Saturday, March 12, 2016

Cedar Key and On to LA

The plan, always written in sand, was to take our time driving the 850 miles from Christmas to Betty's RV Park in Abbeville.  The only part that went as planned was to drive to and stay at Cedar Key.  Not only did it change because of upcoming events at Betty's, we also had to once again out run threatening weather and for two days we made changes about where we were staying after we were on the road. 
We had long planned to stay in Cedar Key, a funky little out of the way old Florida town that is at the end of the road along the gulf coast.  We were lucky to get the last spot at Sunset Isle RV Park and Motel.  While we were not right on the water, it was very close by and we were close enough to town that we never moved the car during our stay. 
Cedar Key is a working town with farm raised and wild clams being the number one product.  One of many growing and processing plants in town.
When there are clams you must eat clam chowder.  When friends read on Facebook that we were there they told us that Tony's award winning chowder was the best.  While we prefer chowder without cream sauce we both agreed this was the best we have ever had.
Beautiful "downtown" Cedar Key has many, very neat, old Florida buildings that are hotels, restaurants and artist shops.  The artist co-op had excellent locally made items as opposed to the usual imported junk one finds in most tourist stops.
Along Dock Street are several bars and restaurants offering good food and entertainment.  This is the Big Deck with a view of the little harbor.
The steamed Cedar Key clams were wonderful.  Nothing like fresh seafood, from the water to your plate in a day.
Even in the afternoon they had live music.
At the Big Deck we had one of those wow traveling experiences that happen along the road.  While eating and listening to the music this guy was sitting with his back to us.  When he turned around I said to Nanc, that is Mouse.  He is the friend of a friend from Washington and when I went over and told him we knew Chris Potts he about fell over.  Turns out he married a local girl and has lived in Cedar Key for several years.  We saw him a couple more times during our stay.  How cool and it just proves what a small world we live in.
Another working boat dock.  Even the old bridge was left in place though I would not want to cross it.  The middle is gone and it is used for storage. 
When we heard about Cedar Key, we were told that in addition to the funky town and clams, the sunsets are a big attraction and the Low Key Hideaway was the best place to watch them.  The Hideaway is a neat little six room motel and three site RV park with a tiki bar overlooking the water.
The tiki bar was built with old discarded material.  The back wall is all old doors and has this cool little garden.   All very neat.  The Low Key is owned by a couple of former, full time RVers.
The sunsets did not disappoint.  All three evenings we were there they were fabulous.  They rank right up there with the ones we see at the Elks Lodge in the Keys.
The sunny side of the tiki bar has windows that open for warm weather viewing.  They have two small wood burners for colder winter days.  The bottom half of the front wall is made out of bottles.  There is a deck and chairs on the lawn all for easy sunset viewing.
The inside is an eclectic collection of license plates, posters, pictures and more.  All in a very cozy little building.
Another evening and another great sunset.  It always amazes us how long they last and how they change even after the sun is well below the horizon.
On Friday evening they had live music to accompany the sunset.  Check out the bottle wall behind the band.  More bottle walls are under construction and they have a good source of material.  They are talking about adding three or four more RV spots all overlooking the water so maybe some day we will be able to get in to Low Key Hideaway.
Another beautiful Cedar Key home in the more up scale part of town.  Very common in old fishing villages where the sea captains have huge homes on the high ground overlooking the water.
The back side of the building on Dock Street looking out over the Gulf of Mexico.  There are a couple more bars and restaurants with great water views from their decks.  We had a fun time in Cedar Key and see a month long stay in our future.
Leaving Cedar Key was when the plan started changing.  We intended to have a nice leisurely 227 mile drive and an overnight stay before heading to Slidell, LA.  After we were on the road and realized we were entering the Central Time Zone and would arrive by 1:00 we decided to press on, adding another 85 miles,  We found the River's Edge RV Park, a nice little campground on the Yellow River.  This would make the drive to Slidell an easy 200 miles.
The next day as we zipped across Mississippi and under the harbor in Mobile, Alabama our plan changed again.  This time because we got a message from Betty that they were having a special dinner the day we were arriving and we needed to be there early in the day.  Because of that and the threat of heavy rain and wind we decided to press on another 140 miles to Breaux Bridge for a four day stay which would leave us with only a forty mile drive to Abbeville so we could arrive early in the day.
So we did over 650 miles in two days, much more driving then we normally do.  The Mighty Mississippi in Baton Rouge was already high on the levees before this latest heavy rain hit Northern Louisiana.
Before we arrived at Poche's Fish N Camp in Breaux Bridge, another message from Betty changed our plans again.  On the day before we were schedule to arrive they were having a birthday party for our friend Jean Paul that we did not want to miss.  So we only stayed at Poche's three nights and went to Betty's a day early and dry camped so we could help celebrate Jean Paul's birthday.  Isn't this lifestyle wonderful.
When setting up at Poche's we were surprised to see Joe and Kathy who were there to wait out the threatening weather.  So we had three fun days with them before we headed to Betty's for our two month stay.  This is the great thing about traveling with a plan that can be changed for bad weather or good friends.  We are now set up and looking forward to our two month stay at Betty's with so many great friends, great music, great food and great fun. 
 Laissez les bon temps rouler!!! (Let the good times roll!!!)


heyduke50 said...

Welcome back to your LA home...

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Cedar Key, another place for the list.

Joanne Godwin said...

I was googling information about the Rip Van Winkle spoonbill rookery after Nanc told me about it at tonight's happy hour, and one of the search results was your blog! Then I had to read about Cedar Key because we were there too. Great blog and so good to meet you two this week at Betty's!