As planned we traveled to Vero Beach after leaving the Tampa RV show. We ventured over to the other side of Florida to visit Sharon’s cousins on Friday and Saturday. Just before making our way over to their condo we stopped at one of the local parks for a view of the Atlantic Ocean. I love how the surf nearly always seems more robust and louder on the east coast than anywhere on the west side of Florida.
After our seaside stroll we headed over to the condo where Sharon’s cousin’s wife Penny greeted us. Cousin John was still on the way back from the airport after picking up Sharon's other cousin, Nancy, whom we hadn’t seen since we lived in San Antonio, Texas over 35 years ago! Needless to say we were anxious to see her and very glad John coordinated this reunion. When Nancy finally arrived we all sat around and enjoyed catching up over dinner and drinks.
The weekend was a lot of fun as the cousins had many opportunities to reminisce. Penny and John were perfect hosts leading us on scenic walks to the beach as well as in and around town. We conversed, laughed, looked at old pictures that we had scanned and played some iPod trivia games .Penny and John are looking at perhaps purchasing a condo in the area and we could surely see why Vero Beach appealed to them. Everything is within walking distance and the town is lively with abundant art and entertainment venues. On all our walks we noticed that the town and surrounding neighborhoods were perfectly manicured. A boardwalk built along the beach a couple of blocks from their condo beckoned us so we made several trips day and night to enjoy the views. By Saturday morning the time had come to make the trip home to Bonita Springs. Fond farewells were made and we hit the road with the plan to see Lake Okeechobee on the way home.
When we saw the first turnoff for a trail along Lake Okeechobee we pulled in and walked out onto a pier. The lake was quite large as was evident from the pier because water stretched from horizon to horizon. As we got back on the road we encountered some road construction that delayed us over 30 minutes. After the traffic began to flow we were certainly glad we had stopped at the first pullout for Lake Okeechobee as there were very few other opportunities to see the lake from the road.
The central part of southern Florida was not all that scenic. It was dotted with citrus groves, sugar cane fields and other agricultural croplands. We passed a few RV parks along the way but concluded that we would probably spend no more than a few days at any one of them. Certainly we wouldn’t stay several months during the winter as there looked to be very little to do beyond enjoying the lake and towns were few and far between. I suppose if we stayed with a lot of friends or needed to save on camping fees we might consider staying a month or so.
Anyhow after the drive we were glad to be back home and are now sorting through all the stuff we gathered at the Tampa RV show. With less than two weeks before we leave, the next few days will be used to start picking out our next locations to camp in February as we make our way North out of Florida.