Planning Needs a Break
~Sunday, January 3, 2021~
Pretty much right when we woke up this morning (after the coffee of course), we launched into planning the rest of our stay in Florida. We figure this will be the most difficult of all our planning since it appears everyone and their cousins want to be in Florida right now, especially southern. If you’re smart, you book places like The Keys, Naples, and Orlando a year in advance. We just didn’t want to be too far ahead in the game of planning, putting the pressure of being in a certain place at a certain time, with the exception of our 2 weeks in Old Town. Everything else has been kind of wingin’ it, without too much disappointment. Today was quite an eye opener in terms of what these RV parks or resorts are charging; anywhere between $150 to $200/night for just an o.k. site, with some requiring a 1 week stay minimum. We thought with dry camping and staying in state parks, we could afford to splurge and mix in a luxury resort for a few nights, especially in The Keys. But we just couldn’t swallow spending that much money for mediocrity. We’ve been reading that the way to go are state campgrounds. As of today, what it’s looking like is we’d stay just north of The Keys and take day trips to Key Largo, Key West, Dry Tortugas, etc. We definitely don’t want to skip The Keys just because we can’t find a site there.
Planning took up most of our day with a few intermittent walks with Sadie through this beautiful state park. Jeff had taken Sadie around the small lake on the property where there were warning signs for alligators that on occasion call this lake “home”. We know they’re fast, so it’s probably best not to take the walking paths next to the lake….right? We were still determined to make this a beach day. There are numerous trails in the park, but to get to beach access from the park, there is a Beach Tram trail. Yes, they actually have a tram that transports people to the dunes. They really emphasize not walking on the dunes to protect the ecosystem as well as keeping the vegetation intact for storm protection. Sadly, no dogs are allowed on the boardwalk or beaches, so Sadie had to stay back. It was nice to be back on our bikes again as we shared the trail with other cyclists and pedestrians to get down to the boardwalk, to the beach.
The weather was crystal clear, and a little brisk. It’s hard to believe this area is so hurricane prone. I’d forgotten how white the sand is in Florida. Much softer than the sand in the Bay Area, but courser than Hawaii. The water…..cold since we’re pretty far north in Florida. I was expecting it to be a little warmer. We’ll have to get down further south for that I guess.
There were a couple of fishermen reeling in a few, with an opportunistic blue heron closely waiting.
I thought the heron would start moving or fly away by us getting closer, but didn’t care in the least about us. It had its eye on a prize. Lucky me, it made for a great photo op. Jeff also got a cool video of a large group of Sandpipers running near the water’s edge. This area is also known for its scuba diving around the Seahorse Snorkel Reef named after the shape of the reef.
Jeff had decided he really wanted to cook tonight and found a great recipe on Instagram for a spicy chicken sandwich. I, instead, opted for potstickers and fried rice. Anyway, while chef Jeff was creating his delicious meal to be, I was giving Sadie a bath, when all of the sudden it sounded like Jeff was running into the trailer for something….like something was wrong. Well, something did go wrong. He was outside using the campstove to prepare the chicken in a cast iron pan. There was very hot oil in the pan that had likely a little bit of oil on the outside of the pan that dripped onto the flame, catching the pan on fire. With flames about 2 feet in the air, Jeff hurriedly ran into the trailer to grab some potholders which worked but also got his thumb in the way. So with a slight burn on his finger and the pan on fire, he knocked the pan to the ground, singing the campstove a bit and maybe a little scorching on our nice outdoor tablecloth 🤨. It could have been much worse. We always keep a fire extinguisher handy right outside the trailer, which he thought about using, but was able to douse the flames with the potholders. Exciting times in RV land. Oh, and the chicken sandwich…...3 of the 6 were saved, and yes, it was still delicious!