Our Bucket List

The more you travel, the more places you find that you want to visit.

We have a rough idea of our travel plans for the rest of this year, but we keep adding places to our travel bucket list.

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When we read a blog, or talk with a fellow traveler about a cool place, we want to see it too.

So we are constantly adding to this rather lengthy list:

Yosemite and Redwoods

San Diego and up the California coast

Crater Lake, Oregon and the Oregon Coast

Grand Canyon south rim (we’ve been to the north rim )

Lake Havasu, Arizona

South Dakota – Black Hills, Spearfish, Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park

Go to Wyoming visit Thermopolis, Tetons, Jenny Lake and Devil’s Tower

Yellowstone and south to the Tetons then Jackson Hole

Idaho to visit Sand Points and Coeur D’Alene

Back to the National parks in Utah and visit Capital Reef  ( the one we missed )

Maine

Washington, DC

Door County, Wisconsin and Apostle Islands

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And the most lofty goal – visit all the national parks, monuments, seashores, lakeshores and battlefields

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USS North Carolina

The USS North Carolina is docked near Wilmington, NC. When we were staying at Carolina Beach State Park we made the trip to Wilmington Harbor to check it out. It is a major tourist attraction with 200,000 visitors a year.

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She was built in 1940 and after Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entry into WWII, she was outfitted for war.  She was the first newly constructed American battleship to enter service during World War II, and took part in every major naval offensive in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Her 15 battle stars made her the most decorated American battleship of WWII and, she is credited with 9 bombardments of Japanese Islands, 1 sinking of a Japanese merchant ship and 24 downings of enemy planes as shown on her hull in the picture below.

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She was decommissioned in 1947 and in 1962 she was brought to the harbor through the efforts of the citizens of North Carolina that funded the moving and saved her from being scrapped. She was then turned into a museum. She was made a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Restoration remains an on-going project.

The tour itself is self guided, although a bit confusing. Visitors can tour the ship’s main deck, many interior compartments, and two of her three 16″ gun turrets. Tom particularly liked the machine room and engine room and Roni enjoyed looking at sick bay and the dental clinic.

Our day here got us thinking about that period of time and what it would have been like to serve, but also to be a loved one at home. Some of the displays gave insight into the mindset of the time and we imagined how difficult it would have been to live through this.

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Neither of our fathers served in WWII, one being too young and one being too old, but we both have uncles that were in the war. We could only imagine what their lives were like and the lives of our aunts waiting it out.

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Hilton Head Motorcoach Resort

Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort – 133 Arrow Road – Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

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I made the reservation a few weeks ago and got the last spot on which we would fit – site 185 in the Forest Section. Check in went ok and a guy escorted us to our site. He helped get us in and trimmed a few palms for us.

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We’re in the trees so no satellite, but they have cable. WiFi not so good it cuts in and out. It’s pretty here with lots of landscaping and fairly large sites. Some sites face a lake. There are 401 sites in 6 phases. It’s pricy at $70/night for the least expensive section. This week, is spring break and the RBC Hilton Head golf tourney is going on. Things I didn’t think about when I made the reservation. We went to a presentation at the clubhouse on ownership in the park. We learned that they have 401 deeded sites in 6 different phases. The resort is still recovering from hurricane Matthew that came through last October. They lost hundreds of trees and it damaged some RV’s. The resort is close to Coligny circle and beach and within walking distance to several restraunts. It’s a bit of a hike, but we walked to the beach one day.

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The resort has a nice pool, hot tub, exercise room and tennis courts. Everything is well maintained and beautiful.

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We were able to play a round of golf while we were here off island at Crescent Point. That course was in terrible condition from the hurricane yet, but they didn’t bother to tell us. They gladly took our money, though. You know you’re having a bad round when you stop at the turn to buy a dozen balls in the club house, ha. We also visited Hilton Head distillery – a new operation making vodka and rums. Because of the golf tournament we weren’t able to go into Sea Pines or Harbor Town. We debated going to the tourney one day, but it was pricey and we didn’t have advanced tickets and we wanted to avoid the crowds.

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RViewToday – the beautiful Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort

This place definitely a splurge, but a beautiful Resort.

See ya later…

…Alligator

     and Crocodile

              and Manatee

Good bye for now Sunshine State. If all goes according to plan we’ll be back December 1.

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We arrived in Florida on January 17, 2017 and have managed to see a good part of the state. Because we hadn’t made advance reservations, we moved around a lot. Our shortest stay was 2 nights at Lake Manatee State Park and our longest stay was at Goldcoasters in Homestead at 16 days.

We parked the motorhome 11 different places and drove the SUV many miles visiting the Gulf and Atlantic and even Mile 0 in Key West.

From the West

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Cedar Key

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Ft DeSoto Beach

To the South

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Southernmost point Key West

To the East

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Jensen Beach

Our favorite area was Jensen Beach with its beachy feel and ability to walk to shops and restaurants and bars and both the Intercoastal and Atlantic beaches. The least favorite spot was Zephyr Palms in Zephyrhills were we were wedged in between two ancient mobile homes. (Surprisingly, both these places were Sun Community properties).

Highlights of our journey would have to be

  • Visiting Everglades National Park and their Ranger led programs and seeing crocodiles.

  • The weather! It was great almost every day (wore jeans one day total)

  • The people we met

  • Our day trip to Key West and back

Disappointments would include

  • Being half eaten alive by mosquitos at Flamingo area in the Everglades (yes we were warned)

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  • Lack of WiFi even when promised at the various parks

  • Commercialism of Key Largo and lack of free public access to the beaches

  • Homestead in general we stayed over two weeks here and never felt totally secure

  • We would have liked to have checked out Naples and Ft Myers, but that didn’t work into our schedule this trip

Some Surprises

  • How nice Lazydays was for camping We knew they sold a ton of vehicles

  • Tampa area traffic

  • How busy Florida is in winter and the lack of options for last minute camping

While we were in Florida we checked out 15 different ownership parks. Additionally we looked at another 11 campgrounds that did not offer ownership option. We were busy.