Okeefenokee Swamp, natures treasure chest

The Okeefenokee swamp is located in south Georgia and Florida.
The area is approximately 700 square miles and is the largest swamp in North America.

You can easily spend a full day or more in the park capturing a glimpse of the many species of birds, reptiles, plants, mammals, fish, and amphibians.
We entered the park in Waycross, Georgia 59 miles west of I 95 at the US 82 exit in Brunswick Georgia.
The park is very accommodating with a gift shop, information center, restrooms, boat tours, a train tour, 92’ observation tower, snack and gift shop, and a reptile show.

The signs throughout are a constant reminder that the animals can be dangerous, I understand the frequent postings because the setting is so serene that it would be easy to let your guard down.

As we approached the welcome center two alligators, one huge and the other medium size sat out in the open. They sit so still that I questioned whether or not they were real.

There is an admission fee, with several discounts offered including the senior discount. We passed on the boat tour because we did not allot enough time. The park closes before dark unless they are hosting a night event or light show.

The signs throughout are a constant reminder that the animals can be dangerous, I understand the frequent postings because the setting is so serene that it would be easy to let your guard down.

As we approached the welcome center two alligators, one huge and the other medium size sat out in the open. They sit so still that I questioned whether or not they were real or part of the attraction.

I was excited about the observation tower but it offered me a challenge. It is accessible by boat or walking through the swamp…yikes…they have a walkway that is about 6 inches above the water.  Of course, the release of liability required to be signed was only the beginning of my apprehension. My first time out there i just couldn’t do it.

Most of the boardwalk is high enough to feel comfortable and the animals mostly come out at night , but you never know..I doubt they follow a rule book

My second try at the low board I looked straight ahead and walked quickly. I was so relieved to see the steps going up at the end. On our way back I walked in front of my husband. When I got halfway I thought this is it, I did it, and then I heard the splash! I ran and then I heard a big splash! When I jumped up on the steps, I forgot all about Hubby. I called out for him and he didn’t answer because he was standing real still and quiet. Anyways, he finally came up a few minutes later and said “I think it was a small gator or a snake”…So folks if I go back again I’ll take the boat. Children under 18 are not permitted on the walkway and should not go on it..I ‘m usually not a scare-dy cat but this is the real deal, there are no mechanical animals here.

The observation tower is a treat for birdwatchers at 60 feet, but to take photos and see the view of the 25 mile radius on a clear day I made my way to 92 feet. You can see the blackwater winding creeks and way down upon the Suwannee River🎶

The tour guide on the train was very informative, and had a personal relationship with the wildlife. The dominant alligators have names and their behavior is monitored and studied. Mating season is in late March.

The reptile show was very interesting and I would suggest it for school age children.

Temperature was 65 degrees, and sunny. No bugs bothered us, and best of all there were no “litter bugs” the water was sparkling and only the habitants were floating around..

Happy travels 🙂 through America the beautiful…Share the good advise from the swamp





Nature coast of Florida


My holidays travels had me out and about and I found my way into central Florida.  The weather was just perfect at 72º, so I had the urge to jump into the Rainbow Spring. There were others that had the same idea and it’s pretty cool…both the idea and temperature.  You also have to be a little brave because you may have a close encounter with some of the natural habitants of the river.  The state park area has a designated swim spot and it is patrolled to keep an eye out for alligators or dangerous snakes.  We spent 2 days in Dunnelon, and found plenty to do.

The city and surrounding area has an interesting history of being a mining town for phosphate.   That was news to me but explains why this little city has some old homes and buildings.  Today, you will find a nice variety of shops, motels, restaurants and a lot of water sports…It’s easy enough to rent equipment or take a river cruise on an airboat.


To get a feel for the community and and the welcoming atmosphere get off the I75 and find your way to US 41 and see a part of the not so tropical Florida

Happy travels off the interstate…..it’s much more fun to experience the scenery first hand


Merry Christmas from Coastal Georgia/South Carolina


Travel tip….Huddle House is open for good eats on Christmas Day…..To find a location https://locations.huddlehouse.com/search.html

Happy Travels 🙂



Travel Florida for the Holidays-Ocala

Two things come to mind for most people considering  a Florida vacation, first is DisneyWorld/Orlando and the second is two coastlines with miles of beautiful beaches.

This week I decided mix things a bit, if you have been reading my posts you probably figured out by now that I jump off those interstates as often as possible.  Without a doubt this week is one of the busiest times you can ever be on the I95, and I75  through Florida, Georgia, the Carolina’s and if the weather isn’t to bad all the way up into the Northeastern States.


I traveled I95 into Jacksonville Florida from Georgia,  then cut over to US 301South. There are many small towns but the speed limit stays at about 55MPH for a good bit of the trip.  My final destination was the Rainbow River near Dunnelon, with of an urge to swim in the chilly 70º springs.  But today we’re stopping in Ocala.

Having only a short two hour drive to Orlando the sight of sprawled out homesites, split rail fencing, fresh water streams, and hills makes this look and feel so much different than the tropical scenery of most of Florida. Ocala is a small city with a preserved downtown area offering an good choice of restaurants, entertainment and local owned business.  We had an early dinner at the landmark restaurant named “Harry’s seafood bar and grill” , and yes I recommend it. http://hookedonharrys.com/menu-ocala/   


The center of activity  was around Courthouse Square that was festive for the Christmas season.

And if you feel like “horsing around” , there’s enough of that too!

Happy travels…Get off the Interstates and visit the side streets…they are full of good old American charm..

Merry Christmas 2017









Holiday Gingerbread house..Grand Floridian Disney World USA



Disneyworld is my “no doubt about it” favorite vacation destination.  Living within 5 hours of Orlando makes it easy to visit at least twice a year.

This is one of my holiday tips for those that have not seen the Grand Floridian decorated for Christmas and the huge Gingerbread house, so make sure to jot this down.  Its just another beyond imagination creation of the talented Disney staff.

If you stay at any of the Disney resorts and take their transportation you can figure out a way to get on the bus that stops at this resort.  It’s close to the Magic Kingdom and you can also take the monorail from the park to this resort.  Fun for all ages and a great lunch stop.

Happy travels 🙂    For more info: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2017/11/fantastical-gingerbread-displays-decorate-the-walt-disney-world-resort/



My un-sightseeing stop in Navarre Beach Florida-

Traveling from Pensacola to Jacksonville Florida last week I hopped off the I 10 and enjoyed a few days on this beautiful beach.  The hotels and condos offered beautiful views on both the Gulf of Mexico side and the bayside.  It was an easy 25 mile drive off the I 10 and a scenic route to continue on to Destin.  If you are not carrying  your fishing gear that’s not a problem because it can rented.

The lodging was affordable,  and we ate delicious gulf shrimp.  Restaurants and shopping  all around.  Definitely will consider a second visit.

For more information: http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/navarre.html


St. Johns River Ferry-Breakaway from I95

Scenic Florida A1A
$6.00 passenger vehicle
OK to get out of your car
IMG_1776 (1)
Delicious and fresh
Crossing just under 1 mile
St Johns River
Drop a line
North side
interesting history
Public park
Under the watch of the US Navy
Home of Mayport Naval station, have lunch under the watch of the US Navy
Fishing community
Fresh seafood
Fresh catch
Have lunch or dinner
Shrimp boats out the door of a few tasty seafood restaurants. Sit and relax on the outdoor decking and enjoy the wildlife
watch for the manatee
wildlife galore
Located 20 miles south of Amelia Island on the scenic Florida A1A.

Anytime I get the chance and have the extra time going to Florida I exit the I95  and hop on the A1A.  If you are traveling south on I95 from Georgia into Florida look for the Yulee exit to Fernadina Beach or if you are traveling north into Georgia get off in Jacksonville and get the A1A at the beach.

This will set you back about an hour through the Jacksonville area if you don’t stop and look at the beautiful ocean and river scenery.

Things to look out for:  You may get a peak at an aircraft carrier in port at Mayport Naval station

Manatees and an abundance of other wildlife

Restaurants with a selection of fresh fish and other seafood , available to eat in or pack in your travel cooler

If your traveling with the little folk the ferry is great fun too!!!

Happy trails…don’t miss the Florida A1A