Monday, June 27, 2016

Florida - Three Stops


We made a two night stop in Callahan starting on June 14, 2016. This was the half way point from Walterboro to Winter Haven. We stayed at Kelly's Countryside Campground
The owners are very nice, and wanted to know all about Asheville, which of course we love to talk about. The campground is right on Hwy 301 so there was some road noise. Sites are pretty narrow but long enough for the RV, tow-dolly and parking the car. Laundry room was clean, and there was a large field for walking the dog. We paid $30.60 a night with our Good Sam Discount.
We hadn't planned on unhooking the car but the heat was so high we decided we needed another small fan, so off to the store we went. Did our shopping and arrived home only to discover we bought everything else except the fan we needed - back we went. The memory just isn't what it used to be! In our travels we found one roadside oddity. A very large golf ball which one can only assume was a sign at one time, maybe for a golf course that no longer exists. 

Winter Haven

Wedding weekend started on June 16, 2016. We stayed at Cypress Campground and RV Park, it is on Hwy 540 but there was no real road noise. 

The campground is very large, a number of permanent sites, but kept up very well. The sites are about average width and just long enough for our RV, tow-dolly and parking the car. The amenities include a pool, shuffle board courts, basketball court, mini-golf, bocce ball courts, a playground and a fenced dog park. The bathrooms were very clean and there were multiple bathhouses through out the campground. Shopping is close enough to walk to and just 10 minutes from downtown Winter Haven. We paid $35.00 a night with our Good Sam Discount.
We started off Friday morning meeting the Barrett clan at Dunkin Donuts. The groom and best-man, David John and Sam, headed off to tackle wedding projects. Sue and grandson Alias spent the day at Legoland

Dave, Les's brother joined us for the day. We headed south to Punta Gorda to get a picture of one of the Florida Peter Wolf Toth Indians.
This is the first one that has a face carved on both sides. It is the 10th statue on the Trail of the Whispering GiantsCalostimucuI was carved in 1974 out of a Guanacasta (Ear Tree), the National tree of Costa Rica. 

After picture taking we had lunch at an Irish Pub in town. Drove the hour and a half back to Winter Haven only to discover that Nancy left her purse at the pub. Grrrr - we were not a happy car load of people. So back we went an hour and a half and then back to Winter Haven again! It was a long day - told ya the memory thing is not the best! 
On the way back the first time we stopped to get a picture of another Indian Carving, it looks a lot like a Peter Wolf Toth, but there is nothing to indication that it is. 

Here comes the bride
Wedding Day! The wedding of David John and Rebecca is what brought us to this extremely hot place and we are so glad we came. It was a beautiful ceremony and the couple was glowing with happiness. It was nice to meet Rebecca's rather large family and to catch up with Sue's family that we haven't seen in decades. 
With this ring ~~~ Mr and Mrs Barrett

The Barrett Men
Sam ~ David John ~ Alias ~ Dave

It is always so much fun being with Dave and Sue. Dave can be so silly.

David John
Dave and Sue
The reception was lovely, the food was delicious and the cakes her Aunt made were beautiful. David John is an engineer on an Alaskan fishing boat, so the grooms cake was perfect. 

A sparkler arch was the finish to a fun day - looks like Rebecca loved the get-away car. They drove off into a beautiful sunset. 

Even Nancy gets silly sometimes.

We happened to be in Lakeland on Father's Day. Nancy's dad lived and breathed Tiger's Baseball, so it was the perfect day to be at Tiger Town. They are doing a lot of work to the stadium but we were able to get some pictures.

If there is one thing Nancy's dad loved as much as baseball it would have to be beer, so of course we stopped at a brewery! A beer and a hot-dog, perfect!  Les had the dog and Nancy had the best grilled cheese she has ever eaten. Lakeland Brewery is in an old warehouse and decorated so nice inside - a mix of industrial and chic! 

The brewery is across the street from Mirror Lake, it gives you a great view while sitting on their dog friendly patio. The lake is surround by a park and has art along the walkway, and is home to a number of ducks and geese.

A Roadside Oddity can also be found there. "Blinky" the one eyed gator was a favorite with locals, until he met his match against a crocodile. So they created a memorial to him. 
Munn Park in downtown Lakeland has a painted tree! It is part of the Pop Up Art Project supporting the Arts and bringing awareness to downtown Lakeland. 
 While Nancy was taking pictures of the tree, a bird wanted to get in on the photo shoot and landed in the perfect spot for a shot!

Silver Springs

When we left Winter Haven on June 20, 2016 we weren't done with family yet. Next up was Nancy's brother who lives in Silver Springs. It has been eight years since we have seen Bob and his wife Bonnie. So this was a long over due visit. 
We stayed at the Wilderness RV Park. It is a very large park, with three different sections. Most are permanent sites and you can purchase a site. Our site was long and wider than normal.The entire park is very well kept up and they have lots of amenities, an Olympic sized pool, fitness room, game room and a restaurant right on site. Good food and friendly service, and a small gift shop with homemade Whoopie Pies. 

While we were only there for two days, it was great catching up with them. Bob has always done beautiful cabinets and woodworking and their house is truly a labor of love. Bonnie makes amazing hats for the Red Hatters and Black Hatters, they are just beautiful. We are hoping to get back here come winter when Nancy's cousins are in town from Michigan. 

Next stop is Cottondale, FL. and a visit with more family.

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You! 

Tips and things we have learned along the way.
~ Cooking outdoors
When camping in the heat, the last thing we want to do is create more heat inside the RV. Just using the stove (gas burners), can't increase the heat level dramatically, and the oven is even worse.
Grilling out is always tasty, and keeps the heat outside. The one draw back is how do you travel with a grill? Like most RVer's we have just about every space filled with something. The Coleman Fold n' Go was our solution. It folds up and fits into a nice carry case that also holds the extra griddle and stove top accessories as well as the propane tank. The surface is plenty big enough, with room for six burgers, or two foil pans of veggies! 

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