Christmas dinner was on Monday, a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings put on by Al's mom and sister at the rental house in Sugar Mill Woods, Homosassa. We were joined by my mom and dad as well, and we all had a lovely time. Even the dogs had a good time, immediately jumping in the pool when we arrived...they do love swimming :-). Plenty of phone calls also occurred, with family and friends checking in for holiday wishes.
Tuesday was supposed to be a rainy and stormy day, so we planned on staying near the campground, doing some cleaning and restocking at WalMart. Its funny how a couple of 60-hour work weeks can throw a wrench into your schedules ;-). It weather wasn't nearly as bad as forecast however, and we were able to do all our chores without getting wet. I was also able to snap a couple of quick photos of two new bird species for me:
The bird life is wonderful here, with so many song birds in the area. I put my feeders out, even though it was only a few days, and had yellow warblers, tufted titmouse, cardinals, chipping sparrows, catbirds, towhees, a pair of common ground doves, and others I couldn't catch a good glimpse of. Beautiful hawks would float through the air, screaming all the time. The campground is right on the Rainbow River (no sites on the water though), and its a perfect spot to launch kayaks from for a gentle ride down the the headsprings. The Headsprings is a separate area of the park, and is a beautifully landscaped park to stroll. Its handicapped-accessible as well, and there's a swimming area in such clear water that you almost can't stand it. We went over there Tuesday night after seeing a sign that it was decorated with Christmas lights. For a small donation of $1.00 each, you can stroll through the gardens all lit up by Christmas lights. It was very pretty, and we enjoyed it very much.
Wednesday we headed back to Sugar Mill Woods for an overnight stay...we had several bits of business to take care of. We had previously arranged to buy a pair of gently used kayaks from Nick and Terry Russell, from the Gypsy Journal. Great folks, with tons of information on the full-timer lifestyle ( they've been doing it for 13 years). We met them at their camp at the Escapee's park Sumter Oaks over in Bushnell, FL., and they gave us a great tutorial on using the kayaks, and getting them fastened to the vehicle securely so that they don't go flying off the first time you come to a stop :-)...that would be bad! I'd really like to attend one of their rallies one day, they are full of information and have a great time as well...what could be better? So now we have kayaks to explore the "Nature Coast" of Florida for those times when we don't have the dogs with us...sshh, don't let them hear that!
Thursday we had a full afternoon of house viewings. Yes, we are full-timing, but we are home-basing in Florida. A house in Sugar Mill will be home for Al's mom and sister, as well as a good "exit plan" for when the time comes to go off-road. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am always planning, and I feel better when we have options. No-one knows what will happen in the future, and whereas everything is going well, there may come a time that out of necessity we need a place to fall back to. Hopefully, that won't be for a long, long time!
And, to make a long story short, we did make an offer on one, and it was accepted. We have contracts signed, the inspections are next week, and the closing is January 16. How's that for getting things done :-)? We should have plenty of time to get them moved in and settled before we leave for Colorado after Easter.
Friday we moved up to Trenton, to Otter Springs Park and Campground, where we are camphosting for the next three months. Its a volunteer job for a county campground, with us working 15 hours a week and getting our campsite for working there. We haven't started yet, as we need to have background checks and drug screens done (its a county job, so these are required. Its very nice here, quiet this weekend.
Here's our campsite, Site 40. Its a nice site, with some sun and shaded by a beautiful oak tree.
There's three walking trails here. This one is 1 1/2 miles long and leads down the the Suwanee River and Little Otter Springs. The main springs are right here in the park, but we didn't walk down there this afternoon as there was a wedding taking place.
The bride's limo..how funny is this?? There's a few stilt houses and cabins for rent in the park, and it appeared that the wedding party was using them. There's also a lodge here at the park for larger events, and that is where the reception was being held.
Little Otter Springs
The Suwanee River...looks like another boating opportunity :-).
And of course, the wonderful draping moss is everywhere.
Homosassa for a couple of days. House inspection Wednesday, and we'll see what else we can get up to.
Happy New Year to everyone, I think 2012 is going to be a wonderful year!