Last week in Florida: Venice, Wekiwa Springs, and Gainesville

On our way north from Sanibel we stopped in to Gloria’s, initially intending on staying a few hours before moving up the coast a bit to spend a weekend at MacDill Air Force Base.  With the weather forecast worsening, we decided to once again forego our Tampa area plans and stay in Venice a couple of days, particularly with Venice Ranch extending their $5 a night storage fee offer in the empty lot next to Gloria’s house. 

So it was another 48 hours of gardening and errands, for which we were rewarded every day with more excellent cooking.  PKM continued her daily hunting practice, slightly reducing the population of lizards, but mostly just getting some much needed exercise.

PKM getting her nails trimmed.  She doesn’t fight, but she doesn’t cooperate either.

From there it was back to Wekiwa Springs State Park for a few days of relaxation,  reorganizing, and prepping our rig for a multi month journey through the northern states and beyond.  For those interested in this excellent central Florida state park: if full hook up (as opposed to electric and water only) is important to you, make sure you check your reservation carefully; while most sites have sewage, about a quarter of them do not.

Our last site at Wekiwa Springs State Park

From Wekiwa we made the short drive north to Gainesville, securing a one night reservation at O’Leno State Park.  We had timed our visit for a weekend so that Cousin Rob and the twins, Maeve and Nola could camp with us.  Colleen was working late shifts and unable to join our party, but we made the best of it with a quick dip in the O’Leno River, a nice campfire, and smores for everyone.  There may have been some beer and other spirits consumed as well.


We also handed off our gift package we had been collecting for the girls, consisting of our highly coveted casino playing cards, books from the Sanibel Library $1 a bag sale, some balsa wood airplanes (a true hit with the twins) and assorted other trinkets.

While O’Leno is a nice wooded state park, the river has almost zero visibility due to high tannin leakage from vegetation, and so is not exactly an ideal swimming spot.  Next time we are passing through Gainesville we will plan a bit further in advance so that we can secure one of the sites at Florida’s newest state park, Gilchrist Blue Springs.  Rob says it has some of the best swimming springs you can find, so we look forward to an even better family camping experience, hopefully this Fall as we are making our way back to Key West.

A skink we found while geocaching with the twins.

We closed out April with a run up to South Georgia, but more on that next post.

3 thoughts on “Last week in Florida: Venice, Wekiwa Springs, and Gainesville

  1. Pingback: 40 Months Fulltiming: April 2018 Report | Shell On Wheels

  2. Pingback: Gainesville and Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park | Shell On Wheels

  3. Pingback: Last Stop in Florida: Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park | Shell On Wheels

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