Florida here we come April 8th to April 26th

We left Charleston on April 8th around 9 am and headed south on I-95.  Our final destination was Jacksonville Naval Air Station.  We checked in and got set up with water and electric site.  The campground has 45 sites some with full hookups plus they have overflow parking.  A beautiful bath house and laundry.  The base is the 3rd largest Naval installation the the states and covers over 3400 acres.  They also have a huge exchange and really nice commisary.  The weather was just beautiful so we sat outside and talked and then read our books.  The campground was very nice and we enjoyed our stay. 

Friday, April 10th, we headed south to Patrick Air Force Base where we spent two nights.  This is a nice campground and we were able to get our laundry done plus I had my hair cut.  We also were able to walk along the beach and enjoy the beautful weather.  The beach is part of the base but open to everyone – really nice beach – the water was alittle cool for us though. The Air Force Police do patrol the beach in jeeps so a nice family environment.  We enjoyed watching the birds and also saw a shark out quite aways.  Patrick Air Force Base supports Kennedy Space Center.  Seems to funny to see a huge airfield and only one plane in sight.  Very nice base though.

On Easter Sunday we headed south to Weston Florida to stay in a timeshare for two weeks.  The condo was pretty nice with a nice living room, dining room, full kitchen, bath, bedroom with king bed and a lovely porch.  The pool was right outside our building and very nice.  We enjoyed that a couple of days while there.  The city of Weston was established in 1996 as a fully planned community.  The trees, flowers, shopping malls and housing all look so pretty.  They spend no money for snow removal so really use the money to have beautiful flowers – wow so pretty.  In 2008 Money Magazine voted it as one of the best places to live in the United States and first in Florida.  I  can understand why.  We were located about 25 miles from Fort Lauderdale which has the nickname Venice of America.  They have lots of pretty homes and loads of marinas.  You wonder where all the money comes from – what do these people do as jobs to live in $5 million dollar homes?????  One days we went to Fort Lauderdale Beach where the movie “Where the Boys Are” was filmed.  Really nice beach with beautiful sand – we spent a wonderful day enjoying this.  They have over 23 miles of sand and surf and all opened to the public.

One day we went to the Festival Flea Market Mall which is America’s largest flea market mall with over 500 shops.  It is located in Pompano Beach.  We had fun walking around – bought an eyeglass case and Tim got a back scratcher.  Big spenders we are – spent $8 in total.  We toured the area taking in Maimi and Boca Raton.  We rode along the shore line and marveled at the homes and the huge boats tied up behind them.  Yikes alot of money in this country. 

Everglades National Park was our destination on two different occasions.  This park was established in 1947 to protect the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States.  It covers over 2500 square miles and offers alot of hiking on boardwalks to really enjoy the wildlife and surrounding swamps.  This park is home to over 366 species of birds and we saw so many different kinds.  The park itself was a true education as nothing else like this here in the states.  Our second visit was in the Shark Valley Park where we took a wildlife viewing tram tour through sawgrass prairies.  We stopped at a 65 foot tower with great viewing areas.  The tour was over a 15 mile loop viewing loads of alligators and birds.  Here you really get to appreciate the great wetlands.  We hiked this day also  – highly recommend this park to anyone whom comes to Flordia. 

Biscayne National Park was another stop.  This park has aquamarine waters, emerald islands and loads of coral reefs.  We took a 3 hour boat tour out to the island of Boca Chita Key.  We went up into the lighthouse and did the 1/2 mile hiking trail while on the island.  Mark  Honeywell (the one whom developed a hot water heating systems) owned this island and built the lighthouse back in 1930’s.  It was a beautiful day with the sun beaming and very windy.  You had to hold onto your hat or it would of landed in the water.  This area became a National Monument in 1968.  Only national park with mostly water.

Our stay came to an end on the 26th and we headed south.  Stay tuned for our next stop.