We are safely tucked in at our January project, but it certainly wasn’t without just a little bit of drama.
Friday started with beautiful sunshine, and some of the first “Yes! We’re in Florida now!” scenery.
But before we even made it to lunch time, we were stuck in a 4 mile long back-up due to a multi-car accident. So glad we carry our bathroom with us!
Apparently the accident had happened several hours earlier, so I guess we should be happy we were only tied up for about 90 minutes. Once we got to the accident site, and saw that they needed a crane to clear the accident, I think we realized we were very fortunate indeed!
I loved our drive through the Everglades –
So many beautiful birds – and places I would have loved to have stopped except that there were no shoulders and we really wanted to make it to the project before dark.
With the delay, we were driving through downtown Homestead, FL right about rush hour,
and our hopes of reaching Islamorada by dark was fading.
You might wonder why we were so anxious for a daylight arrival at the project. While parking a motorhome in a parking spot (as opposed to in a big parking lot) in the dark is never an first choice, we knew that the parking at this project was quite challenging. Lots of trees, all back-in sites, and lots of bad angles. And lots of trees.
It was quite dark when we arrived :(, but they found an overnight spot for us behind the school and we were delighted to just dry camp for the night.
In the morning we inspected our designated spot –
Ooooo – lots of fun branches, and trees. But, Gary LOVES a good back-up challenge, so he was ready to go.
He also had four guys giving him directions. (I stayed far away, chatting with the girls!)
It only took him a couple of swings before we were all set.
I really don’t know how he does it!
So our slides are out, the utilities are good to go, and we’ve spent the weekend just scratching the surface of all the delightful things to see and do here in the Keys! But most important, we’re here to help. Work starts tomorrow morning, and we’re ready!
PS – Here’s a map of where we are.
When people are giving us directions to things they usually include the words “Ocean side” or “Gulf side”. And the “sides” are literally just across the street from each other! I am really looking forward to this month!
So peanuts are pretty important around here. To both the economy and to the culture. So it’s no surprise that one of the premier events in this area each November is the National Peanut Festival. And while I’m sure it has morphed over the years from a pure celebration of the peanut to a fairground full of wild midway rides with a couple of peanut exhibits, it’s still a pretty big deal around here! We checked it out towards the end of its run, and it was quite the happenin’ place!
(yes, that’s Gary again, waiting for me to catch up!)
Remember the Date Festival back in California with the ostrich and camel races? This festival didn’t quite get into the “exotics”, but it sure was fun watching these little guys rip around the course.
Suuueeeweeeey- that was quite a race!
Before we checked out the rides, we wanted to get a feel for the “real” Peanut Festival –
Your canned goods….
Peanut dessert recipes…..
And of course your local crafters….:)
But then it was on to the Midway. I confess we save a lot of money at these festivals because we never succumb to the lure of the rides or games, but it’s always fun to watch! We had never seen this “ride” before
Those are people (kids actually!) in those giant bubbles. What will they think of next!
Must be my age, but I don’t think you could have PAID me to go on some of these rides –
Too High. Too Fast. Upside Down. Nope.
Every night they also had free entertainment. OK, so it wasn’t Garth Brooks or anything, but they had some good names. We waited until Friday so we could hear Bebo Norman, a favorite Christian singer/songwriter of mine. We decided not to indulge in the reserved seating (I was already stretching my “but honey, it’s my birthday” karma just to get Gary to GO to the concert) because if you have to pay for seating then it’s not free. And we do love free. However, what we didn’t know was that the “free” section was way back, behind the barricade and without ANY seating.
Did I mention that it was also about 40 degrees and the wind was whipping? We had a blanket with us (and hats and gloves and double scarves and about 7 layers of clothes), but even that didn’t really help in the “enjoying the concert” department. We hung around for the warm-up act, and then stayed for a couple of Bebo’s songs, but in the end, the cold got us. Somehow I’m not quite ready to give up feeling in my toes when I can always pop in a CD and listen to the guy. Sorry Bebo.
But I believe it’s true –
he was just as cold as we were!
And he couldn’t go home and enjoy a nice cup of green tea like we did!
We finally thawed out, and all in all, we’re glad we can check the National Peanut Festival off of our bucket list. 🙂
Suueeeey – that was fun!
Here’s the scoop on the Chicken Purleu-
It all starts with a line of big black pots cooking over open fires.
First they add the secret –as in “I could tell you what’s in this, but I’d have to kill you” secret – ingredient – the seasoned broth.
Then they add the already cooked and pulled chicken and bring the whole pot to a boil.
It takes careful watching while they wait for The Boil (about 16-18 minutes, I was told). These guys were responsible for two pots, and they were taking it pretty seriously!
After The Boil they add the rice, and then watch and stir until the rice is cooked.
Once it’s just the right consistency, two strapping young dudes carry it over to the serving line.
And another batch is started up!
By the time I joined the gang over in the dining tent, my plate of steaming Chicken Purleu, with a side of coleslaw and saltines (yes, saltines), was waiting for me.
It was quite delicious (if you like rice and chicken), but I confess the plate could have used a bit of color. Maybe a colored fork?
This was quite the community affair! We were with friends who were born and raised in Bonifay and it seemed as though they knew everyone! As an added bonus (for me anyway), their kids and grandkids were there too, so I got to get a little “gramma fix”-
By the time we left, things were beginning to wind down. But still there were a couple of pots bubbling away, getting ready for the late crowd!
I think the sign says it all. EAT HERE.
And it seemed that most of the local community did.