Happy New Year!!
We celebrated New Years Eve at The Hardrock Casino. And by we, I mean Greg cause I was in bed by nine. The fireworks in this area continued from 8 till about 2 am so it wasn’t exactly the best sleep.
We had breakfast at Grampas Restaurant. It was amazing!! And we got a Carnegie Deli Cornbeef sandwich to go for lunch.
We had a great day Kayaking the Whiskey Creek in Dania, Florida. We even went for a swim. There’s these little bugs here, not sure what they are, but they love biting me. I doused myself in bug spray which definitely helped. Tomorrow we are visiting some friends in Boyton Beach so we decided to do the Hardrock casino for one more night. We both won yesterday so we have a little extra cash to gamble with tonight.
Visiting our friends from Islip was awesome and I finally learned how to play Pickleball which I have been wanting to try ever since I saw them playing at an RV Resort 3 years ago. I knew it would be fun and it was. it’s great exercise too. I know this because every muscle in my body is hurting. Haha
These friends live in a great community in Boyton Beach. They have lemon and mango trees in their backyard. A beautiful pool and hot tub and club house. The only issue is that the driveways are small and very slopey so parking the van is tricky. We wound up parking in the clubhouse parking lot but with every 55 and older community, there are a lot of nosy people so we had to stay quiet and stealthy while there. The weather was in the 80’s so that was difficult in the van not being able to open the doors. We were up pretty early which was good because we got to spend more time with our friends. we ate like Royalty and had fun playing with the Virtual Reality headset. We also took a trip to the beach where the intercostal meets up with the ocean. Fun watching the boats coming out of the channel and into the ocean. It was a pretty mild day and still the boats were slamming on those waves. We had so much fun that we all forgot to take any photos. The below photos are all we got but the memories are plentiful.
We headed out to a Harvest Host location called Bednor’s Farmfresh market. It was only 20 minute drive and a great market. We bought a few things and parked in the back lot with the other three campers. We had a great dinner, watched the sunset and then the bugs came out and into the van we went.
Left in the morning and went to a State Park in West Palm Beach. Watched a few movies in the visitor center, toured the nature museum and then went kayaking. The lagoon was at low tide and it was pretty windy so the kayaking wasn’t so great plus we decided not to attach the little fin to the bottom of the kayak and I think we probably needed it to stabilize the boat. It was still fun though and we had a good time. Because of the low tide, the mangrove tree roots were all exposed and Oysters were clearly visible and attached to each root.
We headed to Palm Beach Gardens to visit some friends. Had an a amazing breakfast at Sara’s Kitchen. We had a nice morning on the beach with a beautiful Sunrise and I actually did yoga for an entire hour. That is no easy task for me.
We are starting to get a feel for this area of South Florida. It’s like Long Island on steroids. So many people, so many cars, so many stores, so many restaurants. For some it’s a dream place with so much to do and then the beautiful beaches as well. For Van Dwellers like us, it’s a little difficult, but still better than working . We stayed at Cracker Barrel for 2 nights and then headed back to the Hardrock Casino. Greg won 500 dollars!!!!!! It was so exciting!!! That’s the most he has ever won!!!! Today we are going to head back to the North Hollywood Beach Park with the boardwalk and tomorrow we head to Lauderdale by the Sea.
We decided to get an Airbnb in Lauderdale by the Sea because parking there is difficult and also super expensive. We found this really great place in walking distance to my Dads and in walking distance to the beach and all the restaurants. It also had a nice big driveway to park the van. The place was spotless too and had everything we needed.
We basically just went back there to sleep and spent the majority of the day at my Dad and Ro’s apartment which is a great place. Despite having a small kitchen, Rosemarie managed to feed us some amazing meals.
We had a great time in Lauderdale by the Sea with my Dad and Ro. They have a pool right outside their door which is great. My 86 year old Dad goes swimming every day for 20 minutes. I haven’t swam for years. Usually I just stand in a pool to cool off. But since my Dad was swimming, I gave it a whirl. It’s not that easy!! And I used to be a lifeguard. My body definitely was aching the next day for sure.
If your wondering what that thing is in my Dads hands, that’s a throw away camera. It’s amazing to me that they still make them and that he actually has one. Here he is taking an old school selfie of us.
We tried out a new restaurant for lunch one day which was right on the water. It was really good. A big yacht went by that was being towed by 2 small boats.
The weather was perfect the whole time we were there. We had a great day at the beach. I even went in the ocean. My Dad built this wheeled cart that holds his umbrella and chairs. He can wheel it to the beach and then doesn’t have to deal with putting the umbrella in the sand which seems to be a struggle for most of the people we were watching. This cart he built has the umbrella welded to it and the bottom piece of the cart gets buried in the sand to weight it down. My Dads a genius, he should go on Shark Tank.
I really wish, they had an available campground closer to where my Dad and Ro live because I really love that area of Florida. Stealth camping is out because of the heat so really the Airbnb is the only option for us. We stayed 4 days there and then started our drive back to the west coast of Florida for another visit with Greg’s parents before heading to Texas. . We drive 2 hours towards central Florida and found a spot to boondock in a parking lot behind a Diner. We find a lot of spots on an app called IOverlander. This app is where vandwellers share information and secret spots to stay. We had the whole place to ourselves. Just us and the raccoons in the dumpster.
Back on the road in the morning and Greg spotted an Italian Ice place. For those that know me, my favorite thing in the world is Chocolate Italian Ices which are virtually impossible to find outside of Long Island. We went inside to check and see if they had chocolate and they did!!! Very exciting moment for me. I loaded up and stocked the freezer.
We are heading now to Palm Harbor and it’s about to get super cold. More about this cold Florida weather in the next blog.