We’ve been over on the West Coast of Florida, in the Tampa Bay area for four days now – and I can see how folks can come and spend the winter here. Despite some of the coldest weather of the year (hard freeze warning on our first two nights), we’ve had a wonderful time in this beautiful area. After spending Saturday night in the LazyDays RV Supercenter parking lot (and checking out the new models the day before!) we headed to St. Petersburg and Fort DeSoto County Park Campgound. This place is absolutely gorgeous! We are surrounded by palm trees and are right on the water! My oh My! Here is the view from the back of the coach – where we have our coffee in the morning:
Imagine our surprise when we went out early our first morning (after a very cold night and a full moon) to this view –
Talk about a LOW TIDE!!!! We enjoyed watching the amazing water fowl – cranes and egrets and ibis and pelicans and herons. In the distance we even spotted a Roseate Spoonbill with its beautiful pink wings! Brilliant green parrots were flying overhead! It has felt like we’ve been in our own wildlife refuge – right down to the raccoon tracks around the grill in the morning! I would highly recommend this campground – and the area in general.
While we were out and about we managed to take in a little history at The DeSoto National Memorial in Bradenton, FL (across the beautiful Skyway Bridge from here) where Ferdinand DeSoto landed in 1539 to begin his 4000 mile trek into Florida and points north in his quest for gold. Did you know he went as far north as North Carolina and even made it West past the Mississippi?
We joined friends for lunch in Bradenton, entertained Mike and Robyn Fitzpatrick here at the campground, walked on the beautiful St. Petersburg Beaches, and Gary went fishing for the first time in a long, long time. Today we continued exploring this DeSoto County park – walking and riding our bikes through many, many lovely trails and beaches. This really is a lovely area – we were blessed with great weather (especially compared to the blizzard in Pennsylvania!).
Check out the rest of the pictures over on the pictures page, Okay?
Tomorrow we head to Punta Gorda for a visit with Gary’s sister, Judy!
I took so many pictures the last couple of days, I’m trying REALLY HARD to pick the ones that I think represent this area the best. We truly loved all the big birds, but I won’t post all the bird pictures I took – honest!
Here are some from our “back yard” –
I loved the reflection in this one….
Here is another “Low Tide”. Even the ranger said this was an extreme low tide. I guess!
The parrots could often be seen in these trees (though not with the camera!)
One of the beautiful sunsets we enjoyed…. (yes, with a bird!)
This is a shot from The DeSoto National Memorial in Bradenton – this picture really has nothing to do with the historic nature of the park – but hey, the actual monument was a boring marble slab and you never know, maybe this IS the spot where he landed?
This was just one of the (way too) many shots I took today while we were roaming around the park.
Yeah, we had a Very Good Time!
We started our stay in South Carolina with a day trip to Charleston. We had wanted to see Fort Sumter, and many folks had commented what a great city Charleston was. I must confess we were disappointed. I must also confess that the biggest problem was that it started to rain shortly after we arrived and by the time we ended the day, it was a full blast pouring rain kind of day. We did get to Fort Sumter, where the first shot of the Civil War was shot. It was very interesting, but the weather did dampen our enthusiasm. We also had the impression that Charleston is an expensive city to be a tourist in. While the Fort was free, parking was $5.00 and then there was a $12.00/person boat ride to get there. Hmmmm. Free……
I did find an unexpected Quilt shop that Gary pulled right over for! He really is training nicely!
If we had more free days here I’d give Charleston another chance. Honest!
This has truly been a wonderful month! We’ve seen family and friends, descended into deep caves and hiked to the mountain tops. We’ve seen rushing waterfalls and walked in the ocean. We celebrated a birthday (mine) and a BIRTH day (Hayley Elizabeth). It’s been a month of new places and adventures and refreshment. Ahhhh. It was lovely!
We’ll be “staying still” here in Kingstree, SC for a couple of weeks. We’re on another Sower’s project – at the Youth Academy Group home. Looks like this time I’ll be working mostly in the office, while Gary will be working with a crew refurbishing a home for use as staff housing. Our co-workers are a lovely couple from Vancouver Island, Canada. The area is very rural – and Kingstree is pretty close to…….well, we haven’t actually found anything it’s close to, but we’re still looking!
On to December!!!
Here are some shots of the location of the Gypsy Gathering that we attended in Lake City, FL (North Florida). It was a beautiful property.
Here we are tucked down one of the trails. The peace and quiet was wonderful!
Here are some of the bike trails…mmmmm, we had a great time!