Friday, May 31, 2013

St Augustine Area

What a cool VW, I couldn't imagine a cooler surf wagon.  We are in St Augustine the oldest continously settled place in North America.

We are actually staying in a state park out on St Augustine Beach which is an island off of St Augustine. The camping is a short walk to the beach and the beach is really nice. We spent a day just hanging out there swimming and catching some sun.
We also visited the city and this Fort which is pretty cool.

Our timing was perfect and we stepped right into a canon demonstration.
The view from the fort is pretty nice. This fort the Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonary fort in the continental US.

It is constructed of coquina which is a soft shell/limestone material. The soft material is actually said to be better than other stones because it absorbs the impact of canons.
They have lots of canons of various ages, as the fort was occupied and controlled by the French, the British and America over its life.

You can see the walls are very thick.
The sundial was keeping very accurate time as we ate lunch although they hadn't adjusted the sun for daylight savings time.
As we walked around town we found some other bostonians!
There are a lot of cool old buildings around the town. You don't see much old anything in Florida so it a welcome change.

A replica Galeon was in port so we went out and toured the the ship. It is pretty amazing with miles and miles of old fashion rigging. They sail this thing all over globe.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Orlando Area

Here we are in the Orlando area. We haven't been down here since we came to see a Shuttle launch years ago.

We found a good county park with camping to stay at. The sites are huge the bathrooms are big and clean and it is really quiet.  Well except for these cranes... sometimes they make the loudest sqauking noise.

People must feed them because they stalk us and hangout right outside our door waiting.

They are actually pretty cool and we saw some young ones which were even cuter.
Here is will standing in front of Hogwarts Castle. We hit Universal for a day. I had no idea just how un-godly expensive theme parks have become.

Not to mention they don't want you to come for just a day they want a several day commitment to multiple parks.

After an exhaustive search there is basically no discounts available if you are only going for a day but we spend the money anyway. Easily the most expensive day of the trip by 5x any other day
The world of Harry Potter is pretty well done, the main ride is pretty new and had a long line but we did it first and it was pretty cool.

After that we rode the other coaster in Harry Potter land and had lunch at the Three Broomsticks. Including Butterbeer (frozen as it is HOT out). Amazingly the food isn't overpriced at all and was good.

People were lined up to shop for wands and candy in the shops which is crazy when you've paid big $$$$ to get in the park.
After lunch we learned about the "singles" lines which most rides had and get you on the ride in a few minutes instead of the normal 60-90.  We are here the day after Memorial Day weekend and it isn't that crowded so I can't imagine what the real summer lines are like.

Even doing the single line we usually get to ride together.  We rode a bunch of coasters in Islands of Adventure where HP is and then went over to Universal Studios.
I have no idea other than raping you for money why they split these into two parks.

Some of the Universal Rides need to be shut down and recycled, they are sad and old best example being the "Twister" experience.

But there are also new rides over there too... they just need to cut out the dead weight.

The Simpsons ride was cool.
After the park we hit out favorite diner place in Orlando, The Ravenous Pig. We ate there twice last time in Orlando.

The next day we did something I forget and then took the Monorails around the Disney Property. You just have to pay for parking and you can ride it around.

We stopped at the Polyneasian Resort for a drink by the pool and lake.
You can see how big out site was at the campgound even if there were other people camping they would have been plenty far away.

Florida overall has had the best camping options of any state we've been to.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A few days Ft Lauderdale

We spend a few more days here at the Paradise Island RV Park in Oakland Park FL. It is so close to Wilton Maners where some of our friends down here live.  The park itself was really nice, our spot was a little small but you have to realize we are basically in a city.

The park is dead empty as all of it's mostly french canadian clientele has gone home for the usmmer.

We would consider spending a month or two here in the winter!

It was a really fun weekend, we ate out, hit the beach and just hungout with our friends down here. It was a good change of pace from being tourists.

Friday, May 24, 2013


We are spending the next few nights at a campground in Fort Lauderdale.

There are a bunch of people we know here we are going to visit with and some of our mail has been forwarded by my parents to one of their houses which is easier than having it sent to a Post Office to pickup.

Today we hit Miami to see the Art Deco section. And found more hot cats!
This weekend in Miami is some special "Urban" weekend when people come from all over to get crazy drunk and get into fights. We are lucky it is only just barely beginning on today.

Last year this weekend involved over 400 arrests. And in prior years people have even been shot and killed.

Anyway barricades and street closures that are there to curb violence made it impossible to park.
We parked pretty far away and walked to the Art Deco section and checked it out.

The building are pretty cool and actually the closed streets meant we got to see them without cars parked out front.
The entire stretch along Miami Beach is full of cafe's and shops. After deciding to to eat lunch here we searched out one that wasn't pumping out loud obnoxious music (hopefully this was an artifact of "urban" weekend).

Eventually we found a nice eurpoean style cafe and had a good lunch. I had Gazpacho and some fried shrimp it was tasty.  

Still the heat got to us and we didn't spend too much time down in Miami. We wanted to beach the friday evening commuter traffic.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bahia Honda State Park

This is our campsight on Bahia Honda, it was all the only site available but it was right on the water. It was also huge and the trees shaded the trailer a bit.

Bahia Honda State Park has some of the longest nicest beaches on the keys.

The water is incredibly warm. You can go snorkeling all around the island or take a boat out to some reefs.

We did a little snorkeling around the island and spents a couple of days at the beach.
 The blue water looks so inviting.
 You can take a short walk up to part of an old bridge that used to go to the next key. You get a cool view from the high bridge.

I think we could have easily spent more time here and in Key West.

Ernest Hemingway House

During our long day in Key West yesterday we also toured the home of Ernest Hemingway.

He was a colorful man and our tour guide who was really funny (and I am pretty sure drunk) gave a really good tour.

Hemingway had cat, special cats most of which had 6 toes. Decendents of these cats are still living in the house and are taken care of by the foundation that runs it. I forget there may be something like 50 cats at the moment.
 The one above and this one were inside the house lounging around sleeping. It was a pretty hot day.
Others were skattered around the grounds.
 Almost everywhere you looked.
 Anyplace in the shade even slightly cooler.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Floriday Keys Part 1

After escaping from the bug infested Everglades we wound our way out the Florida Keys.

We are camping at mile 35 at Bahia Honda State Park which is an enitre key itself.

We spent and entire day in Key West walking around, there was a big cruise ship in town.
 And chickens!  Very funny and loud chickens.
This one followed up a bit and came right next to Will when we sat down for a little rest.

It is a hot day and we've been doing a lot of walking around.
 We did a short visit to this lighthouse and the small museum that went along with it.
 They had a very lazy cat on the grounds too.
There was a wonderful 360 view from the top of the lighthouse.
Here are some people at the Southern Most point! We didn't bother waiting in the line to get our own pictures taken.
This was kind of interesting, the restuarant there cleans the fish for the evening fresh from the ocean on the dock. The intentionally throw the bits into the water so that Tarpon (a popular fish to try and catch) will come feed.  They are big fish and go nuts for the scraps.
 We must have walked miles and miles all over Key West it was time to take load off.  We found a cool little bar/restuarant on a out of the way wharf to have dinner.  They also had a number of 4 legged customers which was cool.

Docked right out front was a ship that we see in Provincetown every summer. They had a craft beer cruise the next night and after that were leaving the Keys to head back to PTown.
We had a very long and relaxed dinner and enjoyed some live music at the place we were eating.

The woman singing and playing guitar was pretty funny and had a voice deep enough to do both the male and female parts of duets all by herself.
A long bug fun day!