Ever since Carli landed in Florida, we could hardly wait to get to the Florida Keys. And, since we have Thor, I insisted we get there by camping. Trouble is, campgrounds in most of Florida are by reservation only. Even the Walmart parking lots are off limits in the Keys. I know, we have an amazing record of scoring a spot even in “full campgrounds“, but we just don’t have the same familiarity (comfort zone) as we did on the west coast. So, make reservations we did – a year in advance.
Now we had a different situation. Instead of worrying about whether or not we’d get a camp spot, I was taken by worry that we would make it to our reservations. I guess I just have to worry! First there was the, “we just gotta be in Florida by early November.” Then, I was filled with “Thor has to hold it together until we conquer these reservations!” I hadn’t realized how valuable no reservations are, when you’re working with a 1985 Vanagon.
So far so good! One week under our belt.
We started by heading east, then south along the thin strip of land which hugs Florida’s mainland, the A1A. This is easily one of Thor’s most favorite highways: 55mph, flat, two lanes, no semi trucks. We made it to reservation #1, Sebastian Inlet. Pretty excited. Made good time, sailed comfortably all the way. I was on fire duty, Woody was setting up the kitchen. He took note how none of our camp neighbors were enjoying the day – all tucked away inside their air conditioned, luxe RVs. Not us.
Right from our campsite we watched dolphins rolling and dancing – even tossing a fish in the air! The moving clouds, setting sun, and wildlife made for a magical evening. Our dinner was delicious. Night had fallen and we did the clean up. This is when we started to realize our arms and legs were slightly stinging. I had taken the precaution and sprayed with Off, so, not quite sure what was up. Under the spotlight of our headlamps, we hustled with our chores, and decided it was time to tuck ourselves away. We feel pretty cozy in our van, and it has great circulation with screens facing four directions.
Screens with mesh which cannot keep the dreaded No-See-Ums out! I never knew to pay attention to mesh size. These No-See-Ums are small, like the size of this period. We could not see these things, they don’t even have the courtesy-buzz of a mosquito, we could only feel our flesh stinging. We didn’t sleep that night, this wildlife made for some sort of horror movie.
By daylight we not only felt the damage, we could see it: thousands of bites on all extremities and our sheets dotted with tiny streaks of nighttime casualties. What the heck!?
We made it to Reservation #2, an AirBnb in Miami! We’re both feeling pretty grateful for the break from those pesky No-See-Ums. Though, we got much better at conquering their hold on us. Next up: 3 nights with AC, no screens, and clean sheets! Early next week we plunge further south to the Keys.