Our Lazy Daze Motorhome

Our Lazy Daze Motorhome
2009 Lake Louise

Friday, February 24, 2012

Road Trip HD and Mileage

You probably know by now that we have a 2006 Lazy Daze "C" class motor home.  It's 27 feet long and we just love it.  You may think that the smaller motor homes get better gas mileage than the big ones.  Not really true.  Ours is a Ford 450 gasoline motor and we tow a 4000 lb Jeep.  We've tracked our gas mileage in the past, but right before we left for this trip, our friend, Kate Klein recommended an app on her blog, Road Trip HD.  It's an ios app and works great for keeping up with total miles (I know the gps will do that too!) but this app does so much more.  You can get it here.  It's $4.99 and so worth it.  On our trip to Florida, we drove 1,463 miles, used 175 gallons of gas and paid $632 for it.  RTHD calculates all this for you.  It gives us mpg at each fill-up.  No guessing or calculator.  We averaged 8.33 mpg.  On the first past of our trip we were only getting 7.83 mpg because we were driving 65-70.  We were in a hurry to have fun!!  We were on a county road, but the weather was pretty and we had no traffic.  So we boogied to the beach!  But on the last leg of the trip we drove only 50-55 and got 8.94 mpg.  That's not bad for towing!  And with the price of gas going up, up, up...it pays to slow down!!  Anyway, just thought I would throw that out in case anyone is interested in this great app!

Safe and happy travels!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Grayton Beach State Park

Friday, 2/17/12 to Sunday, 2/19/12

For the past three days we have been at Grayton Beach State Park in site 46.  It's in the new section of the campground right across from the restroom/bathhouse/laundry (2 washers, 2 dryers).  This side of the campground opened last year.  Some of the sites are concrete and some are gravel.  Some are very level, some not so.   Our site is gravel and somewhat level.  We can get some local channels on our digital converter box and we were able to get a satellite signal. We back up into the lagoon off Western lake.   

We have been pretty busy since we got here.  We drove into Destin twice and shopped at the outlets.  We had lunch at McQuire's Irish Pub.  They have a million one dollar bills hanging from the ceiling and walls with names of the contributors on many of them.  

We drove over to Henderson Beach State Park.  It is a very nice park and we may stay there sometime.  Many of the sites back up to the water.  The beach is only a short walk.  There are restrooms/bathhouses and laundry in each loop.  Some of the sites are concrete pads, many are pull-throughs.  It is in a good location, across 98 from the Go Cart Track.  Very near restaurants and lots of shopping.  

We ate several lunches at the Seagrove Market, grouper sandwiches of course.  

We drove down to Alys Beach near Rosemary Beach.  The structures are very white and very Arabian and very different from most of the beach houses on the panhandle.  We drove through Watercolor looking for Cliff Gottwal's lot. We didn't find it.  We took several bike rides and Sunday, a very chilly and windy day, we took our chairs down to the beach and sat for a while, watching the biggest waves we have ever seen.

Three days at Grayton Beach State Park was a very relaxing way to end our winter trip. We stopped at Goatfeathers Seafood Market and had them steam shrimp for our dinner and bought additional fresh shrimp and grouper for us to take home. Tomorrow, we head back to Hoover and back to life as we know it.  Until March 4, when we head to Jacksonville, FL for our SELD get together. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ochlockonee SP to Grayton Beach State Park

2/16/12, Thursday

We left Ochlockonee at about 10:30 a.m. ET this morning.  We drove in the heavy rain toward Grayton Beach State Park.  We have never stayed at St. Andrews State Park in and heard it was a great campground so we detoured off Hwy 98 and did a drive through.  We liked it and will probably try to stay there sometime.  We drove on into Santa Rosa Beach to Grayton State Park and got set up, then drove over to the Seagrove Market and got a grilled grouper sandwich.  Our favorite thing to do here in Seaside/Seagrove is to get a grouper sandwich at the Seagrove Market!!!!  And, of course, dinner at the Red Bar!!  We had so much lunch that we didn't have any dinner.  We journaled, read, and went to bed!

Salt Springs State Park to Ochlockonee State Park

Wednesday, 2/15/12

This was a very difficult navigating day.  As we left the Salt Springs State Park campground, we started out going south on Hwy 19, instead of north so this mistake cost us about 45 minutes.  We finally got to I-75 and stopped for gas at the BP near Gainesville.  The sign out front stated $3.699 per gallon, which is bad enough, but it turned out to be $3.739, because we used our credit card.  We have learned our lesson.  To watch the pumps a little closer!  We decided to stay at the Suwannee River State Park.  As we turned into the entrance, we found the road closed.  The railroad track at the entrance was being taken out so after we researched the alternate route, it would have taken about 45 minutes to get into the park so we decided to drive on to Ochlockonee State Park down Hwy 98.  We got there about 4:00 pm ET and grilled chicken for dinner.  Ed called Dylan to wish him a happy birthday.  The good thing that happened today is that we decided to check to see if there were any openings at Grayton Beach and YES there were.  Thursday through Sunday.  Woohooo.  We are headed there tomorrow!  We don't care if the weather looks like rain.  Grayton Beach is "home".  Rain means a trip to the outlets and dinner at the Red Bar.  Again, woohooo!!


Salt Springs, Silver Spring, Ocala National Forest

Tuesday, 2/14/12

Slept in this morning until 9:00 am ET.  Showered.  Drove to Silver Spring.  We had a huge lunch at Charlie Horse.  Ed had a Philly Cheese Chicken sandwich and I had a hamburger.  We drove back to the campground and took a bike ride down to the beach area.  We saw a hawk, 2 manatee, and lots of ducks and fish in the swimming area.  The picnic area had very large gnarly trees and Spanish moss.  We sat outside the rig and read.  We had cereal and sandwich for dinner.  Nothing on TV...only one major channel on the batwings.  We read.  I totally recommend the book that I finished tonight.  It is "Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal" by Conor Grenan.  It was an excellent read.   

Salt Springs State Park, Ocala Nat'l Forest

Monday, 2/13/12

And so the propane furnace in our Lazy Daze went on and off a hundred times in the night so that by the time we awakened at 7:30 am, we were exhausted and still cold.  Ed went off to drop Herb off at the Chrysler garage to work on a transmission problem on their new Town and Country.  Bob and Penny came over, we said our goodbyes to all, gave a quick demo on how to hook up the Jeep to the RV, and took off to the German Bakery at Yalaha for lunch.  It was only 111 miles away and we arrived about 1:00 pm.  We ordered sandwiches and then totally indulged in some fabulous pastries, a huge ├ęclair and a sumptuous something hazelnut that defies description.  Then we departed for the Ocala National Forest in search of the Salt Springs State Park campground.  They only had one space left when we arrived.  Fortunately, we were able to get satellite TV for the first time in three days.  The temperature tonight was warmer so we got a good nights sleep.

Herb and Nancy's in San Antonio, Florida

Friday, 2/10/12

We left Manatee Springs State Park this morning.  We drove down toward San Antonio, Florida where our friends, Herb and Nancy Gwin have bought a new house.  They live in Eagle River, Alaska.  We met them on our first trip to Alaska when Herb was canning salmon at his site in the campground.  Winkie (our friend from Georgia) and I walked over to their campsite and asked how that was done.  Herb and Nancy invited us to stay for dinner (fresh red salmon). Who could turn that down?? And we have been fast friends every since.  We are so happy they bought a house down in Florida.  It's a lot closer to us than Alaska!!  Their plans are to retire in 4 years and move to Florida.


After we stopped at Wal-Mart and got a few groceries, we got to San Antonio around 6:00 p.m and dry camped in an empty lot across the street from Herb and Nancy's house.  Nancy and Herb served us salmon dip (yes, canned salmon caught and brought from Alaska on the plane!) and crackers for dinner, which was SO good.  We talked until about 9:00 p.m.,  then we headed over to the RV.  The temperature dropped tonight.   We turned on the furnace and it kept us both awake most of the night popping off and on.

Saturday, 2/11/12

Today,  Herb, Bob (Herb's brother -in-law) and Ed played golf.  It was so windy, we couldn't believe they were going.  Nancy, her sister Penny, and I went shopping.  We went to Tampa, stopped at some high end shopping, then stopped at a store named Leaders, which sells indoor/outdoor patio furniture.  We all bought a few things, then back home to Nancy's.  We went to dinner at Beef O'Bradys where we heard lots of golf stories!  Upon returning, we decided to head to the RV.  The temperatures dropped into the low 20s tonight so we were pretty cold!

Sunday, 2/12/12

Today, Herb and Nancy took us into Tarpon Springs and to the beach at Howard Park.  Tarpon Springs is cute and touristy.  It is the sponge capital of the world.  There were tons of stores that sold "real sponges", not the kind you buy at the grocery store!  Nancy and I went into a store that carried handmade soap in lots of fragrances.  They had sponges melted into the bar of soap.  The girls will love these.  We had lunch at Mama's Greek Restaurant.  It was cold and windy so we didn't stay out too long.  We drove over to Howard Park, passing lots of huge antebellum homes in beachy colors.  It reminded us of Charleston and the battery.  At the beach, there were wind surfers about to go out.  It was a nice drive.  We got back to Herb and Nancy's and had cheese, crackers, and salmon dip for dinner.  We had so much lunch, no one was really hungry.  I made mint juleps.  We talked and laughed, then headed to bed around 9:00.  We used our extra comforter tonight.  It was cold, again down in the low 20s.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Way Down Upon the Suwannee River...

Thursday, 2/9/12

We returned to the Suwannee River.  The vultures are in abundance here.  They are actually cute in a yucky kind of way. The park attendant told us when we checked in that they were very friendly.  This one was not at all afraid of how close I was getting to photograph him.  He seemed to be very social and even seemed to be "flirting" with me in a way.  There are hundreds of them here at the mouth of the spring run.  We were told that they migrate through this area each year.

We were told that the manatee can be seen better in the morning.  We weren't disappointed.  We counted 10 and took dozens of pictures, hoping to get one or two good ones.  Again, we talked to some local campers about Florida campgrounds.  

This afternoon, we took a day trip to Cedar Key which is about 40 miles from our park.  It is something out of the past.  It is an old beachfront community with lots of pastel pinks and aqua houses and businesses.  Hotels were mostly from the 40s.  It was quite charming. 

What is this little darling??  They seem to be growing wild. 

On our way back, we drove through the Lower Suwannee Wildlife Preserve.  We saw mostly foul.  White cranes were in abundance.  When we got back to the campground we hiked the Sinkhole Trail, a one half mile loop.  It is a forest of Oaks, Magnolia, and Hickory trees.  The sinkholes along the trail were created because the limestone, which lies just under the soil, gets washed away into the underground spring.  There is a part of the spring that one can scuba that goes into the caves made by the sinkholes.  Not our cup of tea!!  We returned back to our home on wheels.  We ate grilled salmon and baked potato in our screened canopy.

It was another great day in Florida.

Manatee Springs State Park Another Day

Wednesday, 2/8/12

Manatee Springs State Park

The weather today was perfect.  High 70 with plenty of sunshine!  We decided to mix a little business with pleasure so we showered and went into Chiefland to do our laundry.  We ate a late lunch at Bar-B-Q Bill's.  We both had a barbeque sandwich.  It was good, but not as good as Jim and Nick's pull pork sandwich back home.  We returned to the campground around 2:00 pm and walked down to the Suwannee River to look for manatee.  We didn't see any, but we did see an otter and five deer.  We talked to some local campers about various Florida campgrounds.  We are always open to hear others opinions about what they enjoy in the way of campgrounds.  We biked about three miles out to the front gate to pay for another day.  We are enjoying the campground and the entire area.  The park is completely filled tonight.  We were reminded how blessed we are to have a short camper (27 ft) when a 40 footer got turned away today.  Most of the Florida parks won't accommodate the very long motorhomes or fifth wheels.  We had so much lunch that we only had a snack of cheese and crackers for dinner then headed to bed.

This is a beautiful park and very well maintained.  The sites are sand, but mostly all level.  There are several concrete walkways to the restrooms/bathhouses.  The restrooms are not heated, which is not great for the winter, but big ceiling fans make the summer shower more tolerable.  When we arrived at our site, it had been raked clean of all hickory nuts and leaves.  There is a hiking trail system as well as bike paths.  

These little guys are white-tails and were down on the ground below the boardwalk as we were walking out to the river.

We saw this little otter in the spring run.  The park attendant told us he lives there.

On our bike ride we saw three more deer.  There must have a huge population here, since we have already seen 13.