Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's Been A Year

Really. Yesterday was our one year anniversary of our new life. I wish I had all sorts of profound things to say, but I don't :-). Its been an extraordinary adventure. Really good times, a couple of down times. New friends, and more good-byes. Visits and good times. What have we done with ourselves for the past year?

Huntting Island State Park S.C.

Rainbow Springs State Park, Florida

High Falls State Park, Georgia

The Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Barren River Lake State Park, Kentucky

Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

Our first workamping job at Waldenwoods, Hartland Michigan

Seven Lakes State Park, Michigan

Tulip Festival, Holland MI

Proud Lake State Park, MI

Swimming in Lake Huron, Oscoda, MI

The Au Sable River, River Road Scenic Highway from Oscoda, MI

Mackinac Island, MI

The Soo Locks, Sault St. Marie, MI

Shipwreck Coast, Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior, MI

Tahquammenon Falls, MI

The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI

The Old Mission Peninsula, MI

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, MI

The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Dearborn, MI

Sunset Dune Buggy trip at Silver Lake State Park, MI

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Taughannock Falls State Park, New York

Watkins Glen State Park, New York

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Seneca Falls, New York

First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach Virginia

Natural Bridge, Virginia

Green River Lake State Park, Campbellsville, Kentucky...our home while working at Amazon.com

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park, Hodgenville, Kentucky

Camphosting at Otter Springs Park and Campground, Trenton, Florida, along the Suwanee River

Manatee Springs State Park, Florida

Cedar Key, Florida

Manatees at Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida

4 night "vacation" at Disney World!

Airboat Tour, Homosassa, Florida

Volunteer work started at Homosassa Springs State Wildlife park, to be continued next winter.

Finally, end the year at EPCOT's Flower and Garden Festival.

It seems like it was a pretty good year, yes?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival

As we;re winding our way down to departure day, after scheduling appointments and chores, we decided to treat ourselves to a day off and went to the Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT last Wednesday. It has always been one of our favorite events at Walt Disney World, and it was a pleasure to share it with our family members who have never been down for it. The flowers and topiarys are beautiful to see. Let the pictures tell the tale.

The beautiful and graceful flamingos from Fantasia

Bambi Thumper and Flower were on exhibit in the Butterfly House

The butterfly entrance for the exhibit

The begonias are beautiful

The silly crocodile from Peter Pan

The floating flower pots are an annual staple at the festival

As we headed into the World Showcase, the gardens of Canada are in full bloom

A family photo in the gardens of the United Kingdom pavilion

France's topiarys are from Beauty and the Beast

A 100 year old bonsai in the Japanese pavilion

This was new to me...Tater from the movie Cars

Lady and the Tramp at the Italian pavilion

It was a very nice day, just a couple of showers to duck while we were there. It was fairly crowded as well, but manageable. I don't think there is a slow time at Disney any more! We also enjoyed indulging in some of our favorite snacks during the day...my favorite is the chocolate crepes in France :-). Having nibbled all day, we decided to wait until we were almost back home for dinner, and went to the China Buffet in Brooksville...one of Nick's (of the Gypsy Journal fame) favorites. I must remember to thank him for this dining tip, it was very good! 

Thursday we headed back to Otter Springs for the weekend. Only two weekends left of work here! The hitch is starting to get itchy again :-).  It was pretty busy, even though the weather wasn't forecast to be the best. And we did get some serious rain on Saturday, with a few pretty strong thunderstorms. To tell you the truth, and other camphosts will understand this, with the crowd we had this weekend, having rain on Saturday afternoon was not a bad thing....kind of kept the rule breakers in check. But the rain we've had over the last couple of weeks has raised the level of water in the spring run high enough that you are finally able to take the canoes down to the river from here. So, this morning, we got up early and took a canoe ride down the springs run...and those pictures will be in the next blog entry :-).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Maygar and Don Juan

Thanks to everyone for the compliments on the pictures! I haven't taken very many this winter as we've been doing a lot of household work, it felt good to take pictures again. Sherry, the noise from the airboat IS very loud, but everyone is given noise blocking earphones to wear when the boat is going fast. Its not too bad when idling, and Captain Bob would turn off the engine when it was time to just float and talk about what we were seeing. It was very interesting.

Wednesday we had both gone over to the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park, and worked the panther cart for the day. Al wasn't needed on the boats, so he decided to work with me. He's a natural :-). Of course, anyone who knows him knows he can pretty much talk to anyone about anything :-). I enjoy doing the interpretive carts, and guests of the park seem to be very interested in hearing more about the cats rather than just strolling by and snapping a picture.

This is Don Juan, our 17 year old Florida panther. He is in his own habitat, but had come out to sun himself on top of his shed :-).

This is my pretty girl Maygar, our 10 year old Cougar. During the warmer part of the afternoon she was resting, behind a rock of course, and only her tail could be seen swishing away the flies. As it cooled down she came out to be admired. All of a sudden, a turkey vulture landed in her habitat and had her full attention:

She went into stalk mode:

But eventually the vulture realized he was on thin ice and flew away :-)

Our volunteer time here just flies by....much more interesting and fun than cleaning bath houses :-)! I'm looking forward to doing more time here at the Park next winter.

I also snapped a picture of the sandhill crane and her chick...so cute! We have a pair of sandhill cranes that hang out around the neighborhood as well, but haven't seen any chicks.

That's pretty much it. We worked at Otter Springs over the weekend, beautiful weather once again. I can't believe what a nice winter it has been. We did a lot of leaves, the live oaks are really dropping the old leaves as the new ones are pushing forth. Thankfully, the pollen is not bothering either one of us. Just a little sinus drip, and according to our new doctor that we visited today, our throats and ears seem a little irritated, but nothing serious. Speaking of which, we've been pronounced healthy and ready to proceed with our travels ;-).

Tomorrow, we are all going down to Disney World for the day, to take in the Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT. Should be fun, and I'll take pictures :-).