After leaving our wonderful social holiday spot at Cedar Key, Florida, Robin and I both needed to slow down and get some work done. We decided to ring in the New Year at Three Rivers State Park. It was a typical State Park setup with 50 Amp sites with water only, no sewer.
The bath house was close by and satisfactory. Overall it seemed like a great park with the exception that it rained and was cold and cloudy all seven days we were there. We managed to get out each day to walk the dogs but other than that it was indoor time, lots of reading, DirecTV and even some Wii Golf.
In some locations you can just head out and hit the town but here, in the nearest town of Sneeds, the coolest place was a farm and feed store. I am not really being completely sarcastic, I could spend all day in one of these places.
The weather did not seem to deter the duck hunting that started each morning at 6am sharp. I have never duck hunted but I would not have guessed that the average duck requires 6-8 shots from a semi-automatic shotgun to take down. Apparently it does. Or I guess you shoot 6-8 at a time. Probably why we had a pretty nice flock of colorful ducks huddled close to the State Park boat dock most days.
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After a wet and cool week we packed up and headed to a spot that had been recommended, Grayton Beach State Park near Destin. We spent 12 nights here and these would be our last days in the state of Florida. This was a cool place and our campsite backed up to a salt marsh.
Once again, our only complaint is, that of the 12 days, we only had sun for two. In fact, for people coming from Denver’s 300 days of sun per year, we have struggled with almost a month straight of clouds and rain as we passed through The Sunshine State.
I guess we should be disappointed that our vacation was ruined and we did not get a chance to do any of the biking, canoeing or beachcombing we had hoped! But then, we have to remind ourselves that unfortunately we aren’t on vacation. We just happen to live in these different vacation places, and sometimes it does rain, or snow, or generally suck for a month or two out of a year. As long as we remind ourselves that we are not on vacation, then we don’t get too discouraged as we pull away from an undoubtedly cool state park that we primarily experienced from our rainy office window as we pounded out 40 hour work weeks. At least our dog walks never get routine. Looking back at some of these photos, it is hard to remember that they were mostly taken over only a couple of nice days.
Unlike Three Rivers State Park, our new location, Grayton Beach, was definitely a vacation town, There was plenty to do and this place had a hardy appetite for our money. Unlike previous vacation mecca’s like Myrtle Beach, that have block after block of beach stores where nothing cost more than $5 dollars, this place’s tee-shirt shops are called “outfitters” and the tee shirts cost $50. I am sure you know the kind of place.
The sunrise was a main event if we were up before 7:00 am and it wasn't raining.
It was funny how our big blue F-250 diesel with giant mutt heads hanging out the windows would stick out in a parking lot full of white SUV’s with matching white Scottish Terriers on board. I was happy to find a vegan/vegetarian food truck (airstream) and I eagerly ordered a vegetarian sandwich on seed bread. It was as good as a cucumber and tomato sandwich gets, which is not $12.95 good.
This was definitely the off-season, and most of the eclectic bar’s and restaurants had an off-season feel to them.
Typical packed hipster bars like The Red Bar were only half packed and they had quite a few white-hairs among the hipsters looking for tables, a bite to eat or some live music.
We read some things online about how much the local establishments and service people hate this time of year, when all of the old folks ascend from the trailer park or winter condo looking for early bird specials and two for ones. We couldn’t exactly figure out why the service staff everywhere we went seemed to also dislike us. We aren’t those retired white haired snowbirders looking for the early bird! We work and are young and only some of our hair is white. And when we go out for dinner at 4:30 pm we are looking for happy hour deals not early bird specials! Why do they roll their eyes at us when we make them recalculate the bill because they forgot to take 50 cents off of the beer prices? We aren’t those people they hate! The real problem is that these kids now a’days don’t even understand the value of a dollar.
Um… on second thought I guess we are those people. (RVL #9): Just because we live on vacation, we can’t always spend like we are on vacation. Likewise, I guess we should not expect to be treated like we are on vacation either. If nothing else, it explains that sour, poop under their nose, look of general disdain that we see on the face of so many of our fellow snowbirders as we battle for elbow room and half price shrimp nachos.
Oh, well, I celebrated a very happy birthday in Grayton Beach and we generally had a good time. Although dogs are not allowed on the beach here, there was a good dune area with dog friendly hiking.
We also bought a screen room for our trailer and that was a nice addition for bad weather days. Mostly it was just a nice place that we could trash without making our camp site look like a complete mess.
In any event, and in any weather it is good to remember the beauty in every place and weather condition.
So long Florida it was fun, but we are heading West.
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