Another one of our destinations this winter was to spend a week or so with my mom. She is splitting her year between one sister in Virginia and the other sister who lives in the Florida Panhandle. We had an easy drive, 150 miles and 2 1/2 hours, to our next destination, Emerald Beach RV Park, Navarre, Florida from Three Rivers State Park (post about it is here). We stayed here for 8 days. This was the perfect place for us to have our mattress shipped, as we discussed in our last post.
The day we arrived, January 31, my sister and mom were just two miles away being pampered! I texted them we had arrived and they said perfect timing, come get mom so she won’t have to sit and wait. It was great to see them both. I haven’t seen mom since August nor seen my oldest sister since September 2015. Penny snapped this picture of our reunion. I was with mom every day while in the area. We had her over for dinner every evening, except one night my sister cooked us a gourmet dinner our first Saturday night so we could meet her new beau.
At mom’s age, even though relatively healthy, it’s good to keep her active. So us three girls do keep mom on the go. And it was my turn to run her around! We did all kinds of errands and I took her to whatever appointments she needed. When I learned mom needed a sleep test where she had to be in Pensacola at 8:30 pm, then picked up the next morning at 6:00 am, we extended our stay so I could take her and pick her up. What a blessing it was to do this for mom. Over our 10 days together, we sure had some great laughs and enjoyed each other like we haven’t been able to in years. Mom is just so remarkable and a good sport.
My sister used to live in Navarre, so many of her contacts and appointments were near us, not to forget her church. We really enjoyed the service and it was a blessing seeing my sister participate in the service and listen as she also sings in the choir. She takes after mom and I got dad’s lack of a singing voice!
Part of Bill’s new health plan is his need for a workout nearly every day. Sadly, this RV resort didn’t have much to offer him. He could go to the local fitness center, but without a car, it was a bit sketchy to walk on Highway 98. No sidewalks and the cars love to speed. We did venture out to walk on the beach early twice. He discovered it was just five miles away, so one day, he walked over there.
We had to come up with a better solution for exercise. Bill HAS to do it now and I just need it! I use the “All Trails” app to find places to hike. Initially, we just didn’t see any close by. But then I dug in and found out the Florida Trail was nearby. So one day we had a great 5+ mile hike on it that borders Elgin Air Force Base. It was only a few miles drive from the RV park. Then the next day, I thought I found another one, but it was clearly marked we needed passes from the Base to walk in the forest. I guess since the other was an official Florida Trail, the sign wasn’t so obvious. So we drove over to Fort Walton to a sweet community park, Oak Tree Nature Park and got in a fast 2+ mile walk/run. It was nearly a 20 minute drive, or 40 minutes round trip – and that took away time with my mom.
Bill was getting antsy. He usually NEVER has a problem hanging out at the RV park. There is always something to do. Wash and wax the RV. Done. Wash the car (before I left for the day). Done. Tune up every thing. Done. Do odds and ends. Done. Order and install a mattress. Done. There was no challenge left. And now I wanted to extend our stay five days.
So what to do? We thought we had searched all the RV parks in the area. We just read a blog by one of our favorites bloggers, (several others wrote about it as well) who mentioned Fort Pickens in their blog about Florida. We checked it out and lo and behold, it was just as close to mom as Emerald Beach, just in the other direction….and it was an excellent place to get in some long hikes. We miraculously were able to get a reservation. So off we went…
Up next, Fort Pickens!
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12