We Made it to Yellowstone!

We have been traveling since March 8th and we finally made it to our summer spot at Yellowstone National Park on May 10th!

Because the WiFi has been awful at most of the places along the way, I have not been posting much. I have tried to keep up on Instagram. Take a look on there to see some of the sites we saw along the way. When I am in town next, I will post more about the trip. It was exciting, exhausting and definitely worth it.

The Yellowstone Forever bookstore is beautiful and we are enjoying working there. One day a week we are also in the new Art and Photography Center in the Old Haynes Photography building. Craig and I love working together again!

We have done a little exploring, but there has been a lot of rain here so some places are still pretty flooded. We hope to hike more soon. We joined the employee hiking club. We will hike at least 100 miles this season. We are already near 30, so I don’t think that will be a hard goal to reach!

I was surprised to find myself really missing Florida along the way. I think we miss our friends and family and being able to see them whenever we want. It can be trying being two hours from any major store or town as well. I guess I may have to rethink wanting to live in the middle of nowhere!

Our RV site is nice and quiet and we really like our neighbors and coworkers. More posts soon!

Florida Panhandle State and National Parks

Florida Rambler’s excellent blog post about beach camping in the Florida Panhandle http://www.floridarambler.com/florida-camping/beach-camping-in-florida-panhandle/ made me want to see some of the campgrounds there. That really was the start of planning our route to Yellowstone this summer.

Here are some notes about each place we stayed.

Saint George Island State Park

-Beautiful beach with white sand and green-blue water. Softest sand-like baby powder.

-Small sandy RV spots, but there are a few bigger sites with concrete pads. Must book 11 months out. Trees block neighbors a bit. Some sites are hard to back into with fences in front of them.

-Nice bathhouses, but only two showers for woman and two for men in each bathhouse.

-Nature trail to bay and beach.

-Very buggy with no see ums and little black flies. The beach breeze keeps them mostly off the beach.

-The beach is empty. Very quiet campers!

-Ranger programs. We attended a campfire talk. Great!

-Beach path is out by the road where you turn in. About a 10-15 minute walk.

-Sun rises on beach, but sets on bay side.

-Shells are plentiful. Many sea birds.

-Town is small. Lighthouse is pretty. Paddy’s Raw Bar has great oysters from the Apalachicola Bay. Apalachicola is a close town that looked cute.

-No WiFi.

Saint Joseph’s Peninsula State Park

-About and hour and a half drive from Saint George Island.

-Small sites, but plenty of trees in between your neighbors. A few concrete pad sites. Book 11 months out.

-Very buggy. Bring bug spray or cream.

-About four showers for women and four for men in bathhouse. Bathrooms separated.

-Very short walk to the beach on a boardwalk.

-Beach was much more crowded and many more waves than St George when we were there.

-Best sunsets of the three parks.

-Lots of teens in this campground. Looked like church youth groups.

-Quiet Campground.

-So many jellyfish on the beach. Maybe due to the rough waters while we were there.

-Camp store close by marina.

-WiFi at marina and screened in pavilion. Slow.

-No diesel gas close by. No stores close by.

Fort Pickens Campground at Gulf Shores National Seashore (Santa Rosa Island)

-Best Beach! Very white sand and emerald green water.

-Empty beaches. Many Ospreys and other sea birds. Great for birdwatching.

-Close walk for some campsites to the beach path. Longer for others. Long boardwalk to beach.

-Close to Pensacola and stores and restaurants.

-Campsites were wide open with little shade or privacy. Sites along the tree lines were the best.

-Very crowded campground with many families and tent campers. Kids riding bikes and skateboards everywhere.

-Small concrete pads and you must have your vehicle on the cement pad as well, or park in overflow parking.

-Bathhouse crowded. A few showers closed off so it only left three for a huge campground. Unisex showers. Separate bathrooms.

-Fort Pickens is a great day trip. 10 minutes up the road. Nice bookstore and ranger tours. Jr. Ranger program.

We really loved spending time at these beautiful beaches and walked them morning and night. Look at our Instagram page for many more pictures!

 

Cody’s RV Park inWeeki Wachee, Florida

After getting our jack replaced (due to a recall) at our dealer Lazydays in Tampa, we headed to Weeki Wachee, Florida for a few nights. I have never been, and Craig went when he was little. We have really enjoyed spending time at some of the Florida springs. They are very peaceful and low key compared to the Orlando parks!

We visited Crystal Springs and the Three Sisters Springs NWR, Homosassa Springs and Weeki Wachee Springs/State Park. Because it was cool at the beginning of our stay, there were lots of manatees in Three Sisters Springs. About 80-100 the day we were there!

Cody’s RV Park is small and it looks like there are a lot of permanent residents here. It is a great spot for visiting the Florida springs. Cody’s is right up the road from Weeki Wachee Springs and about 30 miles to Crystal Springs. There is a Publix and a Walmart very close by. A great brewery, Marker 48 is 10 minutes away. They have a small pond that you can take kayaks out on and 40 miles of trails out back.

We are off to the Florida panhandle this week and hope it warms up so we can swim at the beaches. More posts soon on the state parks we are staying at there!

 

Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake

Craig and I said farewell to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground at the beginning of January and headed to Bill Frederick Park near Universal Studios. It is a City of Orlando park and has only 36 RV spots. They also have cabins and tent sites.

Our site has partial hook ups, so electric and water, but no sewer. We have been using the bathhouse bathrooms and showers. They are old, but clean. We did purchase a 42 gallon “blue boy” portable tank so we can empty the gray tank at the dump station. That way we can wash the dishes and take showers in the RV again. Craig does not really want to use it for the black tank.

The park is nice and quiet compared to Fort Wilderness. It is mostly snowbirds. There are a couple of fishing piers, grilling and picnic areas, a large pool open seasonally, a children’s farm and three disc golf courses. Disc or frisbee golf is played like regular golf with small frisbees or discs. We got a set at Outdoor World, but they also sell and rent them at the front of the park.

We are happy with the choice of this park, and really recommend it if you are staying in the Orlando area with an RV or tents. The sites are small and some are not level, but most people seem to fit their rigs in fine. The price is also great compared to other parks in the Florida area in the winter. Like the Florida state parks, book way ahead!

RV Holiday Decorating

Note: Be sure to visit the other links below for more of the “Christmas in the Camper 2017” series. We are one of 15 RV bloggers participating!

You may think RVers would not decorate much for the holidays. Before we moved into our travel trailer full time, we downsized a lot. We did keep a few small bins of decorations (mostly unbreakable ones.) If you visit or camp at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground, you will see how some campers actually do go crazy decorating their sites! We have been here since September, and Halloween and Christmas are the two big holidays to decorate.

One site even built a walk through Haunted Mansion for Halloween!

These were our Halloween wreath and decorations.

Craig and I put a few things up for Thanksgiving and then decorate for Christmas the weekend after. We made this grapevine wreath for the door with some small decorations.

Here is our little Thanksgiving set up. Chip and Dale by the campfire are new.

We got the natural wood tree from Target this year. I love how it can fold pretty flat! Most of the decorations we kept have a camping or woodsy theme. Craig made new green plaid pillowcases for our couch pillows.

I guess when you have the Disney parks and resorts for inspiration surrounding you, it makes you want to go all out!

Here are some more amazing Fort Wilderness campsite decorations from the past few days.


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We Are Working at Yellowstone Next Summer!

We were so excited to hear from Yellowstone Forever a few days ago. They let Craig and I know that we will be working in the Old Faithful bookstore next summer season!

Yellowstone Forever is the official nonprofit at Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone Park Foundation and The Yellowstone Association joined together to become Yellowstone Forever. They offer classes and have bookstores all over the park. 

We will leave Florida towards the end of March and take several weeks to get to Wyoming by May. We are really looking forward to our next adventure and spending several months in one of our favorite places.

Snowbirding

Craig and I have been having a great time here at Walt Disney World. Other than the stolen bike incident and a lot of Lake Midges due to tons of rain, it has been fun! Craig has been doing some seasonal work for Disney PR and I have been working on a long term research project. 


During our free time we swim, bike and walk a lot in the parks. Food and Wine has been going on at Epcot and the resort hotels, and we have done a few nice tastings.



Fall is in full swing at Fort Wilderness and the parks. We had fun with the golf cart they lent us “looping” and checking out people’s sites.




We had an interview the other day for a summer position at Yellowstone next year. Hoping to hear good news soon!


Loving our work view!