Oasis in the Desert

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Winter in Florida - Letter to Friend

4/12/07 A Letter to Jim Chanaberry

It has been a great winter in Florida. I understand why so many go to Florida to winter. Nice weather, lots to do, and one can kick back and relax. In November, our first stop was Jacksonville. We stayed at Hanna Park on the ocean front. Took a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas and drove around the sightseeing in the city. Next stop was Sanford (north of Orlando) and stayed at the Wekiva Falls RV Resort and Spa on the Wekiva River. After a few days we left Sanford and spent the month of December at Brawn Mawn, a luxurious RV Park on the ocean front in Saint Augustine. Saint Augustine is by far my favorite city in Florida. Beautiful downtown on the bay, lots to do, and the people are warm natured and friendly to all.

St Augustine Harbor

We took a 5-day cruise out of Fort Lauderdale over Christmas. It was a blast. We left Saint Augustine on December 31 and celebrated New Year's Day at Jetty Park in Port Canaveral. Jetty Park is on the ocean front where the cruise ships sail out of Port Canaveral. We had to take two more cruises out of Port Canaveral. No fishing license was required at the jetty and one could easily find a good spot so we drowned a few shrimp and tossed out a couple of spinners. We did not have much luck.

Ready to Board for St Thomas

Our Oceanview Cabin

We finally went back to Oklahoma to visit friends and relatives. Stayed about a week and hurried back to Florida. We then settled in Grant, FL (just south of Cocoa Beach) at the Orbit RV Park located on the Indian River. Lazy days followed. Went for beach walks, ate at beachside fish eateries, watched a few movies, and took a few afternoon naps. From Grant, we moved to Prince John RV Park near Fort Lauderdale. From there, we took a 10-day Panama Cruise (what fun) and spent time at some of the Florida beaches.

Rain Did Not Stop Our Tour

Tour Boat Exploring Caribbean Island

Finally, in March we left the beaches and went to Orlando. We stayed in Fort Wilderness on the grounds of Disney World. Fort Wilderness is a beautiful RV Resort. We parked the whole visit. All transportation was furnished by Disney. Buses, Unirail, and boat taxis. Now that April is here, we are planning to go to the Northeast and look around.

Sailing Off to Snorkel - St Thomas
That's what is going on here, what is happening there.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shreveport LA This Week

Cindy and I are on the road to Shreveport, LA for five days without my laptop, so I will post upon our return. 

For some reason, I had a flashback of our stop in Puerto Angel in Mexico as we approached the Louisana border.
 ( http://garvinwanderlust.blogspot.com/2009/02/puerto-angel-and-fernandos-hideaway.html ) 

It was as close to being in the 60s as one could be.  Click on the link and check it out.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mexico Travel to Little Known Seaside Resorts

January 12, 2006

Mexican destinations such as Cancun, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, and Acapulco are all well know resorts in Mexico.  There are many others not so well known that are adventurous and very affordable.  Several of the small villages along the coast have been catering to tourist for years.  One such resort area is Cuyutlan in the state of Colima.  It is located just south of Manzanillo.  Our next travel destination.  There are several other seaside resorts that we will disclose later.  These resort areas can be experienced with half the cost of the more popular tourist traps.

We boarded our flight to Manzanillo, MX and spend three weeks with Cindy's sister in her lovely home on the beach near the village of Cuyutlan. Upon arriving, Charlotte met us at the airport (after taking three buses and a taxi to the airport located thirty miles north of Manzanillo).  Charlotte will be ochenta anos the 24th of June. You do the math in espanol. She is very active and credits her good health to her long walks. They also play Mexican Train (a domino game) several times a week (I suppose that is healthy mental exercise).

Oceanview from the Upstairs Bedroom

Oceanview from the Pool Area

From the airport, we took a taxi back to Manzanillo and boarded a bus for Armeria (a small village close to Cuyutlan. Then we took yet another local bus to Cuyutlan and a taxi to the house. The house is about 3 miles from the village center. One may choose to walk along the beach, walk along the road, hike over the dunes and catch a bus, or call a taxi. We walked a lot and enjoyed the ocean. Charlotte recently added an upstairs patio, bedroom and bath to her home. We were graciously allowed to sleep up there during our visit.

Charlotte and Cindy at a Popular Resturant/Bar in Cuyutlan
One of Our Favorite Open Seaside Resturants
Beach Area Along the Seashore

There are not a lot of gringos in the area but, it is starting to develop. The main house has two bedrooms, a living room, a study, kitchen, and bath. She has also added a large palapa where you can sit, read, and be cool during the heat of the day.

  The people in town are friendly and there are several good restaurants. We had a visit from our good friend Walt, who drove over from Ajijic to play for a couple of days. He came in his car and we enjoyed a short break from the buses and spent the day in Manzanillo, enjoying lunch at a beach restaurant with super camarones (shrimp).

Cindy's New Hairdo

The sunsets on the beach there are always spectacular. You have to move fast as the sun sets quickly. The season from December to April is comfortable in this area of Mexico, but it gets very hot and humid during the summer and most of the gringos leave for cooler climates.

We returned to Austin, TX on February 2nd (after taking two taxis and two buses on our return to the airport). The buses are an adventure, as you can see how most of the locals live their daily life. We had a great visit and look forward to returning soon for another adventure in paradise.

Local Bus to Cuyutlan

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Winter to Summer in 5 days

"Not all those who wander are lost."

January 11, 2006

With a chill of winter in the air, it was time for us to move to a warmer climate. We packed up our RV, secured any loose items and hit the road.  Our final destination is Cuyutlan, Mexico. From Springfield we journeyed through Arkansas and spent the night along Interstate 40 just east of Oklahoma City. Drought conditions throughout Oklahoma and Texas have resulted in multiple grassland fires. The RV park was located north of Lake Eufala. We left our RV hitched to the pickup just in case a fire sprung up near the campground.

The Pacific Ocean near Cuyutlan, MX

View outside the upstairs bedroom

We departed unharmed the next morning and turned our rig south and headed for Duncan, Oklahoma to visit with family. We spent a great three days on our visit. However, we were somewhat pressed for time. Our flight to Manzanillo, MX was only a few days away and our departure city was Austin, TX. With a hasty good-bye, we hitched up and traveled 300 miles to the Old Settlers' RV Park in Round Rock, Texas. Again we spent time with family in Round Rock, including a great meal at Chuy's restaurant.

We now were faced with a small problem. What does one do with a RV and truck for three weeks? Answer: Storage. Rather than pay a daily rate at an RV park, for $30.00 we were able to store both in a secure location outside of Round Rock. Thanks to our family, we caught a ride to the airport and we were on our way.  More about the seaside casa in Cuyutlan, Mexico in future blogs.

As a footnote, we were asked about the inside of our RV home. We took a few pics. We really are very comfortable in our RV with central air and heat, three slide-outs and 37 feet of length. Our living area consists of two sofas (both with built in recliners), a cozy fireplace, an entertainment center, tables and chairs. The kitchen has all the modern conveniences including refrigerator/freezer, four burner stove top, oven, microwave, filtered drinking water tap, double sink, cabinets galore, and counter top. We can feed a thousand people in this kitchen (four at a time). Cindy is quick to point out that we are missing an automatic dishwasher. The sacrifices we must make! Our dining area also serves as our computer desk and a recent addition of two book cases make the area very functional. The bedroom has a queen size bed with closets, cabinets, drawer space and a washer/dryer. The bath consists of a wash basin, shower, and toilet. All the conveniences of home!

The Computer Area

The Spacious Kitchen