Thursday, March 31, 2011

Segway tour

St. Petersburgh Pier

We had a fun day...we went on a Segway tour of the St. Petersburg Pier area.  I have been using LivingSocial and Groupn to get some deals for our travels.  So when a tour came up for a Segway tour Dusty was all for it!!  They are something and you use your body to make it go faster or slower.  Lean forward a little and you go faster, want to slow down..lean stop...stand up straight!!  But once you are on and the computer has adjusted to your weight and balance you can't move your feet!!!  Sounds easy huh...1 and half hours of not moving your feet...they go to sleep!!  Of course I was a little nervous and afraid to move much as I didn't want to fall down.  If you fall off the Segway will keep going for 8 to 10 feet...could be a dangerous thing, especially when you are in an area with traffic and people as we were. The weather looked iffy when we got there but it stayed fine and we had a beautiful trip.  They are improving the Pier area and it has parks and cute business.  Unfortunatly the pier that has been there since 1920's maybe tore down by 2013 as the piling is rotten and wore out.  Dusty did real well and had the speed turned up, but we never were in an area where he could let go....I on the other hand thought I had it down and took a curb too fast, lost leg came up, I tipped and then mirculously recovered!!!  But one foot got to wake up for a moment!!!!  Dusty is ready to do it again and was looking on line at Segways....keep dreaming honey.
We also went to the Sunken Gardens, a man's garden that has been growing for 100 years and is very beautiful.  While waiting to go on the Segway tour we also went through the Museum of History.  St. Petersburg has many museums and one could spend allot of time here.  We didn't get to go to the beach as the weather began to get nasty and we wanted to go out to the pier.  We got to watch two pods of dolphins swimming very close and began talking to a fisherman.  He gave us some tips on Marathon which is in the Keys and where we are headed in a week, and told us where to buy Stone Crab Claws.  Stone Crabs are caught in the Tampa Bay and one claw is removed.  They are huge. They have 6 months to fish for the crabs, then they wait 6 months for a new claw to grow and start the process over.  We headed to the little Greek market he recommended and bought some.  We just got the large size but they had extra large also.  So we had a delicious meal of crab dipped in butter.  Being from the west coast we still find the Dungeonous and King Crab tastier, but our theory is when we are in a new area to try the local food, that is the fun of traveling.  I write these the day after because when we get home and get dinner and do other things I am too tired to write, and this takes longer then one may think.  But as I write this we have been through some horrible storms.  Some of the worse storms they have had in over 25 years.  There have been multiple tornadoes just north of us and strong winds up to 75 mph.  I have been prepared to run all morning...took a shower, got dressed, put my shoes on, got the portable weather radio out and umbrella.  Now where to run???  I thought we should maybe drive south, but the storm was hitting all around us and turning semi's over, so not a good idea, then I thought we are parked right next to a pond...get in a ditch when a tornado comes or pond right???...not when there is an alligator in it.....not guess the small bathroom, if we didn't blow away getting there!!  WOW here comes another has been going on all day!!!  An airplane hanger collapsed north of us where there was a Sun and Fun fair going on and 70 people are trapped.  There is allot of damage already and more coming.  I guess it is our welcome to Florida!!  So if you don't see anything written tomorrow you will know we blew away!!!!

Unusual tree at Sunken Gardens

Sunken Gardens

What Dusty won't do to have a garden like this don't have 50 years to build a garden like the man did

Old Hotel from the 1920's just restored to it's original beauty

Skyline of St. Petersburg

I am pointing to the dolphins

Can you see the dolphins?

I told you they were huge claws!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One More Mile

We arrived St. Petersburg Fl. at River Oaks RV Resort Tuesday afternoon from I-75 it was approx. 9 miles to park a little out of the way but once we pulled in I was pleasantly surprised, the campground was older and sites were very small 40 ft is about biggest they can handle but restrooms, showers and grounds were very clean and well maintained. Passport rate for 3 nights was $54.00. For short of long term stay we would stay here again just to enjoy peace and quite. Our stay was 3/29-3/31/2011

                           A sleepy little RV park for over night or long term.

The Little Manatee River

From our rig is a fishing pond complete with a young alligator "oh my"

Just a travelling day

Well it was a good day to travel.  Cloudy but no hard rain.  we passed where some of the fires had been, so guess we travelled on a good day, there was no smoke.  It's didn't take long to get from the east coast of Florida to the west. The park here is older (much older) but very cute and quite  If you are looking for a cheap place to live and be near the river to fish or boat this is the place.  Only $325-$375 a month depending if you are on the pond, with fish and resident alligator (just a baby) or no waterfront or on the river with your own dock.  So nothing big to report, but off for a busy day.  Oh, we did accept a job for next winter, it will be on Bethel Island in the Sacramento Delta in California.  Tina and Dylan are so excited!  We did tell her we would try to alternate our time east coast/Indiana/west coast.  It will be an hour and half from them, but we will work 2 days and have 5 off so will be able to have plenty of time to spend with them and actually see some of CA we missed when we lived there and Dusty was working.  Besides we do have dear friends we would like to see also...Hi dear friends!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Farewell St. Augustine!!

Well this is for sure one place we would love to come to again!!  We were very tired yesterday morning and got a late start to doing anything, hey we are entitled to be lazy!!  But I did do the laundry, anyway we left to go to the Dow Museum of Historic houses, a block of original homes from 100-300 years old.  All the information said it was open but when we finally found it, it is hard to find, they were closed now on Mondays :(  It looked really nice, will be on list for next time.  By then we had missed the last tour of Flagler College.  Henry Flagler of Standard Oil and railroad magnate had built the building as a winter retreat for the wealthy and was his grandest hotel and was called the Ponce de Leon Hotel and is beautiful.  It was the first building to have poured concrete and was built in 1888.  He also built 2 other hotels in St. Augustine, one which was right across the street and just looked like a baby one of Ponce de Leon  We walked as far as the main entrance and gawked inside, so beautiful and so disappointed we had missed the tour, they only give two a day.  If you have ever been to Biltmore Estate and thought that was grand then taking a tour of Flagler College is a must and Henry and George Vanderbilt were good friends.
Flagler College

Flagler College

Ceiling inside the College

So since it was now late afternoon and threatening rain, we only had one quick downpour, we just strolled through the town and did a little shopping, Dusty had a sandwich and I some chicken wings for dinner and were back to the motor home around 8 pm.  So there are still many things to do here in this Beautiful town and I must say it is high on our favorite of cities.  We now travel on to Ruskin, FL just south of Tampa and tomorrow we go on a Segway Tour of St. Petersburg, pray it doesn't rain ( even though they need it here because of the fires, but the pour west coast is getting their share!!)  Hope none of you have washed away in California!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Beautiful Day

Sunday was such a gorgeous day.  We took the bike and travelled south on A1A til we came to Ft. Matanzas which had been built by the Spanish after they massacred the French to take the area over.  It is now a National Park and you get a free Ferry ride over to the island it is on as it is at the opening of the Matanzas Inlet.  It is so amazing to see things built in the 1500's and still standing!!!  They surely knew how to build things to last then, what has happened???  Think of all the hurricanes and attacks and just time that it has seen and is still here.  True it is small, but still it remains.

Ft. Matanzas

Stepping back in time

As a wife I would not have been allowed to come to the fort but could send my daughters..they wanted them to find a high ranking officer to marry

Two of the original cannons remain

Beds were small as most of the soldiers were very young boys 12-17 years, why Napoleon was only 17 when he became famous

He kept in character as a Spanish Officer

After that jaunt we headed back north and I of course at least wanted to see the beach here.  We had a tour planned so we had to have dinner first so time was too short for us to spend time on the water but at least I can say we saw it.  We actually stopped at Butler Beach which I couldn't believe had FREE parking, no where have we found free parking.  The beach was beautiful and had white sand  and not as crowded as one would think, of course the water is cold here and even though it was in the high 80's only a few people were in the water, most were sunbathing.  But IF you are in the market for beach front property ( or want to loan us money to buy it...of course we would let you stay when you came to visit) there was a 3 bedroom house for only $449,500....allot of money yes, but not compared to other prices for house right on the beach, ok ok it did need redone inside but had cute bone structure and would fix up wonderfully.  At one time Butler Beach was a Black only beach, but that has changed but there are a few houses that remain right on the beach that I am sure date back to that time period and sit amongst beautiful new homes.

Butler Beach

We continued on from there to Historic St. Augustine and went to have a birthday beer for Dusty. We went to 3 different pubs and at one place met a couple from Noblesville, IN who where searching for a trawler (boat) to buy and live on so we had a lively conversation with them and ended up having no time to eat before the tour, but we had fun comparing notes and differences on living in a RV and on a boat.
The tour we took this time was called Mystery, History, Mayhem and Murder.  Even tho interesting  and Dion made it fun, it wasn't as interesting or fun as the Ghost Pub Tour.  Afterwards, 9:30 pm we found a little restaurant and had the best pizza I have had in years.  so for Dusty's 52nd birthday I do believe he had a good time, even tho we didn't make it to the Fountain of Youth!!

How many beers did I have?  Really!!!!

Beautiful St. Augustine

If you love lighthouses the east coast is the place to come

Castillo De San Marcos National Monument  The Fort that protected St. Augustine

Dion explains the past of St. Augustine

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Beautiful St. Augustine

Dusty, Char, Connie McCart and Joe McCart
 Oh, how beautiful St. Augustine is.  We didn't get allot of pictures that do it justice.  the streets are so quaint and we were on the oldest street and the narrowest street in the USA.  There is so much history here with it being the oldest city in the USA, why even the Fountain of Youth is here, maybe I should take Dusty there today as it is his 52nd birthday !!!  Joe and Connie McCart are our friends from Indian Springs and we had a great time this weekend.  We went into the shops, had glasses of wine on the sidewalk and went on a Ghost Tour with a paranormal investigator.!!  Yep just like you see on T.V.
We got to use some of the equipment and I must say we had a few unusual things happen.  Being a firm believer in these things I talked up a storm with him and he said to get in contact with him about going on an overnight investigation the end of April....I will definitely be seeing if we can be in the area he is then.
We went to the flea market here adjacent to the RV Park on Saturday and boy was it a big one.  It was fun just roaming around and then we came back and made A quick trip to Camping World and Gander Mountain and then home for dinner and a glass of wine and friendly conversation til we all were tired.  They have just left and Dusty and I are now going to go on the bike for a ride as it has been beautiful here 85 degrees.....again sorry to all of you in the mid-west and east.
Here are a few more pictures, be sure to read the captions.
Dusty and Char with John the Paranormal Investigator
Yep the Ghost Meter is regeresting"Something"

look on the right side of the roof , a ghost???

Look right over Connie's head, notice the perfect cross?  She said maybe it meant she was blessed, next day got good news on her grandson who is only 3 lbs and just had heart surgery, he was off the ventilator.....

Char and John, I had so many questions

Perfect Hat for Joe!

Boy that was good wine

Enjoying "another" glass of wine

Oldest school in the USA

Char and Connie on the narrowest street comparing the ghost meters that were going off