Team Blitz has been on the move for the last few days. We hit our favorite meat market in Baton Rouge for some Boudin, then headed to Biloxi, MS on the Gulf Coast for a two night stay. Today we arrived at Pensacola Beach in FL where we will call home for 2 weeks. We hope everyone is doing well, we are fine in the Quarantine Machine! Enjoy the photos!
This is our bounty from Bergeron’s in Baton Rouge….Mmmmm!
Alison sitting under a huge Oak Tree outside the visitor center/train depot in Bay St. Louis, MS.
Bay St. Louis City Hall. Note cupola on the ground from last month’s hurricane.
Biloxi Beach at sunset.
Happy hour on the beach!
Foxy with the palm tree shadow at Cajun RV Park in Biloxi.
We have had the official outdoor Austin experience…lots of hiking, curbside BBQ, and walking around town. It’s been a fun visit, even if it was lacking the nightlife and live music that Austin is famous for.
May as well lead off the photos with the food! We hit two of the top 5 rated BBQ joints, which involved a lot of leftovers. I think we’ve possibly eaten some form of BBQ 6 of our past 8 meals…thank goodness we’ve been getting in 5+ miles a day of walking!
Micklethwait’s Craft Meats: sausage, brisket and ribs! A+ with extra credit for the mac and cheese and cheddar jalapeño grits!
Leroy & Lewis – BBQ Thanksgiving dinner of smoked turkey, cranberry BBQ sauce, mac & cheese and honey bourbon whipped sweet potatoes. Needless to say we have some calorie repenting to do!
Hiking at Goodwater Lake. They describe it as a “classic central Texas limestone trail” which I translated to “keep your eyes on the ground or it’s going to kill you”.
Crockett Gardens Spring. This area has tons of natural springs.
Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. We were not there at the right time of day to see the famous colony of bats coming or going, but we could hear them up under the Congress Street bridge when we walked beneath it.
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Sculpture Falls along Barton Creek. Popular swimming hole when there is water! The limestone creek bed was pretty neat.
We had a great walking tour around the University of Texas Austin. Pretty campus, but eerily quiet with all the students gone home.
Scott outside the football stadium.
Me with saber-toothed tiger aka “Smilodon Fatalis” which sounds like the most made up Latin name ever.
We will be here one more day then off toward FL with a few stops along the way.
We are entering our second week here in the Everglades, on a place called Chokoloskee Island. It’s a whole lot less crowded than our last stop (and most of Florida) and we have not missed sitting in traffic at all. Foxy will be parked here for about another week in the southernmost campsite on our trip.
Our campground has a marina, and is a lovely spot to watch sunset.
The marina has gators.
And sometimes no water! Low low tide!
There are also plenty of these hungry (and oh so bold) guys always hanging around the fish cleaning area.
But the sunsets are gorgeous!
This area is famous for stone crabs. I spent a lot of time cracking these open, and I kind of don’t get the fuss.
We took a fan boat through the local mangrove swamp (with Boston tourists!)
And we kayaked on the Turner River in Everglades National Park.
There were plenty of gators…
Including this big mama!
If you look closely, you can see one of her babies curled up in safety of her tail!
Scott with a gator ahead!
The mangrove tunnels were gorgeous.
The swamps are full of bromeliads and birds!
Great Blue Heron
Marco Island – Tigertail Beach
Congregation of Ibis on the beach
And this rare blue tongued mammal was spotted in the local ice cream shop! The flavor was Cookie Monster!
As we are set to leave this beautiful campground tomorrow we have great memories of the beach, the food, the people and our great experiences here over the past 4 weeks. Dolphins swimming just off the docks, Miss Vicki’s on the water, Cap’n Jack’s, Dimitri’s, Bolts game, Dali Museum, Honeymoon Island, Caladesi Island….I’m sure I forgot a few but we had a great time! On a bittersweet note, we ate the last piece of Halibut from Alaska the other night. Yum but boo! Enjoy the photos and it’s on to Daytona!!!
Saganaki at Dimitri’s restaurant on the water! Flaming cheese….
Islanders vs. Lightning at Amalie Arena. Unfortunately the wrong team won, but we had a great time anyway exploring downtown before the game.
We hit the Florida State Fair in Tampa, where we found Free Fallin’, the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute band from Minnesota! “Don’t come around here no more…”
The before pic on the Tilt a Whirl….the after pic was much worse…I was green!
At the Dalí Museum – even the building was surreal.
Inside the Dali museum
The Dalí Mustache
Dinner on the water before the museum…with a friend!
Sunset on our beach at Hickory Point RV Park.
Team Blitz had a wonderful one night stay at The Finstuen Castle in Houston. It was great to catch up with Jon, Anne and Sandy, if only for a few short hours. We then headed to Baton Rouge for New Years Eve…where we promptly went to bed at 8 O’clock after realizing we were not gonna party like rockstars into the New Year! We did wake up to fireworks at midnight. We tried to check out the town on New Years Day but EVERYTHING was closed. This morning we woke up early to deal with a leaky camper tire. We headed to Port Allen Tire at 9 AM, they TOTALLY took care of us, changed the tire (that’s the tenth tire we have purchased so far on the gap year between the truck and camper!) and sent us to Bergeron’s Boudin and Cajun Meats for breakfast (Thank you Charlie and Sandy)….a few Boudin balls and cracklins later we were set! We almost bought everything in the store! We made it to Florida, currently camping at Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Jon, Anne, Scott and Alison
In the words of Tom Petty…”Louisiana Rain…” Seriously???
Another new tire…
Cracklins and Boudin balls!
We had a beautiful campsite among the grapes at the Freed Estate Winery last night. Mike Freed was an excellent host and we enjoyed tasting MANY of their wines, before agreeing on a few bottles. The Umpquah Valley is filled with wineries and fruit orchards, and we were happy to resupply on apples, pears and a few other veggies at the farm next door this morning. We are now camped near Crater Lake National Park for three nights before heading back out to the coast.
The grapes were well guarded by loudspeakers that played recorded hawk screeches every 15 minutes or so during daylight hours. It made for a comical alarm clock this morning.
Making friends in the tasting room!
We had a lovely outbuilding over the river for our wine and cheese picnic!
Foxy’s spot. Grapes on one side, creek on the other, a perfect location. This morning Scott said he should start giving me a glass of wine regularly before we make the final adjustments on the camper. I admit that I am pretty obsessive about things like parallel lines, and being perfectly level, but yesterday we parked, went wine tasting, and then walked back to unhook the camper and I said something unheard of like “it’s level enough”.
Pears in the adjoining orchard. It was another misty Oregon morning as we were heading out.
With Scott in Phoenix for a few days, I set about exploring Portland. I was only here one other time, about 20 years ago, and it was much like I remembered, only bigger, and displaying all of the good and bad signs of urban expansion. One thing I really love about cities out here is that they have huge expanses of green space in the city. Portland’s Washington Park is over 400 acres and reminded me a lot of Stanley Park in Vancouver BC, with trails, forests, gardens and attractions. It was a great place to explore.
Enjoy the pics…
A huge highlight of Portland was getting to reconnect with a close friend from high school. Susan and I had been completely out of touch for 25 years, and had a great time catching up and rehashing a few old tales from the glory days!
Powell’s City of Books has to be the greatest independent bookstore in the world. Covering an entire city block and boasting over a million books, it is a place you could (and should) get lost in. I love the way they subcategorize and highlight staff favorites on the shelves. The Pirate section was a great example with subcategories including “Shiver Me Timbers” and “Avast”. I ended up leaving with a minute to spare on my parking meter and 4 more books to fit in the RV: Perfect Mile, The Oregon Trail, Jimmy Cater: A Full Life, and An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. I never even made it to the fiction section!
The Rose Garden at Washington Park
Rainy day Pho! YUM!
The Japanese Garden, described at “nature in its most perfected form”.
Some of the leaves are turning already.
And of course, coffee! People here must run on coffee with so much rain, I know I would if I lived here. Anyway, this was a particularly lovely swan on my latte.
Scott is back now and we will be spending the next several days in Newport, OR, a little further down the coast.
We took the ferry from Anacortes (Fidalgo Island) to Friday Harbor (San Juan Island). We took the truck on the ferry and drove around San Juan Island. The Islands have an interesting history as a war between The US and Great Britain almost broke out in the 1850’s because an American farmer killed a British Pig. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and the German Kaiser ended up settling the border dispute through the San Juan Islands. The USA got the Islands east of Vancouver Island and the British left peacefully. On to the photos!
The ferry landing at Friday Harbor.
Huge tree at British Camp.
Lavender garden at British Camp.
Old gun (block) house at British Camp.
The Lavender Farm, a little past peak season.
American Camp on the South end of the Island. The Brits had a much nicer spot!
Anne and Tom gave me this shirt over 10 years ago. I wore it out. We saw it when we walked into the crab house gift shop. Had to buy it again!
Alison after kicking my ass in Rock’em Sock’em robots!
The whole crab at the Crab House!
Sunset from Deception Pass Bridge.
After one last night eating our way through Vancouver, and watching the US beat Canada in rugby, we headed across the border to Washington. Several photos to post today, so will let the captions do the talking.
Public Market in Granville Island. site of many delicious things!
Our last water taxi.
Inside BC Place. Go USA!!! Final score, 20-15 in this World Cup warm up match. They are off to Japan next!
Oyster Bar. Mmmmmmm.
On the road back to the USA. Maybe they are trying to make it so people can’t figure out how to get in??
Our campsite in Deception Pass State Park
Recycled plastic art at the campground. Courtesy of local second graders.
There are tons of wild blackberries near our campsite!
They taste as good as they look!
The bridge across Deception Pass (the “deception” is that the people who first explored the area thought it was a peninsula, and it turned out to be an island.)
Cap Sante in Anacortes
We have had a great time in Vancouver this week. Lots of biking and walking around town. On Wednesday we visited Horseshoe Bay, a nice little coast town where the ferries run, and then the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Thursday we biked into town and took the water taxi to Granville Island and took in the market. It reminded us a bit of the market in Madrid, Spain. Tonight we are off to the USA v. Canada rugby match and tomorrow we get back to the USA!!
Alison at Horseshoe Bay.
The BC ferry in Horseshoe Bay.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge…it moves a lot when you walk over it. Built in the 1800’s it spans the Capilano River. Now it’s pretty much a tourist attraction…but hey, we’re tourists!
On the cliff walk near the bridge.
Scott on the tree walk
Alison on the tree walk.
I got a prize!
The market at Granville Island.
The Whiskey Distillery on Granville Island.
BC Place, this is where the rugby game is.
View of Vancouver from the False Creek water taxi.
Ali found a friend!
This the fishing area under the bridge near our campground. The locals trap the Salmon running upstream. Seems kind of mean but I guess they taste good.
We are done with the Milepost portion of our journey so we left the book at the RV park for someone else to use. This book has been our invaluable guide for over 5,000 miles. Anyone driving to Alaska needs to bring this along. Thanks Brian and Cathy for sending it to us!
Adventures, Places, Tastes, Wildlife
Adventures, Places, Tastes
Guests, Places, Tastes
Guests, Places, Tastes
Places, Tastes, Wildlife