With our boat, Idyll Time, in winter storage until spring, we are now land cruising aboard our new RV.
In November, we purchased a 24 foot Winnebago View. We call her “Miss Daisy” in honor of Daisy, our Sheltie who just passed away. In many ways it is similar to boat cruising only now we are exploring the United States by land. In addition to our diesel engine, we have onboard a 3.2K diesel generator so we can be self sufficient. We can also trailer our 18 ft. Wellcraft, Idyll Out, behind Miss Daisy and are able to get in some water time along the way. Our two parrots, Nate and Homer, along with Sebastian, our Jack Russell, are part of our crew just as they also travel with us aboard Idyll Time. We hope to spend this winter exploring Florida aboard Miss Daisy.
For our first road trip, we head to St. Augustine, FL escaping the cold that is gripping the rest of the country. Here we spend the Christmas holidays camped out in Jeff’s parent’s driveway. Stormy and Courtney, our nephew and niece, joined us for a week over their Christmas break. Several days were spent with them at the beach on Little Talbot Island just east of Jacksonville, FL at a state park which has miles of white sandy beach along the Atlantic Ocean.
The kids enjoyed hours of searching for shells and pirate treasure. We then headed inland to the St. Johns River for a few days stay on Lake George at the Georgetown Marina and RV Resort. Here we had a great time of cruising up and down the St. John’s River aboard Idyll Out. This is one of the few rivers in the US that flows north to the ocean. We saw lots of manatee and enjoyed some great bass fishing while exploring these fascinating waters.
Our big mistake was to head back home to Chattanooga for a few days to take care of some doctor appointments. One of the largest snow storms in years hit Chattanooga. We were trapped for a week with 10” of snow and below freezing temperatures. The roads were frozen solid and there was no way we could travel in our RV. Finally, we had one day of above freezing temperatures and we were able to make our escape back to Florida. We next headed down to the Keys and spent two weeks at Boyd’s Campground just a few miles outside of Key West. We lucked out and were assigned one of the best spots in the campground. Most of the campsites here have very little privacy and campers are all packed in like sardines one on top of another. Our site is right on the water tucked away in our own little cove with no one on either side of us. We are able to keep our boat just a few feet from our campsite tied to one of the finger docks.
We can also launch our inflatable kayaks right from the beach at our campsite.
We have a great site. From the campground, there is a four mile bike path which leads into Key West. We enjoyed many great meals at the multitude of restaurants in town. After several weeks here, we have settled into a daily routine. Our first task is to bike the 10 miles round trip into town to visit the Old Town Bakery. Here we always manage to find some delicious pastry for breakfast and a fresh loaf of bread for dinner. When the weather cooperates, we then head out for several hours of water time on Idyll Out. After several days of fishing, we were able to find the local Spanish mackerel hangout.
After landing five or six each day, we head back to the campgrounds. We have managed to keep the campers well fed with our gifts of fresh fish. These small tokens of generosity have been well repaid with gifts of homemade blueberry jam, fresh garlic, and homemade cake. On days when our fishing luck is not as good, we have the option of visiting the local fish market, Fishbusters, or the Stock Island Lobster Coop.
Both are only a short walk from our campground. And for nights when we decide not to cook, there is also a wonderful restaurant, Hogfish Bar and Grill, just down the street. Desert is a short walk away to the campground office, where we have the choice of key lime pie, chocolate covered key lime pie on an ice cream stick, or key lime Bundt cake. All three are very good. As you can tell, food is not a problem here. We rented a car one day and traveled 40 miles up to Marathon for breakfast with the many Krogen owners who are over wintering in Boot Key Harbor. Every Tuesday they gather for breakfast at a local restaurant. There were almost 30 other Krogen owners the day we attended. It was good to see some of the Krogenites that we have not seen in several years. On our last day here, we were surprised to look out into the harbor and see another Krogen anchored. After paddling our kayaks out to see who was here, we learned that it was “Follow Me” a fellow 48 owner from Virginia. After spending two weeks in Key West, we are anxious to move on and explore other areas of the Florida coast.