Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nokomis Beach

After breakfast this morning, we drove to some pickleball courts just a few miles from the campground.  We played for a couple of hours which gave Chuck and me a chance to try out our new paddles.  The court appeared to be fairly new but no one was there. We REALLY like playing pickleball and it is very good exercise.

We returned to the camper, ate some lunch and then headed for Nokomis Beach.  Caspersan Beach (where we rode our bikes yesterday) consisted of very gray sand.  Nokomis Beach consists of very shelly sand.  In some places, the shells were very thick.

But the water is still a very clear and beautiful blue.

While Ken walked down the beach looking for shark's teeth, Bonnie looked for shark's teeth and shells for her jewelry in the very shelly sand.

Chuck and I walked a short distance down the beach,

but the beach was a little too "shelly" for his feet so he went back to our beach chairs and enjoyed relaxing under the beach umbrella.

I walked down to the north side of Venice Jetty where we watched the sunset last night.  There were a lot of birds on the beach as well as people.

There were several of the same seagulls like the ones we had seen at Carrabelle a few weeks ago but there were some that were a little different.

There were a few sandpipers running along the surf too.

This little one reminded me of Gimpy.

This snowy egret must have thought I was chasing him...

...because he took off and flew away.

Most of these birds seem to be very accustomed to people being around because I could get very close to them to take their picture.  This snowy egret struck a nice pose for me at the jetty.

And then he showed me how he can stand on one foot!  :)

There were several people fishing at the end of the jetty again but not many people seemed to be catching anything.

I turned around and walked back up the beach and found Bonnie still looking for shark's teeth (she found a lot) and Ken and Chuck were looking at the back of their eyelids.  :)

Bonnie and I joined the guys and we all enjoyed just doing nothing for a little while...until Bonnie began finding shark's teeth in the shells around our chairs.  She found at least 2 or 3 more while we were sitting there!

Wow...what a nice day for the beach!

We ended up staying at the beach until a little after 5.  It was so nice.  We grilled our dinners and ate together and then went over to Ken and Bonnie's to watch the movie Parental Guidance which is a very cute and funny movie.  We got in one game of SkipBo after the movie with the guys barely beating the girls and then called it a night.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Place More Fun

On our last morning at Myakka, we enjoyed another breakfast together and a relaxed morning of wonderful weather.  But by 11 am, we were all packed up, disconnected and on our way to Royal Coachmen RV Park in Nokomis, Florida.  Because it was only about a 40 minute drive, we all drove disconnected with Bonnie leading the way.

Royal Coachmen is a very nice park and one of Ken and Bonnie's favorites.  During the peak season of January - March, the park is very difficult to get into.  But in October, there were plenty of sites and we were able to have sites next to one another again.  Yeah!  :)

We got all set up and Bonnie had a terrific idea:  let's go to Sonny's for lunch and use our "free pork sandwich" coupons.  Of course, we would never turn down an opportunity to go to Sonny's Barbecue.  After lunch, we drove to Sports Authority where Chuck and I bought pickleball paddles. The office told us that the campground had just put in a pickleball court so we decided to go ahead and buy some paddles.  After making a stop at Wal-mart to pick up some groceries, we headed back to the camper.

Chuck and I went for a walk around the campground and then we got back together with Ken and Bonnie later that evening with Bonnie and I winning most of the games tonight.  :)

On Tuesday, we decided to go for a long bike ride through Venice and down to the beach and back.  We started out by getting on the Legacy Trail that is right next to the campground.  However, we had to ride our bikes a couple of miles to get to the Legacy Trail because of the campground being fenced off.

The bike trails here are awesome.  They are paved, flat, and landscaped with the only hills being when you climbed bridges to go over water canals or streets.

We got off the Legacy Trail and rode into downtown Venice where we stopped at the Upper Crust Bakery for some scones with cream.  Boy, were they good!

We walked around downtown Venice for a little while before riding our bikes over to the Venetian Waterway Trail.  We could see the old Venice Historic Train Depot across the canal...

...and this mural painted on a building that showed the Ringling Brothers Circus that formerly wintered in Venice.

Except for one instance where the bike trail went around a waterfront subdivision, the trail followed along the Venice Waterway all the way to the beach.

We saw some eagles in a couple of trees along the trail and stopped to watch them (and take way too many pictures) for a few minutes.

Bonnie spotted this eagle in a tree not more than 75 yards from the bike trail.

We would also see these big turtles occasionally.

Chuck stopped at this bridge and talked to these two ladies who were fishing off the bridge.

When we reached Caspersen Beach, we parked our bikes and walked down to the beach.

The sand is gray but the water is clear and blue.

We walked down the beach about a mile or so.  Ken found several shark's teeth and Bonnie picked up a few shell pieces for her jewelry that she makes (that is beautiful).  Chuck found one shark tooth and I found my first piece of sea glass.  Bonnie and I took our shoes off to walk in the surf and the water felt so good.  :)

After we finished walking on the beach, we began heading back on our bikes and stopped at this nice picnic table to eat some snack bars and apples.

By the time we got back to our campers, we had ridden our bikes 20 miles and walked almost 3 miles.  And the day wasn't over yet!

We ate together at Ken and Bonnie's picnic table for dinner and enjoyed chicken wraps from our big Costco rotisserie chickens.  And then we got in Ken and Bonnie's car and drove to Venice Jetty to watch the sunset.

Several people were fishing on the jetty and there were a lot of dolphins swimming and feeding around the jetty. Watch this:

There were many people out there to watch the sunset and we were not disappointed.  It was beautiful:

Bonnie and I walked back to a bench and watched the boys.  Chuck was watching all the people fishing and Ken was taking pictures of the dolphins.

The moon was out...

...and this heron made a nice silhouette against dusky sky.

What a spectacular day!