Hi, remember me, I used to blog about fun adventures, but with opening a business, teaching, judging, and gutting a house, traveling adventures have been few and far between. Latley, we have had adventures though! A friend of ours from Australia came over for a visit. Josh worked with her at Halliburton and I lived with her after Josh left Australia. She quit her job in January and is just seeing the world (jealous much) she has seen the northern lights, did an indoor skydiving camp, snowboarded, snorkeled in Mexico and Belize, and came to see us. She has many other places planned before she goes back to Australia but we were very happy she chose to include us. Since she has been traveling the world the bar was set pretty high for her trip here, and I loved it. It made me remember how I used to look at Australia. It made me look at the area we are living in like an adventure to tackle and I needed to figure out the best plan for the week and a half she was here. While I was at work I planned things for Di and Josh to do, Kennedy Space Center, and airboat ride were on their list. As soon as I got off work for Spring Break we headed to Savannah, Ga to meet Mamma, eat southern food and experience Southern hospitality.
The first day we toured and walked the historical district, we even saw a wedding with no witnesses. We knew it was supposed to rain the next day so we decided to do as much outside as possible. Don’t worry we did hit Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House for food though. No trip to Savannah is complete without a stop there. Di couldn’t believe she could get a alcoholic drink and just walk around outside. I let her know that this was not the norm. Only a couple cities let people do that. That night for dinner we were still full from lunch so we decided for ice cream from Leopold’s instead. Wow! That is a place we had never tried but for sure should be added to every Savannah list! We ended the night with a Speakeasy, yeah would not recommend it!
The next morning it was raining so we put on our rain gear and headed to a new Savannah favorite. Maple Biscuit Company and Coffee Fox for coffee. We headed to the prohibition museum, which was interesting. I guess I never really paid attention to prohibition. Carry A Nation was quite a character (look her up). The tour ended with a real funny Speakeasy! It was great place to stay dry. The night ended with a ghost bike tour on a 15 person bike. I love Savannah every time I go! Each time I discover new treasures! My list of must do now include, eat at Wilkes Boarding House, coffee at Coffee Fox, breakfast at Maple Street Biscuits (order the squawking goat), ice cream at Leopold’s...until next time!
Day three of paddle adventures, we finished with what we rated as the top river, Weeki Wachee. We launched at Weeki Wachee boat house at the park (same parking lot as Bucaneer Bay). My
Mamma joined us on this adventure recreating the paddle board into a kayak for most of the paddle. The boat house charged us a launch fee and a fee to take me back to the car. This boasted stunning scenery from start to finish for the 5.5 mile journey. The spring water was a warm 74 degrees, which was more soothing if (when) you fall. A sandy river bed gave us crystal clear water the entire journey. This was a fun adventure with lots of twists and turns down the river. One turn got the best of Di as she cornered herself into the river bank while trying to avoid a spider web. As she was pushing away from the bank she spectacularly crashed into the water complaining about the life jacket not saving her life as it was supposed to as it floated down the river away from the board. This paddle had many fish, deep water for swimming, clear water, and a great current. At the end of this paddle I went back to the parking lot to collect the vehicle while my mom and Di waited with the boards. While we made great time on the paddle, this along with an early start left us starving. Fortunately we found a great bar and restaurant right next to the load stop at Rogers Park, Shipwreck. Amazing fresh shrimp hit the spot to end our adventurs in Florida State Parks.
We visited this park late in the day but it looks to be a great place to paddle. It is another beautiful spring with crystal clear 72deg F water. Down past the swimming area is the launch point for kayaks and paddle boards. We were advised that this river has no pick up so more research would be advised before paddling at Rainbow Springs. The park itself is another of Florida’s pretty state parks and is a bargain at $2 entry fee per person. This once was a zoo but had been decommissioned and some old structures still remain on the property. A couple of small hikes are located within the park past the man made waterfalls. Depending on your plans for “on water” adventures this was a place I wish we had given us more time, I will be back.
We were fortunate enough to be told about Gilchrist Blue Springs by some folks we met at the end of our journey down Ichetucknee. This park has recently been taken over by Florida State parks and is now $6 a car to enter. The spring feeds into the Santa Fe River passing through the 2 mile stretch of Ginnie Springs camping. A beautiful serene paddle down the river for 5.5 miles. This adventure started off with my friend Di losing the unwanted life jacket from the back of the board. The Santa Fe river is brackish water but very wide and really enjoyable to paddle. Along the journey we found a rope swing that I vetoed Di from using due to the shallow water and saw a shifty water snake go across the water which we first thought was a gator. One of the highlights was our first ever paddle across some rapids which were omitted in the briefing. As we approached the jump out point close to the bridge we happened to come across the lovely folks who told us about the Blue Springs in the first place. As we yelled our greetings across the river I had to re-ask for the phone number of a cabin they have on the river that they offer to rent. The staff at the park were great. They showed us where to pick up from given we had our own equipment, vehicle and a spare driver. After the paddle we went back to the Blue Springs Park and enjoyed the free entertainment of people jumping from the platform into the clear blue spring below. The park does offer camping and facilities including, but not limited to, toilets, showers, bbq grills and picnic tables, which day users could enjoy also.
It is an opportunity for a “Pinstagram photo” (choose your social media wisely). To beat the crowds and the line, go early. The park opens at 9am. The day before we went the line was three hours long. Entry to the Den requires mask and fins but offers very little to see with regards to snorkeling with only a handful of fish and a couple of pet turtles. It does have very clear water though. Di was down there about ten minutes snorkeling. Snorkel equipment can be rented for an additional price on top of the $10 per person entry fee. Park entry is $5 for those who do not wish to enter the Den. On ground swimming and camping looks to be very inviting. We did not take time to hit the swimming hole, outdoor games, or camping area up. We were wanting to fit in two more parks in this day. My advice would be: be at Devil's Den when they open, drive to Gilchrist Blue Springs and paddleboard or spend rest of your day at Rainbow springs.
Ichetucknee River was the first stop on our 3 day Paddleboard adventure. Found our house in the middle of the woods and went exploring. It was a leisurely paddle going with the current the entire journey. We must have looked unsteady as we started out as the lady beside us asked if this was our first day on paddle boards. Turns out Di was just wrestling with the life jacket that she refused to wear for the next 3 days (she did not like the whole life jacket on your vessel law) A plethora of turtles, cranes and fish could be seen along the way. The water was clear and cool (maintaining a year round temperature of 72 degree) with a bed of grass to paddle through. Keep an eye out for wayward kayakers and tubers. Tips for anyone wanting to do this river, go early and if you are in a group have one person take the shuttle back to the northern entrance car park to pick up the car, return to pick up the rest of the group and equipment. To note, the pick up location at southern end is private entry only but it is easy enough to take the equipment from the boat ramp to the road for private equipment pick up. (The entry for the north entrance was $6.00 a car) The rental place we used charged us per person and per board which was not as efficient or cost effective had we opted for single passenger pickup given we had our own boards. As we returned to the northern entrance car park we decided to check out the beautiful springs to swim in so Di could cool off after paddling.
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Wondering about where to find paddleboards?
In my opinion, the ONLY place to shop paddleboards, they ship also!
Don't worry this is not how this wall started. Let me walk you through it....
First we had to take the doors out and support the door frame.
Next, we bought floor boards, I show them below, and attached them to the wall. Our wall is a block wall, so we attached them with the bond I also show below. Along with most of our house it came from Home Depot.
The boards were in no way hung perfectly straight, the boards that go on the seams hide ALOT!
The boards I bought to hide the seams are below. I bought thinner boards at first, but the thicker ones looked better and hid all the imperfections we left with the boards. We (my amazing friend) attached those boards with a nail gun.
Finally, came the caulking and painting. I can not tell you how much caulk this house required. We should have bought stock in the company before we started this project. I read somewhere the secret to a good paint job is a good caulk job. I would have to agree.
Keep checking back I am trying to go back through pictures and explain how we did things, the cost of things, and the lessons we learned.
This year I have enjoyed reading everyone’s recaps of the year and goals for 2018, while thinking what do I need to change for 2018? I kept seeing a lot of goals that were great but not a lot really speaking to me. Until someone shared this.....
First Holiday event we went to was Space Coast Basket Brigade. It was amazing! The organization from the front end was a little crazy, but once we picked up our baskets, put them in the vans, and went to the homes and delivered Thanksgiving dinner it was so much fun. It was a great event to do with our Glass Doctor family. There were around 1,700 baskets delivered up and down the Space Coast this day.