, I guess I must just apply more often.  Talk to you soon and hope everyone is well.

February 22, 2007  Flagler Museum & Palm Beach

Today we got up early and rode our bikes to the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach.  I can't believe we lived here for 10 years and never took the opportunity to see such a spectacular place.  This museum is actually the home of Henry Flagler who pretty much started Florida as we know it today.  Henry Flagler, along with Rockefeller owned the Standard Oil Company, Flagler also saw the potential to make Florida a destination point for tourists. 

He put railroad tracks all the way down to Key West, which started trades with other countries such as Cuba and the Bahamas.  We learned that when the Museum was built as a home, their back yard was the Florida Everglades, my how Florida has grown. The Flagler's had some great taste and a lot of money to show just how great their taste was.  I thought the tour would take around a half hour, some how we manager to be there for two hours just looking in amazement.  The tour was fifteen dollars and I think it was worth every penny.

Click Here to Check out our Flagler Museum Gallery

From here please go to the March Blog page to continue on the Journey

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