Time to move from Riptide RV Resort & Marina to Pelican’s Landing Resort. We jumped on I-95N and have a 4 hour drive. It’ll be our first time experiencing summer weather (defined as rainy season from May to October) in Florida. We had researched a good location to stay… staying coastal as much as possible… that would be a good basecamp for some surf, beach visits, play on our porta bote, and close enough to theme parks. Here’s where we ended up staying.
We ♥ animals. I’ve never met a giraffe I didn’t like so why not visit a place called Giraffe Ranch. We made a reservation for a Safari Vehicle Tour with the expectation to “take part in real hands-on interactions with many species that feed from the vehicle.” Sounds like a grand ol’ time!! Best of all was paying extra for a Behind-the-Scenes Tour. Check out why…
We headed to Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. Seeing manatees while snorkeling beside them has been on my bucket list since the beginning of our RV planning. It’s finally here! Inspiration to swim with the manatees came from several sources: Roadtrippers, National Geographic’s story – "When Push Comes to Shove" to the mention in our 1,000 Places to See Before You Die book.
A big movie fan, I’ve always loved visits to Universal Studios Hollywood, so Universal Studios Orlando was on our theme park bucket list. We’ve seen commercials about Despicable Me Minion Mayhem to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (over at Islands of Adventure) and looked forward to an entertaining few days here in Orlando.
"There are a handful of places that stand out as excellent locations for wildlife watching in Florida… but the place to see alligators is in the home of the Gators, Gainesville. Located at the north end of the prairie, the La Chua Trail provides an excellent place for wildlife watching, with an elevated boardwalk and lengthy dike out to an observation tower." – Florida Hikes
We picked Hidden Valley RV Park because it’s situated in the outskirts of San Antonio and was a bit of country. We’ve seen the variety of wildlife in the area from their website’s photo gallery. This morning, we take a stroll on the property to see if we can spot any wildlife. We got lucky!
Grew up watching Westerns like: Terence Hill– They Call Me Trinity, Robert Conrad– The Wild Wild West, Bonanza, 3:10 to Yuma, both Tombstone and Wyatt Earp. We were curious about Tombstone. I expected something similar to the Pioneer Village, in Phoenix, but if you take time to read all the placards you can imagine the rough & dangerous life they led.
Right next door to Tucson, Arizona adventure awaits in Vail! It took some convincing as Bill had some anxiety about caving since I was looking into a “Wild Cave Tour – Advanced (3-5 hours).” You’re warned that “Participants must be physically fit, agile, and able to scale obstacles.”