Friday, February 17, 2017

A few more relaxing days in the sun

Northern Crested Caracara


I first spotted this bird on our bike ride to the Billie Swamp Safari, and nobody knew what it was.  The way it perched on the roof, it looked like an eagle, but it wasn’t.  We’ve seen them around a few other times, and when I described it to another camper, she thought it might be a Northern Crested Caracara.

I looked it up online, and she was right.  Turns out that it’s in the falcon family, but tends to scavenge for food like a vulture.  It’s only found in the very southern areas of Florida, Texas and Arizona in the US, and also Mexico and Central America.  One source called it a tropical vulture, and another said it’s the national bird of Mexico.

Hey, look at that – I sound like a birder!

OK, so after our very busy day last Friday, we took it easy the rest of the weekend.  On Saturday, we slept in (tried to, anyway), worked on a few projects around the RV – including adding our new MSU Spartan flag to our flagpole --

Added our Spartan flag

and spent a beautiful afternoon at the pool.  For dinner on Saturday, we invited Dave & Lynn to join us for grilled pizza.  I had previously tried making pizza directly on the grill, but it was a huge disaster, so when fellow RV bloggers, Rick & Kathy Rousseau, mentioned that they use a silicone grill mat for making pizza on the grill, I knew I had to try it.

I ordered a pack of 5 grill mats from Amazon for $10.99, and had to cut one down a little to fit the Weber Q.  We also punched some holes in it because Tom thought they would block the heat too much otherwise.

I made my pizza directly on the mat,

Homemade pizza - ready for the grill

so we could quickly place it on the hot grill without letting too much heat escape.  We left the grill closed for 10 minutes, and when we opened it . . .


Grilled Pizza

It turned out really good!  Lynn & Dave were very happy to be part of our pizza experiment!

Dave & Lynn

The grill mat also makes it possible to cook bacon on the grill – I love that because I hate making bacon inside – too messy!

After dinner, Lynn made little individual chocolate cakes for each of us, in the microwave.  They were yummy, especially with butter pecan ice cream!

On Sunday, I wanted to go into Bonita Springs for the Strawberry Festival at Farmer Mike’s U-Pick, so we made arrangements to meet up with Jesse and Ginger, RV-Dreamers who are staying in Bonita Springs this winter . . . at least they were until they decided to buy a mobile home up in Leesburg!

We met them at Farmer Mike’s, and there were lots of people there, but the festival itself was a little disappointing.  Tom visited with them while I went out in the field to pick some strawberries.

U-Pick berries

Unfortunately, the fields were even more of a disappointment.  They were really picked over, and any decent fruit left had been picked and left piled between the plants.  After searching through all the rows, I ended up going back and picking up enough of the pre-picked fruit for a pie.  We left after that, and enjoyed a delicious lunch at Mel’s Diner in Bonita Springs.

Jessie & Ginger

We had met Jesse and Ginger when we were parked next to them at the very first RV-Dreams Rally in Branson, MO in 2008.  We haven’t seen them in the 8-1/2 years since then, but through blogs and facebook, we’ve kept up with each other.  It was nice to see them again, and we look forward to seeing them in March when we move north in Florida near their new home in Leesburg!

We’ve had beautiful weather again all week, with just a little bit of rain on Wednesday evening.  We’ve continued our late afternoons at the pool, and even got in a game of miniature golf.

Beautiful Day for mini golf

Miniature Golf with Dave & Lynn

I was off to a really good start, but due to a bunch of bad bounces out of the cup, I ended up in last place!

It was rigged!

I think he was gloating over beating me!

Lynn invited us over for spaghetti dinner one night, and I managed to get a pie made from my strawberries – almost didn’t have a crust, though!  I’m terrible at making pie crust!

Yum - strawberry pie!

We’re continuing to love our peaceful stay here at Big Cypress – we can hardly believe we have less than two weeks left in our month!


  1. Hi Tom and Marci, it has been a long time since we met you at Silver Creek RV Park in Michigan. Catching up on your travels.Are your boys doing well. The oldest was just going off to boot camp when we met. Is he still enjoying the Navy and will it be a life long career? Take and be safe.

    1. Hi Bill! It has been a long time, and unbelievably we missed you at Silver Creek last summer when you were there -- even though we were hosting! The boys are doing well -- Nicolas has excelled in the Navy, and is winding down in his training, ready to hit the fleet soon, and Bryce has adapted well to stationary life back in Michigan at MSU. We've been following your travels out west, and look forward to crossing paths again sometime!

  2. Glad the weather has been in your favour so you can Enjoy yourselves.
    Be Safe!

    It's about time.


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