Saturday, March 6, 2021

Trippin' St. Augustine with Friends during COVID

 

Hello!

Hey, Verizon isn’t everywhere!  I got a new phone with a hot-spot capability so that I could hook my computer up and write to you whenever and where ever.

But NOOOOOO.  Not at one of my campsites in St. Augustine and not here at Hart Springs near Cheifland, Florida.

I am going to be on a podcast for AlzAuthors coming up March 15.  I will tell you more about that and other caregiver programs later.

Today is a rain-all-day kind of day.  I am itching to write and catch up with you.  So I am writing this in word and then I will go to the library and copy and paste it and I hope the pictures will go with it. 

Do you see pictures?  Then it worked!

I know I told you before that Debra has a Weeroll too. 


We have planned several camping trips together that have always gotten canceled for one reason or another.  Usually the weather, Last fall it was a hurricane hitting the part of Florida where we were supposed to be camping.  A week before we were to go camping this time, Debra got a cute new puppy.  I was thinking that she wouldn’t be able to pull herself away, Cricket is sooooo dang cute and sweet!

In my house now we have an older puppy, Josie.  She and I have bonded too.  She gets excited when I enter the house and I get down on the floor and give her a good rub-down.  Then sometimes, if she is high energy we play fetch with her stuffed squirrel.

Here is a picture of my winter housemate, Carolyn and her dog, Josie.


People ask me, “Are you going to get a dog?”

Some say, “You should get a dog.” 

To which I reply, “No way!” 

Though it is fun to play with them and love on them, the responsibility to feed and walk them every few hours does not fit my love of freedom to go and do.

Back to our camping trip in the Weerolls… an added incentive for us to go this time was that our friend Frankie was joining us.  Frankie was going to stay in Debra’s Weeroll with her.  They had formed their own safe COVID pod with each other, so the tight space wasn’t a problem in that way.

Anastasia State Park is a popular park.  We made our reservations 11 months in advance, before Debra had delivery of her Weeroll.  It is on the Atlantic Ocean and right outside the touristy town of St. Augustine, Florida.

I have to admit to you that during our time together I entered their COVID-safe pod.  On the day we were leaving Inverness, I hooked up my trailer and drove over to Debra’s.  We were going to caravan it.  Frankie walked toward me with open arms and I just decided then and there I was getting a hug and to hell with COVID precautions with these two friends!  Besides, they had both already had their two COVID vaccines.  I was the only one still unable to get an appointment.  I know it puts me at risk, but it has been a year and some times being so careful is tiring.  It makes me feel like an outcast among my friends or that I somehow don’t trust them.  Even after a year of distancing and masking it is awkward among close friends.

And before I go on with our trip I do have to interject here that I finally got a call from the Citrus County Health Department to set up an appointment for the vaccine.  I was excited!  We agreed on a time, then she asked me all these questions about my health and residency status..  She gave me instructions for the day of the shot, where to go, what to expect, etc.

Then to finish up she said, “Oh, I am sorry, that appointment time is no longer available.” 

Arg!!  “I will take any time that day,” I tell her.

“They are all gone,” she said.  There were no more appointments available.  How very frustrating for the both of us! 

I hope they fix that method of making appointments.  Before they started making appointments they were doing first-come first serve at a county park.  As you could imagine the line was long and the wait was sometimes five hours of sitting in your car waiting for your turn and then, they might run out before you got your turn.  Appointments are better.  Now they just need to lock in your time before they ask all those questions.

To those of you reading this in the distant future, we hit 500,000 deaths from COVID in the USA.  President Biden did a ceremony and ordered flags be flown at half-mast.

Let’s go back to our camping trip.  I led the caravan to St. Augustine staying off the interstate highways.  I missed turns twice and had to find a place to turn around.  That isn’t so easy when we were both towing trailers.   It was mostly a pretty drive once we got past the congested area of Ocala, Florida.

We stopped at Angels in Palatka for lunch.  I was thinking I could get breakfast, but it turns out they stop serving breakfast at 10:30 or 11:00.  So I got a fish sandwich that was fishy and onion rings that were so greasy we had indigestion afterward. 




I should note to you that before I left home I put an extra set of trailer keys in a hiding place and an extra car key in the trailer.  Just in case… you know how it can go sometimes.

In Anastasia we did not have spots next to each other.   The first evening we went to the beach right in the park.

 






On our the second day we spent the day in town doing the touristy stuff of trolley rides, walking though the old town, and dining at a restaurant.  We did the free tour with shots of mixes with gin, vodka, and rum.  It was yummy.  


Back at the park, Debra went to put her feet up and rest. Frankie and I went to the salt bay, the tide was out and the wading and diving birds were fishing.  There was a great blue heron that came within a few feet of us.  We could hear the scrape of its beak on its feathers as it groomed itself.


 


Frankie took the picture below.  It is amazing the difference between our two pictures!




The next morning I got a text from my friend Beth.  She had heard I didn’t have my vaccine yet.  She sounded like she pleading with me to get one, as if I didn’t want one!  I called her right away and explained that I had been trying but was super frustrated.  She said, “Keep trying, don’t give up, we want to start getting together with you again!”

Right away I went up to the Winn Dixie grocery store chain’s website to see if they were offering vaccines yet.  (In that campsite I had cell service and could access the internet.) The website said they were not taking appointments because they didn’t have any vaccine doses available.  But there was also a button that said “Make an Appointment”.

I clicked that button, it gave me a time and date, I accepted, and I was in!  Just like that!  I didn’t trust it.  I would wait and see if it actually happened.  The vaccine was scheduled for 8:30, in St. Augustine on the 5th.  I was leaving on the 4th.

The ranger station at Anastasia helped me out by giving me a different site where I could stay an extra night.  The catch was that I had to move right away.  It was pouring rain. As you can imagine it was a sandy, muddy, messy move, but I did it!

The new site was very pretty.  However it had two low-hanging oak tree limbs I had to fit between and a greater than 90 degree angle I had to back into off a narrow road.  It took me many many tries, I had to pull out and go around the campground each time the traffic backed up because I was blocking the road.




Debra and Frankie left and I had a day by myself.  It was strange.  I missed sharing the experiences with someone.  I texted pictures to them.  

I rode around a bit, and drove around a bit.  I saw some great stuff.  I saw some places that George and I had visited when we had biked up to St. Augustine from Inverness in 2015. I think it was 2015.  I knew he had dementia, but it wasn’t bad yet.

Oh!  And there was another Weeroll in the campground.  I never saw the person, but I mentioned it in the Weeroller Facebook group and the person responded!  They left before we got to meet.

On my bike ride I meandered neighborhoods.  There was a sculpture garden, the other side of the pier we could see from the Anastasia beach, and a memorial for the 1960's wade-in they had to try to integrate the beaches.








On my bike ride I pulled into a nursery and bought some purple flowering plants to decorate the front of Lilac.




Thanks to my neighbor, Scott, that put some new pedals with a heel strap on my trike.  I no longer am tied into wearing my bike shoes with clips.  Now I can wear whatever shoe or boot I want, without the worry that my foot will fall off and I will run into my leg with my trike.


It happened!

I got my vaccine!   The first, I got the Maderna which requires two shots.

I packed up and hitched up my trailer and drove to the Winn Dixie, arriving a whole hour early.  The night before I had driven to the Winn Dixie to make sure I knew where it was.  

While I waited I walked across to Fort Mose Historic Park.  

I learned something!

 

St. Augustine was held by the Spanish at the time and there was a mission to help the native American's there who were struggling.  Then the mission became a place to shelter escaped slaves from the Georgia and the Carolinas.

 
I asked while getting the shot if I could arrange to get my second dose closer to home.  The answer was a firm no.  So April 2nd I will return to the St. Augustine area for another shot in the arm.

On the same day, March 5th,   I drove to my next camping spot, at Hart Springs.  The area hiking trails and springs are flooded due to melting snow from Georgia.  We are near the Suwannee River which is at about 20 feet higher than normal.




I scheduled for the bike group to ride on Monday, when the weather turns Sunny.

At Hart Springs I met up with a women from the Facebook Group, RV Women in Florida.  Lynnelle is from St. Pete and brought her friend Jeanie with her and their two dogs.  We had a nice happy hour last night.

 

Caregiver Programs

Last time I wrote I had been interviewed by Linda Burhans on her radio program Connecting Caregivers Radio.  She sent me a link to the program on Youtube.

 Then Marianne Suicco a fellow AlzAuthors had interviewed me for her podcast a while back.  The program is airing on March 15th.  Here is the run-down of this season's programs.  Mark your calendar if you want to hear our discussion, as it won't be posted until March 15, 2021.

And then the 7th Annual Caregivers Conference where I discussed journaling with two other authors is only available on Facebook.  So if you aren't on Facebook you can't see it.  Journal Writing 101.  For all the different sessions you can go to this link and scroll down, as each morning or afternoon session presenters are listed and then a link to their presentation.

Now it is time for me to go to that library in Chiefland and see I if I can upload this before the library closes.

Rainy day all day today.  Besides posting this blog I am sending out a little update to the Withlacoochee Bicycle Riders.  Some of them are coming up to Chiefland to ride the Nature Coast Trail on Monday!

Oh, and I just checked the sales on Amazon for the books and people are buying the second book this week.  Thank you!  


1 comment:

  1. I am grateful you got your first vaccine.Sorry about another drive to St Augustine but when it's completed you will so full of joy. 😘

    ReplyDelete

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