We’re back in Big Pine Key hanging in the driveway at my dad’s house for the week. Using Tim’s reservation website we managed to get a site at Bahia Honda State Park starting this Sunday. Looking forward to having a waterfront site yet again!
Nothing too exciting going on this week. Took a bike ride over to the Blue Hole in search of alligators. Spotted two smallish ones near the observation deck. As the only fresh water lake (or hole) in the Keys, this spot is known to attract birds and wildlife, including the two resident gators who can often be seen lurking in the watery depths.
Found some more new-to-me plants. The giant silver palm is called a Bismark Palm. It can grow up to 60′ tall and 20′ wide. The other two are mystery plants for now. The one with pink flowers and large green leaves is growing in a friend’s yard. Just yesterday she told me what it was called. Of course I promptly forgot. Now she’s out of town so I’ll have to wait until next week to get the name. The orange leaved plant is also a mystery. I searched around the Internet for far too long with no luck. Anyone know about these two plants?
****By the way, the mystery plant from my Tropical Garden Tour post has been identified. Thanks to reader Julie Schroeder who correctly gave the name Mother of Thousands. I updated the post with more info if anyone is interested.
Enjoyed some quality hammock time while waiting for the washer to finish up. I am not sure why we don’t have one of these (a hammock not a washer).
Floridians like decorative mailboxes. More then any other state. My theory is it’s because they don’t have to worry about the snow plow knocking them down every winter.
Drove up to the eastern end of the Old 7 Mile Bridge for a sunset bike ride one evening. Most of the old bridge is still standing, but for safety reasons you can only access the first 2 miles. We rode down and back, and down and back again in an effort to rack up some miles. With no hills and no altitude you have to work extra hard to break a sweat around here. On the second round we hung out at the end of the bridge waiting for sunset.
Last night we drove down to Stock Island (just east of Key West) to meet some new and old Airstream friends at a fantastic pizza place called Roostica. We’ve been conversing online with Adam and Ilinke for a few months now in anticipation of meeting up here in the Keys. They’re down here for the school year while Ilinke teaches Spanish at one of the local elementary schools. They reside in a beautifully restored mid-70s 29′ Airstream. Also joining us was Lauri, who we fist met, along with her husband Jase, in Santa Fe, then at the Balloon Fiesta, and again in Austin. They’re also down here for an extended stay while Lauri works as an occupational therapist. After dinner Adam and Ilinke invited us over to their house for desert where we got to meet their two adorable, energetic pups. As always, it was great to hang out with some fellow RVers and we can’t wait to see them all again next week!
I haven’t mentioned the bugs in the last few posts, but that doesn’t mean they’ve gone away. Instead we’ve learned how to deal with them a bit better. I thought I’d share of few of our tricks for staying sane in the land of no-see-ums.
Prevention: Beyond various bug sprays, the best way to keep these tiny little nuisances at bay is with wind. We noticed that on breezy days the no-see-ums are nearly non existent, while on calm days they attack like wild beasts. So we got ourselves another fan to help up the wind factor inside the Airstream. Our final choice was the Endless Breeze Fan-tastic Fan. This compact, lightweight, yet powerful fan is perfect for RV living. As a bonus it runs on 12V which means when the day comes that we once again are camping with out hook-ups we can power it from our batteries.
Healing: I think I discovered the magic formula for healing the no-see-um bites….tea tree oil mixed with coconut oil. The tea tree provides the healing part while the coconut oil dilutes the tea tree so it doesn’t sting when applied. Even though Tim calls it that “stinky stuff” when I open the jar, this mixture has worked wonders to heal all those bites.
That’s it for now. I’ll be back next week with a new tropical recipe, some pictures from our site at Bahia Honda, and an exciting Airstream kitchen update. Oh! I almost forgot. We want to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who responded to our Future Plans post. We were blown away by all the comments and emails we recieved with advice and suggestions. Thanks to all of you we have made more decisions, more reservations, and have a giant list of places to visit and things to eat on our way up the east coat. You all rock!