We've been busy busy busy. We finished another weekend of camphosting at Otter Springs. We really are enjoying the campground, how quiet and peaceful it is. The folks we work with are very nice, and the few winter seasonal people we have are nice folks as well. There has been a potluck one night, and card games set up, but as we've been spending the weekdays down in Homosassa we haven't joined in those yet. We're hoping within a couple of weeks that the bulk of the work will be behind us and we'll be able to proceed at a more relaxed pace!
Last week we took care of getting mom to a couple of doctor appointments and shopping. The "to do" list of paperwork and phone calls are getting done bit by bit. We're also installing a LifeStation alert in the house since she will be living alone now, but we are having some issues getting it to work. Now we are waiting for a "dsl filter" to arrive as it seems like it won't work because of the dsl internet line my dad had for his internet.
We also took care of registering our vehicles here in Florida, and registering for the right to vote here...now if I could only figure out who to vote for LOL!! Anyway, people may be interested in hearing how we made out doing this, as many try to decide where to set up residency once they are going on the road. It actually wasn't that difficult for us, mainly because we do have a physical address to use here. THAT is the prime ingredient. And it seems as if it is happening in every state, slowly but surely, and is due to Homeland Security regulations. My sister-in-law witnessed a poor woman in the driver's licensing office who is a full-timer trying to get licensed in Florida using her mail forwarding service address, and they will NOT accept that address any longer. It must be a physical address, and the computers DO recognize the mail forwarding services and will kick it out. She was very upset, and I don't know how she is resolving it. My best advise is to have relative or friend in Florida be your mail forwarding service, and get their affidavit that you are "residing" there. It will be much easier!
In Florida, there are two separate offices for driver's licenses and then for registering your vehicles. You must go to the websites and make sure you have ALL of the proper documentation for proving who you are. Otherwise, its a wasted trip. Here is where to go for license requirements and here for titles and tags. We also found that when we called Geico (we had them in NY) to switch the insurance to Florida, that the insurance rate went up...wow, I thought NY was one of the highest priced states! But we shopped around down here, and ended up getting insurance with identical coverage for less. I always forget, you have to keep looking around every few years as the rates do creep up after a while. If anyone wants further information about setting up in Florida, just let me know, I'll be happy to help out.
We also set up for the Homesteading Exemption since we were in the county offices. I must say, everyone we spoke to was most pleasant and helpful, a much different experience from the DMV and officials back in NY. I think all the utilities for the house are now set up, and the pest control as well..lots of bugs down here :-).
We had planned on heading back to Otter Springs early on Thursday, but it turned out to be SO beautiful a day we decided to try out our new kayaks we had bought from Nick and Miss Terry (Gypsy Journal). We got them secured to the roof of the Trailblazer, and headed down to Crystal River Kayak Company to launch. We were headed to the Three Sisters Springs to see some manatees!
Vies of the canals as we paddled towards to springs. Its an easy 15 minutes to the springs.
Right outside the canal to the springs is a roped off area for the manatees. You are not allowed to cross into this area, its a protected area for them to retreat to when they've had enough of the visitors.
Al is waiting for the snorkelers as the head up the canal to the springs. It was quite a strong current through here and made for slow going as a snorkeler!
Inside the springs area
One lone tagged manatee was hanging out in the springs. We watched for a while, taking care to stay well away from him.
Back out of the springs, we continued paddling up the canals past the beautiful homes on the water, and out into King's Bay. It was terrible windy, though, and I didn't feel confident enough in my paddling skills to tough it out, so we called it a day and headed back. King's Bay will wait for a calmer day!
Nice looking kayak Al's got himself, isn't it! Thanks for the great deal, Nick! We're going to have a blast with these.
One last view of the manatees
After hauling out and packing up, we headed back to the house to clean up and have some lunch. A round of grocery shopping, and we were off to Otter Springs for our weekend of keeping the place all spiffy looking! have I mentioned that we do enjoy this campground :-)?
This week we are down in Fort Wilderness at Disney World.That will be the next story, so stay tuned :-)!