Tornado Warnings, Swimming and New Cool Hobbies

Our three months in Florida were filled with lot’s of “news”. I’ll start with my favorites, swimming in springs, roasting coffee, living on a farm and no climb technical, mountain biking. Springs are now my favorite way to swim open water. I don’t have to worry about sharks, the water is crystal clear and while there may be alligators in the vicinity they stay far away from us humans. Turtles, fish, blue crab and even manatees are all found in the Florida springs.

We started a few new hobbies on the road and roasting our own coffee beans has been our favorite. We buy single sourced organic beans from Mexico and roast them to perfection giving us premium, fresh coffee. The best part, it costs a fraction of lesser quality coffee we had been buying in the stores. Last night we made a batch of fresh roasted beans dipped in dark chocolate and dusted in fine pink Himalayan salt, yum! If you try this, I wouldn’t recommend testing them at 7:30pm…

Our last spot in Florida before heading up north is (currently) on a farm. I would never have thought I’d enjoy this as much as I do. My favorite animal is George the donkey, he he-haws at 7:00am and 4:00pm to remind everyone it’s feeding time. He’s also super naughty. Sometimes he just does own thing when he’s supposed to go to his stall (probably why I love him) and people have to chase him down. There’s something so peaceful about being on a farm that you just don’t feel anywhere else. Imagine watching lightning bugs over the pasture on a clear night. Stars in the sky, lightning bugs over the pond and pasture and alligator eyes lit up by your flashlight. It’s truly been a great experience.

Not too far from the farm is a fun mountain bike area called Santos Trails. Not expecting much for technical trails (Florida) I laughed at the double black diamond signs. I was quickly humbled though as I turned my bike around at the top of one saying to myself, “not today”. The single tracks are lined with many different species of trees, there’s root and rock gardens and lots of “hammocks” which are these wooden roller coaster features. Maybe I’m getting lazy but it was kind of nice to not have to climb at all on a 90 minute ride. We’re headed to North Carolina soon though and I might regret loosing my climbing legs over the winter.

Now for the “news” that I didn’t like. Wind. Wind. Wind. If there’s one thing that makes you nervous in an RV, it’s wind. Fortunately we’re careful enough to not drive in it but the wind in Cape San Blas (we changed the name to Cape Sand Blast) was so intense it shook the RV. This experience has me constantly looking at the wind forecast to be sure we won’t be in that situation again. The other not so fun “new” was a tornado warning, actually, 3 tornado warnings. I hope I never again wake up to a Red Cross warning telling me to take cover from a possible tornado. The weird thing is all the locals acted as if it was just a normal day. Maybe someday it will be normal to me also but I could really do without ever experiencing that again.

All in all, Florida is amazing. I loved it as a kid and love it as an adult and we’ll be back to spend many more days here.

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