Saturday, March 9, 2013

Old Florida

Several days ago was our three month anniversary of embarking on full time RV living! We celebrated with a road trip. This was just a day trip. It was part sight seeing and part fact finding mission. We're in the process of thinking ahead to where we will go from here at the end of the month when it's finally time to boogie on out of Brooksville Florida. We've had a lot of ideas floating in and out of our heads about that. One thing we know we want is beach time. Warm beach time. Relaxing beach time without a lot of other sightseeing. Inexpensive beach time.

We will have a month or so to travel before arriving in Indy in early May. Originally we had planned to slowly go up the east coast till we hit DC and then head over to Indy from then. But that was when we were planning on being out of here by the first of March. Now with not enough time to see all the sights that we would have wanted to see along that route and us really craving the WARM beach time, we ditched that plan. Our thoughts now are to travel around more in Florida and then head up north towards the end of the month.

One spot in Florida we were interested in camping at was Cedar Key. We've heard so much about it as being a fantastically relaxing spot with fabulous sunsets (something we miss from Tucson). It's about an hour and 45 minutes north of here so we decided to drive up one day and scope it out.

We took Karin's parents along for the ride. Along the way we stopped in Homosassa Springs to see the incredibly quirky, Florida kitschy Monkey Island. It's a teeny tiny little island inhabited solely by monkeys. Uh huh you read that right! You drive through a slice of old Florida to what feels like another world. When you get to the end of the road you arrive at one of the many channels snaking their way in from the Gulf of Mexico. And sitting out in that channel is the charming Monkey Island. It's kinda cheesy, but hey it's free to come see! There is a bar/dining establishment on the water's edge that you can view the monkeys from. If you aren't hungry/thirsty you can just walk out on the docks to spy on the primates. Bring your binoculars if you want to see them better. You can also take lunch/dinner cruises to see more of the waterways as well as getting a closer look at the monkeys.

Tiny Monkey Island

A closer look
Do you see the monkeys?
In case you wondered, the monkeys are not enclosed in any way. The water is the only barrier.

Do you see the MONKEY???
Okay, enough monkey business, on to Cedar Key! First off, Cedar Key is remote. It's a 20 mile or so drive off the main highway with only the smallest of "towns" scattered along the way. And even on the main highway it's a long drive to any shopping areas. So if you come to stay for a while, come stocked up! Cedar Key itself does have some very limited shopping. It looked like a market and a convenience store was about it. I hear there is also a produce stand.

Tiny little Cedar Key
Reminds me of Waterworld
Or maybe Birdworld!

The two campgrounds sit very close to each other and both are on the water. Let me define "the water" though. It's water edged by marshy areas. It's lovely and serene. And I can see how the sunsets would be awesome. But there's no beach there. Now to be fair, there is a beach along the town's waterfront area. Nice powdery sand and all. But it's very small and right amid the hustle and bustle of the of town. So not quite what we had in mind. And one other thing about the campgrounds. The RV's are packed in pretty tight. While that's a fine trade-off for the serene setting you get, it's a problem for us at this time because we have zero experience backing up the RV so far. And we will also be dealing with a tow car for the first time! When we saw the situation there we knew it was not for us right now. Later on when we are a little more adept at maneuvering the rig we would be happy to stay there. So we're glad we made the trip to check it out. This time out we need beach time and somewhat easier maneuvering.

The Beach
Any day with sand between your toes is a good day.   :)
We did enjoy lunch at one of the waterfront restaurants. It was lovely to sit right over the water and watch the birds swooping in. Then we sat out at the tiny beach for a while and watched a dog having a really good time playing in the water. Good day!

Lunch spot
Nice dining view!

My lunch had legs

We have lots of projects going on back at the campground right now. More on them later. We aren't bored, that's for sure.   :)


  1. We haven't been to Cedar Keys yet but it looks interesting. Nice photos of your time there, especially the crab? sandwich!

  2. I do want to stay there eventually! Probably try it out next time around in Florida. :)

  3. That all looks nice! I never heard of monkey island! Looks cool.

  4. Those monkeys can read and drive boats. Amazing! ;)

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