Monthly Archives: April 2012

“Sunni” and the Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach, Florida

The Name is Sunni, that’s the name I’ve given my Toyota Solara Convertible. I figure she has earned her own nickname since we spend hours together as we follow Jerry, Cabo and Big Red down the highways (often with the top down). I feel she has earned a nickname, so from now on, my beautiful white Toyota  Solara convertible will be referred to as “Sunni”! The melodic voice of the GPS led to the femal gender decision.

Panama City Beach

We made our way to our next stop,  Panama City Beach, FL, by way of Florida 30A and US 98, the costal highways wind through  more picturesque places. We hope one day to make it back to one to explore it more fully, a seaside village called Mexico Beach. There were RV parks, condos and resorts right in town on the beach. We also drove through a huge military base that stretched for miles, and over many long bridges and bodies of water before reaching Panama City. This was the heaviest traffic we’ve driven in since we left Palm Harbor. Sunni and I followed right along behind Jerry and Big Red. Somehow it is more nerve wracking to watch Big Red weave through traffic from behind than it is to ride in the cab with Jerry! I must say though, Jerry has been just amazing at how he took to towing the 5th wheel, especially since he had never towed anything before we left RI last Fall! Learning to tow a 33 foot 5th wheel trailer by pulling directly out on to Interstate 95 in Warwick RI the first time was trial by fire, he’s done great from the start.

There are actually two separate towns, the original city of Panama City and the the community on the beach called Panama City Beach.
We stayed in Panama City Beach at Pineglen RV Resort.

Trailer, car, and camp in Panama City Beach
Pineglen Camp, Panama City Beach

The park was actually located inland  in the pine trees and was laid out nicely with good sized pull through sites, ponds, screen rooms scattered throughout and a large screened area which enclosed the pool, shower rooms and laundry.
Cabo seemed to be  more comfortable here in the pines than he was by the water at our last camp ( he must be a mountain cat rather than a sea cat). He even treed a couple of lizards in the first hour we were set up as he explored his new home from the end of his leash.  He was very comfortable outside on his leash, even by himself, (at least until a car would drive by!)

Cape San Blas

Our camp in Indian Pass is at the ‘end of the road’, literally! So, every once in a while we left to do errands or explore a nearby area.

Well, just when you think you’ve already been to the most beautiful and peaceful places in Florida, you find another one.  Yesterday on our ride back to the RV after driving 18 miles to the nearest post office to mail our tax extension request (anyone who knows the Nettiks is not surprised by this) we saw a sign for Cape San Blas and took a right turn onto a paved road which led down a narrow elbow shaped cape. A paved bicycle trail followed the highway for miles, not ending until we reached the gate to a National Park. We eventually turned off the main road to check out some of the many houses for sale and rent (always having an eye out for a good deal in “paradise”). At the end of the neighborhood we parked the car and walked down to the beach – what met our eyes was miles of white sand beach and hardly another human being in sight. We walked along with the warm Gulf of Mexico lapping at our feet and the brightest blue sky I’d seen in years above us.
Eventually we tore ourselves away from the beach and Back into our car headed toward our home on wheels. However, on the way we decided it was time to check out the Indian Pass Raw Bar and Trading Post that we had heard a lot about. Who can resist a place described as having the best oysters ever and self serve beer! Not us, that’s for sure!
We weren’t disappointed. We started off with a self serve pitcher of beer and a cup of seafood gumbo (delicious), next was the decision of how to have our oysters – raw, steamed or baked – we decided on the baked with topped Parmesan cheese and garlic butter, they were absolutely the best tasting oysters we’ve ever had!
Great way to end another beautiful day!

Indian Pass

A Walk on the Beach

As Jerry and I walked along the miles of beach at Indian Pass, I collected shells and Jerry grabbed his #camera and did some landscape and abstract #photography. We started walking together, but soon Jerry went on ahead looking for just the right bird or wave to photograph and I became completely engrossed in examining the shells washed up on the beach by the morning’s storm.  As I was collecting the “just right” small shells from the sand, an elderly man came down from his house above the beach.  He said that he and his wife had been watching me for some time and thought I must be finding jewels of some sort. I said that I was, I was collecting the jewels of the beach, and that I was planning to make them into jewelry. We had a wonderful conversation where I learned that his wife had been a teacher and he a principal! He had been retired 29 years and had been coming to Indian Pass for the last 11 years.
Next I came across a couple from Atlanta who were walking their dogs, one a beautiful golden retriever and the other a homeless dog that they had rescued from a park near their home in Atlanta.
It is so much fun to meet and hear the stories of the people we are meeting along the way!

Apalachicola, FL

We decided to check out the nearby town of Apalachicola, which is known for it’s oysters! We started at the pier where we spent half an hour watching the dolphins play in the river. They seemed like free spirits as they frolicked with each other and swam round and round the boats that passed them. The pier was amazing and looked to be brand new. We were intrigued by a two story houseboat tethered to an adjoining dock. It was complete with planters filled flowering plants on it’s deck.

Next we headed to the historic marina and oyster processing markets that lined the street which followed the river bank. What a great little find this was. There were several buildings along the river advertising their oysters and other seafood as well as a quaint antique and gift shop, called The Tin Shed, that had the most wonderful collection of marine stuff both old and new, huge chunks of drift wood that were natural sculptures, colored glass buoys, anchors, carved wooden birds, shells and every other possible decorative marine item. We found a great brass beer opener for the wall of our RV, because after all, what’s an RV without a wall mounted beer opener!

As we walked around this historic village it was clear that this community is determined to bring life back to this Gulf treasure. Almost every building was either refurbished, in the process of being, or torn down. We found a great seafood restaurant right on the marina called “Up the Creek Raw Bar” where we sat on the second floor deck overlooking the marina, watched the oyster boats come in. We ate the best raw oysters we’ve ever had! While we ate, we met yet another couple from Ontario (Bill and Cathy), who were staying in a nearby condo. They were considering purchasing an RV and were interested in our RV travels.

Tandem Travel

April 16

We set off from Cedar Key, Florida today, Jerry and Cabo in Big Red and Me following in the convertible talking through our walkie talkies to share the sights as we drove along. We couldn’t get our next address, a campground on Indian Pass, to show up on any of our GPS devices, so we put in something as close as we could find. The drive on US98 was beautiful, much of it through nature preserves was park- like.
The office was closed when we got to the Indian Pass Camoground, but our registration and site assignment were waiting in the office box.
Our site has a beautiful water view just steps from Apalachicola Bay with a direct view of the sunrise they tell us. Although services here are pretty basic (electricity, water and cable – no sewer) the setting makes it perfect.

Tandem travel is not ideal, and is a poor option for full-time RV’ing. The reason we are doing this, is because we are moving from New England to ???. Once we establish a ‘home base’ we will re-evaluate our vehicle situation. We will have to either move to motor coach, and a tow dolly for the car, or keep the current 5th wheel setup and store the Toyota Solara while we head out on the road. It will all come together someday, but we’ve only been at this for 9 months.

April 17 – Another Gem – Indian Pass Campground, Florida 

It is nothing fancy, just naturally beautiful! What else can you say about a place where there’s nothing to see but water, dolphins and birds from your doorway! Nothing to do but bird watch, dolphin watch, fish and walk the beach looking for shells! We wouldn’t have ended up here but for the stories of a couple we met (David and Brenda) on a pier in Cedar Key. They were right about the beauty, friendly people and peacefulness of this camp.

Sunrise on Apalachicola bay
Sunrise on Apalachicola bay

Jerry was up at sunrise to take pictures from our front door, then we walked for miles on the beach collecting shells and watching the dolphins play.

Saint Vincent Nature  Preserve Island is just across the waterway from us and we hope to get there this week. Yes, I said week, we first were going to stay a night or two, but by the time Jerry walked over to offically register, we decided on staying until Friday. We have to vacate because someone has reserved our space. Probably a good thing as we might just stay on. Talking with a nearby camper (Kevin) with Colorado license plates I learned he came for a night, in February, and is still here. It grows on you as you walk along miles of beautiful beach.


Cedar Key by Bicycle

April 14 – Cedar Key facts from Wikipedia

Today we decided it was time to give the bikes some exercise and ourselves too.
We rode our bikes into Cedar Key, first to the Cedar Key Museum State Park. Along the way we enjoyed seeing all of styles of houses found along the way, from ranch style to houses standing high above the ground on stilts. Continue reading Cedar Key by Bicycle

Cedar Key

Exploring Cedar Key

Well we’ve been here at Sunset Isle RV Resort and Motel in Cedar Key, FL for 3 days, and I have to say it is an interesting place. The town itself seems to be having a hard time surviving. Lots of empty storefronts, but they seem to be trying to revive the town. The area is beautiful with water everywhere and some beautiful homes, as well as shacks about to collapse – an interesting mixture. We found a cute little Tiki Bar Continue reading Cedar Key

RV Traveling With a Pet

Setting off on an extended trip with our cat seemed a bit daunting so I started by researching RV traveling with a cat on the Internet before we set out and learned helpful hints to make it possible and pleasurable.

  • Setup the litter box in your shower or tub.  This makes taking a shower a little more difficult since you have to move it out before you shower, but keeps the mess pretty contained. It also meant a cleaner litter box and shower. Continue reading RV Traveling With a Pet

On the Move Again

Today was a bitter-sweet day for us. We are leaving the Clearwater / Tarpon Spings RV Park in Palm Harbor, Florida where we spent most of the last five months. We hadn’t planned to spend the winter here, but we fell in love with the area and the people. We even seriously considered making this area our “home base”. Continue reading On the Move Again

Preparing for Full Time RV Life

Once we made the decision to be at least short term full-time RVers the challenges of having no brick and mortar home came to light. We were selling our home and not planning to purchase another one for some time.
How do you pare down 37 years of accumulated belongings?
What do you do with what you do keep, but can’t take in the RV?
What kind of RV will you travel in?

Continue reading Preparing for Full Time RV Life