An Expensive Bargain

The $15 bargain tent may have been one of my most expensive garage sale finds. Until I purchased the eight man tent, we were perfectly happy with the small 3 person tent we’ve been using for the past two years.

A $15 bargain?

But our trip to Hontoon Island State Park changed everything. We pitched the garage sale tent and loved the extra room. Space for our clothes and the ability to stand made for luxurious accommodations. The small tears around the zipper were not a problem, but the fly didn’t lay just right. How would it handle rain? And then I noticed the small tear in the seam near the peak. We couldn’t camp in a cheap tent and worry about the weather. We’d return to our tiny, but reliable tent.

Small, but reliable.

However, that changed when we started packing for a three night trip during Spring Break. The weather report called for rain, not enough to prevent us from camping, but enough to convince us of the need to break down and buy a bigger tent so we could spread out and escape the rain if needed. The $15 tent was retired after two nights use and a new one costing 10 times as much replaced it.

We initiated the new tent at Oscar Scherer State Park just a few miles east of Sarasota and stayed dry despite the rainy weather so it was a good investment. Although the first night was a little cold, it was dry so we could roast hot dogs over the campfire.

We didn’t spend a lot of time at the campground since this was a beach trip, but the Legacy Trail borders the park and we rode the 14 mile round trip to Venice. The hiking trails and canoes will have to wait for a return trip.

Oscar Scherer State Park…a great place to initiate our deluxe camping quarters.


4 Down; 10 To Go

The fourth adventure on our list for 2014 was rather vague. That’s because both John and I included numerous small events that we merged into one multiple day trip to Southwest Florida.

The Spring Break trip started in the fishing village of Cortez on Sarasota Bay, home of the Starfish Company where we ate fresh seafood on the dock and watched the white pelicans eating their own seafood dinners.

Then on to the Florida Maritime Museum, a must see in Cortez.

Next stop, Oscar Scherer State Park, our home away from home, and bike riding on the Legacy Trail and sitting around the campfire.

Time at Siesta Key, Venice Beach and Stump Pass looking for shark’s teeth, Marie Selby Gardens, trying new restaurants, and visiting five state parks.

Yes, there was rain and cold weather, but we camped, found shark’s teeth, rode our bikes, visited a botanical garden, and dined at new restaurants…not a bad way to spend Spring Break and check off #4 of 14 in 14.