Saturday, February 27, 2016


Gypsy Rhapsody

Good Morning from the "End of the World."
Everglades National Park
As Vannie's mom would say,
"This is a fur piece from Shilou."

Good parking
Great Ranger Talks
Wonderful Boat Tours
Really Good Restaurant

No Cell Service...unless you have AT&T
(V and D have Verizon)
No Internet
Vannie had to drive 38 miles to the parks entrance
for me to write this blog....closest place for service.

Vannie said she was shocked at  how much she looked at her phone during the day.
She realized it when it was taken away.
Good Lesson...

Just wanted you to see exactly where we are.
The sign that says "We are here" is where I am writing this blog.
We are camping in Flamingo, FL.

This is the "Guy Bradley" Trail.
Notice Dave has on a long sleeve shirt, even though it is not that cold.
The trail goes from the campsites to the marina...about 1 1/2 miles.
Lots of interesting birds and plant life.

Vannie on the same trail...
Water in the back of her is Florida Bay.
If you really squint, you can see Cuba...
just kidding.

Ranger Guided Bird Walk...
V said that some of the people in their group were REAL birders.
V and D are just "wantabe birders".

This is one of the many mangrove forests in the our area.
There are white, red, and black mangroves.
Each have a different shade of green in their leaves.
D said that their bark looks different, too.
The red mangrove leaf excretes salt from the water on the
under side.  Early settlers used the leaves to season their food.
Interesting stuff.

bromeliads everywhere in the forest

This osprey nest is one of many in the park.
This one is right down from me.  
If you look really hard, you can see the mom peeking up.
The osprey is a fish-eating bird of prey.
They live all along the coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

Great Egret
Loves frogs, fish, and crawfish
Dave said that it also loves to walk along the "Guy Bradley" trail.

Obviously these guys have been around people...

Cat bird
V says that it's call resembles a "Cat's Meow."
Now, that's truly the "cat's meow."
Gray with a darker cap...has a little rust color under it's tail...
I think I have a little rust color under my tail, too...just saying.

V and D said that everyone knows about morning glories...
but they are just so darn pretty, I had to include them.
...Ocean Blue Morning Glory...
D said it looked like an evening sunset sky.

V looked all over for the name of these seed pods.
She is going to have to ask a ranger.
These were dried and very spiky.

At the end of the day...just as the sun was setting,
V and D headed out to an "after dark" ranger talk
at the amphitheater about 1/2 mile from where I am parked. 

Yep...a big yellow moon makes an outdoor
ranger talk perfect.

"Shhh...Who's out there"? was the title of the Ranger talk.
It included a slide show and recorded animal sounds from the park.
V said she loved the shadow of Ranger Sarsh's hat
in the slide show....
so distinctive of a ranger.

A REAL barred owl stole the show, by 
sounding his "hoot", and then flying over and
landing on top of the screen...V and D said
everyone clapped, and Ranger Sarah was pleased as punch.


Ranger Sarah waited to the end of the show to
show this slide.  V said they had already been
half eaten alive by the pesky little buggers.

This is the sign at the entrance to the campground.

I'm just VERY thankful I am made out of aluminum.

Stay tuned.!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Gypsy Rhapsody

Yep, we are still in Florida...
no more flat tires...
no more wrong destinations...
just rollin' down the roll headed for the Everglades...

 Beautiful Traveling Weather...

We started stopping sooner in the day,
after that first GPS fiasco.
This is Gulf Coast RV Park in Inglise, FL.
Beautiful park...well taken care of...
I did spot 2 more Airstreams around the corner from us.
I think one might have been even older than me. 
Maybe I should use "more vintage" rather than older...sounds better.

Next stop...Venice, FL...
Loved Loved Loved this place.
V and D said that they definitely wanted to come back here.

Can you believe we found a place to park right on the street?

Vannie and Dave wanted to put their toes in the gulf,
so they started walking.  Dave had already found where it was on his phone.
Only a few blocks from where we parked.

When I saw this picture, I said..."What kind of tree is that?"
Vannie knew...many moons ago she and her mom, and
Cousin Janet, and Aunt Ruth went to Hawaii.
Well, seems these trees are all over the place there...Banyon Tree.

Dave said these flowers looked like orchids.
Seems they were growing on a tree...not a bush.
Guess he better Google it.

Oh my goodness, I did get a little jealous.
This beach looks so inviting.
V and D said the water was very chilly, but felt good to the toes.

Just a little selfie while they were relaxing on the beach.

What in the world???
Are they back in Paris??? they were walking back from the beach,
they came across a little Parisian bakery with their
favorite food...Pain au Chocolat.
Toes in the Gulf
Pain au Chocolat
They thought they had died and gone to heaven.

Next stop
Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey, Fl...near Venice
There were no sites with hook-ups when we got there,
so we had to take a primitive site.
That means no electricity, no water, no nothing.
But remember, I do have my own water holding tank
and black tank that holds "the stuff"...if you know what I mean,
so we were good.
V and D even had supper by candle light...such romantics.!!!

The next morning V and D got up early
and headed out on a nature walk.

One of the things they wanted to see was this bird...
Florida Scrub-Jay
Vannie said that the Scrub-Jay only lives in this area of Florida.
Birders love this little bird.
I wish I could tell you Vannie got up close and personal
to this little creature, but not so.  They did see them on their
nature walk, but this picture was taken of a stuffed one on the nature center.

Look at this incredible spider web.
D saw it on their nature walk.
He said there were lots of them around.
Looks like little fairy hammocks to me.

Cute little flower...
V said these little white delights are all over the place in Florida...
roadside stops, nature trails, campsites.

OK...You might to get out your magnifying glass for this one.
Right in the middle of the picture you will see a tree with
a dark triangle in the fork of the branches.
Can you guess what that is?
An Eagle's Nest with a mother eagle sitting on eggs...
The daddy was nearby on another tree.
The ranger had a telescope set up so that all the
nature lovers could see it better. 
Pretty Cool..
Vannie said that according to the ranger, that nest
weighs about 2000 pounds...almost as much as me...
give or take a few thousand pounds.  lol

Getting dark...time for another candlelight dinner.
Such a peaceful place.

Dave is up early the next morning
and heading to the bathhouse.
Ready to hit the road...
on to the Everglades...

See ya on down the Road...
Till next time.

The Everglades will not have cell service or internet...

Monday, February 22, 2016


Gypsy Rhapsody

Fantastic Florida, Vannie, Dave, and Gyspy are headed your way
and are ready to "ROCK" you from top to bottom.

We are going all the way to Everglades National Park 
and lots of places in-between.

Let's get started...

I love how Dave risk his life trying to get a picture of me
going across the Atchafalaya  Basin.  

Headed through Mississippi and Alabama.
Had a "hic-up" in Mississippi...flat tire.
Thank the Lord for Roadside Assisstance.
Lost a couple of hours, but we kept moving.
We had reservations at an Airstream Park north of Pensacola, FL.
It was going to be dark when we arrived because of the flat tire situation,
but we had the GPS locked in to our destination.

...Hello, Florida...
So glad to see ya...

Oh my goodness...It's dark and the GPS took us to the wrong place.
It was someone's home...
...but, look...We saw an Airstream parked in the back.
Can you see it? Those red numbers are shining. The aluminum is glistening.
After we saw that sight, Dave was not quite so uncomfortable about 
ringing the doorbell.
You will never was the home of the former president
of the local Airstream club...Henry Foster.
The Lord was working overtime with us.
Henry said, "Get out of that truck, and I'll turn it around for you,
and you guys can stay right here for the night.
Dave and Vannie gave him a big hug.  
I thought we were all going to start bawling.

This is how we looked at Henry's house.
We were all rested the next morning and
ready to continue our adventure.

Wakulla Springs, FL
Dave and his family had visited this area when he was about 10 years old.
He has always wanted to go back....'s the time.!!!
This was the Lodge at Wakulla Springs.
D and V decided they deserved a special treat 
after the tire and GPS they decided to stay overnight
at the Lodge.

The Lobby
Notice the beautiful ceiling.

Another part of the lobby

The Lodge was built in the '30's.
They loved the bedroom.

This was the part Dave was soooo looking forward to.
...the glass-bottom boat tour...

Well...alas...the boat tour was great, glass bottom anymore.
The guide said that they were working on bringing them back.

Looks a lot like Louisiana...
Remember that Cajun tour we went on a couple of years ago...

This is the back of the Lodge.
It faces the spring.

Can you believe..."Creature from the Black Lagoon"
was filmed here.  D and V said they remembered watching it 
at the theater in El Dorado when they were kids.
Very Scary  

After a delicious "on-the-house" breakfast,
we all headed out for the next leg of our journey.

More to come.!!!