November 22-Nov 25 we stayed at the Dixieland RV Park in Waldo, FL which was $36 a night with our Good Sams discount. We were visiting a friend that lives in Gainesville and since we weren’t pleased with the last place we stayed while in the area this was the next closest available RV Park.
Amenities include 10,000 sq ft. Entertainment Rec Hall, Pavilion, Propane Filling Station, Stocked Fishing Pond, Free Wi-Fi, Onsite Restaurant called the Classic Cafe (we didn’t try this even though we were looking for a place to get lunch after we arrived. It only got a 3.5 star rating on Yelp and after reading the reviews we went across the street to Subway, it was either that or Wendy’s), Pets Welcome, Fire Pit area, Picnic area, Onsite Laundry and Bath House. The laundry area, which is located near the Rec Hall, has an ironing board, 4 washers which cost $2.75 and 4 dryers, $1.50 is the cost but not sure how many minutes you get. Near the laundry area are restrooms for men & women as well as one ADA compliant unisex restroom. These appear to be in the midst of being updated with new paint and flooring. The bathhouses are located near the office and have 2 restroom stalls and two shower stalls. The shower area could use some updating. The dressing area is shared by the two showers and doesn’t have much in the way of hooks for towels or clothes and there is only one chair if needed.
On November 23rd we went to Gainesville to cook breakfast for Lindsay Peterson and her roommate, Catherine. I was Lindsay’s nanny when she was 8 months old. We spent time with her on our previous trip to the Gainesville area last month. We made them Charlie’s Big Fat Italian Frittata.
Charlie’s Big Fat Italian Frittata
Prep time : 15 minutes Cooking Time: 40 minutes Yield: 8 servings
- ½ lb russet potatoes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (enough to coat the pan)
- Garlic Salt & Mrs Dash Table Blend
- 4 oz pepperoni slices (we used the whole pkg)
- 12 oz can of artichoke hearts, chopped
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 dozen large eggs, beaten
- 1 Tbsp Herbs de Provence
- 2 cups loosely packed spinach, chopped
- 3 Tbsp half-and-half
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Pierce potatoes with a fork and then microwave for 3 minutes or until mostly cooked but still sliceable. Slice the potatoes about 1/8 inch thick. Brush a large oven-safe skillet or baking dish with olive oil then sprinkle garlic salt & table blend over oil. Line bottom and sides of pan with potato slices allowing them to overlap slightly (like a potatoe pie crust) then sprinkle with more garlic salt & table blend.
Chop 2/3 of the sliced pepperoni, reserving the remaining 3rd for a topping. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and the chopped pepperoni. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the pepperoni starts to brown and the flavors combine. Turn off the heat.
In a bowl, combine the eggs, spice blend, spinach and half & half.
Spread the sun-dried tomato mixture evenly over the potatoes, then pour the egg mixture over top. Place the remaining pepperoni slices on the top. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes or until the eggs puff up and the edges are browned.
State Parks and Florida Wonderfulness
After breakfast Lindsay took us to Sweetwater Wetlands Park. There is a $5 parking fee and needs to be either cash or check. We walked around the park and were finally able to see an alligator, actually 3, one of which was a baby. We saw a couple turtles, cranes and many other birds.
Lindsay then took us to check out the Veterinary Hospital where she is an intern doctor.
For lunch we decided to take Lindsay to MoJo Hogtown Bar-B-Que. She had never been to this BBQ place and we wanted to see if their food was as good as the one we found in St. Augustine that is part of a local chain. We tried their pit smoked chicken wings which is considered an appetizer for $11, there were about 10 wings. Our sides this time were onion rings, collard greens and Mac & Cheese. We shared the 3 meat plate and chose to get the ribs, North Carolina pork and brisket again. It was all very good and we had a bit left over.
We then went back to Lindsay’s house and got her dog Cabuya so that we could take him to the dog park. It was such a lovely day that we couldn’t get enough of the outdoors.
Lindsay had dinner plans with a friend and we wanted to check out a SLAA meeting that was in the area so we went to that. We were still pretty full from lunch so just grabbed some fast food before heading back to the RV Park.
November 24th we decided to meet up with Lindsay at 10 and go to brunch at Uppercrust, which is a French Bakery. Since it was our first visit we each received a free cookie. They had different items than the French bakery we went to several times in St. Augustine. We are in love with French Bakeries!!
Next Lindsay took us to Ichetucknee Springs State Park. The cost to enter is $6 and they do accept credit cards. We took the North entrance though there is also a South entrance if you want to go right to the area where you can take tubes down the Ichetucknee River. First we walked Headspring Trail which takes you to an area where you can swim. Next we went on Blue Hole Trail which leads you to a place where you can dive. We then decided that we wanted to float down the river on kayaks. The cost was $37.45 for a one person sit on kayak, life jacket & shuttle back for the 3 of us. We used our inflatable kayak and we each have life jackets as well. The float trip lasted a couple hours, we only paddled when we needed to turn so as not to run into branches sticking out of the water. We also paddled over to Devil’s Eye Spring which is along the route. We saw groups of turtles all along the way sunning themselves on logs along the bank of the river. We saw several different types of fish, one of which was a longnose gar and we also saw Florida whitetailed deer off in the distance.
We were very hungry and were going to eat at Pizza In the Hood in Alachua since it was on the way back to Gainesville. When we got there the parking lot was completely empty, we went inside and there was no one behind the counter to greet us but there was an older woman sitting in a booth singing along with the radio. The place smelled like Bath & Bodyworks instead of pizza. I convinced the others we should eat somewhere else. Chad was craving a burrito. Lindsay took us to an area that had several options like burgers and Chipotle and then this wonderful place called Vale Food Co . You can get a small bowl or regular bowl then you choose from 1 base, 1 veggie, 1 protein, 1 boost & 1 sauce and for the regular bowl you get 2 of each. I chose sweet potato noodles, broccoli and tri-tip which cost extra. I did not get the boost or sauce. The options change daily so you won’t always be able to get what you had before which can be good and bad. They have gluten free as well as vegan options so this is a good place for all. They have locations in Tallahassee, Tampa & Jacksonville as well as Gainesville. Chad realized the burrito he was craving was from Café Rio so he got a regular bowl at Vale Food Co. and was really glad that he joined us. It is a place we wouldn’t typically choose to eat at because it comes across as trendy and hipster. Don’t let that fool you, the food is very good! Chad chose chipotle mac & sweet potato noodles, mushrooms & curry cauliflower, sweet Ancho pulled chicken and a spicy chicken meatball. Lindsay also bought a peanut butter cookie along with her meal and shared it with us, it was yummy!