Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas fun

Hi all,
We hope you have had a joyous Christmas. We had a great one and were happy that we were able to spend it with some of the family. We had a nice Skype visit with the other kids and grandkids.

 We had a busy week starting a fun walk in Live Oak with Mandi and gransons Noah and Alex.
 Next was a drive to Tampa to enjoy a Packer victory.
On Monday we had no cabins to clean so we took the day off and visited a couple more state parks.
 First off was a Fanning Springs State Park, it holds a second magnitude spring popular for swimming and divers and gets winter visits from Manatees looking to bask in the 72 degree temp waters.

 Manatee Springs State Park located 55 mile south near Chiefland, Fla. It is a park just off the Suwannee River located by the magnitude one as you can guess Manatee Spring. This is a popular place that the manatees visit during winter months, on this day we only caught a glimpse of one fleeing to the river.

 We wanted to check this park out as we were first offered a host position there. We declined it because they did not have a full hook up site for us. That turned out the best for us as we are now only 8 miles from the daughter instead of 55.

 We all know it is a time to enjoy and cherish for more reasons than the gifts. We have been experiencing some sadness also at this time as we have learned Wendy's older brother Dave's health has worsened and he has been given a short time. He has had a rough go beginning with prostrate cancer, then throat cancers and now has a brain tumor. We pray for him and the family at this tough time.
 These last two pics are grandsons Isaiah and Lucas in Wisconsin recreating some famous Christmas movie scenes.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ichetucknee Springs

 Hi all,
Thought I better get in a quick post before we all get super busy. Shopping is all done, cookies all made, and cards are in the mail we should be able to relax, ha.
 Two of our grandsons are driving down for the holidays and should be on the road about now. This is a big trip for the boys ages 20 and 16 and we hope all goes well. It will be so nice to have them here for Xmas.
 Our cabin schedule looks light during the next week which will give us more time off to spend with the kids. We also have taken off Sunday to make the drive to Tampa Bay for the Packer game.
 This past week we checked out another nearby state park, Ichetucknee(pronounced itchy-tucknee)Springs State Park.  It contains six springs of which one is a first magnitude spring named The Blue hole flowing 38 million gallons per day into a 6 mile river feeding into the Santa Fe River. It is a popular tubing river from Memorial to Labor Day and kayaking/canoes there after. Shuttles are run during the tubing season and rentals of canoes and such by nearby concessionaires.
  It is a day use only park with no campsites or cabins. The park offers hiking trails that Wendy and I enjoyed today.
 We found it to be a very pretty area and we actually plan to do a polar plunge there in Jan. I know you must think we are crazy- the water will only be 72 (its always 72).
 So though the weather(thankfully) will not give us a Christmas as we used to get in Wisconsin, having some family to spend it with will be treasured.
         We want to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Living Lively in Live Oaks

 Hi all,
Things keep flowing along at Suwannee River State Park. Our weather has cooled to around 60 during the day and 35ish at night, not to bad.
 We had a surprise visitor the other day. John Harker a coworker from Custer State Park dropped in on his way from WI to the Keys. He remembered that we were here and stopped by for a nice chat. We thought that was cool and reminded us of the nice people and friends we have made on our travels.
 Work has been slow and today we had no cabins going out so nothing for us to do, darn.) We made good use of the day and finished up our Xmas shopping yea!
 Wendy and Mandi have been busy making Christmas cookies. They have made 7 different kinds and have a few more left to do. I think she likes doing this?? They will be making cookie plates to pass out.
 This past weekend was a big weekend in Live Oak. They were having a Christmas on the Square. We were set to do a fun run/walk on Friday night but were the only ones who didn't know it was canceled because the hometown football team was in the playoffs. Oh well we took a walk and had dinner at one of the local restaurants. Let me tell you it was interesting and delicious.(Pigpen in pic).

 On Saturday was a big craft show with over 100 venders, a car show, and plenty of food being served. The weather cooperated nicely.

In the afternoon we got into some yard work at Mandi's. The weather was so nice we finished off with a bonfire and marshmallows.

                                          We capped off the week with a big Packer win.
Pat, Max, Mandi, and Dixie

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Big Shoals State Park

Hi all,
It's been a slow week here at Suwannee as far as cabin use. Our week begins on Sunday and we cleaned 3, on Monday there was 2 and none until Thursday and then only 1. I know we will get some payback next week starting with all 5 on Sunday, so things go.
 So what do we do when there are no check outs? One day we cleaned ovens and porch fans of which each cabin has three. I also get the blower out and clear roads and such. One day we just cleaned the laundry room for about an hour then goofed off the rest of the day.
 The weather here has been awesome lately with highs in the upper 70's. That is above the normal and we should return to the 50's and 60's soon enough.
 One nice afternoon Wendy and I checked out another close by state Park. Big Shoals State Park. This park also situated along the Suwannee River has the notoriety of having the only whitewater in Florida. The Shoals is created by a (huge) 9 foot drop over a 1/4 mile area. At normal water levels it may produce a class III rapids.
 There is no camping in the park but it does have 28 miles of trails. There are designated horse trails, biking, and all can be walked. There is also a shorter paved bike trail that we will hit up on another day.
 This day we just took the 2-1/2 mile out and back trail to the rapids. It closely follows the river though at most times the view is blocked by heavy foliage including lots of saw palmetto.

 Wendy had done a search and came up with 31 state parks in a 100 mile radius of Live Oak we will have to step up our efforts if we are to see them all.