I found a few more notes I took in the Everglades so I’ll add them here. It’s really not far from Miami.
In camp at Long Pine Key it sounded like big, fat raindrops on our RV but it was really big, fat bugs flying into our windows and skylight. We couldn’t open our door without something trying to come in.
I discovered just how much I am addicted to the internet. I was ready to leave the Everglades before we got done there because I couldn’t get connected. I’m not happy to know that about myself but it is now a fact of my life. All my current friendships are through the internet and all my travel research is done there. Being disconnected is disconcerting.
Driving down Flamingo Road we went through Rock Reef Pass–elevation 3 feet!
And I saw a mirage on that road. The headlights of an approaching vehicle were reflected in water on the road where there was no water.
The entrance to Flamingo campground is being rebuilt. The old place where you pay was closed and the new one not yet opened. Dave and several other campers were trying to decide what to do. The consensus was to fill out the paperwork and wait for the ranger to come collect it But the ranger drove his rounds without visiting us. Free camping is good.
How could we not stop here?
Fruit and Spice Park in Redland, Florida, turned out to be a large collection of tropical plants from all over the world that had been turned over to Miami-Dade County to become a park. You can take a 45 minute tram tour of the place or do your own walking tour. They have samples you can taste at their visitor center. But the don’t sell any of them. And we were overdue for lunch. So we settled for buying some choco/cashew ice cream before leaving. After I tasted most of the samples, of course. Dave, not being an adventuresome eater as you may have guessed by now, tried none of them.
Our next stop was Scully’s Tavern in Miami–another Diners, Drive-ins and Dives place. The building was part of a yellow strip mall–not at all impressive. Inside was so dark we had to wait for our eyes to adjust before we could walk further in. But the food was fabulous! I had the Swisshroom Burger and Dave had the Cheddar Bacon Burger. I saved half my sandwich, of course, and all our leftover French Fries. I rarely save French fries because the don’t really reheat well but these were too good to not try to reheat them. Plus we got two deserts to go–my carrot cake and Dave’s Key Lime Pie. Later we had supper where French Fries and desert were featured items supplemented by deviled eggs and an apple.
In between those two places we passed a couple of interesting signs. One had the hurricane symbol we’ve come to know so well lately and said, “Emergency Evacuation Bus Pick-up Site.” I wonder if that sign predates or postdates Hurricane Katrina?
The other was a sign on an orchard that wasted no words. It simply said, “Thieves Shot.”
We went to Larry and Penny Thompson Park in Miami for two nights. This is another Miami-Dade County Park. Their campground is laid out in “pods”. They look like a child’s drawing of a cross between a lollipop and the sun. The road in is the stick then there’s a circular road with campsite radiating from it. There are also a few sites within each circle. There are eleven pods with 20 sites per pod with four restroom/laundry buildings spread among them. No problem getting a site midweek at this time of year. We got a site next to one of the laundry rooms so we could do four loads of laundry. It’s nice to have everything clean again.
Our table came furnished with a piece of fruit that was popular with the local wildlife. I got pictures of the first and last visitor but missed the pair of cardinals that also visited.
As you can see the blue-jay knocked the fruit off the table so I don’t know if we had any visitors after that.
As we packed up to leave this morning Dave discovered our left front tire is low. It is also showing uneven wear. Apparently the alignment we had done in Phoenix after noting wear in the right front tire needs to be done again.
As we left the park , we drove to the various laundry rooms there trying to trade all five of the paperback books I’ve read for new ones. We succeeded by taking all the books except the one in German but I’m not sure how happy I am about some of the ones I got in exchange. I decided better a couple of Harlequin Romances I haven’t read than keeping books I have read, though. At least they’ll make good trades down the road since they are popular with a lot of people.
Then we went back to the Walmart in Florida City where I had my last prescription refill done. I found out this morning they’d only given me 30 pills instead of the 90 I was supposed to get. These meds are too expensive for me to want to pay for two months worth when the insurance denies the claim they already paid. I’m glad we are still only about 30 minutes from Florida City, though. Can you imagine trying to get the other 60 pills at a different WalMart? It took us two hours to get out of there but they did give me the rest of the pills without argument once my turn came. And we bought groceries and other stuff while we were there.
Then we drove to Miami Beach looking for the 11th Street Diner at the corner of 11th and Washington.
Parking in that neighborhood is on street and cars are parked bumper to bumper so we were beginning to think we wouldn’t get to eat there when we turned the corner in front of the diner and found a drive-in spot right in front of a loading zone. Our bumper and the Segway hung into the loading zone but there was a parking enforcement officer nearby so I hurried over and asked her if we would be OK. She said, “Yes.”
So eat we did. Dave had the Cowboy Burger, a chocolate fudge malt, and a piece of Key Lime pie. I had the Sobe grilled chicken sandwich with avocado and pineapple, a diet Coke, and a couple bites of Dave’s pie. No leftovers today. My sandwich came with chips and Dave’s fries didn’t look worth the hassle.
By now is was about 4:30 in the afternoon and all we wanted to do was get out of the big city traffic. Right. I saw a couple of vehicles that had been playing bumper cars but we didn’t participate.
Further north we stopped to get fuel. This is the first station where I’ve seen slave pumps. I’d heard about them on the Escapee’s discussion forum so I recognized them for what they are. Slave pumps are on the right side of the vehicle when you are pulled up to regular pumps on the left side. The slave pumps have no tops that let you pay there. You pay on the left and pump from both if you have a vehicle with auxiliary tanks. That way it doesn’t take as long to fill up those trucks with two large tanks. Plus the slave tanks have the larger nozzles that dispense fuel faster than the regular nozzles. We can’t use them. They don’t fit into our fuel filler pipe which is good because our tank isn’t big enough to keep us from pouring fuel everywhere if we filled that fast.
About 6:20 p.m. we drove by the exits for the town of Jupiter where our next museum stop was supposed to be. Way too late for that day. We just want to get to our next campground but its exit is till 14 miles ahead of us. At least at Jupiter we finally drove out of the city. It’s nice to see trees along the road again.
At last! St Lucie Lock Recreation Area. We were greeted by an attendant saying, “I was beginning to wonder if you were going to get here.” So were we but she obviously was looking for someone else since no one but us knew we were headed here. The people she was waiting for had reserved the last spot. They might still come so she couldn’t let us have it. That’s what we get for refusing to make reservations.
So we are in Phipps Park about a block away from St Lucie. It costs $21 instead of $12 but it has electricity so we can run our air conditioner. It gets hot in Florida at this time of year. Imagine that!