February 27, 2009
We are home now! We arrived Thursday night; it was a long, slow, and cold drive. Today, Friday, is beautiful and a warm mid 50 degree day. And it is very nice to be home!!! Can't wait to see everybody!
February 25, 2009
Limping across Virginia
We can only travel if it's above 50 degrees. Otherwise our carburetor freezes up and we go slower and slower until we just have to pull over and turn off the engine and let it warm up. Makes for a fun trip!
Today we were passed by a school bus. I'm sure it was the first time EVER this bus had passed any other vehicle. The driver was funny, and made revving noises like he wanted to race. Ha ha, smile and a wave. Then as he pulled ahead, the grinning faces of children from every window looked down at us in our little bus pointing and laughing. Well, blllppp! Have fun in School kids!
February 21, 2009
As we left the bookstore to go get some dinner, we noticed a parking lot full of VW's!! Of course it had to be the Hooters parking lot... Alison can tell you the irony there. So we pulled a U-turn and in we went; they moved an orange cone and gave us front row parking for our hot VW bus. It turns out that this weekend is WinterJam in Dayton; a 4 day VW event. http://www.daytonawinterjam.com/
George loves Hoot... no, George loves VW's!!!
Notice that I am as tall as the bus; this one has been lowered and it is so cool! "All my friends know the low rider... the low rider is a little higher. Low rider drives a little slower"... only about 45mph. But it's still the coolest! doo doo do do do do doooo doo doo do do dooooo
How many rugby players can you fit into a 23 window bus?
Notice the chair covers in this bus...
It's backwards Burt and Ernie! And a little puppy keeping them company.
Even the engines are pretty.
We're in Daytona Beach! and you know what they let you do here?
Drive on the beach! Yahoo!
We got there early... it was a bit windy. (How's this for looking like a gypsie, Nick?! heh heh)
Lots of other people showed up too.
Happy Bus; this is where she belongs.
Blue Spring State Park
Blue Spring is designated an Official State Natural Feature. It is the largest spring on the St. John's River. Each day, about 100 million gallons flow from the spring to the river between the banks of Blue Spring Run. In winter, manatees move out of the cold St. John's into the warm 72 degree water of the run. The clarity of the water allows people to view, without disturbing, this unique gathering of endangered species. (See the Blue Spring manatees in Save the Manatees Club's Adopt-A-Manatee program: http://www.savethemanatee.org/adopt_blue_spring.htm)
Between the submerged tree trunks is the large hole that is the source of the springs. See the drawing below for the below ground view:
This video shows water coming from the hole; you can see a slight movement on the surface of the water.
Blue Springs Run
Manatees gathering in the sun
The Thursby House, for more information on the Thursby's check out the first blog post on Blue Spring that is posted under Florida 1 or Florida 2; I can't remember which year we were here.
Wekiwa Springs State Park
Wekiwa Springs pumps out 42 million gallons of water a day into the Wekiva River. It's 72 degrees and offers very comfortable swimming. "Wekiwa" is a Creek Indian word (the Creeks were later called the Seminoles) meaning "bubbling water"; the springs are called Wekiwa Springs, but the river is called Wikiva River- Wikiva means "flowing water."
Mmm! Steak dinner!
February 15, 2009
We left Juno Beach on Friday and started our slow journey northward. Here are photos from our travels over the past few days.
Fancy Louis Vuitton car
This is Amelia the snake. She recently hatched 17 baby snakes! I also got to hold one of her babies and it was smaller than a shoelace. We met her at Savannas State Park in the Education Center. I also saw a Glass Lizard, which is a lizard without legs. It looks just like a snake, but it has ears, a lizard shaped head, and different type of scales, and also it blinks its eyes which a snake doesn't do. Learn something new every day!
We took a short two mile walk and sat on this bench for awhile. It was so quiet- you could only hear the occasional breeze, a frog now and then, and once the sandhill cranes started whooping. But otherwise it was silent- no traffic or planes or anything. Just a breeze that smelled like a warm summer evening.
We spent Valentine's Day at the Ft. Pierce Inlet.
It was a great day for the beach.
This is Dynamite Point. "During World War II, it was the birthplace and training ground for US Navy Frogmen, forerunners of today's Navy Seals. Here, many of the 140,000 personnel stationed in the area practiced for the D-Day invasion of Europe. Dyanamite Point earned its name from the activities of the Navy Underwater Demolition Team". (From the Ft. Pierce State Park Pamphlet)
A Happy Valentine's Day Wave!
Relaxing at the bus before our 3 mile walk.
On our walk we saw the Boy Scouts Bat Villa Project.
George exploring the mangrove.
Today is Sunday, and it rained a bit. We're in Melbourn at Barnes and Noble drinking tea and reading books. We'll see what adventure awaits us tomorrow!
February 14, 2009
A day on the beach: J.D. McArthur State Park
We spent a great day on the beach at J.D. McArthur State Park.
This is the beach with lots of shells, though there were fewer this year and I only filled one pocket full, instead of all my pockets like previous years.
The boys were fishing...
Talk about form! Ok, Captain Morgan!
This park has a long boardwalk to the beach; you can walk or take the tram if you have a lot of stuff to carry.
Here comes the tram!
Filled to capacity...
and then some! You're dragging something George!
February 12, 2009
Beach on Hobe Sound
We went to a little beach on Hobe Sound; here is the view over to Jupiter Island.
Heather on a bench.
George on a bench.
Today we are going to JD Macarthur State Park. If you listen to NPR he is regularly mentioned as one of their donors or sponsors or what not. This is one of our favorite beaches for shells hunting and playing. So I will have new pictures up soon!
February 08, 2009
Photos from the week
Sometime last week (I'm having trouble keeping track of the days) we arrived at George's parents house in Juno Beach. We've had a great week of relaxing, shopping, hot tubbing, walking and eating!
The Bus parked at Jonathan Dickenson Park. The white building in the background was the barracks for the men stationed here when it was a top secret base for radar training. More information on Camp Murphy is below.
Heather up on the platform
A dead tree; the park conducts controlled burns regularly, some have gotten out of control in the past few years leading to more damage than planned for.
Camp Murphy: from the top of the platform you can see remnants of some of the old buildings, and they have aerial photos in the education center that were once classified showing the layout of the camp.
Here is one of the iguanas in the park. He was on the move from one pond to the other. One lady tried to hand feed him a grape (dum dum) and he whipped her with his tail. Unfortunate for her, but we all wanted to see it. She deserved it.
Tina, your parents have volunteered to bring this back up to be Noah's pet... interested??? Just kidding... sorry Noah.
He's had enough of us.
Sunset at the park; that means it's hot tub time!! Cheers!
February 03, 2009
Short Manatee Video
This is a GREAT book!!
We spend a lot of time in bookstores down here at night and when it's cold or raining. It's great because we can sample books or read magazines and we don't have to buy them. This is the book I picked up tonight, and it is hilarious!!! I highly recommend it, especially for Mom.
Here are a few samples:
February 02, 2009
Monday in Stuart, FL
Today we had a cookout in Staurt by the water. George cooked a delicious strip steak and potatoes and onions with garlic on the grill.
We saw a manatee hanging out right in front of where we parked.
Then we took a short hike in Savannas State Park.
We saw some armadillos in the park, and they were so cute! This is not a photo of said armadillo... heh heh.
Super Bowl XLIII at Duffy's Sports Bar
Cheers! It's SuperBowl time! I counted at least 30 TV's from where I was seated, but there were many more than that! This was the place to be to watch the game, though we declined to participate in the wing eating contest at halftime.
Here is George, seated directly beneath the Super Sized Screen.
Siesta Key Beach
On Saturday we met up with Scott and Erica and Scott's parents Bill and Nancy for a great walk on Siesta Key Beach. It was a bit cooler, with a slight wind, but a beautiful sunny day to enjoy such a pristine beach.
Heather, Scott, Erica and George on Siesta Key Beach
Scott and Erica
George, Heather, Bill, Nancy and Scott