St. Andrews State Park is in Panama City, FL on the beautiful gulf coast. Like most Florida state parks, it takes some diligence to get a reservation, and even more so if you want one of their highly coveted lagoon front sites. I didn’t make this reservation at the 11 month window because other than going home to Fernandina Beach, I don’t usually know that far in advance where we’ll be. So for this reservation I had to watch for cancellations and was happy to eventually find a waterfront lagoon site had become available for the dates I wanted.
Here is a picture of our site on the lagoon. Too bad it only lasted about 20 minutes!
You know, living in an RV can sometimes come with some challenges. The day we got to St. Andrews was one of those days.
The first thing that happened was we couldn’t find our site. It is not clearly marked from the road. Once we found our site I realized it was at a very weird angle and I wasn’t sure how Chris was going to back our house into it. He starts getting the rig into position to give it a try when this joker in a little convertible comes whipping up beside us and pulls into our campsite like he’s just going to spend the day there. Um, no, I don’t think so! Chris told him he’s getting ready to back into that site so he pulls out, but instead of driving away he pulls up right next to Chris so that Chris can’t even start backing into the site until this guy gets out of the way. Meanwhile I’m behind the rig on the phone with Chris because my job is to direct him in and we’re both just wondering what this joker is doing sitting there in the way. The guy acts all mad at us like we’re inconveniencing him or something, but he finally drove off.
Next Chris could finally start trying to back into the site and I have to say that he did an amazing job. He has really gotten quite good at this! Our RV has an automatic leveling system so once he got in the site and unhitched he started the leveling process. When it was done the tires on one side of the rig were up off the ground. The site was that un-level! We realized that’s not going to work so we had to re-hitch to the truck and move a little, get some buckets of dirt and make piles under the levelers so we could try again. Don’t ask me why we don’t have leveling blocks… that’s something Chris says he’s going to get one of these days. 😉
Anyway, attempt #2 worked and we were finally unhitched and leveled and ready to set up. That is until I realized the refrigerator wasn’t working. Then I realized half of the RV doesn’t have power. A few minutes later the whole RV lost power. By the way, if you’re an RV’er and you don’t have one of these Electrical Management Systems (EMS), get one. I think this saved our appliances and electrical system from serious damage that day.
We called the park office and they sent a park ranger to check out the electrical pedestal. He wasn’t able to fix it and since it was Sunday they would have to wait until the next day to get an electrician to come out and fix it which means we had to move. What? Are you kidding me?? After all the trouble it was to get into this beautiful site, now we have to move? Oh, and there are no available water front sites either.
Here is a picture of the new site. Nothing really wrong with it. Nice and woodsy and lots of room. It was also across from the playground which the kids loved. It just wasn’t the waterfront site that I had worked so hard to reserve.
Anyway, we thought they were getting an electrician out on Monday to fix it, but on Monday the park employees acted like there was nothing wrong with the electric at that site and we should just move back to it if we wanted to. Chris took our EMS back to that site to check the voltage readings and it was not good at all so he told the employees we can’t move back until they fix it. By Tuesday it seemed nobody was really taking this seriously and they were just blowing us off, so Chris asked to speak to the park manager who came by our site Tuesday afternoon.
I have to say the park manager was awesome! He listened to our concerns and took full responsibility for the whole situation and said he would get an electrician out to look at it as soon as possible. The electrician came out Wednesday and confirmed that yes, there was indeed an issue with that electrical pedestal and the issue could eventually affect the other sites nearby. The manager was very good to us and refunded us for half of our stay, and offered to give us 3 free nights if we would come back sometime. We will certainly take him up on that. 🙂
In spite of all that drama, we did enjoy our stay. St. Andrews is a beautiful park with one side on Grand Lagoon and the other side on the Gulf of Mexico. The boys and I hiked the trail around Gator Lake. We didn’t see any gators though until the very end when a lady pointed one out to us. It was a small gator and covered in green stuff so he was hard to see.
There were some cool trees to climb on this trail.
We also saw several deer at the campground.
And my favorite: the sunsets. You know I love sunsets!
One more thing went wrong while we were there. As soon as we were hitched up and ready to leave on our checkout day, I noticed a bubble on one of our tires. So Chris had to change a tire before we left. He’s getting pretty good at that too, it was the second one in 2 weeks!
I honestly wouldn’t trade this traveling life for anything, but sometimes things don’t always work out the way we want. I always remind myself that whatever happens I can trust God to make sure we are where we need to be. I pray over all the plans that I make and every trip we take. I pray that if the plans I made are not His best for us that He will change them. So when things don’t go exactly according to my plan, I try not to get too disappointed and trust that things happen the way they are supposed to. It’s not always easy though, because you know I am human. 😉