Our Road Trip to Florida: Part I – On the Road

We like long road trips. Every summer we hit the road to explore parks around Canada and the United States. This summer, though, we weren’t able to take time off so we decided to make up for it with a winter camping trip to Florida.

On the road

The drive from Toronto down to Florida usually takes about two days (depending how far south you want to go) but it’s a fun trip in the winter. As the temperatures outside go up, the amount of clothing you have to wear goes down. You shed coats, sweaters and boots like trees shedding leaves in the fall and after two days emerge on the other side of the weather spectrum: hot, humid and sunny.

Our trip was pleasantly uneventful. Even border crossing was surprisingly quick. We really enjoyed driving through both Virginias: beautiful mountain vistas with clouds grazing the tops. I was trying to imagine those peaks dressed up in summer greens and already planning a trip there once it gets warmer.

Virginia

virginia

Savannah

We decided to break up our drive a bit and make a stop at Savannah. Ever since reading and watching “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” I wanted to visit the city– it seemed so mysterious and charming. It didn’t disappoint and delivered every ounce of promised charm and mystery. Unfortunately, it also delivered copious amounts of rain. Light drizzle on the first day added to the charm and we had fun taking pictures with an umbrella. However, the drizzle turned into a downpour on day two, plus our younger son decided it was a good time to come down with a fever so we had to cut our explorations short. We did manage to see some of the old city and enjoy a delicious dinner at the Shrimp Factory down on River Street.

Forsyth Park, Savannah

Savannah Riverfront

With Marilyn Monroe at City Market

kid near a fountain  playing in the fountain

Shrimp and grits  Shrimp and crab

For more pictures of Savannah, check out my Random|Pix blog.

Another highlight of the trip was our cabin at the KOA campground. We arrived late at night and at a first glance it seemed no different from any other KOA we’d stayed at before. Then we noticed big white spots all over the lake by our cabin. In the morning, it turned out they were swans. The birds were everywhere – gliding, flying, cleaning their feathers and quite often fighting. There were also ducks, cormorants, Canada geese and wood storks. Quite a site to wake up to in the morning.

Savannah

swans and canada goose

cormorants

I posted more pictures of swans on my Random|Pix blog.

Tampa

When we left Savannah, we headed south to Tampa, Florida, to visit my brother. Since our son was still sick and needed time to rest, we didn’t see much of the city. All we could squeeze in was a short walk along the waterfront and more delicious seafood. Oh, and an epic game of Settlers of Catan. The combination of rest, sun and family fun did the trick and our son was back to normal the next day. So we set out for the Keys.

tampa waterfront at night

waterfront in Tampa

ship detail     ship detail

what's that

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