Thursday, March 25, 2010

Franklin Lock Corps of Engineers CG - Back in Paradise!

Hi all - Dianne here. Well, Roger and I traveled less than an hour to our next stop, one of our FAVORITE places to camp in all of the U.S.!

Last winter we lucked into a terrific camp site at W.P. Franklin Lock Corps of Engineers Campground outside Fort Myers, Florida and spent two glorious weeks. At the time we vowed to come back, but didn't know when that would be, since at the time we had no plans to return to Florida any time soon.

All that changed last August when our daughter and granddaughter moved from Indiana to Fort Myers. There was NO DOUBT where we would try to stay while visiting them!
Like many state parks, the Corps of Engineers campground has a two-week limit.

This particular Corps of Engineers campground is pretty small, and VERY hard to get reservations in the winter unless you get lucky on your computer the instant one becomes available. It is unusual in that in addition to RV sites, there are a few boat sites as well, where folks can stop on their way east or west on the Caloosahatchee River and tether their boats for an overnight stop.

We wrote extensively about this place last winter (Feb. of '09) and took many, many photographs. (Some of you might remember getting tired of all our sunset shots last year!) Anyway, if you want to learn more about this place, you can click on "Franklin Locks" in the sidebar and it will bring up last year's blogs.

It is so easy to just while away the hours here, watching boats go through the lock, fish jumping, and the many and various birds, or just watching the water. The sites are large, private, and have covered picnic tables and concrete and gravel patios.
No full hookups, but with a little water conservation we can make it about a week before having to unhook to go "dump."

Amanda and Kaia are continuing to visit us most evenings after work and school. This Wednesday we had a special treat when our friends, Jay and Nancy, drove up from their Naples condo to spend the day and evening.
We hadn't seen them since we were in Indiana last summer and it was SO good to see them. They are only in Florida for a week this trip, so we were thrilled that they made time to come visit. They had recently purchased an inflatable kayak to keep at their summer lake home,
so Roger gave them a demonstration of inflating and then took each of them out to get a taste of kayaking. Nancy
especially enjoyed it and agreed with me that it is SO much easier than canoeing.

We broke out some bottles of our Texas Hill Country wines that we'd saved for this day, and spent a relaxing afternoon wining and cheesing it on the patio, watching the water and boats and getting caught up on each others' lives and kids. (The four of us have been friends for more than 40 years, were in each others' weddings, so we are technically more like family than friends.) Those blog readers with good memories will remember a prior blog when I explained that it was Jay and Nancy who set Roger and I up on a blind date; the rest is history!

Amanda and Kaia joined us for a delicious steak dinner. I can brag on it, because Roger did all the grilling. We used some of our Cooper's Texas BBQ rub and sauce that we'd purchased on our "authentic Texas BBQ excursion" in Llano, TX last December. Costco came through again with some high-quality beef, and the result of mixing the two was exceptional! I just had to get a photo of the steaks grilling
and of Roger, the grill master, acting silly with Kaia.

More silliness ensued as the evening wore on, with Kaia jumping in the air
for the camera and even talking her mom
into joining her antics. Nancy used my camera to get some good shots of Mandy and Kaia together.

Today Roger and I are resting up for Friday night, when Kaia and her little friend, Cheyenne, will have a sleepover here in the RV with us. Once we have recovered from that, we'll blog again!

1 comment:

Margie and Roger said...

Beautiful campground! Yep, it looks like paradise! Isn't this just such a wonderful lifestyle? To think that you were in TX enjoying that location and now you're in Florida enjoying it. And you have your own bed and dogs with you! Cool! (By 11 a.m. this morning we will be owners of Florida real estate - our own RV lot.)