Sunday, March 28, 2010

Visit from Tampa Friends

Our friends from Tampa,  Rhonda and William stopped by to visit us on their way home from their camping trip.  They made the mistake of planning their trip during spring break and were unable to get their first choice for campgrounds :)  Rhonda and I met years ago when we both first started working at USAA Insurance.

They ended up at Three Rivers State Park in Sneads, Florida, in the panhandle.  They said site number 15 was really a nice site…I’m trying to remember that for future reference:)

They initially had reservations for Ochlockonee River State Park but despite the park rangers assurance their rig would fit, they couldn’t get into the site they reserved, and were given a full refund.

They arrived Friday afternoon and we just spent they day showing them around our property and sitting on the porch bird watching. 



We have a “campsite” set up on our property, complete with water, sewer and 50 amp electric, and that’s where they set up.


Yesterday, we spent the day doing tourist things. 

First we took them into Thomasville to try a “grits cup”.  It’s a southern thing and very good!  You get a cup with grits, eggs, bacon or sausage, and cheese.  It’s all layered and is DELICIOUS! 

After lunch we did a little tour through Thomasville which has a lot of older beautifully restored Victorian houses. 

We showed them, The Big Oak.  President Eisenhower even photographed it when he visited Thomasville years ago.   It’s quite an amazing tree. It’s very hard to get a good picture of it because of it’s size.  Here are William and Rhonda in front of the Big Oak.Image049

After that we headed into Tallahassee via a scenic route.  We wanted to show them the beautiful spring blooms that are just starting to bloom in this area.

These are Flowering Peach trees.



Then we headed to Birdsong Nature Center so they could see the “bird window”.  This is a huge window inside the house that is overlooking a bird feeding and bathing station.  Unfortunately there were no more birds there then what we have at home in our own bird feeding station.

We went on a very short walk outside and saw some Purple Martins.P1010062

and some Towhee’s.




We then headed to  to Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee Florida.  There is no camping there but there is a beautiful garden that is well worth the visit, especially during the spring bloom.  Unfortunately it is a little early for the peak spring bloom, but there was enough blooming to make it worth the trip.

It will be in full bloom in a week or so and we WILL be back!  The Azaleas, Dogwoods and Wisteria will be blooming then and it’s gorgeous!

Here are a few pictures from our visit.


William, Rhonda and Al at the entrance to the gardens.


There are no campground in this state park, but on the way in, we noticed a few 5th wheels parked in a “volunteer” area.  It was a REAL nice are with full hook ups.

When we entered the garden area I asked the gentleman that took our ticket if he was one of the volunteers.  You would have thought I committed a crime!  He asked why I wanted to know and then proceeded to tell  me in no uncertain terms that they were fully booked up for the next 2 years and basically to get in line!  Whew…didn’t see that coming.

Anyway, more pictures.









We went and got a late lunch and they got to try some “Fried Pickles”.  Don’t knock them until you try them, they are very good!

We headed home and did a little bird watching from our front porch.

My first Hummingbird of the season came.


We drank a little wine and Rhonda turned me onto a wine I liked…may have created a monster :) It’s called Paisano

This morning (Sunday) we said good-bye to our friends, as they headed back to Tampa.


Bye Rhonda and William!


  1. Oh we stayed at Three Rivers last year! We were on site #19 and it was fantastic-- quiet, clean, big rig friendly and the most wonderful hosts. Small park, only 31 sites, but very tranquil and relaxing. We will go there again in a heartbeat on trek down to Florida to visit the folks.

    Karen and Steve

  2. Karen, the visit sounded wonderful.The flowering trees are unbelievable!. I lived in East Tx till I got married..and moved to South Tx. I do MISS all the flowering trees downhere. My favorites are the Dogwood the Wisteria and the Red Bud!!
    We have friends who work at USAA in San Antonio. Jean has been there over 35 years. Wish I had worked there..great retirement packages!!

    Cindy from Tx.

  3. Cindy,
    Small world isn't it? Yes USAA was a great place to work and had good benefits, but I think if I had worked there 35 years, it would have killed me:)

    I'm with you on the Dogwoods and favorites too. Our Redbud has never been as pretty as it is this year. Al never liked it before, because it looks ugly most of the year, but I think he has changed his mind this year!

  4. Thanks for the info Karen

    I think we need to make a trip to Three Rivers. Al says we drove through there once, but I'll be darned if I can remember it! (old age)

    Is it his folks that live in Florida or yours? When are you coming down? We're still trying to get a trip arranged..somewhere, but too many things have been going on, and between spring break and returning snowbirds, there aren't a lot of sites available.

  5. Hey Cindy.. It's my folks that winter down in Florida. Williston (between Ocala and Gainsville) We usually go down for 5-6 weeks each winter to visit them on vacation. This year we didn't because we got two new granddaughters, one in Dec and one in Jan. The folks leave Williston about mid-May and come to their other house in Michigan for the summers. They drive their motorhome each way, and stop to visit relatives in Georgia, Kentucky and Ohio on the way up and back again.

    Karen and Steve

  6. Hey Karen, I like the idea of you answering your comments through your own comment section. Seems to work well.


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