Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pensacola & Tampa Florida

Leaving New Orleans we headed to Avalon Landing RV Park in Milton Florida which is north of Pensacola/Navarre.  Mario and Jeff live in Navarre and own Tiki Jake's in Pensacola and Island Style in Navarre.  Again these crazy guys were our neighbors back in Castle Hayne, NC.  Jeff's sister is part owner in the above campground and we received the family rate, yeah love a discount.

The park was clean, well kept and located on a canal.  We settled in and made plans to get together the next day for the Zombie Ball Fundraiser which is put on by the Kewe of St. Patrick that they belong too.  

All I can say is that a good time was had by all.  We were road killer and the guys were 3 blind mice.  Once again we spent the next day recovering and then we went to dinner at Jeff's parents house.  

On Monday we went to Pensacola beach to do some exploring and meet up with the guys later.  I still say the east coast has the prettiest beaches.

Around cocktail hour we all met at Juana's Pagodas on Navarre beach, this is their second home.

Mark, Rick, Roy, Mario, Jeff and me.
  Cocktails in hand we watched a beautiful sunset show on Navarre beach.

This unfortunately was the last time we seen Mario and Jeff as they had a trade show to attend.  No worries as they will be visiting us in Port St. Lucie this winter.

Wednesday the Blue Angels had a practice at the base and it was open to the public.  What a performance these talented pilots put on.  I took a bunch of pictures but they just don't do justice to them so I suggest you catch one of their shows.  Awesome.

Across from the airfield was the Pensacola Lighthouse.  

Just climb 177 steps up the historic Pensacola Lighthouse & Museum for one of the most beautiful views on the Gulf Coast.
The top of the tower offers stunning views of Pensacola Pass (where Pensacola Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico), three forts, the Pensacola skyline and the historic Navy Yard. The fully restored Keepers' Quarters, built in 1869, is home to a museum and a gift shop.  
We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beautiful grounds afterwards.  

On Thursday Rick and Roy invited us to a get together that the Krewe of St. Patrick was having at the Pensacola Bay Brewery.  A brewery, were in on that!  It is located south of downtown in a friendly quaint area.  We enjoyed good beer and new friends. 


A big shout out to Mario, Jeff, Rick and Roy for making our stay in Pensacola a good one.
We will be back! 


Our next destination was Tampa but it was a longer drive then we like to make so we stayed overnight in Chiefland at the Walmart.  Next day we arrived at Lazydays campground.  

It's a nice campground with pool/hot tub, newspaper and we received meal tickets for breakfast and lunch.  No charge for extra parking which is always a plus for us.  
On Tuesday Mark flew home to take care of some business and pick up his work van.  I have a good college friend that lives in Lakeland who I haven't seen in 4 years so we made plans for the weekend.  Mary Ann spent Friday night with me and we laughed and talked til 4 am.  The next day we went to her house and I spent the night not to return til Sunday evening.  It was wonderful to just hang out like we use to some 28 years ago.

Love you girlfriend.

Mark returned on Tuesday so now we have 3 vehicles and 2 drivers, have to come up with a plan for the final move.  

I am happy to report that while we rode our bikes and walked all over Lazydays RV Center we looked at about a 150 RV's.  There was nothing that we saw that made us want to trade in our rig.  That's a good feeling knowing we made the right decision when purchasing and we are still happy with it 3 1/2 years later.
Another reason we were in Tampa was to attend a RV Trade show put on by one of the suppliers that Mark deals with.  The show was held at the convention center in downtown Tampa.  It was beautiful center located right on the Hillsborough River.

There is a really nice river walk that is a must if you are in the area.  The show ran for 2 days and on the last day we participated in packaging meals for hungry children.  The name of the organization is Feeding Children Everywhere.  There was 3 assembly lines setup and we packaged 6,000 meals for hungry children in the Tampa area.

It felt really good to be a part of this.  Check out their website for a project near you or organize one yourself.  

The last day of the show ended at noon so we hopped on the streetcar, which is directly across from the convention center, and rode to Ybor City.  It is a historic Cuban neighborhood north east of Tampa and is know for cigars and coffee.  We strolled the streets enjoying the smells and scenery on our way to the Columbia Restaurant.  This restaurant is Florida's oldest and largest Spanish restaurant, established in 1905.  

We found the food to be good and at a reasonable price.

This is the dinning room that we ate in and is one of 15.  Every room is just gorgeous!!!  So worth a visit if you are in the area. 

So now it is time to make our move south to Port St. Lucie but we had one more stop along the way.  Mark made a contact at the show concerning RV holding tanks.  Now you all know if you own an RV the sensors don't usually work and you may at some time had an odor issue.  This is caused by Struvites, they are rough porous crystals that build up on your tanks and the line below the toilet.  The only way to effectively remove them is a thorough hydro-jet cleaning by a trained professional.  Once the tanks are clean the only thing that will eliminate them forming again is using TankTechsRx probiotic tank treatment.  The closest technician lives in Mims so Mark made an appointment to have our tanks cleaned.  We left the AxleCrutch trailer and the work van at Lazydays and drove to Mims.  The next day the tanks were cleaned and the sensors are now working.  We will only use TankTechsRx in our holding tanks from now on.  This will be a service that Mark will be providing in the future.
The next day we arrived in Port St. Lucie for the winter.  Early the next morning we drove back to Tampa in the Tahoe to pick up the trailer and van.

Wow, we have had a wonderful 2 months of traveling but are both ready to be settled again.  

Thanks for following our adventures!


Bonnie's Helpful Hints For RV Living

Trying to find a rug that will fit the entrance of the RV is no easy task.  They are too big or too small, so here is how I solved the problem.

Trim the rug to fit and then melt the cut edges with a lighter.  
A custom fit rug!!!


Shop early for my custom made jewelry at Wandering Designs on Etsy