We are two seasoned travellers, used to home comforts and simple itineraries usually organised by a travel agent to include only 'nice' hotels and beaches but that all changed in 2012 when we embarked on our first 4 week, self organised, US road trip using RV and car across California...The first blog was an 'on the road' experiment so apologies for poor spelling, grammar etc and possible boredom?...
We started with 3 nights in Las Vegas in Sept 2012 and thespending 12 days driving an RV North West through the Mojave, Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, then across to SanFrancisco and finally down the coastal highway through Monterey to LA. A few nights sampling the delights of L.A. then a quick change into a convertible and on to San Diego's beaches and the sun for a week of R&R.
In our second trip we set about conquering Florida in an RV. Starting in Orlando we headed North East to St. Augustine then south following the east coast all the way to Key West. After a few days break it was back up the west coast towards Tampa via the Everglades, Marco Island, Naples and Clearwater before returning to Orlando.
We hope you enjoy!
September 24th 2013
The title is a misnomer, there are not 10 things to do on a wet day in Clearwater, let alone 101 but we tried. Unbeknown to me, a meeting of the travel committee had taken place in Starbucks at 7-30am and decided the howling gales and leftover hurricane outside the window was too much for a day at Busch gardens so everyone returned to their beds. When I woke up at 9-30 having missed the 8-00 alarm (which had been turned off) I panicked expecting everyone had left without me only to be reassured by a snoring lump under the duvet next to me who mumbled something about the trip being cancelled. By the time the curtains were thrown back, the wind and rain had subsided and it had turned into a quite nice but very ... read more
September 23rd 2013
Up early to hit the beach only to find the remnants of the hurricane that recently hit Mexico streaking across the sky. Whilst we did try and sit by the pool for a while, the rain became torrential/tropical storm like and whilst once again one of us took shelter in the beach bar, the other tried to sit it out under a sunbed...until it got so strong she couldn't even leave and stayed buried under a mountain of towels until it subsided. We had lunch in the pool bar and I decided I was going to escape for the afternoon to baseball but kept getting told I couldn't as we had a 'surprise' planned. Despite protestations I wasn't allowed to leave and went off for a cigarette downstairs. When we got downstairs, the surprise became clear ... read more
September 22nd 2013
Short blog today as absolutely nothing was going to happen after two weeks on the move. With the Mustang safely locked in its underground palace and the weather looking a bit cloudy, we hit the pool for a few hours in the sun. Sadly very quickly more clouds moved in followed by the rain and whilst one of us retreated to the comfort of the bar, the other insisted on sitting it out under the umbrella in the forlorn hope that the sun would return. When it didn't we decided to abandon the pool for a while and head for the Sandpearls luxury Sunday brunch. With a great buffet of breakfast items, sushi, prawns, crab, omelettes, waffles, pancakes, steaks, chicken and fish dishes as well it was a real feast and throw in free champagne and ... read more
September 21st 2013
So the final day in the RV started very early at the St Petersburg KOA as we needed to get the RV back to Orlando by 10-30 including crossing the Tampa Bay rush hour. We detached the cable, water and electricity from the life support and then emptied the tanks...a lovely job and thankfully straightforward with outlets directly beneath the van. Last job before hitting the road was to get the Camp manager to fill up the propane tanks as they need to be returned full. Having only done a minimal amount of cooking, the odd kettle and running the fridge, total cost for the two weeks was only about 12 dollars. We said goodbye to the ducks and hit the road just after 8am. Getting across Tampa Bay was relatively straightforward and we were soon ... read more
September 20th 2013
Finally, this blog carries news of the accident and subsequent medical attention that I'm sure most of you that read this blog have been hoping for... a chance for a bit of Moore chaos and calamity on tour! The day started of beautifully with clear blue skys and a morning wakeup call from the ducks. Overnight we had left the awning up and hadn't realised just how much rain had fallen but it was pretty 'bowed' holding about 2 foot of water when we woke up and I was surprised it hadn't split the awning open. Opting to let one side of the awning down gently to let the water run away I unhooked the clip, completely underestimating the weight that was up there. The clip gave way, the arm collapsed and hundreds of gallons of ... read more
September 19th 2013
With no real plans or targets for the day apart from the need to get closer to Orlando by the end of the week to return the RV we settled on a reasonably straightforward drive up the coast, avoiding the main roads and hugging the coast for as long as possible. We packed up the RV and departed the still underwater, 'not very close to' Naples KOA and headed for the road into Naples and out the other side. First was a stop for another 150 dollars of petrol, this time only blocking two pumps whilst we tried to extract petrol from the pump for ages forgetting the need to 'prepay' for everything out here again. Then we hit the road on the 41 north out of town. After another half hour we had travelled through ... read more
September 18th 2013
Up at 6-30am on holiday should not be allowed but when you need to meet up with a tour guide about 15 miles away, it has to be done. Having booked a cab with a very confused controller the night before it was touch and go whether they'd actually turn up, and when they rang from in front of the RV to say they had arrived and then reversed out of the RV park when I said we'd be right out, it looked like it was a tough day. Apparently my accent sounded like I said they were in the wrong place??? Based on a lot of research and particular recommendations from Tripadvisor we had booked a day out with Everglades Excursions in Naples which started at 8-15 in their office in the centre of Naples ... read more
September 17th 2013
The longest driving day of the trip started with four people packing up and detaching the umbilical support in the pouring rain...why is it always me that is holding live power in the rain and lightning? After a quick brekkie of whatever was in the cupboards (cookies) we made a quick detour back into Key West to pick up Justin's hire car which had been abandoned at Benihannas on the previous night. After a quick transfer of luggage and an 8 point turn for the RV in a brief respite from the rain, we all said our goodbyes and headed North back up the Keys. Thankfully the rain kept off and in about 2.5 hours we were clear of the Keys and making our first decision of the day...follow sat nav and 'the fast route' out ... read more
September 16th 2013
The whole troop was up early, bright eyed and bushy tailed and remarkably bright and awake after the previous days activities. Sadly the evening rain that has hit most evenings over the past few days decided to arrive early and start at 9-00am so the long walk to the camp site showers involved getting soaking wet in the rain first unless you wore your Mickie Mouse poncho). Being wet, the planned jet ski tour around the islands had to be postponed so instead we choose the next best thing and hit the tourist trail across Key West. Now having lived in Key West for 7 years you would have thought that Justin would have seen and done everything but we were surprised just how little he had! First up after the drive round the new Key ... read more
September 15th 2013
Day 9 started off very quietly as the carnage of the booze fuelled lobster and shrimp barby of the night before took hold. The sombre mood was also not helped by a decision to try and go through the night without the noisy AC turned on which turned our luxury RV for 4 into the sweatbox from the Great Escape, and prevented one or two from getting the best nights sleep! After a quiet walk to the showers (where we all selected cold ones out of choice) at the other end of the camp (the only small negative of Bluewater key is the distance from some plots to the only loo and showers) the team assembled by little bruv's hire car for an assault on Key West! The start of Key West, the final island in ... read more