Thursday, October 7, 2010


We went camping this past Sunday and Monday evening at St Andrews State Park. Planned on spending a third night but canceled due to windy conditions. The wind started blowing as soon as we arrived and just never stopped and it was quite brisk. We were tent camping and Adam spent the night on Sunday. The guys fished almost the whole time as our campsite was located right on Grand Lagoon, but the fish just weren't biting. Adam caught a nice size Blue fish on Monday morning and I caught my first ever Red Fish about an hour later. He was 9 pounds, 27 inches long. Adam is holding MY Redfish in the photo. We had friends over for dinner on Monday evening at our campsite to share the fresh caught fish. Auggie got to go along and really enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. The photo of me was taken inside the tent on Tuesday Morning as we awoke to another windy morning.

20 Gallon aquarium

We cleaned and redecorated our 20 gallon fish aquarium located in our living room today. It turned out really great and the colors have a nice Autumn hue to them making it very Seasonal. It has a nice warm glow to it with the Aquarium light that the photo does not show. I love both of our tanks and enjoy keeping tropical fish. Its a relaxing hobby that Rocco and I both have fun with. As an update on my last post about the Male Betta we added to our 40 gallon tank, he has settled in well and gets along with his tank mates. He no longer seems afraid and flaunts his pretty flowing fins.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This afternoon a couple of friends (Matt and Matthew) joined us and we walked down to the beach (we live just 2 blocks away) and snorkeled for a bit. Green flags were flying and the water was perfect. Very calm and clear. We were joined by a small school of yellow finned Pompano juveniles which didn't seem to mind our presence much as they swam about looking for food. Its the perfect time of year to start enjoying the outdoors again as the temperatures are starting to cool down some.

Male Betta

I had to make a trip to our local Walmart today and noticed in the pet section that they were selling Male Bettas on the shelf like regular merchandise. Our Beach Walmart doesn't sell live pets or fish usually and they have no tanks set up. These poor fish were in small plastic containers in filthy water. So we decided to rescue a white with red fins Betta and add him to our 4o gallon tank. The other fish are curious about him and his long flowing fins but not overly so. But he seems TERRIFIED by his new tank mates. I am guessing he has spent most of his life so far all alone in a plastic cup. Hopefully he will adjust to other fish and tank activity around him as I would like to think I rescued him and offered him a better life. I added the best photo of him I could take along with a pic of the tank overall. Wish him luck, His name is Sparta.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Monday September 27

Well not much to share today. I slept in till a little after 11:00 am this morning. No real reason, just felt like sleeping in. Then a quick trip to Publix to pick up a few groceries and refill a prescription of Rocco's. Once back home I prepared a late lunch of Homemade Steak and Cheese Quesadillas , refried beans, Mexican rice and sweet corn pudding. The rest of my afternoon was spent watching TV and watching my new fish swimming about until I decided to take a 4:00 pm nap. (Like I needed to sleep after getting up so late) This evening Adam decided we should go fishing at the Hathaway Bridge, so I tagged along to watch the guys. Rocco caught a WHOPPER 37 inch, over 20 pound Redfish. Too large to keep as the legal size is between 17 and 27 inches but boy what a fight. Rocco loved every minute of it. The huge fish was released unharmed. Once we returned home and relaxed, a few games of Wii archery, basketball and bowling finished out our night.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday September 26

Had visitors today. Kimberly and Cody came to visit with Rocco's grandson, Brayden and Cody's four year old Niece, Ann Angel. I cooked a tasty lunch of baked Seasoned Chicken with Vegetables. After lunch, we all went to the zoo even though a morning rain threatened to spoil our outdoor plans. I worked at Zoo World when it first opened many years ago and found it to be quite a different place than when I was there last. But it was a nice way to spend time with the kids. The "Monkey" picture features Rocco on the far right, his son-in-law Cody in the middle and Cody's little niece far left. After returning home, our visitors headed back to Chipley, about an hours drive away and Rocco found a comfy spot on the couch to watch Sunday afternoon football.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday September 25th

Today was a good day. We went to Port St. Joe with Adam (our roommate) for a music Festival. The festival was really not very organized with an hour in between each act for set up and sound checks so we lost interest early on and decided to head down to the docks for the guys to try a little fishing. It was so close, could still hear the music in the near distance. Rocco caught (and released) a small Black Tipped Shark and a Dogfish. Then it was nearing dinner time so we headed back to Panama City and stopped off at Golden Corral for dinner. After dinner we stopped at the Pet Supermarket and bought some fish for our 40 gallon tank that we bought at a yard sale Friday. It was a GREAT deal and came with everything, tank,lid,light,rock gravel,plants,heater,filter and a HUGE tree trunk with face decoration. We added some natural color rock to the black rocks and bought a HUGE vivid purple silk Amazon Butterfly plant. It looks awesome all set up next to our bed on the dresser, very relaxing to watch. And now it came to life with the addition of 3 Black Mollies, two male spotted swordtails, two Cory cats, one Pictus catfish, 2 mini flame Gouramis, and our largest Marble Angel fish moved over from our smaller 20 gallon tank (set up in the living room). We then played a couple rounds of Ping Pong and Basketball hoop throwing on the WII for fun and exercise then headed to the bedroom to enjoy our new fish and watch a little TV before retiring for the Evening.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Brayden comes to Visit

Fathers day was a good day for Rocco as he had visitors. His two daughters came to visit along with his 6 month old grandson, Brayden. Kimberly, Brayden's mommy and Rocco's oldest daughter, is pregnant once again so Rocco will be a Grandpa X 2. Things have been the same day to day around here. The summer Florida temperatures have been hot and balmy making outdoor activities lower down on our list of things to do. I much prefer Spring and Fall around here. Work is in full swing at the Arcade I cook at, as its right on "The Strip" in Panama City Beach and it is Tourist season. So far we have been spared from oil, a few tar balls that have washed up in various location along the beaches in Bay county were quickly cleaned up. With a couple more months left for family vacations , we are hoping for clear beaches for all visiting our unspoiled coast.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Still Alive

Yes we are still alive, just kinda put the blog on the back burner as our lives shifted directions once again. Will have to change the name of my blog now as we left the tent life behind. On June 3rd we moved from the tent (and St Andrews State Park) into a rented mobile home on the west end of Panama City Beach in an area known as Laguna Beach. I started back to work at Funland Arcade in Panama City Beach and we decided to make this area our permanent home and give up "wandering" about. As everyone knows, an oil rig explosion in the Gulf has left residents along the Gulf Coast in despair and some with their lively hoods at risk, not to mention all the damage to wildlife and nature. Well so far we are oil free in Panama City Beach but the threat looms ever so close with updates daily that leave us holding our breath to see if we "are next". I am unsure what the future holds for us if and when we are the next to suffer from this disaster, so for now we are living each day one day at a time. Keep us and everyone on the Gulf Coast in your prayers as we hope for the best.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spanish Fever

Well Spring Break is over at Panama City Beach, but now its Spanish Mackerel season. The Spanish are running in high numbers and fisherman are easily catching their daily bag limits every day. Folks are going out in boats trolling and fishing along shorelines at points where the mackerel like to travel. So everyone here at the park has "Spanish Fever". Boats are coming and going all day and fisherman are flocking in high numbers to "Sandy Point", an area at St Andrews State park where the Spanish fishing is great. Its quite a hike along Grand Lagoon to get to Sandy Point, but the fisherman make that hike off and on all day long in search of the Spanish. We are no different. We have caught our fair share. Rocco has done both boat and shore fishing for the Spanish and has actually caught most from shore. He is fishing at Sandy Point right now along with two other volunteers. I have fished the last two days with him and needed a break. Last night I cooked so much Spanish on the grill with peppers and onions that I had enough to share with all the other volunteers and a Michigan couple camping here at the park. It was so sweet, flaky and tasty, no wonder the fisherman are flocking to the Gulf to catch the Mackerel while they are here.

Friday, April 9, 2010


We had visitors to our campsite Tuesday. Rocco's daughters, Kimberly and Corinne came to see us. So we also got to visit with Rocco's grandson, BRAYDEN. He is 3 and a half months old now. It is only our third time getting to see him, so we were real glad they came. We got a bag of oysters while they were here and ate both raw and baked on the grill oysters. YUMMY.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I can hardly believe it, It actually was SNOWING this morning when we got up. Our tent was covered. It was just in the 70's yesterday and we were laying out at the beach and working on our tans. This is the craziest thing I have ever seen in my life anywhere, especially FLORIDA. And they say global warming is a problem. We are all bundled up and trying our best to keep warm. It has practically shut down Panama City Beach.................................... APRIL FOOLS. (looks like a geat Beach day here)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Just another day in paradise

Its looking like its gonna be another nice day in paradise here at the park. Started out a bit cloudy and with a few tiny sprinkles, but the sun is out in full force now and its quite warm, a gently breeze blowing every now and then. Just right for my birthday. Thought I would share a few pictures I took yesterday around the boat ramp area. While at the boat ramp, right around sunset, a tourist fishing from the dock caught a small Bonnet Head shark. He released him unharmed. Hope everyone has a wonderful Spring day.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Well I managed to get up close and personal with one of natures little critters. I was bitten by a LONE STAR TICK behind my right knee. (see photo, stock internet picture) Along with his nasty little bite, and he was attached well, came STARI. Southern tick-associated rash illness. Its rather red and fevered at the location with a distinct "bulls-eye" center. It can heal on its own some times so I am giving it a chance to do that. I was bitten Wednesday evening. If all isn't better by Monday, I will have it looked at. Common treatment is oral antibiotics. The most common symptom other than itching is fatigue which I have seemed to be experiencing. But there is some good news in this story. Lone star ticks DO NOT carry lyme disease, so I am safe from that.
Will check in with everyone soon. And watch yourself when playing in the woods or hiking in nature.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Just saying HELLO

Just stopping by in this blog post to say Hello to everyone who has been reading and following our blog. It was a bit breezy today but otherwise nice, so we were out and about in the park enjoying a walk along the lagoon and down to the jetties area. Hope every ones day was as filled with sunshine as ours was.


St.Andrews State park is a great boating location. The Gulf of Mexico, The St Andrews Bay, and Grand Lagoon all come together right here. So many boats, and many different kinds can be spotted out and about in the area waters enjoying the great weather like we had today. The sailboat is moored in The lagoon. We walked along the lagoon beach today and enjoyed watching the many boaters out enjoying their day. The Sea Dragon Pirate ship was also out filled with tourist enjoying a ride as was the Sea Screamer. They are both area tourist "attractions" here on the beach.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just a walk in the park

Today was such a great day with 70 degree temps and lots of Sunshine so we took a walk along several of the trails at the park. Ran into some "local" wildlife and though I would share with everyone. Both the squirrel and the deer were quite close to us as you can see and showed very little fear of us as they are quite use to humans here in the park (which really helps with up close photos) The Moore Hens (bird in the water) were out in numbers at Gator lake (located in the park) and were busy swimming near shore and feeding. I can sit and watch them for hours ducking under and bobbing back up as they feed on the tender water vegetation. The Heron was hanging out at the boat ramp, standing on the fish cleaning station located there hoping for a free meal from a fisherman cleaning his catch. As I type this now, I can see the fish cleaning station from here and its surrounded by Brown Pelicans eating fish scraps from a local fisherman cleaning his fish. So now as the sun starts to set, we can truly say its been a great day here at the park.

We made it

Well everyone, sorry its been so long since my last post, but WE MADE IT. As most of you already know, we broke down in South Carolina on the way here to Florida and had to leave our Land Rover behind. But with the use of a rented Uhaul truck, we arrived at St Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach Florida on March 4th. We are all set up and settled in our tent. Its an average size dome tent (Target brand) and its a tight fit but we are comfortable. The weather here hasn't been the greatest since we arrived , but it is starting to improve. I hope to start posting to the blog much more often and keep everyone up to speed on what we are doing. We have had some leaking issues in the tent with two hard rains since we arrived but hopefully some seam sealer and waterproof spray has fixed that issue. The pets don't seem to mind the cramped quarters as even in a mansion, they all would want to be on top of us anyways. I found out I can pick up free Wi-fi from the Marriott resort located right across the lagoon. So just a short bike ride from our site to the boat ramp puts me in touch with everyone. So everyone, keep watching and reading and I will do my best to keep blogging.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Last Walk

Ok, I know I said my last post was "My last post for North Carolina" and now here I go again. (I really love this blogging thing) We took a last walk around Edenton today. I rarely step outside my front door without a camera and today was no exception. As we were leaving the house, Rocco asked why I was taking my camera. He figured I had photographed everything worth taking pictures of in this town. But if you take the time to get out and really look, there is always something new and exciting to find, even if it is in your own backyard. Even if its nothing new, it might be something you have seen before but today was a chance to see it from a new perspective or a different angle. Like the tiny buds of the Dandelions that were poking out from the still brown winter ground, or the seagulls all lined up on the railing along the waters edge, or the Canadian geese as they were foraging along the waterfront. It might be simple things that surround you on a daily basis, But I think we should all take time to stop and smell (and maybe photograph) the roses.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Friendly Visitor

Three more days left in North Carolina and then we will be hitting the road on our way to Florida. Rocco had an enjoyable last Saturday here thanks to a visit from his long time friend, Paul. Rocco and Paul have been friends and past co-workers for 20 years. They worked together back in New York. Paul now lives in North Carolina and paid us a visit to catch up on old times with Rocco. Its always great to reconnect with good friends as well as making new ones. Hopefully now that these friends have been reunited, Paul and his family can take a vacation to Florida and pay us a visit there. This will probably be my last "North Carolina" post. So check back this coming week, as I will be posting my first "TENT" blog. See you in Sunny Florida.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Checking In

Just decided to add a blog post tonight to let everyone know I am still alive and well with 7 more days to go in North Carolina. Still very excited about our upcoming move and looking forward to getting back home. Baked a couple loaves of Honey wheat bread today that turned out quite yummy then my thoughts turned to baking at my campsite. Rocco suggested buying a camp oven or solar oven, and my suggestion was to build one instead. It sounds like so much more fun and a learning experience at the same time. So even though we are a week away from our adventure start, my thoughts are already there. The weather here has been mild the last couple days, but temps are going back down in the 20's Thursday evening. We even have a 30 percent chance of snow on Thursday. Hopefully its a low enough percentage to pass us by.
On a closing note, The Snowy Egret photo was taken by myself at St. Andrews State park last spring while we were volunteering there. He was posing so perfectly for me and it turned out a nice photo.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Edenton Cotton Mill

We try to walk every day for exercise and the weather was nice today with lots of sun so we enjoyed being out in it. We walked to the nearby Edenton Cotton Mill which is over 100 years old. The original mill still stands. Although the outside is original, the inside has been converted to luxury condos, A chance to live in and own a piece of local history. The neighboring community consists of approximately 57 homes that were once "Casita" style cottages for the mill workers and their families. They have been restored and now are individually owned and lived in. It makes for a lovely neighborhood. The water photo was taken right by the mill. Its a small creek leading into the Sound and I am sure was a way to transport goods from the cotton Mill by boat to load onto larger shipping vessels. This town has lots of History and I enjoy the photo opportunities and love sharing these with everyone.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Panama City Beach

Well we have 12 more days here in North Carolina then we are on our way to ST. Andrews State park in Panama City Beach Florida. It will be our third time volunteering at this park, but our first time doing so in a tent. We will arrive at the park March 4th. We are looking forward to arriving back at this park and will be doing so at the beginning of SPRING BREAK. For any of you familiar with Panama City Beach, then you know Spring Break is a busy, crowded time for the beach. But will enjoy every minute of it, I am sure. I won't be doing TOO much Blogging prior to that time as my blog is all about tent living/volunteering and not about living in North Carolina. Not to mention that there isn't much happening here to talk about and I don't want to bore you. So check back a little closer to our departure date and I will catch back up with my blog then.

Meet Sophie and Auggie

Meet Sophie and Auggie. They are our "Canine Kids" that will also be calling our tent home. Sophie is a Female Rat Terrier, and Auggie is a male Bagel (Beagle/Basset cross) I am sure they will be our number one source of entertainment in the tent, and I am not quite sure if that is a good thing (HaHa) We will keep you up to speed on their great outdoor adventures also.

Kuniko and Erwin

This is a picture of our Feline "kids" that will be joining us in our tent adventure. Don't let their cute cuddly appearance fool you. Although they are "loving" each other in this photo, they can be quite a handful while awake. They will add an element of fun to the tent all their own. Erwin is the red tabby male, Kuniko is our "senior" tabby female.