We returned from our weekend in Charleston with Makenzie and Gavin and had one last night in St. Augustine before heading west to Tallahassee RV Park for a quick stopover on our way to St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach, FL for an extended stay. We loved our site at St. Andrews!
We chocked the tires, secured the stabilizing jacks, and plugged into power, water and sewer. We were here to stay in St. Andrews State Park for as long as they would let us, which is 14 days. This was our longest stay in one place yet.
We had an excellent site right on the water. The gravel sites were clean, level very well maintained.
Addie’s view was like a postcard.
This state park surrounds the entire eastern end of Panama City Beach. It includes the calm inter coastal side, which is where the campground is located.
It also has miles of beach that follow the intercoastal water out into the Gulf of Mexico. With the aid of the jetties built to protect all this fragile coastline, a huge tide pool was created.
The beaches are large with beautiful soft white sand. The winds blows from all directions, so some days there are waves and other days there are not.
We were reminded some days that it was late January, but we were so grateful to be here experiencing this kind of cold instead of what we could be in at home in the mountains of NC.
How can you not smile when you are surrounded by so much blue?
A day or so later the temps were better and we were able to spend the day at the beach enjoying a hotdog and a beer.
And admiring the calm seas.
Ashley is always seeking out ways to be creative and on this occasion she tested her hand at making a lamp shade to brighten up her bedside area. Inspired by her love of sea anemones.
We are truly water people. Our appreciation for it’s beauty and sheer power motivates us to seek it out in all of it’s varies forms. One of the goals of this new adventure is to be around it as much as we can as we travel around the US.
The water here at St. Andrew’s was particularly captivating.
From this spot, we had an incredible sunrise view over the water.
We took advantage of this awesome location to take the kayak out on numerous occasions. We had an easy entry via a sandy shore from our campsite and the water was a comfortably cool 68 degrees.
We kayaked from our site all over the Grande Lagoon each day to a different spot. One day we checked out everything to our west, the marinas, houses and restaurants.
Another outing took us across the lagoon to a sandy point that was part of a resort which caught our attention because it had one lone palm tree.
On a different day we ventured east along our side of the lagoon as far as we could go before putting ourselves in harms way by entering the channel out to the Gulf, as the tide was going out.
Some days the winds made kayaking impossible, but not today. It was the perfect day.
The three of us make a good team. Go team blue!
Each day our ride brings us right back here to Aventis.
Winter days in Florida were gloomy, fog rolled in, temps stayed cool and everything outside was wet. We were extra thankful for our warm, dry inside space to hang out in.
The wildlife made the most of this alone time.
Addie decided to spend her day using one of her Christmas presents. She tried her hand at making lip balm. They turned out great. She made bubble gum, boysenberry and lavender flavored lip balms and was kind enough to share with us.
Ashley tried her hand at a macrame air plant holder.
On another one of these cooler days we ventured out exploring and found Idyll Hounds Brewery.
RVing is not all play. There are always projects to be done to keep things running smoothly. Today’s task was to grease the wheel bearing. This is a two person job as one person has to squirt the grease in and the other has to spin the wheel.
One of the really cool features of RV Aventis is her outdoor kitchen. We have a grill, flat top griddle, fridge, sink and ample storage for tableware.
We thought we would spend more time enjoying campfires, but turns out we can be big wimps when the sun goes down and the temperature drops.
We spend as much time as we can outside each day enjoying the fresh air, sounds of nature and magic of our environment.
Once in a while we even enjoy the fresh air with something cold and refreshing in our hands. We are always searching for the best local beers.
St Andrews State Park is definitely a place we would recommend to others. It had so many incredible features and lots of great sites right on the water.
A truly beautiful, uniquely wondrous place.
To date this is definitely our favorite campsite, with Curry Hammock State Park in the Keys as a close second.
Our next hop took us 230 miles west as we crossed over into Mississippi. We stopped at Davis Bayou State Park in Ocean Springs, MS. This was our first stay at a National Park. We were curious to see how it might be different from a state park.
Turns out it was very similar with simple but clean facilities, rustic sites with power and water, and no sewer hookup. What was new to us were the rangers enforcing the rules like speeding and parking. The sites were short and tight making it hard to fit our 4o ft trailer and long bed truck all on our concrete pad. Thanks to some creative parking we did not get booted to the overflow lot that was a mile down the road.
The landscape here in Mississippi was familiar, but new to us. We had been on both sides of the Florida coast over the past few months, and now we found ourselves still on the water but inland in the bayou.
We were not at the beach anymore. The landscape looked and felt very different.
We all needed a lesson in what a bayou was. Lucky for us the park had an awesome nature center.
We discovered that we were in the heart of the Gulf Island National Seashore which is a set of protective and protected barrier islands that span from FL to MS.
We had a great time learning about the area and exploring what we could. In the warmer months, they ferry people out to Ship Island to see Fort Massachusetts.
This was not something we were use to seeing. No rotisserie chicken in the grocery stores here. It is a big bag of crawfish for $25 at the local grocery store Rouse’s.
Ocean Springs had a neat little downtown where we enjoyed a yummy southern lunch in a small local family BBQ joint that has been around forever. Then we checked out the Walter Anderson Museum and Art Gallery.
This was extremely fascinating because he expressed his artist talent through many different mediums, one of which was painting. In 1951-52 he competed his greatest work. The 3000 square foot mural on inside walls of this entire community center which depict the historic discovery of the Mississippi coastline and its diverse climates.
A little more wandering and we found Craft Advisory Brewery, where we enjoyed a cold beverage and pondered the life of an artist.
Ocean Springs was a neat place that we enjoyed exploring, but it was time to keep moving.
We are heading west to New Orleans and Mardi Gras!