lake grapevine

Lake Grapevine – North Shore Trail

About Lake Grapevine

With a sprawling 8,000 acres, Lake Grapevine is mecca for boating, water-skiing, fishing, and kayaking.  It features multiple marinas, campgrounds, cabin rentals and even a floating water park. Many parks (operated by the Corps of Engineers or a local municipality) and trails also surround the lake.

One of the most popular trails in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is the North Shore Trail.  The 22.5 mile trail follows the north shore of Lake Grapevine beginning at Rockledge Park and ending at Twin Coves Park. 

tammany trace trailhead in covington

Things to Do in Covington

The quaint town of Covington, Louisiana is part of the Greater New Orleans metropolitan area.  I only visited for a day as I made my way back from Florida to Texas and wished I had scheduled more time to stay, as the city of 11,500 is quite charming.

walter anderson museum

Things to Do in Ocean Springs

After visiting Gulf Shores, Alabama, we continued west toward Texas, albeit slowly.  We made a stop at the Mississippi Visitors Center.  I asked the lady working at the counter, who was a hoot, to name her favorite small towns.  Oceans Springs was the first she mentioned, and she raved about it.  So, after Annie and I took our token state sign picture (dressed for a lobster boil), we made Oceans Springs our next stop.

fort morgan

The Quieter Side of Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores is the southernmost settlement in Alabama.  Located just west of Pensacola, Florida, the resort town with a population of 12,000 attracts many tourists, especially during spring break.  For some reason, I expected a quainter city, so I was surprised by all high rises which lined the beach and the amusement park.  That said, during the 24 hours I visited Gulf Shores, I didn’t even make it to the built-up area. 

sunset in crystal river

State Sign Challenge: Florida

It’s that time again.  Time for another state sign challenge.  Annie and I reused our Halloween costume of a SCUBA diver and shark.  Only this time we were at least near sea level rather than in the mountains and seems appropriate for the State of Florida.

Florida is known as the shark attack capital of the world and accounts for more than half of the total shark attacks in the USA each year.  But please don’t let that statistic scare you given, the percentage of people swimming in Florida waters year-round probably far outweighs most other states.  Not to mention, I’m a firm believer that most animals, including sharks, don’t hunt humans for the heck of it like the media portrays.

food trucks in seaside

Seaside and The Truman Show

On the recommendation of a friend, during my yearlong adventure 11 years ago, I visited Watercolor and Seaside in the Florida panhandle.  On my shortened journey this year (due to some challenges with VANgo and changing my travel priorities to horses), I made Seaside my last stop in Florida upon my return home from Texas.

Last time I visited the area, I hiked with the dogs in Grayton Beach State Park, strolled the beach, and enjoyed lunch at the Shrimp Shack.  This time, since I learned that a histamine intolerance is causing my migraines and eating seafood is out of the question, I made my tour about The Truman Show, a movie which came out in 1998.


Things to Do in White Springs

I guess after showing a horse, I was distracted because my next stop was in Safety Harbor located near Clearwater, Florida, and I have little to post about our day.  I will include a few snippets in my Florida summary post once I’ve left the state.  For now, I continued to White Springs. 

At first glance, it doesn’t look like White Springs has much to offer.  For the most part, there is a historic general store, a bed & breakfast, and a restaurant, and it is flanked by a couple of state parks.

The history of White Springs, however, is interesting, and I can imagine how this sleepy town of around 800 is a fantastic outdoor getaway for locals today.


Back in Wellington

I took a week break from traveling and headed back to my friend Page’s in Wellington where I got to show her horse, Tomcat.  I already posted pictures and videos on Facebook, but I’m quite far behind on my blog, so for some people this will be a repeat.

sunset in highlands hammock state park

Highlands Hammock State Park

After my time in Crystal River, I backtracked toward Wellington where I planned to show a horse and made a stop in Sebring.  While I meant to check out the cute historic district, the Sebring International Raceway, and Maxwell Groves (an old-fashioned country store), I ended up spending the entire day in Highlands Hammock State Park. 

crystal river preserve

Things to Do in Crystal River

The City of Crystal River is located in Citrus County on the Nature Coast in Florida’s bend on the Gulf of Mexico.  It is best known for the manatees which are attracted to its first magnitude springs in the winter months and markets itself as the manatee capital of the world.  I’d be lying if swimming with the manatees wasn’t the main reason why I visited Crystal River, but the city of 3,000 offers other things to do as well.  A few are listed below: