"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crystal River Roundup

One day while I was at Rock Crusher, Vickie and Waid (friends I made while working at Yellowstone NP) drove over to see and my little Casita.   They are working at a park in Florida for the winter.  We then drove around looking for a good place for seafood.  Amazing how many restaurants around here are closed on Monday.  It was great to see them again!
Vicki even brought me oranges and grapefruit from her uncle's trees.
Waid and Vick

My sister, Ardell, met me at Rock Crusher Canyon on Friday, January 18th.  We were headed to Orlando for several days and then she went on a bicycle trip with Senior Cycling to celebrate her 65th birthday.  If I didn't mention it, she is my OLDER sister.  I must admit, I am jealous of the whole medicare thing:)

Daavae & Peg with their shrimp.
Peg, Dave, Ardell and I went out for one last seafood dinner.  Our choice was The Freezer - great steamed shrimp.  This was a repeat for Peg, Dave and I.  It was th

at good!

Sunday morning we packed up to head to Orlando.  I decided to store the Casita for the week so I wouldn't have to tow it around Orlando.  Smart move.  Of course, I thought I knew where I was going - but no.  We definitely took the scenic route.  I kept telling Peggy and Dave I could get lost going around the block.  I think they may believe me now.

After getting the Casita parked, Ardell and I took off for Orlando - about 1.5 hours away.

Kayaking - I May Be Hooked

Monkey Island - that's a monkey on the
USS Primate
Dave and Peg on their
inflatable kayak.
Peggy and Dave have an inflatable kayak called a SeaEagle.  Perfect for RVers because it rolls up into a small package and is easy to transport.  This was my first time to go kayaking and I loved it.    We have been twice in the last week.  (lots of places to rent kayaks in the area)  Our first trip was on the Homosassas River back to the state park in hopes of seeing manatees.  No luck!  The weather here has been too warm for them.

Dave & Peg passing through the poles - tight fit for them.

Dave sent me a video a few days after I left Rock Crusher - they had been kayaking at Three Sisters again and saw lots of manatees.  I was so jealous:)
Yours Truly (pic taken by Dave White)

Our second trip was to Three Sisters Spring.  We started bright and early and were one of the first ones on the river.  Very peaceful.  This was another beautiful area known for manatees.  Unfortunately, there were none there the day we went.  We did see a lot of beautiful birds.  Peg and Dave just made it through the posts with their kayak. (I assume these are here to keep larger boats out).   They visited and were photographed by a former National Geographic photographer who was there taking photos for an e-book.

Another pic taken by Dave.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Withlacoochee Rails-to-Trails Bike Rides

Withlacoochee State Trail
The longest rails-to-trails in Florida is the  Withlacoochee Trail in Inverness at 46 miles.  We have loaded up the bikes on two occasions and gone for a ride along the trail.  Both times we have started at the trail head in Inverness a short car ride from the RV park.
Peggy and Dave

Ferris Groves - home of fresh strawberry shakes and Florida Fruit

Fresh Strawberry Shake - our
reward for 15 miles on the
We drove back to Ferris Groves so we
could buy oranges and grapefruit.
Our first ride we headed to the small town of Floral City.  It is a great paved trail and very easy to ride.  We rewarded ourselves with a fresh strawberry shake at Ferris Groves in Floral City.

Our second ride we started at the same rail head in Inverness but rode
the opposite way - about 10 miles roundtrip.  We had lunch
in Inverness before heading back to Rock Crusher.
Stop along the river.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park
While most of my friends have been experiencing winter type weather, here in Florida it has been in the upper 70s or low 80s with lots of sunshine.  Definitely no complaints from me.  Peggy, Dave and I have been out seeing the sites.  One day we went to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.  It was a gorgeous day!  We enjoyed a short boat ride out to the park and spent the day.  A park ranger gave information about the manatees and we were able to see a couple.  Sorry, no decent picture of one - yet!

Lou - the hippo.  The only non-Florida species in the park.
A former movie star about to celebrate his 53rd birthday.
 This is one of those places you could go several
times and see something new each time.
Pink Flamingos

Bald eagle - many of these
animals were injured.  All the
eagles we saw, had lost a wing.

Boat ride out to the park.
Peggy Manatee

Happy New Year - New Adventures!!!

2013 is the year of La Casita.  The plan is to travel around and spend some time exploring.   Since I don't know where I want to live or what I want to be when I grow up,  I am going to have some adventures.  Hope you travel along - and I'll try to be better about posting.  Santa even brought me a new camera.

After several more cold, foggy days at Monte Santo State Park, I headed south towards Florida.  Along the way I stopped at Blue Springs State Park in Alabama for two days.  This was my first backing fail and also the first time I tried it totally alone.  Fortunately, there were some pull-through sites.  Practice!!!

My destination was Rock Crusher Canyon RV Park in Crystal River, FL to meet friends, Peggy and Dave White for a two week stay.  (January 6-20)  With the help of Onstar, I found the park.  With the help of Dave's directions, I got backed into my site and unhooked.  I am still learning all kinds of stuff about this RV life.

Hanging With the Big Guys

Monday, January 14, 2013

Glamping up La Casita

Time to glamp up the Casita!!!  While I was in Houston, I ordered some pillow ticking to recover the seat cushions.  There were so many little upholstery shops in The Heights I wimped out and just had those done.

Janet and I went shopping for curtain fabric but couldn't find what we liked - so we ended up with some drapery panels.  As many of you know, Janet loves to decorate.   I spent a couple of days at her house sewing - yes, sewing!!!  It's been a while:)  This was easy stuff - I used the drapery panels (from Target) for curtains and then made pillow shams with the pillow ticking.

I like it!!!

This is the sleeping area.

Dining area (guest room, desk, and sewing area:

December in Houston

 (I'm trying to get caught up)

The new house (built in the 40s)  And, that's
my Casita back there.  I actually backed up
through those gates and got it back there - with
LA's direction.  Way proud!
December was spent in Houston.  Doug and Leigh Anne just bought a new house in The Heights.  I was able to park la Casita behind their house and help with the move - mainly babysitting Caden while they unpacked, organized, shopped and tended to other things with the move as well as the coming Christmas holiday.   It was great getting to spend so much time with them and having the Casita right there.
Reading a Christmas Story.

Christmas morning - isn't this typical.  New
toys and he is having great fun sitting
in a gift box.
Spending time with Caden was great fun!  The little guy is super active and doesn't stay still for long.  Not sure how I ever managed three.  (well, I was a lot younger!!)

These two have the same gorgeous
color hair!
Christmas morning was spent with Doug, Leigh Ann and Caden.  Doug made us a great brunch.  Then I was off to spend the day with my siblings at Barb and Jim's.  Doug, La and Caden spent the day with Leigh Ann's family.

Uncle Nick finally gets to meet the little guy.
Black Bear, Black Bear what do you see?
Love reading to my favorite little guy.
Janet and Nick arrived on the 26 so we had Christmas with them.  We missed you Sarah!  Nick had to work so headed back to Huntsville later in the day.  Janet stayed for a couple of days and she and I headed to Huntsville towing la Casita.

I ended the year camped in Monte Santo State Park in Huntsville.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

AL/TN Bound

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I headed to Alabama to see Janet and Nick and then went on to Tennessee to see friends.   Its a 13 hour drive and I have decided to break that up into two days from now on.  Am I getting old?

Janet and Nick are doing great.  I had not seen them since their visit to Yellowstone NP in June.  We had lots to catch up on.  One of the days I was there,  Janet and I made new Christmas stockings for the two of them and their cat, Callie.  About half-way through Janet comments "Mom, if you weren't helping me I'd have just ordered these".  My reply, "if these weren't for you, I'd wouldn't do this".  We persevered and they came out cute.

New Stockings for the Cassianos
Cathy and I
After a few days in Huntsville, I headed to Spring Hill, TN and stayed with Cathy and Ted.  Picked up my mountains of mail - and I mean mountains.  Cathy's new quilt shop The Dancing Bobbin is doing great and has grown since I left.

I also had dinner one night with some of my "movie buddies' and my "bike riding buddy".  Great fun to see everyone.

Saturday I headed to The Quilting Squares where I use to work part-time for their Christmas Open House.   For all my Houston peeps who keep asking about me running into country music stars (funny, they don't seem to go to the same places as me) here is a pic of Steve Wariner.  His wife, Caryn, is a quilter.  Super nice guy.

Steve Wariner 

After lunch with a PR buddy, I headed back to Houston with an overnight stop along the way.