Blue Angel Naval Recreation Area

After a short drive from Panama City we found our way to the Blue Angel Naval Recreation Area near Pensacola. It was our first visit and we learned there are three different campground locations associated with the Pensacola NAS. One of the campgrounds is located near the National Naval Aviation Museum, it is Oak Grove Park,  the other two are located about 10 miles west, they are referred to as Section A & B, and as Anchor Cove & Battleship Row respectively. Anchor Cove has only 30amp power, water and a dump station, Battleship Row has full 50amp hookups all paved streets and large size concrete pad sites. Both sites are located […]

Blue Angels Practice Shows

We attended two sessions, the first on Tuesday was well attended however the Wednesday show was overflowing with viewers. As I recall their schedule is that during the Winter and Spring, normally Tuesday and Wednesday at 1100hrs the Blue Angels open their practice sessions to the public. The public accesses to the viewing area is behind the National Naval Aviation Museum.  Admission is free, they do rent chairs for $3 and they have numerous bleachers available. During both sessions, there was a group of volunteers that narrated the shows and provided information about the various maneuvers.     We took about 70+ images and videos during the two shows. If you’d […]

National Naval Aviation Museum

We can’t say enough good things about this museum, it has an IMAX theater (fee for viewing the movies in the IMAX), free guided tours, you can touch and explore most of the displayed aircraft and admission is free  We spent the better part of two full days visiting the many exhibits and buildings housing an incredible array of Naval Aircraft and we still didn’t see everything.               Both days we were at the museum the Blue Angels performed at 1100hrs.

Bear Creek Feline Center

After reading the many positive reviews on Trip Advisor, we decided to drive north and see what it was all about. It was about 20 minutes north of Panama City. We arrived and learned that the tours were by appointment only. So we called and arranged for a 1500hrs tour the following day with some others who had already booked a tour. The three-hour tour was well worth the two trips and the $50 per person suggested donation, we even bought a t-shirt! LOL. We had a fantastic experience at the Bear Creek Feline Center. The husband and wife owners and volunteers are devoted feline advocates and they were our tour guides. Probably the rarest […]

Panama City and Tyndall AFB

We arrived at Raptor Ranch Fam Camp on Tyndall AFB, Sunday afternoon and left 8 days later on Monday. It was our first visit to the area. the campground is easily accessed directly off of Florida RT98. You do not need to go through any security gate, you just drive into the park entrance, the registration office is immediately on your left. We had reservation and the campground was almost full, while we were there they had units in the overflow area a couple times. Our site (#45) was right next to the Recreation Hall. The site concrete pads in most of the sites are short. This causes a problem for […]

Way down upon the Suwanee…

  We headed west after visiting our son‘s family, making a short 4-hour drive to Suwannee River Rendezvous Resort, near Mayo, Florida. We arrived on a Wednesday, afternoon and departed the following Sunday morning.                 The campground is located just above the Suwanee River. The word ‘Suwanee” is familiar from the song Way down upon the Suwanee River. Well, it turns out that isn’t the actual title of the song. The 1935 song title is actually Old Folks at Home and it is the State Song of Florida. Who knew? We did spend some time along the Suwanee River which was a short walk from the main camping […]

Exiting Florida, 1st stop – visit our Son and Daughter-in-law

After some thumbnail planning of our Summer travels, we decided it was time to leave our Winter Torrey Oaks home. First stop was to visit our son’s family near Jacksonville, Fl. After a bit of prior coordination, we had a 50amp connection and water hookups waiting at their newly purchased home. The only question was, could we get all 43′ of Ike backed into their driveway.  As suspected it was a bit of a challenge but after about 50 minutes, the removal of the mailbox & post, we successfully maneuvered Ike over their “not so wide” culvert, through the fence, down the freshly asphalt grindings laden driveway and connected into its […]

One more piece of glass, Ike’s new windshield…

After a series of unusual events and errors involving our Magne Shade sunscreens, Ike’s windshield cracked down the driver’s side and needed to be replaced. The cracked developed on our journey south last November, however, we decided to wait till we were about to head out of Torrey Oaks to have the work completed, and we combined the trip with our tire replacement. Like most things involving motorhome repairs, you get a multitude of opinions on which dealers you should use and why, most of which turns out to be outdated or hearsay.  We had received our check from the insurance company for the replacement of windshield, now we needed to […]

New shoes for Ike

After about 12 months of researching and searching, we finally located a tire dealer (Conlan Tire, Mulberry, FL) to purchase our 6ea Continental Conti Coach HA3 (L) tires. After much debate, we decided to purchase the HA3s to replace our aging Michelin XZA 1s that were original equipment. Why Conlan? Conlan had reasonably fresh stock of our size (315/80R22.5) tires with a great price ($399 ea. +FET), they were participants in the FMCA tire program which is how I found them initially and most importantly they had a willingness to mount and dismount our front two tires with Tyron Bands. If you’ve never heard of Tyron Bands, they were installed on […]

Horses, not just any horse a Hermann Royal Lipizzan!

On a beautiful Saturday in Feb, we drove to Myakka City, FL to watch an open practice session of the Hermann Royal Lipizzan Stallions!   It was about 45-minute trip from Torrey Oaks, and well worth the drive.  These magnificent horses have an elaborate history, they are from Austria and they are the rarest and most aristocratic breed of horses in the world. And it turns out, they also spend the winter in Florida. They open the practice sessions to the public a couple times a week, weather permitting. The suggested donation is $5 or $10 per person (I can’t remember). The practice lasted a bit over an hour and on Saturdays, they […]