Despite the novelty of camping right on the shores of the Gulf at the "Ho Hum RV Park" in Carabelle, we both felt compelled to make a move this morning after waking up early, watching the sunrise, and taking turns having a morning walk on the beach while the other hung out with poor tired Tina in the rig.
So, we meandered down Route 98 West along the coast, stopping in the town of Carabelle proper to tank up on diesel and decaf lattes. We don't spend much money on coffee at cafes and such, but about once a week we allow ourselves a cup o' joe.
When it comes to meals out, we have only eaten at restaurants about 7 times in 10 weeks, and the majority of those meals were with family. Needless to say, we never resort to junk food or fast food, and our main addiction is shopping in food co-ops and health food stores. Just like when we lived in Massachusetts, health food is one place where we never compromise, buying organic produce as much as we can, and enjoying almond milk, whey protein, raw local honey and other delectables we find along the way. Mary is my favorite cook ever (sorry, Mom!), and eating in our rig is one delight after another. Tonight's meal was quinoa, steamed organic kale, and organic chick peas in Mary's homemade coconut curry sauce. Wow. Who said you couldn't eat well on the road?
Still, one must partake of the local food culture when one is traveling, so we will make sure not to miss out when there are local specialties to try (like the aforementioned boiled peanuts we bought the other day at a roadside stand, the cheese grits at a health food store in Tallahassee, and the "hush puppies" and catfish we inhaled in Alabama). And now that we're on the Gulf Coast, you can rest assured that we will have some fresh fish sometime soon, and once we get to New Orleans, all bets are off! (Mary's cousin owns a restaurant in New Orleans, and I can just taste the gumbo now!)
So where was I? Oh yes, we left Carabelle and have now landed ourselves at the St. George Island State Park, a fairly secluded park on a barrier island that's reached via a long bridge over the blue-green waters of the Apalachicola Bay. The water, dunes, beaches, flora and fauna here are breathtaking, but due to our very slow internet connection, we may not be able to share photos (and videos) from this visit until we return to the mainland and a faster WiFi connection. Suffice it to say that the island teems with birds (including bald eagles, hawks and other raptors), and we're told there are dolphins and alligators, as well!
As I write this post, Mary is on Facebook remarking about the astounding level of happiness that she is currently experiencing, and I must echo that I am pretty darn happy myself these days.
Even as northern Florida (and the entire American South) is enveloped in a cold front that's delivering temperatures in the upper 20's at night and 40's during the day, we are soaking up the generous Floridian sunlight and using layers to keep warm as we explore the trails and dunes of this resplendent island. Tomorrow we will take turns on the beach (since Tina is not allowed on the pristine beaches and cannot be left alone at our campsite), bicycle in the cold sun, read, write, and otherwise while away yet another day of our peripatetic lives.
We send you all our very best, and also send wishes for a New Year filled with hope, healing and happiness.