Florida, Where We've Been

The Gulfarium

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You’ve probably noticed that you’re hearing a bit less from us these past few months. We have been keeping our adventures low key this winter as we are retracing part of our route on our way back west. These past few weeks have been spent in the Fort Walton Beach area, a location we visited before as we went east at the beginning of 2023. We took care of a few errands, like getting our dog up to date on his vaccines, since many RV parks require it as a stipulation to stay there.

We also noticed another problem with our RV. We must have had too many problem free months that time figured we needed one. This time it was the outriggers, the metal brackets that hold up the outside of the floor and walls, that began to bend out of shape on either side of the living room and kitchen slides. Consequently, this caused the floor to dip in those locations and the outside wall to start creaking and popping as it moved lower. We tried to have someone fix it in the Fort Walton Beach area, but it was outside of their skill set. I spent the week contacting others along our route who may be able to help us and finally found someone with qualifications and availability who was able to help us.

It would cause us to cancel reservations and reroute our trip. More on this next week as we work to get it resolved. 

The Gulfarium

The Gulfarium makes for a great visit on a mild winter’s day. The gulf area aquarium is a small scale venue that blends the characteristics of a zoo and SeaWorld’s trained animal shows. The Gulfarium is located only about 100 feet from the white sandy beach and clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

More than standard aquarium animals of fish and sharks, they also keep dolphins, turtles, river otters, seals, penguins, alligators, spiders, snakes, and stingrays. 

They also offer animal encounters where you can pay a little extra for some time to be up close and personal with the animals. We hadn’t had the chance at other locations to do this because it was cost prohibitive, but the Gulfarium gave us the chance. The kids spent about 15 minutes talking to a trainer, petting a penguin, named Olive, and feeding her a fishy breakfast. 

In fact, if you’re the adventurous type, they have a large pool where participants can snorkel with the stingrays! The kids passed that opportunity up, unfortunately.

Olive was eager to get back into the water and didn’t want to stick around for a second course of her meal.

The aquarium’s lion fish gave me the perfect opportunity to take a few pictures as he swam past.

There were so many turtles hanging out around the pond. I think we counted around 30 that were basking in the mid-day sun on logs and rocks.

Inside were a number of reptiles, spiders, and frogs hanging out in their cages.

We caught a mid-day dolphin show. It was very much like SeaWorld’s animal acrobatics show, but without the fanfare. The dolphins showed off their flips, twirls, and splashes for the audience. 




Eglin FamCamp

This was our second time through to Eglin FamCamp and we were able to snag the same spot that we had before. There wasn’t a check-in, just go to your site and enjoy your stay. 

Ellie put up her hammock and we took walks down to the bay shore. There’s something so peaceful and calming about this campground. For a great place to relax during the winter, Eglin makes a great stay.

Starlink was intermittent due to the trees, cutting out every few minutes, but we noticed that there were quite a few Starlink dishes around at other sites, so maybe it was just ours. We had 35 down and 11 up when we had reception. We had 1 bar on the Verizon phones (17/0.3) and 4 bars with the cell antenna (16/9). AT&T was 5 bars with the cell antenna (27/21).