We have been trying like crazy to book a stay at Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys for next year. As many of you adventuring enthusiasts know, it’s not that easy to get in. For those who have no idea what Bahia Honda is, let me explain.
It is a gorgeous state park located in the Florida Keys, about 45 minutes outside of Key West. The park itself is made up of over 500 acres with beautiful beaches and an offshore island. Visitors can stay busy snorkeling, beach combing, kayaking, swimming, biking, fishing, or just just chill out and lounge on the beach. They have a campground with 75+ sites (30 of them able to fit decent sized rigs), as well as a few cabins. Many of the campsites are right on the water, offering amazing views. We stayed at Long Key a couple years ago on similar sites and LOVED being able to enjoy breakfast on the beach, just outside our door.
Sounds awesome, right? Well, that’s how many many many other people feel…which makes getting into Bahia Honda, especially during the winter months, insanely difficult. Some have even gone as far as to say it’s impossible. If you do a search online for ‘tips on getting into Bahia Honda’, you’ll come across a decent amount of information explaining just how challenging it is to book a stay in this gorgeous park, but that wasn’t going to stop us from trying.
So, that’s what we did. Florida State Parks have an 11 month booking window. You can not book any earlier than that. They also have a 14 day maximum stay. What does all this mean? Basically – you have to be on the ball. You have to log on everyday to see what spots are opening up (you’ll notice that instead and R (for reserved) there is an X. This means that the site is available, but can’t be booked yet because you are beyond 11 months) and when you can try to book it next. You have to be diligent. The sites ‘open up’ at precisely 8am est, so your butt needs to be awake and online, with a few sites already picked out. You’ll sit there, with sweaty palms, check ing and re-checking the time. When the clock hits 8, you’ll frantically click ‘book these dates’, and…you loose. Someone was quicker, or luckier, and got in. You’ll quickly check all the other sites you had up on your screen and…same thing. You realize there are probably hundreds of other people sitting at their computers doing the same thing. Sigh. There’s always tomorrow, right?
There were plenty of tomorrows and for a good month we tried, and failed, to get into Bahia Honda. I pretty much gave up. One of the tips I had read about online stated that your best odds of getting into Bahia Honda was to simply wait until about a couple weeks or so before your trip and then see if a spot opened up from someone canceling. So to me it seemed like the best course of action was to just wait and hope.
Well, Fran had other plans. Unbeknownst to be, she kept trying. The other day she asked me to take a look at my laptop. She said something weird was on the screen. Fran isn’t very tech savvy, so I figured she needed a hand with something foreign to her. I moseyed over to check it out and…my jaw dropped. Up on the screen was a confirmation for a 14 day stay at Bahia Honda next winter. She got us in. Woooohooo! Her persistence paid off! I can’t even explain how thrilled I am, and how lucky I feel. Also, Fran rocks! We have quite a while to wait till then, but that’s fine with me!
Moving on to some other news, I guess it’s about time to officially announce that we are home. Yep. After 2+ months out on the road doing our adventuring thing, we have returned to PA. We got back last weekend and pretty much wanted to turn right around and leave, it was that cold. Over the last few year we have gotten so accustomed to warm weather in the winter, it’s always a nasty shock coming back home to chilly temps…it was in the 20’s when we arrived! Things have warmed up a bit since then, though it’s definitely not spring just yet.
As much as I miss exploring the south in our RV, it’s good to be home. I love being able to catch up with my friends. I love being able to use my dishwasher. I love my fast internet. I love that my dogs have a yard to run around in. Best of all, I love being able to foster once again. I pretty much jumped right back into that, picking up a sweet lil dog (Miss Peach) last weekend. She is such a doll! Miss Peach is great with dogs, people, and kids. I usually foster dogs that need a bit more help (sep anxiety, scared of people, fear biters, etc.) so Miss Peach is definitely a change of pace. I already have a few adopters lined up and she should be heading into her forever home in a couple weeks. I picked up another lil dude yesterday who just had knee surgery and will need a few weeks of crate rest before he gets back on his feet again. He’ll need a good amount of TLC and crate rest to help him get there, and while he isn’t a fan of taking it easy, he definitely loves soaking up attention. This lucky guy already has a potential adopter lined up as well, woohoo! If you are interested learning more about my fostering adventures, feel free to check out my foster blog at www.lovefurall.com or my foster Instagram @lovefurall (my shameless plug, all for a good cause!)
So…what does being home mean for this blog? Well, it’s definitely not then end of Travel Tails. We will be taking a few trips over the course of the spring/summer/fall months (possibly Toronto and maybe Chicago!) which I’ll be sure to post about. I’m planning on doing some mods/upgrades to our rig soon, which I’ll try to share as well. I’m hoping to get in a good amount of Geocaching when the weather warms up, I’m determined to find a trackable! I will definitely keep y’all updated on my progress. And then there is always next winter…when we will be hitting the road once again for a couple months, adding more memories to our adventures!
Thanks for joining us on our ride, and while the updates may not be as plentiful over the next few months, this definitely isn’t the end of the road!