Monday, May 21, 2007

Going North to "The Real Florida"

To celebrate 25 years of legal matrimony, we took a week's vacation in our home state. Living in south Florida and loving the Keys so much, we usually go south if we have a couple of days off, or we fly off to visit relatives. We had wanted to see St. Augustine for a long time so that was our primary destination. We took our trusty tent (design approved by Sir Edmund Hillary; $49.00 on sale at Sears 8 years ago). This is a scene from along the way; we stopped for gas and I walked around the back of the gas station and took this photo.

First campsite was in the Ocala National Forest--

Then we moved on to Anastasia Island, which is just across the bridge from St. Augustine. There's a great campground there with trees, in walking distance from this beautiful beach. Not a condominium in sight!

We spent two days walking around St. Augustine--it is a very charming place. I was surprised to learn that it is smaller than Key West. The people are very friendly and the shops and attractions are low-key.

We saw lots of beautiful homes, many with great porches, shady and peaceful.

From St. Augustine we went to Payne's Prairie Preserve State Park, just south of Gainesville. Here I finally got to spend some time hiking, while Richard drove up north to Ichetucknee Springs to do a river-raft trip.
We had planned to stay overnight at Sebastian Inlet State Park on the way home but the park was full so we stayed at the Vero Beach Inn Resort Hotel. A lovely end to a great vacation.