Monday, May 21, 2018

Cruising on Oasis of the Seas--St. Maarten, San Juan, and Labadee

One of the reasons we kept our spring trip short our scheduled cruise at the end of April. The ship: Oasis of the Seas, the stops: Phillipsburg, St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Labadee, Haiti.

Once we boarded the ship, it was time for ice cream at what became Sydney's favorite cafe!
 This was the first cruise where we treated ourselves to a balcony.
 Dinner was always a special treat--you never knew when a photographer would come by to snap a candid photo. Sydney is always ready to smile for the camera.
 The captain's dinner was special. Everyone looked their best and had a great time!
This was the picture taken by the ship's photographer. I took the one above.
 There is always time to go for a drive with Grandpa. The Boardwalk aboard ship was a fun place.
I have to say we were disappointed with our first stop at St. Maarten. There were 2 reasons: 1. Our zipline excursion was cancelled due to windy conditions. 2. The town of Phillipsburg was still in the throes of reconstruction due to last summer's hurricanes.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, was a pleasant surprise. My doctor told me that if we didn't do anything else, we needed to see Castillo el Morro. Our time in San Juan was briefer than our other stops so Bob and I headed to the fort. It guards the entrance to the bay at San Juan. This was the largest fort Bob and I have ever visited, and we have visited MANY! Construction began in the 1500s. This view gives you an idea of the size! We both wished our time in San Juan had been longer, but maybe next time.
Our last stop was Labadee, Haiti. Here we enjoyed a day at the beach.
Cruising is a tough life, but somebody has to do it! I think cruising wore this little one out....nap time on the way home!
 Once we arrived home, it was time to prep Sol for our next big trip! It will be exciting, so stay tuned!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Ocean Pond, Last Stop of the Spring Trip

As is our usual, we didn't drive far before stopping for the night. We were lucky enough to get on of the last two campsites at Ocean Pond Campground in Osceola National Forest. Traffic was light on Easter Sunday so it was a pleasant drive. Once we arrived at the campground, we saw that the west loop was filled. We crossed our fingers, hoping that there would be a site on the east loop. Hip, hip hooray, there were two sites next to each other, close to the pond! Unlike the west loop, there were no electric hook-ups, but that was fine with us as the weather was still cool enough to make it bearable without AC.

As we were eating lunch, we saw another RV drive by to get the last site--it was another Winnebago Forza (just like our Solei), only it was the little sister to ours, a 34 footer. We gave the owners time to set up before introducing ourselves. Turns out it was another couple from the Facebook page we follow! They were there for one night before heading north. We hope to see them out west this summer!

We hiked a bit at Ocean Pond, Florida Trail passes through Osceola National Forest. We also visited Olustee State Park Battlefield. On Monday, it was time to get new tires for our 'toad' so we headed into Lake City for 'toad's' new shoes.

We enjoyed our stay at Ocean Pond, and will stop there again. But it was time to head home and get ready for our cruise and our big summer trip. Once again, the camera was in hiding, so no pictures.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ninety-Nine, South Carolina, and Beyond

Once again I am behind on posts. Once we left Gaffney, we traveled to Lake Greenwood State Park in Ninety-Nine, South Carolina. The park was nice, but the sites were not very level. We had a reservation for the weekend in a site that we could not level side to side---we had a definite lean to the passenger side. After two days of walking crooked, we were able to change sites and we had a really nice site for one night! Unfortunately, we did not take any pictures while at the park! Bob and I did have a nice visit with my nephew who lived nearby.

When we left Ninety-Nine, it was on to South Georgia. We made a stop in Statesboro, where Bob and I met 47 years ago. There is a craft brewery that we found to be to our liking. Then it was on to Claxton, Georgia, and Evans County Public Fishing Area. We found that they allow boondocking near the lake. We spent an enjoyable evening walking around the area.
 This is the view of the lake we had from our 'site.'
We only spent one night at the fishing area before moving to our next destination: King's Bay Naval Base in St. Mary's, Georgia. It had been quite a few years since we visited the area. We spent a week at King's Bay, exploring the town of St. Mary's, the Okefenokee Swamp, and Crooked River State Park.

Our first day trip was to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. We enjoyed walking several trails in the area.
 The first took us to an old homestead located in the park.
 The next trail took us along a boardwalk to an observation tower.
 Our final trail was through a pine forest near the entrance of the park. We are really racking up those steps on this trip!

Our next day trip was not far from the base, Crooked River State Park. We hiked all the trails that were open. The river boardwalk is still closed due to Hurricane Matthew which hit over a year ago.
We were able to see the river in some areas as there were several side trails that led to overlooks.
A trip to St. Mary's would be incomplete without a trip to the old tabby sugar mill ruins. It is just outside the base.
We walked the town of St. Mary's and saw this sailboat abandoned in the marshes. I bet there is a very unhappy sailor somewhere.
We enjoyed our stay at King's Bay even though we were in an overflow site that shared electric and water with the site next door. On our last day, someone was scheduled to come in on this site so we moved to overflow next to the community center so we wouldn't have to travel on the Saturday before Easter.
By leaving on Easter Sunday, we had a better chance of getting a site at our next stop since we didn't have any reservations.