May 12 Sunday, 2013
This week has been the week the Love Bugs came out. Millions and Millions of the fornicating bugs. They look like lightening bugs in the north without the light. They are 99% mated together and fly in tandem. They don't bite or sting, they are just annoying. The swarms can get so big that they can stop traffic by completely covering your windshield and they can cover the radiator making your vehicle overheat! They are also very fragile so when they land on you and you try to push them off their bodies just fall apart. Yuk! The love bugs are all around the pool and outside our RV. To get away from them you need to stay in the pool. We are told that they will be gone in a few more days. They come back again for a couple of weeks in September. We won’t be here for that, thankfully!
|Love Bug on the towel with it's mate stuck to it.|
This week we finally got to a Gulf beach. We went to one of the highest rated beaches in the country, Caladesi Island. The only way to get on the beach is by boat. We took the regular ferry over to the island which leaves every ½ hour starting at 10 am. The island also has a 2.5 mile nature trail that we walked for a total of 5 miles walking. I bring the 5 miles walking up as we also walked a mile to the ferry first. We parked outside the park on the causeway and then walked in with our new beach chair back packs. Anyway, we walked 7 miles in 86 degree heat! We were ready for the AC in the truck for the ride home!
The ferry to the island cost $14 each, $13 each with our dollar off coupon, for a total of $26. It was also $2 each to walk into the park to get to the ferry. Sort of expensive for a day at the beach. The nice thing about Caladesi Island is that the amount of people is limited by the amount of people on the ferries. So you really do have the beach to yourself almost.
|We left the truck on the causeway so we could walk into the park to get the ferry. It only saves $4 but we like the exercise and to enjoy the views.|
|Ferry to and from Caladesi Island|
|A pair of dolphins followed us to the island. Could only get this picture.|
|Entrance to Caladesi Island|
|The beach is all natural. No sand cleaning machines here. The sand is like powder.|
|View on the nature trail.|
|Another scenic view on the nature trail.|
We waded into the water but it was a little cold for us at 77 degrees. It’s a weird thing, but we have become accustom to the warm weather here in Florida now. Water and air below 80 is now cool. We never thought we would become like this with the air temperature. We were freezing one evening during our walk after dinner when it got down to 69 degrees! What are we going to do up North now!
Thursday night we went to see the musical group Uncle Johns Band at a local Restaurant/Pub called Skippers Smokehouse. We attended with our friend, Christiana, from Seminole who is now living next door at Lake Como. Christiana also reads Tarot cards so Patty got a reading while I finished getting dinner ready for us before we went to see the band. The band played just like the Dead did at the only concert I saw them at in NY many years ago. After each song the musicians tuned up for a few minutes and there was a significant intermission; can instruments go out of tune that quickly . Also the same were the large amount of people dancing and small kids were dancing too. The Dead just makes everybody feel happy.
|Christiana getting ready for the show|
|Patty and Christiana during the show|
Yesterday, Saturday we went to Pier 60 in Clearwater Beach. This is sort of the Tampa areas South Beach. There are many vendors and street performers and beach type restaurants. We picked Crabby Bill's for dinner and weren't disappointed. The food was very good for beach food. Our impression of the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area is that it is very family friendly and Pier 60 backed that up. There are lots of stuff for kids and for adults to do. The area also feels so much safer than the Miami area. It’s less about Bling and more about a good time by all.
|Dolphin art in Clearwater beach|
|Looking back at Clearwater Beach from Pier 60|
|Old ship just off the beach|
|More sunset. The sunset is one of the reasons to come here.|
|Getting ready to show a movie at Clearwater Beach.|
|A lot of the restaurants use these to ferry people around at the beach. This is also what we have rented for Disney,|
|2 of these toads were on our RV last night when we got back from Clearwater Beach.|
One down side yesterday was the truck AC. The truck has exceptional AC but yesterday when we started to leave the RV park the AC just wouldn't get cold. It got cool enough to be comfortable with the outside being about 90 but not to the usual standard. Even at 90 outside I should be turning the AC down in 10 minutes of driving. Not this time. So it looks like a service run to Ford this coming week. We bought an extended service contract on the truck and the RV before we left last year, now I need to check if that is covered.
Lastly this week we finally got a golf cart for the 10 days we are at the campground in Disney. From all of the reviews we have read we really need to have a golf cart because the park is so big. Ok then what might Disney charge for a cart, $85/day! So, we shopped around the area and got a cart for $55/day from a dealer outside the park. There are 7 of us so we got a 6 passenger cart. We are thinking that since the kids are small we will be OK with that. We will see how this goes as Disney does not allow, supposedly, outside dealers to do business on their property. The cart dealer we are using is bringing the cart to us at our site inside Disney. We have read other reviews where people have done this successfully with this vendor so we will see!
We have just 2 more weeks here and we don't have much left to do. We have a couple more bike trails we want to ride, a sunset cruise in Tampa Bay that we have tickets for, and we still need to get some BBQ from Hungry Harry's BBQ just up the road. Hungry Harry's is reputed to have the best BBQ pulled pork around so we just have to have it! Then the last week we will be getting ready for Disney and for starting our 2013 travel plans. More about that next post.