Saturday, May 31, 2014

MOVING DAY . . .


Friday was very low key for us. The only major thing we accomplished was moving to another site. Originally we were to depart and go home yesterday. However we got very lucky the other day when this second site became available for the weekend.


Here in the campground at Fort De Soto are these gorgeous trees that are in bloom. I wasn't sure what they were and was going to ask for anyone who knew to let me know. African Tulip Tree? Orchid Tree? Nope it's actually a Hawaiian Hibiscus Tree . . .


Many bizar things have occurred in our campsite while we have been here. Just to name a few:

Middle of the day a random raccoon walks through our site with a fish
Black crows irritating a quite large Blue Heron
Constant Pelicans flying over
Dolphin sightings daily
Thousands of tiny crabs on the beach at low tide
Black Headed Gulls doing a mating dance
Flocks of screaming parrots flying over
Squirrels - I don't even want to talk about
Random Mallard duck wanders through camp . . .
(What's next? Giraffe?)


Friday, May 30, 2014

MORE FISH . . .


Tim and I spent Thursday morning fishing again. It was another good day for some more trout. Again we caught so many but in the end we only had two keepers. We each caught one . . .



Once we finished our day of fishing we took off to Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish House in South Pasedina for what else . . . FISH! Ted Peters hasn't changed in over sixty years. It's cash only and they have the best smoked fish & the coldest beer in town. I had the smoked salmon with German potato salad & coleslaw. There we met up with our good friends Chuck & Michele. It was so good to see them again and great to have the time to catch up.


On the way back to camp we caught the sunset from one of the bridges in Tierra Verde.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

HERE FISHY, FISHY . . .


Wednesday was a day of firsts. This was my first time fishing out of my kayak. Tim has fished several times before from his kayak. And it was my fist time catching trout. Fishing out of a kayak has its challenges . . . dealing with a paddle, current, wind, camera, fishing pole and other items while keeping out of active boat channels and trying to keep everything in or attached to the kayak. 



LOOK CLOSE . . . YOU CAN SEE MY TROUT IN THE WATER RIGHT IN FRONT OF TIM

BIG BLUE HERON TRYING TO GET MY TROUT!

It turned out to be a fantastic day kayaking & fishing on the water. Here I thought we had only been out a few hours. Once we got back to shore I was a little hungry, looked at the time and here we had been out five and a half hours. Tim and I caught many spotted sea trout over the course of the day but only one was a keeper . . . one that I had caught. Dinner was very tasty and I was tickled that I had provided it. The fish doesn't get any fresher than this . . . 



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

PADDLING, PADDLING & MORE PADDLING . . .


The campground was very quiet come Tuesday morning with all the holiday campers having departed. First thing we did was unload the kayaks and the paddle board. The second the paddle board was off loaded I was on it and out for a morning paddle . . . out and around the little island out from our campsite. Then I took off again to paddle partially around the campground into the lagoon by the camp store. The time alone time on the water was very peaceful. It was the perfect way to start the day. 


Afterwards Tim and I had a quick lunch then we both took off for an afternoon paddle in the kayaks. We were out for most of the afternoon. Our paddling exploration began going across the little bay behind the Airstream then off to the south. Along the way we saw many osprey, pelicans and red drum fish. There would be better pictures to post but someone hadn't charged the other camera. This one picture was carefully taken with Tim's cell phone that had been packed in a dry bag. Sorry.


Dinner was simple and great. We grilled hot dogs, potato wedges and baked beans. The sunset was amazing last night . . . a perfect ending to a perfect day!




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

SOUTH TO FORT DE SOTO . . .



On Memorial Day we hitched up the Airstream and headed south to Fort De Soto a Pinellas County Park. This park is our favorite place to camp locally. I know I say that all the time . Fort De Soto is located south of St Pete on the Gulf of Mexico at the entrance of Tampa Bay. It is a chain of five interconnected islands, or keys and hosts more than three million visitors per year. 


On our way south we stopped for more provisions. I took the photo above in Homosassa Springs and never knew a parking lot at Winn Dixie could look so good. Once back on the road our three hour trip had turned into three and a half hours. Upon our arrival a storm began to brew so we did not have opportunity to unload the kayaks or paddle board. I did have time to snap a few pictures and we sat inside the Airstream during the storm. I must say sitting inside the Airstream on a dark evening is quite nice and better than sitting at home in a storm any day!

      THE FORT DE SOTO CAMPGROUND IS ON THE LEFT BY THE SEAWALL ABOVE




Monday, May 26, 2014

LAST CALL . . .

 
Wow! What a hot day Sunday was. Low 90's and a light wind. Summer is definitely here. Our friend Dan wanted to take Tim and I for a ride in his brothers canoe since we hadn't unloaded our kayaks here. Tim passed and I enjoyed a short paddle to meet up with Dan's brother Tom. 


We spent most of the afternoon inside the Airstream because it was so hot. Late in the afternoon we had a storm pass nearby that we thought was coming our way. It never came but it sure got windy and dropped the temperature ten degrees. Due to the high winds we put up the awnings and packed most of our stuff. So now we are close to being ready for our move to the next location today. 


Of course we made the stroll over to the Tiki bar last night for sunset & our last call while here. It was a perfect night. Cool, nice breeze and a few guys staying there had a little impromptu jam session out back. That was a nice treat.



Sunday, May 25, 2014

EXPLORING CEDAR KEY ...


On Saturday Tim and I started the day out with breakfast hosted by another club member. For dinner we did a shared grill night with our club. Those who brought a grill gathered them outside the club house and shared grill space with those who didn't bring one. It worked out really great and we had fun. You would think that's all we do is eat at these gatherings. 


In between the our feedings yesterday we did take a trip into town to explore. Come to find out due to the exceptional water quality, Cedar Key is one of the largest producers of farm raised clams in the country!


The town is quite cute and with it being a holiday weekend it's packed with tourists. 


There are many little canals in this quaint little town and even an airport. In order to go into the neighborhood on the far side of the runway you have to drive over it. 



We also were able to go back to the Tiki bar ... again. Here are a few more photos from there. Today I'll have to see what other interesting stuff I can find to photograph there. 



Saturday, May 24, 2014

DAY OF RELAXATION . . .


Yesterday was very relaxing for us. Nothing was accomplished except for cooking, eating & drinking. We gathered for a fabulous pot luck dinner and of course afterwards wandered back down the road for sunset at the Tiki Bar. Every time we go there I discover something unique that I have missed previously. On this trip I found the Hula Girl playing her ukulele. She made me smile!


What's so great is the owner has such an amazing artistic vision that you so get it the moment you arrive. And to express it in such a way that you feel right at home gives reason to return. Everything in the place has been recycled and repurposed. Plastic bottle caps, license plates, glass bottles, old windows and wine corks ... You name it and there's a purpose for it. The entire place is green and Eco friendly. Out front is the small motel and on the end of the property next to the tiki bar are four RV campsites right on the water. The owner/bar tender says it's extremely hard to get reservations but I see a challenge and a new favorite place to take the Airstream!


The Tiki Bar is on the right directly behind the tall palm tree. I'll leave you with last nights sunset . . .


Friday, May 23, 2014

CEDAR KEY, FL . . .


Many years ago Tim and I drove over to Cedar Key on Florida's west coast for a day trip. Once we arrived we soon found out it was a ghost town that time of year. It was their off season. No one was there. Everything was closed. It was low tide and the look of the town was just not appealing. So we left with no plans to ever come back. Well here we are again . . .




Tim and I arrived yesterday in Cedar Key to meet up with a group of Airstreamers. There are about seventeen Airstreams here with us at Sunset Isle RV Park. And so far so good! We found this amazing eclectic tiki bar just a short walk down the street and last night we enjoyed a spectacular sunset there. 




This morning we had all 35 (I think) Airsreamers over to our site for a Continental breakfast. Then we were going to get the kayaks in the water but we missed the high tide. So we'll try that again tomorrow. This evening we will have a pot luck planned with our group and then at some point we hope to sneak another visit in over to the tiki bar!

We've got a full weekend planned here for the holiday. Then we will head south ... on our own to another location.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NEW AIRSTREAM WINDOW TREATMENT DESIGN . . .


Finally the last of my window treatments have been installed in the Airstream. Last year I made both front and rear drapes. Then we replaced the old white dinette roller shades with new black roller shades and replaced the kitchen roller shade with with an aluminum mini blind. The only thing left to replace were the side bedroom windows. Last year before I took off to Clearwater for six months I designed and made those new window treatments. The plan was to install these while the bedroom was dismantled for the floor/trunk repair. That didn't happen! I needed to be there and have some time and consultations with my engineer for the exact placement in order for these to work properly.


OLD ROLLER SHADES

Well the time finally came a few weeks ago for the installation. The original idea came from the mariners and from a boat my parents had when I was in high school. These snap style covers are used both on the interior and exterior of boat windows. I made an exact template for each of the windows out of craft paper and went from there to make patterns for each window. For the installation my engineer (Tim) used Stainless Steel 3/8" Screw Snap Studs in the window frames. On the actual window treatments that I made we used the matching Stainless Steel Sockets & Buttons installed with a handy dandy snap die tool that we have for our canvas work that we dabble in. Where the old roller shades hung I had Engineer Tim place rivets in those holes to help conceal that.



These window treatments are amazing. No more bumping into the shades while getting into the wardrobes or snagging them while making the bed. No more dingy crinkled and shredding roller shades to look at. Remember they have had ten years of hard use. The new design & snaps allow for the shades to conform to the curve of the Airstream walls. No more thoughts of 'Can someone see in those gaping side cracks of the roller shades at night?' I also sewed drape black out material on the back side of each piece of material. It's like a dark den in there now even in the middle of the day.










 SPECTACULAR NEW AIRSTREAM WINDOW TREATMENTS


These are so versatile they can be snapped into place to completely cover the windows. I can un-snap the bottom and then re-snap the bottom toward the top of the window frame to give a Roman shade look. Or if you want to take a nap while the windows are open I can do a reverse Roman shade configuration from the bottom. Just in case someone walks by they can't see in from the outside but the window can still be open allowing for airflow. And they can come completely off depending on where you are. I pre-washed everything prior to sewing so if need be it's a quick throw in the washer to be cleaned. Brilliant!!!





VIEW TO REAR BEDROOM ... ALMOST A COMPLETE BLACKOUT
DURING THE DAY WITH NEW WINDOW TREATMENTS