Life's Sweet Journey: RV Life
Showing posts with label RV Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RV Life. Show all posts

Friday, February 24, 2017

5 on FriYAY! Life Lately!

Happy FriYAY Friends! 
It's time for another 5 on Friday catch-up game; 
mostly because that seems to be all I have time for these last few weeks!
Anybody else feeling the second month of the year craziness?! 
Any who, here's a peek around my world! 
 1.) We got to do some Florida adventuring last a few weekends ago and finally got to check Myakka River State Park off the bucket list!! I had been itching to get there ever since seeing pictures of the canopy hike on so many people's Insta feeds. We woke up early Saturday and headed out from our RV park. The 30 minute drive was beautiful and Myakka even more so!! It was pretty crowded for a state park, but that was because of all that is offered. They have boat and tram tours, so there were a lot of young families and elderly visitors who planned to enjoy motorizes explorations! There is a boat launch, kayak rentals and tons to see along the river by the gift shop and restaurant. Can you say, hello alligators?! There were tons! We took a few minutes to greet them and then we headed out away from the crowds. The park is HUGE, so even though it was busy, you can definitely get away from it all. There are almost 40 miles of trails in the park and we chose a loop of about 6 miles. Once we got a little ways into the trail we only saw maybe 5 people in 3 hours. After our hike we headed towards the canopy walk! While it wasn't as grand as I had thought (pictures can be misleading and made it look really long), it was still awesome! The canopy walk itself is maybe a couple dozen feet from start to finish, so it will only take you about a minute, but it sways and rocks and it cool to cross. Then you go up, and up, and up the stairs to an awesome lookout tower 74 feet in the air, which provides gorgeous views above the tree line as far as the eye can see! One little boy, who was there, kept going up and down to cross the canopy walk again and again, laughing gleefully and screaming, "this is the best! Let's do it just one more time!! Can we come back again?!" I love watching little people get excited about the outdoors! 

2.) We stayed at Riverside RV Resort in Arcadia, Florida, which is a Thousand Trails/ Encore RV park. It was a gorgeous, very well maintained park! While we typically prefer to stay at state parks, sometimes the amenities are very well enjoyed. Even though the park was full (so many snow birds), it was super quiet and everyone we met was so friendly! We swapped tons of stories with our Canadian neighbors. The park has access to the river so we were able to take out the paddle boards, for a stunning sunset paddle! We also loved that they provided fire pits, as sometimes you don't get that at RV parks. Our favorite amenity though would have to be the hot tub!! We took a dip every night (I may have even told myself that constituted as my bath) and had the whole thing to ourselves. It might have been due to the fact that the sign said that it closed at dusk, but we didn't see the sign until we got in and we also find dusk to be an interpretive term! Every time I road my bike by during the day though, it was still empty. I would definitely go back again! I mean we didn't even get to try the shuffleboard, putting green, or horseshoes!! I must note that there were also tons of scheduled activities!! While we were enjoying our hot tub soak on Saturday night, people were flocking into the tented pavilion for a Valentine's Dance. We watched couples carrying their covered dishes, decked in their pink and reds, and then got to listen to the music and laughter drift out over the grounds! Definitely a happening place! 

3.) This past weekend I got to see Harry Potter in Concert at the Dr. Phillips center, thanks to my bro-in-law marrying a fellow Potter freak! Since I don't have pierced ears she wasn't sure what to gift me, until she saw the tickets go on sale. Not knowing what they were, she just saw Harry Potter and said, "yes! Those!" And boy am I ever thankful!! It was the most amazing way to ever experience a Harry film. I won't lie, I hated the symphony as a kid, when you would be forced to dress up and attend for a field trip. I didn't understand it; I could never sit still long enough to. Watching the Orlando Philharmonic, play the music to accompany the movie, was one of the most moving things I have seen in a long time. When the first score started, and the bows went across violin strings as Albus Dumbledore walked down Privet Drive, chills literally went up my spine and tears graced the corners of my eyes. It made the music come to life! It added a gentle movement to the movie and for a while I wasn't sure where to look and how to take it all in. Once my senses adjusted to this new thing unfolding in front of me I could do nothing but sit in amazement! Are you a Harry fan? If you ever get a chance to experience any of the movies in this way, you HAVE TO take it! Hopefully we will be able to makes it back in November for Chamber of Secrets! 

4.) I have been busy working on some new things for the shop, but I am also working on adjusting how the shop itself works. If we are ever going to hit the road full-time, there will be no way I can hold inventory at home (given that my home would be a small, constantly moving one). So I am taking things a little more online. While some options are still left in my Etsy shop, you can get tons more color and style choices in my online shop. The "You keep me safe & I'll keep you wild" and "Serenity" shirts will be available there for the next two weeks. Then, as I add more inventory, it will stay up longer. Thanks for supporting this little, growing dream of mine! 

5.) Tomorrow we are heading downtown to enjoy our very first Orlando Food & Wine fest! We have thought about doing it so many times, but have never actually committed. Well, our tickets are purchased and plans are set. We have no idea what to expect, but are excited to eat our way around!! Anyone done it before (or one in your city) with advice or tips on how best take try as much as possible?! 

Hope your week has been wonderful and that your weekend if filled with adventure!! 
What are your plans for the weekend?! 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

{Giveaway} My Favorite Camping Happies!!

Happy Thursday Y'all!! 
Friday is so close I can almost smell it!!

But, until it gets here, I figured it was time to share a little happiness with all of you! 
In honor of all things camping, this weekend's upcoming Flo adventure for our 6 year wedding anniversary and the fact that the destination is unknown (to me anyways)- and because who really even needs a reason to share happiness anyways- I am partnering with some awesome companies to share some of my favorite FloRida-trip-happies with you! 
When we go RVing there are a few essentials we always take with us, for one reason or another. Most of these essentials also seem to translate over into our "docked" (at home) life too; so, whether you are out adventuring, snuggled up at home or trying to make it through a busy day these are all pretty good things to have around!!

But for us, here are the main reasons we keep them on-hand...
Jerky- Jerky is the perfect snack for long hikes as it keeps us fueled and ready to go, but it's also perfect for a mid-morning work snack! Field Trip Jerky is seriously the best stuff around!! With no preservatives or added MSG this stuff is so fresh and good and has that "just-right-jerk" texture that I look for in a good jerky! The first time we tried this stuff we were floored in comparison to the typical stuff we used to get. 
Popcorn- If you have followed me for a while you know how much I love my popcorn!! Seriously, I can't make it through the week without at least one popcorn-for-dinner night! That translates over into our travels too and we usually have one popcorn night while we are in Flo. And the best, and really only true way to enjoy popcorn is stove top popped! If you don't have a Whirley Pop, get one!! I swear by mine (and never washing it out)! Then you can pop these yummy Jolly Time popcorn kernels anytime! Another popcorn trick I love: cutting open a back of microwave popcorn, with the butter and oil all mixed in, and popping that over the stove (or campfire)!!
Honey- Y'all!! Honey and cheese night (and of course a good bottle of wine) is Flo's specialty! Without fail, cheese and honey night happens every, single night! And if you have never tried honey on your cheese before you are missing out on a whole segment of life! Try it! And I recommend starting with Savannah Bee Company's whipped honey! I love the thickness of the whipped honey when paired with cheese! My favorite pairing? A good havarti or Vermont sharp cheddar! 
Cards- Because cheese and honey night should best be enjoyed over a game of rummy!! Our game has been going on over 2 years now. I am currently in the lead (for a while now), but Babe is slowly creeping back into the game! Current score: Me- 10,310 Babe-10,100
Adventure Mug- Every morning needs a little 'Adventure Fuel' happiness to kick-start the day!!
Coffee- Because the mug just isn't complete without the coffee to go in it! I know Seattle's Best is just your run-of-the-mill, grocery-store-shelf-find, but I love the taste. It's strong without being bitter, goes done smooth and soothes my soul! Even better, sweeten it with a little bit of that honey and you have what I call "coffee-bliss"!! 

One "happy camper" will win all of this great goodness! 
It includes: 12 bags of Field Trip Jerky + a super comfy American Apparel Field Trip Jerky shirt, two bags of Jolly Time popcorn kernels, travel pack of Savannah Bee Company's whipped honey in different flavors, a pack of Bicycle cards, an Adventure Fuel mug and a bag of Seattle's Best Coffee! 

Happy Entering! 
Entry options below image! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Words for Wednesday// A Sense of Companionship!

It's Wednesday Y'all!! 
And we are just that much closer to Friday and I am that must closer to Africa! 
8 days and counting! It is all still so crazy to me! 

Babe informed me that this will be our longest time apart in over 10 years, pretty much since we started dating. I hadn't thought about it much to be honest. I have been so focused on the fact that I am leaving, and SOON, and trying to process everything. I am sad that he won't get to experience this trip with me, but there is also a part of me that knows it is so healthy and good for us to take trips separate from one another. My first out of country mission trip to Costa Rica was also sans Babe and I learned so much about myself, about my abilities and about the way God was personally working in my heart and I know this trip will be no different. But it doesn't mean I won't miss him! 

So we are heading out this weekend for a little time away! We are taking Flo out to Highland Hammock State Park for a little hiking and relaxing! One of my favorite things about our time in Flo is the simplicity of it all; it's the slow early mornings, the late night fires and games of rummy, the endless conversations on our long hikes, the nothingness (no outside distractions, no checklists, no phone service) that brings so much life giving goodness into our relationship! I am looking forward to soaking a weekend full of companionship in, before two weekends apart! 

Middle-of-nowhere Florida, here we come!! 
Happy Humpday everyone! We're almost there!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Central Florida Boondocking: Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area

We had our first true Florida boondocking experience at Three Lakes WMA! Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area is part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They offer a few free, dispersed camping options throughout Florida. Here's how it all went down... 

Where we stayed
Boondocking in Florida Three Lakes WMA
Three Lake Wildlife Management Area is located off of N. Canoe Creek Rd. in Kenansville, FL and the hunters loop where we stayed was about two miles before (coming from Orlando) the main entrance to the WMA. Pay close attention as you're driving, because you can get lost in the beauty of unspoiled Florida and miss the turn (like we did!). We had a hard time finding a spot to turn around with Flo attached. There will be a big green sign and other trailers parked, so just look out for those. We originally drove in to the Three Lake WMA entrance looking for a place to camp there. While the spots seemed plenty big enough for an RV, that part is tent only! So if you are RVing it has to be the hunting loop. There is plenty of space to spread out and you just find  your own spot! It wasn't too crowded as there was no active hunting season, but there were still quite a few travelers escaping winter weather who had been there quite a few weeks and we still had plenty of space for our own private spot! The other RVers were all very sweet and invited us to the potlucks and happy hours that they arrange with others who had been staying for the winter. We just had to pass since we were out hiking!

*Note on dumping: There is no dump station at the loop. We heard that you can use the one at the RV park about 10 miles down the road (heading right leaving the loop) for about $10. We weren't heading that way, so we thought we would try the RV park we had seen on our way in. However, the office was closed on Sunday. We ended up going by Moss Park on our way back into Orlando and we were able to use theirs for $5!! 

What we did: 
Hiking! Lots and lots of hiking! 
The trails were very wet this time of year, but in my opinion that only adds to the adventure! 
Boondocking in Florida Three Lakes WMA
The first night we got there we just went out from where we parked Flo. We walked to the back of the loop, where the road continues out into the expansive prairie that I assume is where the hunting takes place. I wouldn't recommend hiking there during active hunting season, just to be safe. For that hike we were pretty much just walking the road, though we did find a couple of beautiful cut through trails! This space would also make a beautiful drive if you wanted to take it easy one day. The roads were still accessible by car for those looking to make the drive to the lake to fish. 

On Saturday, we woke up and spent a gloriously lazy morning drinking coffee made over the fire and then geared up for our day in the main hiking area of Three Lakes WMA/ Prairie Lake Unit. A portion of the Florida Trail runs through this part of the WMA and there are two 6 mile loops to choose from, along with a few short out and back trails that run to the lake. We saw quite a few people fishing along the river that can be reached from the road. There is also a public boat ramp. Our hike was beautiful!! We hiked in so many different landscapes on our loop. We choose the 6 mile loop that included the FIRE TOWER, which is best reached by parking at the information sign when you first enter the WMA. The trail starts right there. We crossed the road and started the loop that way, so that we came out at the side where the car was at. The fire tower is located maybe a quarter of the way in. Climb it!! Seriously amazing views!! And such a rush!! (Unfortunately the tower is not actually climbable. I was alerted by park staff, in a comment, that the tower was not actually meant to be open for climbing and that it poses a safety hazard and will typically be locked. Sorry :/ I am glad we got to climb it, but don't want people to plan to head that way in the future hoping to go up!) You can see some of the fun in the video! The trail also included hiking through pine flats, open prairies, shaded spots along the river, quite a few ankle deep water spots, and a boardwalk through marshland! There is a section where the first 6 mile loop bypasses a connector to the other 6 mile loop. So, if you are early morning hikers preparing for a full day, there is always the ability to do both! 

Boondocking in Florida Three Lakes WMA
Across Canoe Creek Road, as you leave the WMA, the Florida trail continues for through hikers. After finishing our loop we crossed the road and walked a small portion of this trail. The trail was definitely less maintained than the trails in the WMA. Babe loved it because he felt like he was forging the trail! We were definitely bushwhacking through some of it and, in certain spots, it was hard to tell if you were actually still on the trail, but it was still a lot of fun. We went in maybe a mile or so before turning back! Overall, this entire location was a beautiful spot for some Florida hiking! 

Boondocking in Florida Three Lakes WMA
Each night we wrapped up our day by the fire, playing our endless game of Rummy (not to toot my own horn, but it's seldom that I am winning at anything over him, so I just had to share the current score// Me: 10,020 Babe: 9,760)! Though there weren't actual fire pits at the loop, people had made their own and we did the same. The ground was so wet that we didn't really even have to dig. We just made a circle in the dirt with stick and then built a ring in the middle of the ring. The fire burned, but never even reached the perimeter of our circle. Anytime flames would shoot out and heat the ground outside the ring they would immediately burn out! If you go bring plenty of wood and make yourself nice and toasty! 

Where we ate: 
Boondocking in Florida Three Lakes WMA
Though we really just ate while we were hiking (lobster and burgers on the travel grill! Our go to camping happies!), I thought it was noteworthy to share the BBQ joint Babe introduced me to on the way through St. Cloud on our way on Friday. Fat Boy's BBQ is off the chain!! Seriously, Florida friends?! Florida travelers?! You have to try it! Babe use to go all the time apparently back when he was mowing county roads and they had a contract near there. I can't believe he hadn't taken me before! They have been there forever and I don't think the menu has ever changed! The prices are low, the portions are high and the food is YUMazing!! The atmosphere is awesome too! Wood paneled walls lead into a dining room style open room, with a fireplace along the the back wall!! If you love BBQ, you have to give it a try! There's even an old wooden rocking horse at checkout that's perfect for even the biggest of "kids"!

And that was our most recent Florida adventure!! 
You can find another great boon docking favorite in this post from our time in Idaho.
We had an amazing time and I can't wait to go back and give boon-docking another try- though maybe this time with some solar panels or a generator! 
Boondocking in Florida Three Lakes WMA

Where have you been adventuring too recently?! 
Linkup and let's travel together!
~On the 2nd Tuesday of every month I will be sharing a new travel destination and would love to see where you have been exploring! 
~Any linked posts will be pinned under Travel Tuesday on my Pinterest
~No real rules, as I am not a huge fan of those sorts of things! Just add your link and I encourage you to peek around and see where everyone else has been. Leave a little love where you like! 
~Feel free to grab the image from the sidebar and add it to your post so others know where to link up. 
Excited explore the globe with you all!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Our Georgia Adventure Part 2: Fort McAllister State Park

The second leg of our Georgia adventure took us, about 40 minutes south of Savannah, to Fort McAllister State Park! Babe would probably be rolling his eyes at the fact that I am about to use the word LOVE again in response to our trip, but we did, we LOVED it there too!
Camping at Fort McAllister State Park
In all honesty, this is much more our pace! Don't get me wrong, we loved Savannah and the food A LOT! But there's something about the calm of a state park that just sets my heart at ease! I love the sounds of fellow campers; no devices, no kids holed up inside. Instead it's bike rides and noise and laughter and play! It's parent riding by on bikes and stopping to chat to fellow campers, asking "you haven't seen our kids ride by have you? We haven't seen them in over an hour." They aren't worried or frantic, they continue to chat with the people the stopped to ask, because they know their kids are ok and that they are just off exploring somewhere. There are older couples setting up by the fire, birds chirping, bats flying by and an owls hooting in the distance. I seriously can't get enough!

Our Spot! 
Our campsite view was beautiful! While there had been an overbooking problem with the park and we had to find a temporary spot when we pulled in the first night, we got up the next morning and secured a spot that had just been vacated. We had a stunning view of the marsh and even though we were right by the entrance, it was pretty quiet and secluded! All the space is one of the reasons we prefer state park stays over RV campgrounds.

What We Did!
Fort McAllister had all sorts of things to fill an adventurous heart!
Camping at Fort McAllister State Park
We started with a tour of the fort itself. There is a fee, as the park itself is only loosely affiliated with the campground, but it was worth it! The fort is so neat! They took advantage of the natural elements and the fort was actually built into the ground. Going inside made me feel just like a hobbit! There were tunnels to explore, living quarters to give you a glimpse at what life was like when soldiers were there and there was a lookout tower on the grounds that gave a beautiful view of the river! There is also a museum that gives you a more in-depth history of the fort that made Babe very satisfied! We watched the short video before we went out to explore the grounds and it even kept my attention! 
Cost: $9 per person

The hiking trails at the park were great! There was a shorter one (a little under a mile) right by the campsites, with two different legs you could take. One leg included little animal inspired workout activities, while the other (not marked on trail map) ran along side the river. The longer (3.1) miles, was up near the entrance to the park itself and was one of my favorite hikes! I love wet trails, especially when they aren't so wet that your shoes get soaked! This trail had the perfect mix of wet spots with rocks to skip on, or fallen trees to use as bridges, and nice easy, dry walking! 
The pioneer trail loop is not included on the trail map. It is a little ways into the mapped trail and is the fork off to the left. 
More rugged and windy than the mapped trail, but a lot of fun! It meets back up with the other trail towards the end of the mile. 
An example of the animal inspired workouts found along the mapped trail in the campground. 
Bikes!! I definitely recommend bringing bikes! We biked to the fort, to lunch, to the trails, everywhere! While you don't need them it does save a lot of extra walking. The public part of the park and the campground are separated by a long, bumpy road. It took us about 5 minutes to bike from the campground up to the park, but would have at least doubled walking. 

We also kayaked, but unless you have your own or know you are going to spend a full day on the water, I wouldn't recommend it. The least amount of time you can rent them for is 4 hours, which we paid $40 for. We were only out for a little over an hour and it just wasn't worth the cost for the amount of time we were out. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we purchase an inflatable stand-up soon!! 

The park (both public side and campground itself) also has great playgrounds for people traveling with kiddos, as well as wooden bench swings at the public end of the park for people to enjoy. There are also cabins that can be rented that house between 8-14 people depending on the size of your party. Looking at the prices they seemed a little steep in our opinion, but if everyone splits the cost it isn't that bad and a great option for glamping! 

Where we ate! 
We mostly ate at the site; Babe tried out the new grill with some yummy lobster tail and then made burgers over the fire pit our last night. However, there was an awesome restaurant right outside the main entrance to the park and we knew we just had to go for lunch one day, mostly because we saw the sign that said oysters!! So our last full day of the trip we biked up to Fish Tales and enjoyed a lovely meal on the water before heading back to conquer the longer hike! 

Camping at Fort McAllister State Park Camping at Fort McAllister State Park

Fish Tales was delicious! We got some yummy drinks, an oyster appetizer and then a full bucket of steamed oysters! I don't know what it is about Georgia, but they sure know how to properly fill an oyster bucket!! It was brimming with glorious shells of yumminess for only $15! Fish Tails gets their oysters from Florida, so it was a good mix considering the oysters we had in Savannah were from Georgia. We ate to our heart's content, enjoyed the beautiful view of the marina and biked back to the park. 
*We did try to bike up to restaurant the day prior to when we actually went, but they are only open for lunch Friday-Sunday. During the week they don't open until 4. Seating is mostly outside, though they do have a bar inside and an enclosed patio with large glass windows that still offer a great view! 
*There is also a bait and tackle shop that is open during the day for anyone looking to fish. 

Camping at Fort McAllister State Park
We loved everything about Fort McAllister and I definitely wouldn't mind going back!
But it's off to plan our next adventure!!
Where have you been lately?!
Feel free to link up for my new #TravelTueday link up in yesterday's post! 

Friday, January 8, 2016

5 Adventure Time Happies!

I am itching to share our Georgia adventure with you all!! I am still working on getting all our pictures uploaded and hope to have the first part of the trip up by Tuesday! #TravelTuesday is my favorite!! I figured I would share some of the little spoiler moments that happened along our trip and wrap it all up with our favorite little winery find! Grab a cup of something warm and adventure with me?!

1.) Adventure Fires!
I must admit I love fire! I have always been somewhat of a little pyromaniac. As a kid, I burned a hole through the carpet after I flung a flaming marshmallow from the fireplace in our childhood home. So when Elise and Scott, from Hey Sweet Pea, shared their ritual of burning things that they want to let go of, as a way to close out the year before, I jumped at the idea of making the ritual one of our own! What a neat experience!!

Babe was such the guy and rolled his eyes at me at first, but he wrote a few down and then summed it up with a final, "anything God wants me to let go of!" Me? I used an entire sheet of paper, writing fear after worry after doubt! My soul felt lighter with each passing note that found its way into the flames! It seemed funny to me, the way some would take longer to burn than others, as if they knew they were the things that were harder for me to let go of. It was so freeing and euphoric! It was also a great bonding experience; hearing the things each one felt the need to let go of and sharing our hearts. Between that, the burgers cooked right over the campfire flames, and then continuing the evening by asking each other the questions from this study, it was the perfect way to spend our last night of the trip together and really welcome in 2016! 

2.) Adventure Cooking!
Santa My parents got Babe a new Coleman travel grill for Christmas! We love, LOVE it!! It fold up so nicely and fits inside the front storage compartments underneath Flo. It sits so cozy right along side our 5 camping chairs (you know in case we ever have camper company). We were really excited for to try it out for the first time! It was perfect because, even though we did have a fire pit grill at our site that we could have used, it was drizzling on New Year's Eve. So we put out the awning and he got to grilling! We figured we would go big for our first travel grill adventure and so Babe grilled us up some yummy lobsters! We just got two little baby lobsters for right around $7 a piece and then I cut them and prepped them while he set up the grill. 

For the lobster: We just cut them open, down the belly. I then pack in butter and a bunch of garlic salt and then he grills them for about 10 minutes. Rotating them back and forth, from belly to back, every so often. So simple and sooooo delicious!! 

We are so excited to have the grill now, so that we can go boon-docking more easily and for when we go to a campground without a grill. We really love cooking outside as much as possible!! Especially since, when I try to cook inside bad stuff tends to happen...

3.) Adventure Blunders! 
Soooo... I may have almost blown us up!! Like I said, I have a flare for the pyrotechnics. Well, I was trying to make rice to go along with our New Year's Eve lobster. Like I normally would at home, I put the water in the pot, put the pot on the stove and turned on the stove. I do know that, unlike at home, I am supposed to see some blue flamey thing that will tell me that the burner is on and getting hot. I see no blue flamey thing. So I turn the burner off and try again. Still no blue flame! Turn it off and try again!! This time I turn the burner on high, but yet again no blue flame. So I holler for Babe, who is right outside the door. "Babe, this blue flamey thing is not working! I can't get the stove to turn on!" He asks, "did you light it? Grab the lighter?" Oh yeah!! Big duh moment! Ok, really though, be kind. I had never lit a propane stove before! So I grab the lighter out of the drawer and get ready to light it, but he has since poked his head in and immediately yell, "wait!!" So apparently you are not supposed to have had the propane running on high before you light the burner. Yikes! Thankfully he caught me before I burnt Flo and myself crispy nuggets. So he had me turn it off, wait a minute, then turn it back on low before I lit it. By this point I was scared of the whole dang-flangled thing! So I had to have another RV lesson a la Babe. Enjoy! 

And last, but not least, our lovely and unexpected vineyard find!! It gets to take up two happy spots; it was just THAT good! 

4.) Adventure Wine!! 
On Saturday (the last day of our trip) we headed over to Glennville, Georgia to visit my brother and his wife on our way back to Orlando. My brother is stationed in Georgia with the army and they had just bought their first home, so we were going to see their property. While we were there they took us to the cutest little vineyard! 
Watermelon Creek Vineyard is a definite must if you ever find yourself in or even remotely near Glennville! We started the afternoon off with a wine tasting. The owners, Charles and Deborah, are a sweet husband and wife team! They run the vineyard and live right there on the property. Charles gave us the tasting and managed the shop and Deborah was busy preparing meals. Charles' wine tasting was quite the treat, besides the fact that we were getting to enjoy the wines they offer for sale, he told a wonderful story all about the grape and the wine process. He made the story come to life, as he told a story by intertwining elements of wine making with elements from the book of Genesis and the story of Noah. It was really neat! Apparently he has 3 other story versions that he tells using different books of the bible. I hope to get to go visit again soon so that I can hear another!! 

The wine was delicious! Most of it being a little on the sweeter side, it was right up my alley! We settled on a bottle of sweet red to share at the table and moved on upstairs to enjoy lunch...

5.) Adventure Food!!
Oh. My. Goodness!! The wine was all kinds of wonderful... and then came the food, oh the food!! 
Let me just say that we did quite a lot of eating during our week in Georgia. This place, by far, takes the cake for the best food we had the whole trip!! There were only 4 items on the menu. So I was a little skeptical at first, but what they do have, they fill with every bit of love! That food was on point!! We ordered one of everything except for the salad, but even the little side salad that came with my meal was delicious, so I can only imagine that it tasted like little drops of amazingness! Katie and I got the chicken and dumplings, Babe got a pimento grilled cheese with pasta salad and Patrick got the Coney dog and we each shared a bit of everything! Your meal also comes with a delicious pumpkin muffin and your choice of either a wine slushie (yes, please!) or tea (fresh made and also so yummy!) I was in food heaven! 

I am telling you! This place could not have been better! You eat upstairs on the patio (there is inside seating too) overlooking the beauty of the vines down below. There is also an old barn and other old buildings on property that just add so much charm. There is a horse and some chickens! Following our meal we explored around the property a bit.

There is a nice loop-the-lake trail that you can take to walk off the food and it leads you right by their bee hives!! Oh, my honey loving heart was so happy!! We went back through the shop and left with some quite a bit of Watermelon Creek goodness! I also love how reasonably priced everything was! We paid $108, but our bill included both of our meals, two wine tastings, two bottles of wine, a bottle of grape juice, a corkscrew (because Flo needed something that wasn't going to keep breaking corks), a big thing of honey, BBQ sauce, an extra wine slushie, and a jar of jam!! Seriously, I can't think of anywhere else where we would have gotten all that for just over $100! 

I hope you find yourself near Glennville, GA sometime so you can go enjoy an afternoon at Watermelon Creek!! 

Happy Friday friends!! 
Hope you find yourself adventuring soon!! 
Any places you just love and would recommend we try?! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas is Coming! 2015 Wish Lists

Happy Monday World!! I am linking up for a little holiday prep fun this morning with a wish list of my own and one Flo asked me to share with you. Happy Holidaying! 

Stocking Stuffers!
This is a big thing in our house. Stockings are the one thing Babe and I do, just the two of us, first thing Christmas morning, before we head out to go anywhere. Sometimes Babe gripes and grumbles (especially since stuffers have changed from a majority of necessity items like deodorant to small heart warmth gifts of thought- though we do still add some necessity fillers, I mean the man needs his shaving cream), but I actually think he doesn't want to let on that he secretly loves stockings. It's taken on an even bigger deal this year as we have made a no gift rule for each other outside of stocking stuffing. I was not backing down! So here are some of my favorites...
2015 Stocking Stuffer Wish List

Savannah Bee Company: Honey for Cheese~ oh my new found love! Honey for cheese is the bomb! Really honey for everything is the bomb! Usually I will just use a bit of whatever honey I have one hand at the time, but honey for cheese itself has a thickness to it that is just perfection!
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me~ Because every good stocking needs a book and I am loving me some Mindy lately!
Favorite Books Mugs~ I recently met Melissa through a bible study and she is the sweetest! Then after finding her on Insta, I also found that she is the brains and creator of Melissa Creates and I fell head over heels for both the Harry Potter and Hunger Games themed mugs! Be still my book loving heart! 
ABD Printed Tank~ I have been all about some printed tanks lately! Mix that with my need for encouragement while I to workout and this Ashley Brooke Designs Work It Tank is perfect! 
Colored Pencils~ I have a new found love for adult coloring books and I would love a nice set of colored pencils, full of every pretty shade of color, to accompany my stress relieving, coloring moments. 
Coloring Book~ I am also pretty fond of this cute little coloring book! 
...Ok, so some of these may be slightly bigger than your average sized stocking stuffers, but hey, it's all we're doing this year, Santa can find a way to stuff things snuggly. 

Flo's Wish List
Flo is quite a particular RV. She has her quirks and she has compiled her own list of things that she hopes Santa brings her this year.
Flo's 2015 Wish List

Solar Panels~ Flo's biggest dream is to go boon-docking out in the wild blue yonder, but that requires some special accouterments and solar panels are one of her biggest wishes.
Ashley Brooke Designs Going Places Travel Mug~ Flo may love dirt on her wheels, but she loves being fancy too and she loves ABD just as much as I do, which is why the Going Places mug is right up her alley.
Camco TastePURE Water Filter~ Flo is tried of water bottles filling up her fridge and she would really like to be more recycle friendly, so she would love a water filter so that her people will drink the water from the sink. And also so that when they brush their teeth the water doesn't taste funny.
Jiffy Pop~ Flo's love from popcorn that isn't from a microwave battles my own and she is quite the fan of some Jiffy!
Inflatable Stand Up~ Oh, my sweet Flo is a big dreamer! She would love an Inflatable SUP, but she seems to have forgotten she was the big gift this year. However, she told me she is allowed to dream and considering I said the same thing to Babe, in our preFlo purchase discussions, I figured I would let her dream big and keep my fingers crossed that Santa put her on the nice list!
Tank Happiness~ Flo doesn't like to go in to detail about personal matters, but she does prefer having a nice, fresh tank and so she hopes Santa stuffs some of these discreetly towards the bottom of her stocking.

I must say this was a pretty nice way to beat the Monday, post holiday blues. Now it's off to work with dreams of sugar plums and stockings and Christmas decoration planning! 
What's on your wish list this year? 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

FloRida Road Adventure to Crystal River

Happy Tuesday! We are back from Flo's third big trip. This time we found ourselves in Crystal River, Florida. We absolutely loved Crystal River! Here's why...
Crystal River is super quaint. It actually reminded me a lot of the sweet little fishing towns you see in a Nicholas Sparks movie. It was quiet and picturesque, but there was also a whole lot to do. This is the perfect destination for anyone who loves to adventure and be on the water!
Where We Stayed:
Crystal Isles RV Resort is so far our favorite of all the Encore/ Thousand Trails spots we have stayed. Crystal Isles is set back in the woods, just the way I like it! Almost every spot is either on the water or has water visibility. The resort sits right on a canal just off the main channel of the river. It was quiet, beautiful and had great amenities. Our favorite? The pontoon boats they had that could be rented, either by the half or full day. We got there later in the afternoon on Friday and spent the evening boating up and down the river right up until the sun set. It was a beautiful way to get a first glimpse of what Crystal River had to offer! It was a really nice feature for the park to have, especially since pretty much everyone staying there had a boat. I would have been quiet envious seeing people motoring out, so having an option for those who don't own a boat was great. We also really liked that this park seemed to consist of a majority of fellow road travelers like us. There were a few seasonal setups or longer stay residents, but most people seemed to be traveling from elsewhere. RVs (and lots of boats) kept rolling on in. Crystal Isles is really a great place for fishers or boaters! It has quiet a number of spots where you can put your boat in and leave it docked right off your campsite for the length of your stay. Great from those who don't want to have to put in and take out everyday.
Other great perks included a pool and hot tub, great clubhouse with games and darts, big outdoor chess board, horse shoes, volleyball and a set of swings. Don't have an RV? We also saw a set of tent campers, plus they have a row of cabins that you can rent. With not a lot of super close state park options if you want to stay in the heart of Crystal River, this spot was the perfect medium. In my opinion it actually had a very state park feel to it, in the fact that it was set back in the woods, while also being conveniently located to restaurants and grocery stores for stocking up on essentials (about 5+ minute drive). Overall, this was a great spot and we plan to be back!

What We Did:
Oh, you guys! Let me tell you! Crystal River is a nature lovers dream!
Our main mission for this trip was to meet some manatees, but we found so much more to love too!
~Befriending Manatees~ This was definitely the highlight of the trip for me! I have dreamed of swimming with sea cows for as long as I can remember. This trip let me check it off the bucket list! Crystal River is the only place (apparently in the world) where it is still legal to be in the water with manatees. We went to Manatee Tour and Dive and they were wonderful. They were so knowledgeable about the manatees and you can tell they really care about what they do. You can not touch the manatees (though they can and may touch you), despite what pictures will show when you google Crystal River and manatee swimming. While I was really hoping to get to touch one when they explained how to passively observe the manatees, and why it is important, you could hear how seriously they take conservation and I really respect that. So, we were given wetsuits, snorkel gear and a noodle, loaded the boat and off we went in search for sea cows! Our guide, Bryan, was great at finding all the best spots and at showing us how to get in and stay alongside the manatees. Though there weren't a lot right now due to the late winter (oh, Florida!), we got to see a handful of grown manatees and one super cute manatee calf, whom I dubbed Carl! And I saw a stingray too! Word of warning: It is cold! But you get used to it pretty quickly. We were in and out of the water for about two hours, sometimes in for over 30 minutes, and while you aren't really swimming, more like floating (you aren't supposed to kick your legs), you can get a little tired, so I would recommend bringing water to stay hydrated and make sure you eat a good sized breakfast if you go. ** If you plan ahead, you can also get some pretty good Manatee Tour Deals on Groupon! 

~Crystal River Archaeological State Park~ We hadn't planned to go here. I had actually stumbled across it while googling hiking in Crystal River and decided not to go because it really wasn't a hike. However, we actually saw it while we were out on the boat (right at the entrance to the canal for Crystal Isles) and it looked pretty neat so we docked in a little slip there on the grounds and got out to explore. I am really glad we did! There was a very interesting history behind the place. It was a ceremonial/ burial site for Native American and there are assumed to be between 3,000 and 5,000 bodies buried on site. There is a museum you can go to and then you take the walk to all of the sites, including a tall mound that you walk up. Though we didn't stay for it, the park ranger was setting up for a night walk they were going to be doing later that evening. They do them once a month and walk you around and tell you the history of the grounds. Definitely a great place to learn about true Florida history.

~Drive Fort Island Trail~ We did this later in the afternoon on Saturday. After going back to rest for a bit after the manatee swim (plus waiting for the rain to stop), we got in the car and drove the length of the road that our RV park sat on. It's a great drive with a lot of great places to get out and explore. There are two great hiking spots that I never found when I was googling places to hike. They are part of the Great Florida Birding Trail and one of them (the second spot as you're heading towards the Gulf) was one of my favorite hikes we have ever done. It is an out and back through beautiful marsh land. The trail as a little wet from the rain, but I love the added adventure of trying to keep my feet dry! We hiked it as the sun was going down, which added to the beauty, but also kept us from making our way all the way to the end so I can't wait to do it again. Fort Island Trail dead ends at Fort Island Gulf Beach. It's a great little spot for getting some sun and also has a public boat ramp and fishing pier, plus a fun little boardwalk hike between the pier and the beach. I would definitely recommend taking the drive, even if you don't plan to hike far. It was a beautiful drive and we saw very few other drivers so you really feel like you are on a back road out in the middle of nowhere.

Where We Ate:
Food, glorious food! A lot of my love for a place can be determined on the eating options, which I think is what sealed the deal on making Crystal River one of my favorite new spots.
~Cracker's~ I love spots on the water! Crystal River has a few options, but we chose Cracker's based on the fact that they had oysters. A lot of times, river dining can be great and others the view is what is bringing people and not the food. This place was great, because I would come for both! I got the grilled oysters and they came shucked and ready and they were delightful. Babe got a grouper sandwich and said that the fish was really well cooked and tasted great! The only downside for me would be the birds and squirrels. They were a little too peoplized and since they both freak me out it was not so comforting. However, it was quite the show to watch one of the waitresses try to scare them off with water guns. I actually think I may have seen one of the squirrels stop and try to catch it in his mouth for a drink. Ok, so that's an exaggeration, but still.

~Copp Winery~ Oh this place was my absolute favorite! It is a cute little wine and beer brewery. It is very deceiving from outside, because it looks so small and quaint (quaint is a big Crystal River word for me apparently) that you wouldn't think they would have room to brew. But brew they do! And it is delightful. Babe really liked his flight options and I (not being a beer girl) loved that they had wine too. And sweet wine!! I had a wine named after a manatee! They also had some really good food options. We opted for the cheese plate and enjoyed it immensely. They even had a homemade mozzeralla that was delicious! Though we didn't stay for dinner, they did have some sandwich options if  you were looking for a bigger meal. There is also a really cool secret feature, but I won't spoil the surprise in case you go! The prices were super reasonable too, which was just icing on the cake!

And though we didn't eat there, we stopped in for a cup of coffee at the Highland House and oooo, yum!! I got a caramel latte that reached right to my soul! Babe got a coffee and together our bill didn't reach what I hit on one drink at Starbucks. Can't beat that!

Overall I loved pretty much every minute of this trip and if you have ever thought about visiting Crystal River I fully believe you should! Like yesterday! We can't wait to go back and try our hands at scalloping when the season rolls around!

Happy Adventuring Y'all!! 
Have a beautiful day!
*We used Groupons and camping discounts for a portion of this trip, but all opinions are completely ours.