Whoops the last blog was over … weeks ago and I said a while back that I was going to be better about posting blogs in a timely manner. Bad Blogger! I am going to fast forward through numerous ideas and non-written posts about places we traveled to this past fall and get you caught up to speed. From the last blog, it looks like we are still in Connecticut. Not true. And remember, we are Snowbirds and it is January so we are definitely not in Connecticut.
We arrived Florida later this year because we wanted to spend Thanksgiving in St. Louis with my family. December 1st had us arriving at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park where we will once again be volunteering. We agreed to four months of driving the tram to and from the beach. Thirty hours per week total is what is required to get our full hook-up (including cable) paved site for free. Our day starts around 8 am and usually finishes around 5 pm. So no crazy hours like last summer in Maine when my catering job had me up until midnight and Betsy in the campground office/store until 7:30 pm. In between scheduled tram runs, we clean sites, check the in’s and out’s, empty recycle bins, fill brochure boxes, and perform various other duties. Since this is our third year volunteering here we have become friends with so many returning volunteers and it is always great to see the familiar faces. And, like every year, we always meet many new and interesting nice people.
Topsail fits our lifestyle very well. It has over 1,600 acres of nature preserve to explore through 20+ miles of trails, over 3 miles of beautiful white sand beaches, and spacious full hook-up sites set amongst towering pine trees. The RV park used to be privately owned so you have more amenities offered with the added bonus of having a state park feel. Sites have ample green space and privacy and can easily accommodate 45’ RVs. There is a shuffleboard court, swimming pool, and an outdoor amphitheater with concerts. We especially like the fact that we get all the park has to offer but enjoy being in an urban area with movie theater, grocery, restaurants, and much more within three miles. Topsail is a very popular park and lucky for us our other RVing friends seem to show-up as they migrate across the country.
Topsail sits on a very pretty stretch of Florida’s Gulf Coast called Scenic HWY 30a located between Destin and Panama City Beach. While close to these popular spring break and summer vacation destinations, it feels world’s away. There are no chain stores, no screaming neon lights, and no high-rise condos meant for the masses.
Winter in the Florida Panhandle is not for everyone. The winter weather can definitely have a chill to it, temperatures do dip below freezing now and then, and that inviting emerald green water that registers in the 60’s is too cold for us to dip our toes in. But that weather works for us and for Spirit and allows us to hike without sweating and keeps the snakes slow. Sure the nights may dip below freezing but for never more than three in a row and then we are back in the high 60’s and 70’s. If you have never spent time in this neck of Florida you might want to give it a try.