Traveling from New Orleans to our monthly rental in Davenport, FL (near Orlando) was the last leg in our practically cross-country trip. We stayed at a few Walmarts along the way to save some cash, including one extraordinarily memorable one – I think it was technically in Pascagoula, MS – where we were literally parked across the street from the Gulf of Mexico. You can be sure we did a late night beach walk and ukulele session – and I (Jamie) made sure to take a very Long Beach walk on the sidewalk the next day. Who cares that it’s 40 or 50 degrees. It’s the beach! And the parking is free! It honestly seemed too good to be true, but it wasn’t.
We battled our house batteries on this leg of the trip. Even when we drove all day, they didn’t want to charge fully. Apparently when they get below a certain point after a few days of boondocking, it’s hard to get them back up. Luckily the weather was suitable enough for us to open windows when cooking and this wasn’t a major problem, but it had us nervous.
One of our favorite decisions was a stop at a rest stop in Pearlington, MS. The rest stop is next to the Infinity Science Center, which houses the Stennis Space Center. It looked pretty awesome and Ross was extraordinarily excited about it, so we decided to spend a few hours checking it out before parking to teach some lessons later in the day. Even though we only had a few hours, this spot was truly a gem.
Admission is $12/adult. You can easily make a day of it if you take advantage of all of the presentations and films, but we had to be very selective. It’s truly wonderful for children too. They have a beautiful path to walk outside, seating for a nice lunch and wonderful volunteers and employees. Be sure to sign up for a tour of the space center when you arrive. It’s the only way to visit it and the guided tour is very informative. I could keep gushing, but just do yourself a favor and add this to your itinerary! Plenty of RV parking too.
We were hoping to find another nice library along our route to take advantage of some free internet. We decided to try Tallahassee, FL. Unfortunately their amazing downtown isn’t RV-friendly and we ended up giving up that mission, but this is definitely a place we will want to return to, even if by car.
By the time we were nearing central Florida we had a couple of routes to choose from. After many frustrating phone calls in Lake City, we decided to not worry about the house battery for a bit and spend two nights on a “vacation” on the beach in St. Augustine, FL. At $70/night it was more than double what we’d usually pay for a night to park, but the beach walks and amazing balcony view of the water from our site (they spoiled us) made it worth it. And luckily, once we were plugged in, our house batteries charged up without any problem.
St. Augustine is a gorgeous historic place. I considered walking or taking an Uber in to explore. But our sweet site made me decide to focus on beach time and the hot tub. We will be back, St. Augustine. And yes, I made the right decision.
After that it was time to head to our home for a few months – Mouse Mountain RV Resort in Davenport, FL!