Thursday, November 29, 2018

Vero Beach Florida, Fun and Family…


Leaving Wickham park we chose to head south on Highway 1, a more scenic drive than Interstate 95. About an hour later we pulled into Tanglewood Village in Vero Beach. Using our Escapees 20% discount we booked a week with plans to visit Sharon’s cousin John and his wife Penny.


We got together with them for dinner at the 12A Buoy restaurant in Jupiter Florida.We always have fun with John and Penny and even better this time as they picked a wonderful spot for dinner and drinks. While we definitely had a few issues with their service we overlooked that because the seafood was top notch. John ordered a “man candy” appetizer that consisted of thick bacon dipped in maple syrup and torched with flame at the table. Boy was that tasty. At the end of the meal, John ordered a chocolate peanut butter pie which was huge so he shared tastes and it was also delicious. The evening went by pretty fast as we enjoyed the food and the company.


Vero Beach is a more laid back town than many in this part of southeastern Florida which is what attracted John and Penny from Michigan to retire here. The beaches are nice and the town is quaint and not gaudy. There are extremes of wealth here like much of southeastern Florida but the people don't seem too pretentious. We enjoyed walking on the beach and taking in some of the sunsets.


One afternoon we drove over to the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area for a nice hike. This area is typical of the Florida Hummock vegetation type with tall cabbage palms and wild coffee mixed in with ferns and saw palmetto underneath. Along the edges of the Indian River Lagoon are mangrove with their gnarled roots “jumping” from spot to spot taking over more shoreline. Where it was more wet there were lots of giant leather ferns which added a primordial feel to the hike making us wonder if we landed in Jurassic Park! We also saw a lot of birds along this 2.6 mile hike.


Suddenly to our delight it was Thanksgiving day and John and Penny had invited us to join in the Thanksgiving festivities. We had a blast watching football and socializing with their friends and Penny’s brother. Penny is a great cook so of course the food was quite tasty as well…We really appreciated celebrating the day with them.

A few more days here in Vero Beach then we start heading a bit inland as we migrate west to Bonita Springs, our winter destination…

NOTE: We are now near Fort Myers, Florida…

Monday, November 26, 2018

A Drive Through Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge


With our time running out here at Wickham Park, we had one more place we wanted to revisit. The weather had changed making it windy and chilly with temperatures in the low sixties. I won’t apologize for calling low sixties chilly because for these two people who follow spring north and fall south it is certainly chilly to us. Anyhow we figured the drive over to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge would be perfect considering the weather…

After about a 50 minute drive we entered the loop drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. This is in our opinion definitely one of the top three loop drives in a wildlife refuge in the entire USA. The other two favorites are the loop drive at Aransas Wildlife Refuge in Texas and the loop drive at the JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Below are some of the birds and sights we enjoyed…

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Heading back we decided to stop in for a little happy hour at a World of Beer in Melbourne and luckily for us we stumbled into something fun, Thirsty Thursday at West Village Melbourne. We were sitting at the World of Beer bar enjoying a beer when we noticed a band setting up outside amongst some tents which appeared to be vendors.. My curiosity got the best of me and I chatted with one of the vendors only to learn about Thirsty Thursday, a free once a month event on the third Thursday of the month. Live music, free food and drink… Score!


Another evening we made a date with John (Sharon’s cousin) and his bride Penny. We chose Squid Lips a waterfront bar and restaurant as a place to meet them since its location is about halfway between where we were and where they live, in Vero Beach, Florida. It was great to see them again and as always time rapidly melted away. Although it had been a year since we last saw them it was like we had never left. Good food, friendship,and great water view from our table made this a great way for us to spend our belated anniversary dinner!

With our time up it was finally time to head a bit further south to Vero Beach, Florida where we wall spend some quality time with John and Penny…

NOTE: We are now near Stuart, Florida…

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Turkey Creek Sanctuary and FIT’s Botanical Garden near Melbourne Florida…


All good things come to an end and so did our stay at Flagler Beach Florida. We packed up the RV and headed further south until arriving at Wickham Park, a Brevard County Park. We have stayed often in this park as it usually has sites available and if  one is lucky enough to score a site on the back row like we did it will be a really large site. We plan to be here six nights before moving further south.


One fun thing about Wickham Park is that we able to walk to the disc golf course within the park and enjoy a nice round of disc golf. This course has 22 holes fairly well marked out with only a small amount of water coming into play. The biggest hazards are palmetto thickets which of course we landed in often and had to spend a good deal of time searching for discs. Boy isn't our life rough…


One day we drove over to the Turkey Creek Sanctuary which has a nice (but short) 1.6 mile hike through the woods. With much of the trail on wooden boardwalks hiking there is relatively easy. The planks of the boardwalk are mostly claimed by donors as many of them had their names or honorariums placed on them. The trail was through typical vegetation for this region and also took us along part of the banks of Turkey Creek. We did spot a few Gopher Turtles and not much else but that didn’t stop us from enjoying this hike.

Grey SquirrelFlorida CooterGopher Turtle

Another afternoon we drove over to the Botanical Gardens at the Florida Institute of Technology. We had a hard time finding parking so I asked a parking patrol person where we could park and he said “Follow me”.  I followed his three wheeler where he pointed out a reserved spot indicating we should park there park there. Cool… he then gave us walking directions to the garden.

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This 15 acre Botanical Garden has a stream meandering throughout the garden. Overhead is a shady hammock of mostly palm trees . The garden is right in the heart of the campus and we noticed students passing through it on the way to class. The main trail was named after Dent Smith in honor of him being the founder of the Palm Society which is a worldwide organization whose focus is the study of the palm family. It was a neat little park and we love the botanical gardens in Florida as they are always so tropical and “other worldly.”


With a few more days in Wickham we will relax then slowly move on making our way to Bonita Springs by the first of December. Our next stop will be in Vero Beach to spend some quality time with Sharon's cousin John and his wife Penny whom we always look forward to spending time with.. As always we are still very thankful for the experiences we have enjoyed in this lifestyle On the Road of Retirement…

NOTE: We are now in Vero Beach, Florida until just after Thanksgiving…

Monday, November 19, 2018

22 Great Stocking Stuffers for Your Favorite RV’er …

Here are 22 great stocking stuffers ideas to get for your favorite RV’er with my favorite one at the top of the list :

Happy Campers Personalized Motorhome Campsite Flag – How about personalizing your space with a custom made greeting flag that serves as a great ice breaker to get to know other campers. Examples below:

Selfie Stick With a Shutter Button – Everybody who takes pictures needs one of these to get a new perspective on their photos.

Flexible Mini Tripod – Want to take a group shot or a time lapse photo of something and need a tripod? Here is a solution for your digital camera, smart phone or mini-cam.

“RV” the movie DVD – Every RV’er really needs to watch this hilarious movie about the lighter side of RV’ing. Get one today!

Water Bandit – This is a must have for RV’ers who like to use National Parks, State Parks and US Forest Service campgrounds. This little blue wonder will attach to any water source!

RV (Widescreen Edition)

Small Bubble LevelsNeed to get level then this is a small item you really should have! Use these bubble levels to get your rig to near perfect levelness!

Quick Hose Connect – Make life easy with these quick connect/disconnects and make hooking up your water hoses quick and easy!

Water Pressure Regulator - Protect your RV plumbing against high pressure with one of these nifty little attachments. 

Garden Hose Splitter or Y-valve – Get one of these ergonomic hose splitters and you will be glad you got rid of your old one. It's now much easier to open/close the valves as well as easier to install and operate!

Product DetailsCamco 40064 Brass Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge

Rubber Shelf Liners – Tired of your dishes and utensils sliding around in your RV and making noise when traveling. Then buy some shelf liner and cut it to custom fit your cabinets and drawers. No more sliding and no more noise.

Microfiber Dish Drying Mat – Every RV kitchen needs one of these small but efficient matts for drying dishes on.

Life is Good Coffee Cup – Get something whimsical and fun for your favorite RV’er to wake up to every morning.

RV Travel Journal – Another fun stocking stuffer is a travel journal to keep notes about all of your travels and fun places you visited.

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Exercise Resistance Bands – Are you into fitness and staying in  shape then these portable exercise bands are the perfect gift. If you have a small set of weights then a set of these will make your outdoor gym complete.

Heavy Duty RV Tire Gauge –We all know that checking our tire pressure on our RV is extremely important. So pick up one of these heavy duty tire gauges. 

Quakehold Museum Putty – Want your pictures to stay up and not fall down? Don’t want to make holes in the walls. Here you go… museum putty works on any surface.

RV Slideout Corner Guards – Tired up hitting your head on the corner of your slide-out? Get rid of the those swimmers noodles and use these.

Product DetailsSlime 2020-A Dually RV Dial Tire Gauge 10-160 PSI

LED Headlamp – Grilling at night? Need to get something out of a bin? When you need to use both your hands and still see this is the perfect stocking stuffer. 

Digital Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer – Need to know how chilly it is outside? Then this device that displays indoor and outdoor temperatures is just what you need. 

Self Powered LED Flashlight – Ever need a flashlight and when you grabbed it the batteries were dead? Make sure that never happens again with this self powered LED light. Simply wind it up and its shining bright for you.

AcuRite 00611A3 Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer and Humidity SensorDuracell 60-063 Smart Power Self Powered LED XL Flashlight


Image result for "passport america"Lastly get a stocking stuffer that will save your favorite RV’er a bunch of cash when they go camping. Get them a one year Membership to Passport America. For only $44.00 your favorite RV’er will save 50% off at over 1900 campgrounds.

We have been members for nearly five years and we have stayed at many of these campgrounds. While they may not be all glamorous resorts many of them are among some of our favorite places to stop…. and we get them all for 50% off! What a deal!!!!

Stocking stuffers are a great way to show a person how much you care and/or love them. Not sure what to get them then one of the best stocking stuffers you could get them would be an Amazon Gift Card!  Who wouldn’t want one of these in their stockings!

We will be wintering this year in Bonita Springs, Florida and one of the things we love about staying in a place for an extended period is that we have mailing address. We will be buying lots of goodies and having them delivered to our winter home. Happy shopping and you better hurry up and finish as the holidays are just around the corner…