A Volkswagen Westy & Hippies at Heart: Saint George Island, Florida


Day 17:

Had breakfast and got ready for a nice day at St. George Island Beach.  ‘Loaded up the bike trailer to the limit, and we were off!  Fun…fun day!  ‘Found a Pirate’s Booty of seashells!  Yayahhhh!!!

Headed back to camp and started a campfire to grill Bratwurst sausages.  While the fire was stoking, I headed out to buy ice from the camp-hosts and ended up meeting Rob’s wife Anne.  Nice lady!  We ended up chatting for over an hour and meeting other passersby out walking their dogs.

Later that night, Nico played guitar for Nixi and we settled in…after showers.  It had been a good…good day.  Lovin’ every minute of St. George Isle!  No words to describe…

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A VW Westfalia & Hippies at Heart: Grayton Beach to St. George Island, Florida


Day 16:

Met a nice couple from Gainesville, FL this morning who bought a copy of our CD (First one sold!!  Yay!!!).  Huck told us that he’s a native of New York State and his wife Leah is from Colorado.  They had two sons, and they were there at Grayton Beach SP on a family camping trip.  Nice people!  I hope they keep in touch.

We finally hit the road at around 2 PM (Ugh!!), leaving Grayton Beach headed East on 98.  It was a nice drive with no complications.  Yay!!  ‘Arrived at St. George Island State Park after passing over a three-mile-long bridge and snapping a few pics of the lighthouse there on St. George.  While we were stopped at the Ice Machine, an older couple pulled up in a golf cart wanting to snap a pic of us; the Hippies in the VW Van.  Too Kewl!

Arriving at SGI SP, we paid for a couple nights and set to work on camp.  ‘Met camp-host Rob West from Pennsylvania while buying firewood for our campfire-to-be.  Settled in for the night after setting up rig and cooked a bit on the fire.  Turned in at a reasonable time…for a change, but didn’t get much sleep (for a good reason, this time).  Nico and I made up for lost time.  Yayah!

Not bad for a day’s work!  We were lovin’ St. George Island so far.

A VW Westfalia & Hippies at Heart: Grayton Beach State Park


Day 15: 

Finally…time to sit still and enjoy the beach.  We paid for 2 nights, and boy…was I ever glad we did.  Nico loved it at Grayton as well.  The beach was a wonder of white sand and perfect waves.  We surfed as much as we possibly could on a surfboard with ‘no wax’!  Whoooaaa!  Slippery when wet!  Lemme tell ya!  But…even still, we had a blast being kids again!  It seems having a little one in our forties has brought a bit more of the kid out in the both of us.  Gotta love that!

Even though this particular day was rather a blur of fun, surfing, exploring, biking to the beach and around the park and such; even a bit of foraging for wild blackberries…growing beside the park road, it was just what the doc ordered.  By day’s end, I actually felt fulfilled and rested…all in one.  And while Nico had gone to take a shower, and baby slept soundly beside me, I found my Zen and wrote a song; singing the tune into my Zoom recorder…just so I wouldn’t forget what had come to me.  It’s an upbeat…beachy…reggae-ish kind of islandy sound.  I can hardly wait to get the music right on it so we can record.  The day was  a success…if only for that reason, though there were so many more reasons for a girl/Mom/Wife to feel blessed.

Happy…Happy Day at Grayton Beach State Park.  A wonderful place to see on Florida’s Gulf Coast.  I know we will visit again.

A Volkswagen Westfalia & Hippies at Heart: Big Lagoon to Grayton Beach S.P.


Day 14: 

Up by 8 AM, I fed Nixi and put on a Dora DVD.  Nico took down the drive-away tent while I made an Italian Omelet and some coffee.  We enjoyed our breakfast, packed it all up and were on the road by noon.  We’re getting better at this!  I realized.

Quite a few hours and miles later, we decided to stop-short of our intended destination and camp for the night at Grayton Beach State Park.  And while we weren’t quite sure we liked our spot when we pulled in, we settled in for the night in the very last spot they had (last-minute cancellation), right by the bathrooms/showers.  We’d explore the next day, and see what discoveries lay in store.

The park was quiet, even with neighbors close-by.  So far…at that point, it was looking like a good place.  We started a campfire and cooked some ‘dogs’…sat back and relaxed.  It had been a long…hot day, but a good one still.

A Volkswagen Westy & Hippies at Heart: Ferry to Mobile Bay, AL

 

Day 12:

Had brekkie on Dauphin Island, picked up camp and was gone by noon.  We had to catch the Ferry across the bay.  Sitting in line to load the boat, we figured it would take forever, but were pleasantly surprised after waiting only 5 to 10 minutes.  Lucky for us, we were the last one’s allowed onboard.

So, there we were…cutting through the waves on The Mobile Bay Ferry.  I had decided to stand upfront to take pics while Nico sat in the van with baby.  Little could I have known that I’d end up soaked all down the front from the splashes of the boat ripping through the tide.  I loved it!  Nice and refreshing; much-needed on such a hot day.

As we pulled off the ferry, my heart anticipated our next stop–we were closing in on Florida.  I could hardly wait!  A little while later and a few miles down the road, we crossed into Florabama (Party Town!!  Jimmy Buffett style!) and over the state line.  It was around 2 pm and we were ready to sink our toes in the Florida sand.  After passing through Florabama, we stopped at Perdido Key State Park day use area, for  some fun-in-the-sun, a pit-stop and a picnic (not necessarily in that order).

After munching down some lunch, we headed down to the lofty white-sand beach and played in the crystal clear…aqua green-blue water.  Love it!  We splashed around like children and never wanted to leave, though we knew we must.  There was a campsite calling our names a little ways down the road at Big Lagoon State Rec Area.  It was getting late…we were tired…Peniki was tired, so we parted with the lovely beach and headed out.

A short bit later, we were settling in at Big Lagoon and quickly making friends with the campground hosts Butch and Ronnie; brothers with great hospitality and a bucket of laughs.  What wonderful people to know!  We enjoyed every minute of conversation with our new friends.  Super nice people!

At that point, we’d already decided to stay another night…having already been made to feel so welcome there.  So…we settled in and relaxed to the music of Bob Marley on the player while I fried some yummy fish and enjoyed a bit of refreshment.  I tell ya–It just doesn’t get much better than that!  No siree!!!

A VW Westfalia & Hippies at Heart: Day 11 at Dauphin Island, AL

‘Woke up early and got down to the matter at hand.  Breakfast!  While we were leisurely eating our grub, ‘decided to go for a nice ride around the island.  I had seen miles of bike trails on the way in that night before, and I could hardly wait to venture out.

We headed in the direction we had yet to travel and soon discovered Historic Fort Gaines, right on the waters’ edge.  Then…we rolled down to the beach nearby and saw Dolphins leaping and dancing in the water.  What a sight!  I only wish I had been able to snap the pic in time.

Baby had fallen fast-asleep; soothed by the motion of the bicycle and the cool ocean breeze on her face.  So…after enjoying the breeze and introducing our toes to Alabama sand, we headed back towards the campground…but didn’t stop there.  Our destination?  The Fish Market!  I was gonna cook some shrimp on the Bar B later.  Yum!!

A little while later, we were pullin’ out of the market with a couple ‘pounds of freshly caught shrimp, a few pounds of catfish, and some crab-stuffed jalapeno pepper-poppers.  Needless to say, by the time we left the only grocery store on the island to pick up some other groceries and libations, I couldn’t pedal fast enough…just thinkin’ of getting back to cook those peppers.

Fast-forward a few hours later: In our efforts to work off the crab-peppers, we set out to explore Dauphin Island Campground and get to know our immediate surrounding a bit better.  To our pleasant surprise, we discovered a shade riddled trail into the Audubon Bird Sanctuary.  Treasure!!!  A long walk later, and a gazillion pics too, we made it back to camp to ready the skewers and get an early start on dinner.

Later that night, we sparked the campfire and grilled mango/chipotle marinated shrimp & pineapple skewers.  Man…!  I really out-did myself this time!  *patting myself on the back*  This….was what posh-camping was meant to be.  Simple pleasures by the sea, and good company.

Priceless!  : )

Westfalia Road Trip: Camping on Galveston Isle