Monday, April 29, 2013

Traveling the Great Plains to New Mexico

 We bid farewell to Maria and Brian and Bill drove to the Remax RV Repair shop in Topeka to get the slide-out awning fixed while I drove to check out "The Merc" - Lawrence's local co-op. Maria had been telling me all about it and I couldn't leave without going there, especially since I had a little time on my hands. I was most excited to find my favorite "Zum" products there. On quite a few of the shelf labels it specified how far away (in mileage) the products were from - lowering their carbon footprint, and when I noticed that Zum was close by I was shocked to see they were from Kansas City. I first found Zum at a natural foods store in Colorado Springs and have been ordering it online ever since. I love their Frankincense and Myrrh scent and use the body lotion, room sprays and other products. This store had so many different products - kitchen cleaning, a cleanser - plus all of the usual body products. Finding this stuff, alone, totally made the trip worthwhile. And the timing couldn't have worked out better as I pulled into the repair shop just as Bill was filling up our propane.

We got lucky with the awning repair - as soon as the tech looked at it he saw that there was a piece missing - it probably was there originally but not put on as tight as necessary. They had the part in stock and in no time at all and under $100 we were ready to get on the road.

After checking the weather forecast and seeing the crazy winds and rain that were in the area from Topeka to Dodge City we changed our travel plans and headed straight south towards Oklahoma City. We wanted to spend the night somewhere in OK anyway so it worked out fine.  We have a U.S. map on the inside of our door with stickers of all the states where we have spent the night and we needed Oklahoma! We found a Walmart in Yukon, OK to spend the night and we set off again the next morning for Las Vegas, New Mexico. Bill was putting in some very long days but he was up for it and it was good to keep moving west. I really got excited to hit another time zone, one hour closer to California.

We camped at Storrie Lake State Park in Las Vegas, New Mexico for a couple of nights and had beautiful weather. Bill and I went for a little run before we got ready to spend the day at Montezuma Hot Springs, about 5 miles away.

Finding these hot springs proved to be a bit of a challenge, but when we finally did find them they were right off the side of the road down an embankment. We trekked down the hill and went from one hot spring hole to another trying to find an unoccupied one that also had the right temperature. We found one that was about bath water temperature and jumped in. Another couple that had arrived about the same time as us and were following us ended up in a hole just a few yards away and after awhile I went to check that one out finding it just a bit warmer and roomy enough for the four of us. We introduced ourselves and soaked while getting to know each other over the next 5 hours! Mary and Mike were from Albuquerque and had been there many times but had never found this particular hole. And it was definitely the best! The sky was alternating sun and clouds all afternoon with temps in the low 70's - just perfect for staying in the hot water. We had our thermometer that our friend, Daniel, had given us when we first started full-timing and over the afternoon the temperature ranged from 106-112 - all in the same little hole which was about five feet square. The afternoon passed quickly and we were finally saying our goodbyes to our new friends. They wanted to know how to follow our travels and we gave them one of our cards that has our blog address on it. As we left we mentioned that the following day we would be going to the Marble Brewery with Bill's friend in Albuquerque and they should try and join us.

The trip to Albuquerque was a little over two hours and uneventful until we got off the freeway to go to another one of Bill's long lost Air Force buddies' home. A "no trucks over 3 tons" sign was posted on the main road to the subdivision where he lived. We backtracked and got on the freeway to go to the next exit where we hoped we could get in from another direction, but no - there was that sign again. Oh well, it was just a few miles on it and there was no other way in! We made it safely, found a good spot in front of Chris' house and prepared for some relaxation.

While I was looking up information on the Marble Brewery I noticed that day they were having a blues and brews event - the temps were forecasted to be a lovely 81 degrees, so I happily threw on a sun dress and got ready for some fun. We got a text from Mary and Mike asking where the hell we were (that's cleaning it up a bit) and we jumped in Chris' truck and made our way over there. The brewery was hopping and happily the beer was not, ha ha, they brew a fabulous oatmeal stout of which I had quite a few - enjoying the sunshine and music - life is good! Afterwards Chris drove us over to Annapurna's World Vegetarian Cafe which our friend, Suzanne had mentioned we should check out. The food was fabulous and wonderfully spiced. By the time we got back my tummy was full of food and my head full of beer, music and sunshine and I hit the mattress pretty hard.
Marble Brewing, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Breakfast was ready and waiting for us thanks to Chris' wife, Kay, and we were on the road by 8:30 this morning!
The man who gave Bill the great hash name of eXceSs!

Friday, April 26, 2013

We finally made it to Lawrence, Kansas!

We crossed four states to get from Nashville to St. Louis in the same time it took us to cross Missouri to get to Lawrence, Kansas! That was a big state....but we were so happy to finally have the opportunity to visit our friend's, Maria and Brian's favorite place and while they were there. They had arrived about a week before and warned us about the crazy cold snap they were going through - which was definitely happening across the entire area we had been traveling; I wasn't thrilled but what can you do?!

Our drive there was filled with a little excitement as Bill had been fighting crosswinds all day and when we were about two hours from our destination there was a loud bang from the driver's side of the RV. We both looked at each other in surprise and Bill peered into his side mirror and saw part of the slide-out awning flapping against the rig. We immediately pulled off the road at an exit and we pushed out the slide and brought it back in again seeing that the awning rolled up. We held our breath as we drove off, not 10 minutes later it happened again - we stopped and did the same thing, but this time we couldn't get the slide to come in - oy! We were on a bit of a slope so we put down our jacks and tipped us over a bit and in she went.  We dropped our speed drastically and rolled into Lawrence without another incident. This was NOT good. These were our new slide-out awnings we had installed at Evergreen RV in New Braunfels, TX, and of course we were no where close to there. I got online to do some research and found out that it might have something to do with the tension not being set correctly. But I wasn't convinced because we had driven from Texas to Florida and from Florida to Missouri without an incident. We made an appointment at Remax RV in Topeka, KS, to see if they could fix it on our way out of town.

Brian and Maria had been street camping and were going to stay with us at Clinton Lake State Park while we were there. It is so nice to have your friends as neighbors - just doesn't get better than that! We both arrived at the campground around the same time, got set up and Maria drove us around to see Lawrence and the University of Kansas campus. Brian and Maria travel only with their bikes, no car, but Brian had left his car in Lawrence so they now had wheels! And fortunately, while we were in Cedar Key, Bill had found Brian's DMV registration in the campground mail.
Stanley parked next to us....tripping around the KU campus,
Monday was a working day and in the afternoon I saw a post from the Lawrence hashers, "Larryville H3," that they were meeting at Freestate Brewing for some "drinking practice" - well, we could all use a little "practice," so we piled into Brian's car and headed downtown. Well, that didn't work out so well - but it worked fine to drink more of their fabulous beer. And we ended up having some good conversations with the locals while there.
Maria captured a great shot of my tasters - fav on the right is the Bohemian Rhapsody.

The temps were dropping fast and the wind blew with torrential rains all night - we woke up the next morning to snow! Unfortunately it was predicted for the following morning and we had left most of our plants outside the night before. When we looked outside several had fallen off the table in the wind and all were covered in snow. Thankfully we had brought our new little pepper seedlings in so no damage to them. It turned out to be a great day to hunker down and I don't think I ever got dressed...even with Maria's beck and call to come out and play; Bill needed a day to do nothing and I always need one!

The next day we woke up to clear, but crisp skies. I got some work done while Bill did errands and then we headed downtown to see more of Lawrence. Maria was working at a coffee shop and Brian joined her while Bill and I strolled Mass (Massachusetts) Street. We both love college towns and had fun poking our noses in the doors of some cute stores. Bill took off for the brewery and after I joined him for a beer we ended up at the Antique Mall. This place was two stories and huge! We split up and I let Bill know what items I was looking for.

The jelly jar is a perfect match for my Flintstones glass I got awhile ago - SCORE!
And Bill found this 8 track tape for the new Cheddar Yeti.

We all met up for some good salsa and guac at La Familia and $1.99 margaritas...from there the pub crawl continued on to The Sandbar where we were treated to some sickeningly sweet Shark Attacks. They come with some sweet drink in a mini shark that you pour, but omg who could drink a whole one - oh wait, the couple next to us had been pounding them all day and provided fabulous entertainment for us! Next up was Henry's - you'd never know this place existed as it's upstairs from a little deli, a nondescript door leads you up a very narrow staircase to a super cool bar. There are little rooms where you can sit and sip and most have a great view as well. I tried my first Boulevard beer, Farmhouse Ale - Tank 7 and Bill had a perfect martini made from a gin he had never heard of before. Maria still had work to finish up and we had a big driving day ahead of us so we called it a night, but not before stopping at the discount liquor store on the way home where we could load up on some Lawrence brews!

Thanks to Maria and Brian for a great intro to Lawrence, there is still more left for us to explore and to hash there as well.... we'll see you guys on the west coast soon enough!

We're now off to Montezuma Hot Springs in Las Vegas, New Mexico!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

St.Louis, Missouri

View from the RV as we drove in.
This was just supposed to be a quick overnight stop until our friends, Maria and Brian (of the Roaming Pint) told us about the City Museum. They had a great time there and highly recommended it. And then Bill reminded me about The Arch. So we left Nashville and headed to a small rv park that was right downtown and walking distance to everything we wanted to see.

First on the agenda, after setting up, was to hit the Shlafly Brewery for some brews and food - and a little pool as well.

Schlafly Brewery
The next day the temps were quite cold but the sun came out and we decided to walk the two and half miles to The Arch. It probably wasn't the best idea as I had kind of forgotten we had a lot to do in one day! Once we got there we had to wait in a long line to get in to buy tickets to go up in the Arch. If you go, be sure you enter through the South Entrance as we found out there is never any line there. Security was very tight, just like an airplane except for the body scanner and we could keep our shoes on. Once in we got our tickets to go up in the little capsules that hold 5 people and take you to the top of the Arch. It was super cool up there and the sights were great. We even got $3 off, each, because we had a National Parks Pass - so don't forget yours! The Arch is right on the Mississippi River and you could see how high the water was from all of the rain they'd had. I was a bit surprised that it seemed more like an amusement ride at Disneyland than a National Park, but it was still worth it.
Our new RV, haha - Bill's trying to figure out how to dump the tanks!
On our way home we stopped at The Dubliner for a Harp and a Smithwicks - we were shocked to see they had a vegan salad on their menu so we ordered that and some fries and we were happy campers. By the time we got home we were beat and both napped for our big outing to the museum that night. On the weekends it is open until midnight and from the reviews it said that there were less little kids at night.

The museum was fantastic, like the world's largest jungle gym -or as Bill says, like the Mad Hatters Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland. Huge mazes out of metal that you climb through to get to more mazes or tubes or slides. The best tip I can give you here is to wear knee pads - my knees are still bruised! They have a bar inside and several places to get food. We were there a couple of hours and that was good for us.
The City Museum

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Back on the road...

We're at the bottom, Sam - Chattanooga,
Jeanette & Dennis -Nashville,Clarke & Elaine -
West VA, & Maria & Brian - St. Louis
Both Bill and I agree that it feels a bit odd to be moving again. We're out of sync with all of our usual prepping but it doesn't take long to get back into the groove. One of my favorite things to do is use my FindFriends app on my iPhone. I have a few of our good friends and full-timers on it and I can open up the app and there will be a little purple dot where each of them are.

I noticed that Sam and Tracy were in Chattanooga, TN, right on our path north. I posted the screen shot of my app and got a quick response from Sam saying that we should join him where he was parked at the Camping World with full-hook-ups for super cheap. So after a quick night in a Walmart, Saturday night, we arrived in Chattanooga only to find they were running a membership special and if you renewed your Good Sam membership a few months early they would discount the membership fee $5 AND give you two free nights of camping. We used the first night right then and there - SCORE!

A nice pull-thru spot at Walmart.
Sam was also heading up to Nashville, Tracy (his wife) and gone up to visit family ahead of Sam's arrival, but we were happy to find our good friend on the road and share the evening. We drove up to Nashville the next day to stay in the full hook-up spot at the fairgrounds which is fairly close to downtown. Dennis and Jeanette had been in the area for awhile and Jeanette's mom, Lynn, had been visiting for the past week. We were thrilled to see our friends and meet Lynn. The last time we saw J&D was in Rhode Island, sometime in June, I think.

We thought we might be able to catch a show at the Bluebird Cafe that night as it was first come, first in, but the place was already packed with a very long line by the time we all got there so instead we roamed around trying to find a place where "we" could eat. We ended up at Pei Wei which we probably won't go to again, but it worked.

We walked back to the Bluebird, where our cars were parked, and the original line had shrunk a bit but was filling up for the next act over an hour later. We were beat so we headed home to hang out in the parking lot as NuRVers do best!

Tuesday Jeanette, Bill and I headed out to the Nashville Farmer's market. This is a semi-permanent market that is open 7 days a week with a flea market on the weekends. I would love to be here on the weekend sometime. We found a lot of good vegies and ate lunch in their international food court - I opted for Mediterranean and Jeanette and Bill had Caribbean. Just out the back of the building is Centennial Park, a 132 acre park with a 1 mile walking trail. There are historical monuments and a full-size replica of the Parthenon that we didn't get to see "this visit."
Just a few of our yummy vegies!

Bill worked on the rig most of the afternoon, washing half of it. Sam strolled over in the afternoon to inquire about "happy hour" and one by one we moved out into the parking lot to enjoy the waning afternoon sunshine, our cocktails and each others company. Dennis had been feeling poorly for the last few days - wasn't sure if it was allergies or a cold but he was definitely down for the count. I headed inside around 9 and Bill, Sam and Jeanette spent the evening discussing the universe. Jeanette posted the following day that their travels have become far more about the people they see along the road than the sites they see - Bill and I have to agree - even from the very beginning our travels have all been about family and friends - old and new.

Wednesday Bill finished washing Bebe and Jeanette and I went and did some shopping, she took me to a few of her favorite spots but mostly it was about Trader Joes and Whole Foods! That evening we met up with Bill's friend, Rod and his wife Kathy. Rod came to see us in Cedar Key on his motorcycle trip earlier in the year and we went out for a great meal in the college area where they live.

Thursday night we had tickets for the Ryman Theater with Dennis and Jeanette. The Ryman is the original Grand Ole Opry and I really wanted to see a show here as opposed to the new GOO which is housed in a big mall. First we headed out to East Nashville to check out some of their vintage stores, like Old Made Good, the Fat Bottom Brewery and dinner at The Wild Cow - a vegetarian/vegan restaurant where we could have anything on the menu!
Fat Bottom Brewery

Check out the pic on the right for the real pic!
We saw the Opry Country Classics at the Ryman who featured The Charlie Daniels Band and let me tell you, at 76 he doesn't show any sign of slowing down! It was a real variety show like they had in the 60's & 70's with an emcee who had that deep "radio voice" - very reminiscent of the Hee Haw days. Afterward we hung out downtown and stopped in a few bars to listen to music. It reminded us a lot of Austin and the music scene there.
The Ryman aka the original Grand Ole Opry.
That night a big storm blew in and the high temps were dropping 30 degrees. By morning things had calmed down enough for us to drive and we bid our friends goodbye and headed for St. Louis.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Last days in Cedar Key....

I cannot believe how quickly the last four months have passed! I was originally a tad bit nervous committing to four months in one place, first time we have done that since we've been on the road, but it all worked out great and convinced both of us that doing 4 month stints here and there is where we're at right now.

We went to the tiki bar the Friday before last to share a farewell drink with Mark who had been in Cedar Key for a few months. We found out that in all the time he had been in Cedar Key he hadn't been down to the SeaBreeze to play pool - well, sounds like we needed to take a trip downtown. So Jay, Bill and I (literally) poured into Mark's already packed van and headed down to Dock Street. Mark is a good pool player, as are Jay and Bill; me, not so much, but I had a lucky night! We played a few games, I think we each won one and then were planning on going home when we heard music playing over at The Big Deck, across the street. Hanging out at the bar were Cindy, Pat, Tina and a few others we knew so we never even made it past the bar into where the music was playing. Things were getting crazy, everyone was feeling no pain and then we mentioned to Cindy and Tina that there was Kareoke over at SeaBreeze. Well, Tina has an amazing voice so there wasn't too much convincing needed for us to get her across the off we all went. Cindy and I were dancing, Tina was singing, Pat and his friend were hanging out at the bar watching the action and Bill was at a table watching us with his back to the pool tables. All of a sudden there was a huge ruckus over by the pool tables  and as I turned to see what was going on I see my 62 year old husband jumping in to break up a bar fight over at the pool table where one guy was having his head bashed in repeatedly onto the pool table. The kid was a bloody mess and I yelled for Bill to leave it alone...but there he went! He finally backed off, not without receiving a few wounds himself and we high tailed it out of there before the cops arrived. Somewhere along the way we had lost Jay and Mark and we decided to walk home - it was a beautiful night and we actually needed the walk! Just another fun night in wild Cedar Key!

Bill went into Tampa on Saturday to see his mom and for one more training session on the iPhone. They went to a Verizon class Sunday morning and I think Doano is getting more and more comfortable with her phone.
Tina's great little shop!

It was great that the weather finally turned nice as I would only have my bike for transportation while he was gone. Sunday I had a pedicure with the lovely Tina and we had fun reminiscing about Friday night. Afterwards I met my friend, Lonna, for brunch at the Island Room. The weather was stupendous and we had a great table outside overlooking the water. We started with mimosa's and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I met Lonna last winter at my first yoga class in Cedar Key and we became instant friends. We visited her at her lovely home on the lake in Lake Isabella, Michigan, this summer. She was leaving the following Friday and I have no idea when we will see each other again. Afterwards I hung out on the pier with Jay and Mary Ellen enjoying the buzz from my lunch, the sunshine and just chilling with friends.

We had an uneventful week, I got a lot of work done and we slowly started packing up. We met up with the hashers we had met on the beach a few weeks before and shared a few beers. We decided to leave a few days early since I was pretty much done with all of my tax returns and we were getting the "itch" to get on the road.

We had not completely decided if we were going to take the canoe with us on the road. It is pretty big and heavy and we didn't pay much for it but I love it and really wanted to bring it. I had purchased the cross-bars for our factory luggage racks online and some canoe "feet" to go on it. Bill got our friend Jay to help him and the rack worked perfectly. I even helped him take it off and put it back on later, so we're set and she's coming with!

On Saturday we rode our bikes down to the Cedar Key Arts Festival for a quick look around and decided to pack up and get a few hours on the road that afternoon.  We were headed to Nashville, which was about 10+ hours away so knocking a few out in the afternoon made the next two days much easier. Bill had said his goodbyes the night before, so while he went to shower I walked down to the Tiki Bar, to say mine. It was a great winter!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A beach day, finally!!!

The main motivation for us to change to a plant-based, whole foods diet was for our health, especially Bill's. He takes meds for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and gerd. The first two can be controlled with diet, somewhat, but not too sure about the gerd. We have now been eating this way for 6 months - not 100%, but probably about 95%. We knew that while in Cedar Key we would have the opportunity to eat fresh fish and that Bill was hoping to spend most of his time fishing. Unfortunately, the latter did not take place as there have been NO FISH! Not any that you would pull out of the water to eat, anyway, we think it's just been too cold. He has been toying around with taking his blood pressure medication and the numbers really seem to be all over the place - they'll be super low and then go up, so he's back on them for now. His cholesterol medication he really wanted to stop taking because we eat little to no cholesterol - but those numbers are also highly affected by heredity so we needed to get his blood work done. He fasted all Monday night and Tuesday morning we drove the hour into Gainesville to the blood lab. After driving from one lab to another we finally found the office and he signed in, only to be inadvertently crossed off the list! This man has had no coffee and nothing to eat for over 12 hours now and he was getting a little fidgity - he finally went up to the front to inquire and then got right in. We just got his numbers back and aside from his PSA & glucose being a little high, we were pretty darn happy with the results:

LDL:  106
HDL:  91
Triglycerides:  125
Glucose:  102
TOTAL:  222
Total to HDL: 2.44 - excellent!!

Now if he can just give up one of his daily martini's he could get that glucose number down! His total is higher than we'd like but considering his LDL was more than the total before medication we're ecstatic.

After we got some coffee in the poor man we headed off to Trader Joes to stock up and then to the Reggae Shack Cafe which was supposed to have quite a few vegan options and some interesting Jamaican beer.
Everything "GREEN" is safe to eat for Vegans!
The food was fabulous and Bill had the Escovitch especially because it was made with the Scotch Bonnet peppers that his brother Kurt has been telling him about. I had the tempeh sandwich in a brown gravy sauce which was like a bbq sauce and their "ditty fries" which were wonderful! I'm glad we had the opportunity to come into Gainesville again. I really like this city - it's a total college town (which I love) and has a lot of whole food grocery stores and restaurants. The Citizen's Co-op is really fabulous with it's own garden across the street.

We got home around 1:30 and the sun was shining so we packed up our beach stuff and hopped on our bikes to spend the rest of the day lounging in the sand and staring at the gulf watching the dolphins play. As you know our bikes are quite colorful and always bring a smile to anyone passing us by...we had them parked up on the grass a little ways away from us.

While we were sitting there a man with a thick English accent came up to us and said, "excuse me, but are you the hashers?" I had seen this guy walking by us a little earlier but didn't pay him any attention. I answered, of course, "why yes we are, and how did you know?!" He said - the bikes and not understanding I looked again at them and remembered the hash flag that I had on my bike and the beer mug on Bill's. It was great fun and we chatted for awhile. He owns a home here in Cedar Key and was with his family, who were leaving the next day, but would be here on his own for the next two weeks. We told him all about the Trailer Trash Hash and the Tiki Bar, which he did not know about even though he's had the home here for several years. He said he would come by the bar - we hope we see him there!! I always forget I have that hash flag on my bike (thanks to BATT for that gift) but it's come in handy a few times now. We were next accosted by a young couple, with a bunch of little kids, who liked the music we were playing and wanted to befriend us but Bill had been watching the guy all day and had no interest to go there - never a dull moment for us!

Yesterday Bill spent the day cooking again - I love it! He made his wonderful poblano stuffed garlic mashed potatoes and a really yummy Creamy Roasted Garlic Tomato soup (he did add collard greens, kale and zucchini to the recipe) for dinner while I got some work done. We walked down to the tiki bar just as it was starting to rain hoping to see our "hasher" but he wasn't there - we did have to wait about an hour though for a clearing of the skies as we were getting pounded with a thunderstorm. 

Today he's back at it making his, already famous, Crazy, Sexy Chili with dried beans (not canned) and using the pressure cooker - can't wait for dinner!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dunnellon and Gainesville

It's been a busy week for work - I have about half of my client's work in and turning it around pretty quickly. I hope I can get the rest in next week but I know that is highly unlikely! I was a bit worried about this tax season, with Bill not working and all, wondering if it would be difficult for me to find time to work without feeling like I was missing out on some fun, but it's all worked out quite nicely. He keeps himself quite busy with chores around the rig and his ever growing garden. That man has the greenest thumb, ever! He is bringing some peppers in that he grew from seeds and just moved them outside. He will be replanting them just about the time we leave here, I think. He is also taking a very active part in cooking our meals, which can be pretty labor intensive. Yesterday our newest toy arrived - the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. We had been needing a larger rice cooker and when I started to do some research I knew this was the way to go. It is a pressure cooker, slow cooker and rice cooker. It can also do oatmeal and even has a timer on it so you can set it all up the night before and have oatmeal ready in the morning, but the best feature of all, for our lifestyle, is that you can cook dry beans without soaking them the night before and have them done in less than an hour! I have been a bit hesitant to use dry beans - remembering to soak them the night before just wasn't happening, even though we know that it is a much better way to go than using canned beans.  Now it's a no-brainer! Bill spent the day today getting  to know this piece of machinery - it will definitely be a "work-in-progress" to get down the correct timing and amounts of water. One of our favorite things to eat here in Cedar Key is the black beans and yellow rice down at "Eat at Pat's," so after some digging around the internet I found some recipes for Bill to try. WOW, is all I can say! Along with our favorite chili recipe from the "Crazy, Sexy, Kitchen" cookbook, this will be a regular item on our menu. Stay tuned for more on our progress.

When I came home from yoga, Friday morning, Bill told me about a kayak trip down the Rainbow River, in Dunnellon, that a couple staying at the campground told him about while he was out visiting. They raved about the experience and liked it so much they were going to go again that day. It sounded great and I said, without hesitation, let's go! The weather was predicted to be in the high 70's there and I had been working all week and could use a break. Plus, with all of the bad weather we have been having, we hadn't been out on the water in months. There was some discussion as to if we should pack up the canoe and take it down there but Bill didn't feel that the $30 we would be saving was worth the hassle, so we packed up some drinks and snacks and headed out to Dunnellon. Some time ago, when we first arrived in Cedar Key, someone told me about Dunnellon - I can't remember who it was but I do remember that they told me good things about it. And they were right! It is a cute little town about an hour south of here and as we drove into town the first thing I noticed was this great statue.
How can you not love this place?!
We found the Aquatic Wilderness Adventures quickly enough and were able to jump on the shuttle that was just about to leave. Bill and I haven't kayaked since last winter when we were here but we have been canoeing. We both had forgotten how fast a kayak moves and we really had a great time on the water. The weather was absolutely perfect with the sun shining and a slight breeze, it was more than comfortable out. We had hoped that we would see the folks that had recommended this place to us as we paddled down the river but that didn't work out. We took our time and spent about 4+ hours on the water. Afterwards we went to Swampy's Bar & Grille, right there on the river, for refreshments and some rice and beans. As we were getting ready to leave we heard Bill's name being called and low and behold who was sitting at the bar, but Bill's friends! They were just about 20 minutes behind us on the river and had been sitting at the bar while we were looking for them from our seats overlooking the river. We went over and chatted it up and thanked them for the tip - we had a great time.

Saturday the Gainesville hash was setting an Easter trail and we had such a good time at the last hash we decided to drive in and go to it. First stop was at one of our favorite restaurants, Tempo Bistro To Go. This is a fabulous little place that has a few tables to sit at but is mostly take-out. They use the freshest ingredients and base their menu on what is available at the farmer's market. Most everything they have can be veganized and the food is phenomenal. We each had the special pressed sandwich that wasn't on the regular menu - I had it a few weeks ago and knew how good it was. Afterwards we had just enough time to do some grocery shopping at one of the natural food stores and then we met up with the hash at Hogan's Great Sandwiches, where they were starting.

It was a small crowd for this hash - I don't think that Gainesville ever has a big turn-out for their hashes, but that never bothers us. The people are great and we had a blast. The hare set the trail up like a giant Easter egg hunt, but with trinkets and items that hashers would especially like, such as small bottles of liquor in giant Easter eggs, melted messy jello shots in Easter eggs, some martini spears, and other goodies. It was a short trail but still took a couple of hours because of all of the hunting and false trails. There were only 5 of us on trail including one virgin, and the other two had only hashed once before. We ended at a bar and the RA (Religious Advisor who leads the circle at the end) who hadn't run the trail showed up to lead circle, Bill was thrilled that he didn't have to do it. Oh, and Bill wants me to mention that they had really hot bartenders!