Posts Tagged With: ft. clinch state park

Wintering in Florida

Like many fulltime RV’ers we spent most of the winter in Florida. After spending the holidays with family in North Carolina we headed back to our hometown of Fernandina Beach, FL to stay at Ft. Clinch State Park in January. Most of the time we were there it was very cold, well by Florida standards that is. I know most northerners would question my definition of “cold”. We woke up one morning to find that the water coming into the RV from the outdoor spigot had frozen. We’ve traveled for 3 years and that has never happened. How ironic that it would happen in Florida of all places!

In spite of the cold we had a blast hanging out with friends, playing lots of games, enjoying lots of campfires and watching gorgeous sunsets.

We were so happy to be in town to attend one of our best friend’s surprise 50th birthday party!

27355652_1518773014836577_984268090324639520_o

Good friends Danny & Kim

So much fun with friends…

26231665_929263340578547_9193179482792125342_n

Game nights with Mimi

26815526_10214876180566398_1867201009442824453_n

Catching up with Kym

26993198_2032848170155760_5422296236749611014_n (2)

Camping with Kelli and the rest of the Norstrem family

One night while watching the sunset we were so excited to see a couple of dolphins playing so close to the shore. Photo credit to Kelli for these beautiful sunset pictures.

26734119_2032848260155751_7399931352834483948_n

19598431_2032848013489109_2632820345427858053_n

After almost 4 weeks in Fernandina we headed down to another one of our favorite places: Disney’s Ft. Wilderness campground. This time my parents, sister and brother-in-law joined us for some Disney fun.

27072575_10156132727416983_284041008160647162_n

27540092_10157233039769762_26610769880016644_n

Later in February we moved on to Three Flags Thousand Trails where some good friends were staying. In the past I have shared pictures of some of the incredible campsites we have been blessed with that included lots of space and gorgeous views. Well, sometimes we end up with a site with a lovely view of the neighbor’s camper with barely any room in between.

Nomadiversary001

Jake and Jesse with their good friend Gavin

The sites at that park were pretty close together, but thankfully the neighbor was really nice. She brought treats over for the kids often and even told us we could use her golf cart anytime we needed it. We didn’t take her up on that, but I have to say she was one of the nicest neighbors we have ever had. In addition we got to hang out with some other Fulltime Families which made our stay there really fun.

Even though we didn’t have a lot of space between our campers, our back yard was pretty amazing with cows coming to visit us every day.

Nomadiversary002

Nomadiversary003

From there we moved on to “moochdock” at a friend’s house. We met these friends on the road 3 years ago. They recently bought property in Florida with a very nice, large RV spot.

Nomadiversary004

Keith and Michele’s house

We went kayaking in Silver Springs while we were staying with them. That was lots of fun until we realized we missed a turn and ended up 2 miles downstream which meant we had the strenuous job of paddling back upstream that far. I was so thankful Keith tied a rope to my kayak and helped tow Jesse and me back!

Nomadiversary005

Peaceful and beautiful while we were still heading downstream.

Next we spent a quiet weekend at a beautiful state park on the Suwannee River.

0303181534_HDR

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

Lastly we attended our 6th Fulltime Families rally in Madison, FL at one of our favorite Jellystone Parks. We used to go on weekend camping trips to this Jellystone years ago before we started traveling fulltime. They have a really awesome water slide and lazy river. The entire week the boys were so excited for them to open the water park. It was a chilly week, but the campground promised they would open the water park for the rally no matter how the weather turned out.

Nomadiversary006

Well, the campground kept their promise and many of the kids braved the cold to enjoy it one afternoon. The outside temperature was in the 60s, and I have no idea how cold the water was but based on the blue, shivering lips of most of the kids it was quite cold!

Nomadiversary009

28828049_10156146829613610_8728006843177380338_o

Photo Credit: Brooke Foster

28701323_10156146829188610_8291602246232269670_o

Photo Credit: Brooke Foster

Rally weeks are always so busy and super fun. One day we had a field trip canoeing down the Suwannee River.

Nomadiversary007

Another day they had field games like relay races and crab soccer.

Nomadiversary008

We also had campfires, pot luck dinners and lots of other fun with old and new friends.

28947238_10156146725708610_939391669109748537_o

FtF Rally Group Picture – Photo Credit: Brooke Foster

So that wraps up our winter in Florida and now we are making our way up the east coast. We are so excited to begin another year of adventures and making memories.

 

Categories: Florida | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Second Nomadiversary

Two years ago today we moved out of our house to begin this amazing adventure on the road, and what an incredible ride it has been! We started out saying we would do this for 2 years, but we quickly realized that there is far too much to see in this beautiful country to stop after 2 years. So we are onto more adventures for year 3.  But first I would like to share this video of the highlights of our second year on the road, as well as give an update about what we’ve been up to lately.

If you missed our 1st year nomadiversary video you can watch it here: One Year Nomadiversary. This is why I blog. I am certainly not a professional blogger and I don’t do it for money, but I like to keep this as a sort of travel journal so we can look back and remember everything we did. It is really fun to look back at prior blog posts and nomadiversary videos and count our blessings. If it helps anyone with travel planning or inspires you to travel, that’s an added bonus.

In 2 years of travel we have visited 24 states and 24 national parks/monuments. It’s hard to say what has been my favorite experience so far, but in 2016 I would say it’s a tie between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.

0116171607c_hdr

I never did get around to sharing last year that we were interviewed by Epic Education Radio. Here is a link to the podcast if you would like to listen. http://www.anepiceducation.com/eer069-family-rv-living-in-the-usa/  Honestly I probably didn’t share it because I am generally shy and not comfortable talking in an interview like this. But some people said they liked it and it was helpful, so here it is for your listening pleasure. 🙂

It has been a while since my last post. Since then we have been spending time with friends and family in NC and FL. We stayed at Ft. Clinch State Park twice to visit friends in Fernandina Beach where we used to live.

Ft. Clinch has 2 campgrounds: one on the beach, the other on the river. We stayed on the beach side last year, you can read about that here: Ft. Clinch State Park. This time we stayed on the beach side for 3 nights, and stayed on the river side the rest of the time. These pictures are from the beach side.

0104171715a_hdr

Chris enjoying evening happy hour on the beach hammock.

0104171716e_hdr

Both campgrounds are wonderful, but I think we like the river side a little better. The river side campsites are larger and surrounded by trees so you get more privacy at those sites. We also had a lot more room for friends to visit.

0115171123a_hdr

0107171721_hdr

The boys got a new slackline kit for Christmas which was fun to try out with friends.

0114171453a_hdr

And I finally got to beat Doug at Mexican train dominoes which means I don’t have to eat a bison burger! 🙂

0112171921b_hdr

The sunsets behind our site were glorious!

1215161713b_hdr

0105171733a_hdr

After Ft. Clinch we moved on to the Gulf Coast of Florida to St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach. I will write about that next time. Cheers!

 

Categories: Fulltime RV'ing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ft. Clinch State Park

Ft. Clinch State Park is located on Amelia Island in Fernandina Beach, Florida.  We lived in Fernandina before we began traveling, so whenever we come back to visit our hometown this is our first choice of places to stay.  Besides being close to where we lived and our friends that live there, it’s a beautiful park to visit.  But just like most Florida State Parks it is very difficult to get a spot to camp unless you reserve it well in advance.  FL State Parks have an 11 month reservation window so if I know that we plan to be in Fernandina Beach that far in advance I will go ahead and reserve it.

We spent the first two weeks of January there and had such a great time visiting with friends.  We enjoyed having friends over to visit and sit by the campfire, and the boys and I went to our Community Bible Study (CBS) class that we had attended when we lived there.  It was so nice to spend so much time with as many friends as we had time to see.  Because we were kept so busy with social activities we didn’t have much time to explore Ft. Clinch, but since we used to live there we have explored it many times before.

Ft. Clinch has two different campgrounds: Amelia River and Atlantic Beach.  We stayed on the Atlantic Beach side and it was beautiful!

0104161539

Sand dunes and the ocean in our backyard!

0111161712

Jake and I went for a bike ride one day to see the Egan’s Creek scenic lookout where you can see the Amelia Island lighthouse in the distance.

0110161505a

Jesse and I took a walk down the beach to the fishing pier.

0112161442

0112161446

0112161449a

0112161453

0112161507d

0112161506

0112161521_Burst04

The sun setting behind the campground.

0115161737_HDR

So peaceful!

0115161739_HDR

There are several other things to see and do at the park including nature trails and bike trails and of course touring the fort.  Since our main purpose for coming to this area was to visit with friends we didn’t have time to do all that.  But if you plan to visit this area, it’s worth taking advantage of all that Ft. Clinch has to offer.  But I would highly recommend making your reservation as far in advance as possible.

Categories: Florida | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Home for the Holidays

Home.  Where exactly do we call “home” when for the past year home has been where we parked it?  Going home consisted of a few different places this year.  First, we went home to Fernandina Beach, Florida where we lived before we started traveling.  Going home to Florida was a strange feeling.  Wandering around our old hometown and driving through our old neighborhood was really weird.  Everything still looked pretty much the same, but felt so completely different.  We visited with our old neighbors and it was strange to look across the street at our old house and realize I can’t just walk over there and go inside like I could have last year.  It really was wonderful though to see some old friends.  I really enjoyed catching up with one of my closest friends Kim over Mexican dip and wine.  I really miss this girl!

1204152234

We camped at Ft. Clinch State Park.  Another blog post about that park later, but it was a real treat to stay there.  I had tried several times to get a reservation there for weekend camping trips back when we lived just 10 minutes away.  I used to ride my bike there and loved the campground, but it was always booked.  It’s one of those state parks that you must book several months in advance to get in.

This is the beach just beside the campground loop we stayed in.

1203151717a

While we were there we visited Santa’s house because everyone knows that Santa Claus really lives in Fernandina Beach, Florida, not at the North Pole.  We used to visit Santa several times every December when we lived nearby.  I have pictures of the boys with him every year since they were babies.  Santa’s house always looks so beautiful!

1205151909

1205151913

Going “home” for us also included a trip to Disney World.  When we lived in Florida we usually had Disney annual passes and would go there several times a year.  My favorite campground has always been Disney’s Ft. Wilderness, and even after all of the campgrounds we have stayed at this year, guess what?  Ft. Wilderness is still my favorite!  Visiting in December is my favorite time to visit because several of the campsites are decorated for Christmas and it’s really fun to ride the golf cart around at night and look at all the beautiful sites.  This was one of the best.  They had a lighted walkway to allow visitors to walk around their site.

1206152131a

1206152131b

The weather was beautiful that week and warm enough for the pool, and not the least bit crowded as you can see by the empty chairs in the background.  I remember coming here when every single chair was taken and the pool was wall-to-wall people.  It’s kind of nice to come when it’s not too busy.  This was obviously in early December before the massive crowds that I heard were there this past week.

1206151444a

1208151355crop

1208151158b_cropped

Another great thing about visiting Disney in December is the amazing display of Christmas lights at Hollywood Studios.  I absolutely love seeing these lights that dance to Christmas music.  Sadly, this is the last year they will have this display.

1208152057

1208151910a

1208152051c

After Disney we visited my sister and brother-in-law at their new place in Georgia.  While we were there we went to another really nice Christmas lights display.  We love to take goofy pictures!

20151215_194635

20151215_194656

20151215_195718

20151215_195219

And finally, coming “home” also meant home to Charlotte, NC where Chris & I lived before moving to Florida over 15 years ago.  We enjoyed a wonderful family Christmas at my parent’s house.

McKayFamily_Snow

We had a chance to see Chris’s sister and family that we have not seen in a few years so that was very nice!

IMG_2667

1230151620_Burst02

IMG_2658

It was also a nice treat to visit with old high school and college friends during our visits to GA and NC.  Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of all the people we visited, but here are a couple.

20151218_192024

20151220_190403

And of course I can’t forget to mention that Fat Cat enjoyed the holidays as well.  She even got wrapped up in paper like a present and she liked hiding under the Christmas tree.   🙂

20151224_152406

McKay_Christmas_2015_W0A4887

It was so nice to spend time with so many friends and family over the holidays.  To me, that is what coming home means.  Being at home means being with family.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season and have a blessed 2016!

Categories: Florida, Fulltime RV'ing, North Carolina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.