Friday, November 23, 2012

On to FLA

We moved on to Florida without any plans until December 18th.  We knew we wanted to be near Nanc's sister Judy and her husband Bill for Thanksgiving and we needed a place where we could leave the rig for a week in December while we go on vacation to Punta Cana.  At the Welcome Center we found a flier advertising a great monthly rate for first timers at the Sun RV Resorts.  We picked the one in Orange City that fit our needs so we now have reservations through the end of January.  We had a week remaining until our Orange City stay began so our first stop was St. Augustine.  We have been here before and really enjoy this oldest city in the country.
Here is Nanc doing the shell thing at St. Augustine Beach.  It is always great being on the ocean and Florida is a great place to shell and look for sea glass.  We found a piece of glass that was an old bottle bottom that had PA stamped on it.  How neat!!
One thing we love about Florida is the great variety of birds.  This is a flock of Royal Terns.  Birds are everywhere and come in all sizes. 
We went to the top of the lighthouse on our first visit so this time we just drove by and took a picture so Nanc could get her lighthouse fix.
We did visit Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, the fort that was built by the Spanish in the late 1600's to protect St. Augustine.  We have visited many old forts on our travels and this is one of the best preserved.
The San Carlos Bastion and canons overlooking the harbor.
The British attacked the fort in 1740 but were not able to drive the Spanish out.  The fort went to the British in 1763 as part of the Treaty of Paris and then back to the Spanish in 1783.  It went to the US when the Spanish ceded Florida in 1821.  The park service has restored it to the time of Spanish rule.
The streets of the old city are now mainly shops and restaurants.  It sure was a lot less crowed being here during the week.  St. Augustine is a neat city with a lot of history and nearby beaches. It is a great stop in Florida.
From St. Augustine we moved down the coast to Titusville to check out Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  As you can see we also took advantage of the great weather and did a pool day.  Don't you just hate how crowded Florida is at this time of the year?  We were in the area during our first year on the road to see a shuttle launch which was delayed.  Not seeing a launch is surely one of our biggest disappointments since hitting the road. 
At Merritt we drove the Black Point Wildlife Drive for and easy up close look at many different birds.  The refuge is a great place for birding because it was part of NASA's Kennedy Space Center so it has been untouched by the development you see along so much of the coast here.  These are a couple of ibis wading for food.
And here is Nanc's favorite, the Great Blue Heron.

We even got to see a Rosette Spoonbill.
When in Florida you DO NOT swim in lakes or ponds.  There really are gators everywhere.  The sign in the campground warned about the little one on the left.  The big guy on the right was on Merritt Island.  We also saw a manatee and a huge feral pig but did not get pictures.
 It was a windy day so there were very few people on the beach at the national seashore.  To help prevent erosion you are not allowed to walk on the dunes.  At high tide the water comes all the way up to the dune.  We soooo enjoy being close to the ocean!!!!!  

1 comment:

Diane said...

Hi Jim and Nancy,
Beautiful Photos...We have yet to explore Florida by RV. Someday. And missing a launch was one of our disappointments too...:-(((.