Our first trip of 2021 was amazing!
We set our destination for Cape Canaveral, Florida. We had never seen the Sunshine State and being so close now that we’re on the East Coast, we simply had to 🙂 So we prepped the truck, updated the rig, packed up our granddaughter and headed out for two weeks of travel and fun.
Our map took us from Kennesaw, GA to Cordele to Tifton and then a long drive into Cape Canaveral.
While there are things to say about the journey there, we’re first going to tell you all about Cape Canaveral.
Being from California, we were very excited to see the ocean again and we were not disappointed. As we pulled The Palace over A1A and got our first glimpse of the the Indian River, my heart skipped a beat and I was almost in tears. There is just something about the ocean breeze and balmy air that puts my heart at ease. Remember, we hadn’t see the ocean since February 2019. I had no idea how much I would miss it.
Continuing down A1A into Cape Canaveral, reveals that Port Canaveral is a very busy industrial area. Very much like I remember San Pedro or Long Beach in California. So when we arrived at Jetty Park Campground which is in the middle of all of this commercial property, we were pleasantly surprised at how tranquil and secluded Jetty Park feels.
The park accommodates day use as well as a campground with full hookups and the area directly on Port Canaveral, while beautiful, only offers water. You’re on your own with power and sewer. Close to boondocking. We were aware of this possibility which is why Erik installed two extra batteries and an inverter.
One of the things we’ve learned as RV-ers is that first impressions of campgrounds can be deceiving. While some parks have luxurious amenities and sites, others, like Jetty Park can be very primitive yet offer some of the best views and experiences. And such is the case for Jetty Park.
As we turned the corner to the waterfront sites, all we saw was a bunch of rigs parked on the grass and we thought, “What the heck?” It was Saturday when we arrived and the place was packed with campers and lots of people walking around and fishing the channel in front of our site. At first, backing in seemed intimidating but people do move out of the way and Erik has become skilled at backing up the fifth wheel and together with our walkie talkies, we’re unstoppable. We had it parked and set up within 30 minutes. I thank the inventor of the Auto Level feature! it is probably one of my fave things about our rig.
It was important to arrive and get set up as our daughter, Larissa and her husband, Joey were not far behind us. They had missed Arya and drove 8 hours to spend the weekend with her, with us, exploring Florida.They weren’t disappointed either.
Saturday, the weather was perfect and we spent exploring the campground and beach with them and Joey fished. The beach was clean with beautiful white sand. Although similar, the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean are also very different. The sand is finer and the water is softer and warmer. As beautiful as it is, it’s important to remember that sharks enjoy the warmer water as well and yes, we did see a small shark playing in the water in which we were all standing, including the baby. It didn’t seem to mind all of the people wading in its path and never bothered anyone but it was nerve-wracking for us.
That first evening was a little disappointing as we had hoped to enjoy dinner and drinks outside at the picnic table. However, our class A neighbor who’s side exhaust was right next to the table, decided to wait until the evening to run his generator to power his rig.
Because no power is provided by the park, generators are allowed. This becomes tricky when people aren’t considerate about the time they decide to run it. We have a portable hybrid generator that is very quiet for a generator and we can place it behind us when we run it and we try to only run it when we absolutely need it. The older Class A coaches generator was integrated with the coach and the exhaust pointed to the side which limits their options. As nice as they were, we missed hanging outdoors on the best night of the weekend.
We were forced to close the windows too and that was a shame because the breeze was perfect. We moved to the water’s edge which was nice as well and we made the best of it.
Sunday, we walked the fishing pier and saw jellyfish and turtles playing in the port.
For lunch,we ventured out to Cocoa Beach in search of much needed authentic Mexican food. I am a well-known, passionate fan of The Taco and besides the ocean, Mexican food from California is the other thing that we miss. We set our waypoint for Salsas in Cocoa Beach. Wow! What a pleasant surprise! Food was really good, the closest to California taste as we’ve had since we left. The server was very nice and I am sorry that I don’t recall her name now. The margaritas were refreshing and the ambience is super cool. If you’re ever there and craving a little south of the border, stop by and let them know we here at Adventure Palace Chronicles really enjoyed it. No, we don’t get anything for promoting them. But it’s a great place and with the pandemic crippling so many small businesses, we’re doing our part to help locals recover wherever we find ourselves.
After lunch as Salsas, we attempted to find Manatees at the Manatee Sanctuary Park. Beautiful park but didn’t see any manatees. There was also a Swan Crossing sign, but no Swan sightings and a Bat Sanctuary sign but saw no bats. We did spot a turtle in the pond there however so there’s that.
It was hot away from the beach! So we headed back to Jetty Park for some fishing, napping and relaxing. After loading them up with snacks, we reluctantly kissed Larissa and Joey goodbye for their long trip home vowing to revisit when we call all be there and stay longer.
Monday, our last full day there, Erik, Arya and I took a drive down A1A hoping to see more of the Atlantic coast. Sadly, there are no views from the highway. I later found out from a local, that is by design as residents don’t want to see the highway from the beach. However, after an online map search, I came across a peculiar peninsula between the Indian River and Banana River called South Tropic Trail accessible from A1A past Patrick AFB. Access at the southern end requires crossing over the Banana River on a swing bridge called Mathers Bridge. As it happened, we arrived just as the bridge was opening for some vessels to cross. It took a while but we passed the time with a nice conversation with a woman waiting to cross to ride her bicycle down the island. What a beautiful drive and so unexpected. It’s a very narrow stretch of an island with many beautiful, secluded homes that have access to the water in their front yard as well as the back.
At that point, we were ready to return to enjoy Jetty Park some more. We returned to the beach with our little human in-tow so she could play in the sand and enjoy the water one last time.
Monday night after dinner, the Spacex Rocket Booster that had recently sent a Starlink Satellite into the air returned to Cape Canaveral on it’s landing pad and floated right past our site.
Before the quarantine, Royal Caribbean cruise ships passed through this same canal and we were told it’s an amazing site. At this time, you can see them from the beach just floating around several miles off the coast.
Tuesday, with heavy hearts, we buttoned up our tiny dwelling and moved on to Jacksonville.
But we’ll be back!