Friday, February 26, 2010

Air Museum

Today my mother, brother, and I met up with the Evens family at the Fun 'n Sun Florida Air Museum.

We only got to be there for a half hour due to planning issues and my brothers lack of negotiation skills. None the less it was cool to see historical planes up close and personal. Heres a view of the hanger.

It was cool to meet the Evans family, they seem like a warm and happy crowd. I was tired and less then talkative but I still had fun. We went out to a Mexican restaurant afterwards, one which claimed to be the best in Florida though I tend to disagree; not that it was bad, but I've had better here. It is getting chilly here again and I hope that doesn't last long. I suppose it could be a lot worse as anyone from anywhere else in the states would testify, none the less I'm shivering as I write this. Did someone forget to make the sacrifice to the sun god Ra this year around, or is it just me who is wondering when global warming kicks in?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Solomon's Castle

Me and my Father ventured out to go see a place known as Solomon's Castle located near Ona, Florida.

I didn't bring my camera much to my regret, but the website has plenty of pictures and is worth checking out. I went to see the castle bit, but was pleasantly surprised that the man who build it, Howard Solomon, is a very talented artist and sculptor as well. Honestly, it was a great thing to visit. I got to stop and talk to Howard for about 10 minutes and he is a clever and well humored man. I have to admit so far this somewhat dinky attraction is by far my favorite. Much like at the Ringling Museum of Art, something about seeing art in person inspires me. We ran in to our neighbors from the campground while there by coincident. I honestly think Tom believes me to be stalking him, but let it publicly be known I am making no attempt to do so.

[And so I am thus far caught up in what I have done since I moved in a few weeks ago. More to come, as it comes.]

Lipizzan Horses / Grillin' n' Chillin'

Lipizzan Horses:
My and my mother went to a place (Site located Here) that trained a rare and beautiful breed of horses known as the Lipizzan Stallions of Austria.

During the winter off season they do practice sessions where they demonstrate the athleticism and agility of these graceful animals. Attendance is free, but donations are welcome. It was neat that the stables were open which allowed you to go in and see the horses up close and pet them.

Grillin' n' Chillin':
We attended the local cook off type of thing held here in Wauchula known as "Grillin' n' Chillin'". They blocked off part of Main Street and held a sort of competition which had the category of Pork, Chicken, Chili, and Deserts. They also had a small local car show. Here's some images:

If our Internet wasn't so slow I would have more up. If I find a feasible solution to that problem, such as a hot spot, I may upload more. They will be in my photo album if I do which you can find a link to in the left column. They had live music and a radio station playing music live in another part. They had a bit more cars then what I'm showing here including an old Monte Carlo, a Contender, another 70's era Mustang (I had to have the image of the Boss though), and a few other timeless classics like a Cuda, a Cutless, and a couple Caddys. [list subject to error]

Ringling Brother's Art Musium

We visited the Ringling Brothers art museum in Sarasota Florida. I absolutely loved the art and was sad that we went so late and was essentially kicked out at closing. None the less I got to see a ton of authentic art from mainly the Renaissance period with some Greek art dating as far back as 850 B.C. thrown in as well. I suppose it was interesting to me in a sense because although I like art in books and on TV and so on, something about seeing it in person speaks volumes where paintings can tell tales unspoken but through the tip of a brush on canvas. Again I didn't have a camera at the time, but plenty can be found at the Ringling Bro's website located Here.


Helped my dad move stuff from the storage in Orlando to the storage here in Wauchula. During the trip we listened to a book titled Pastwatch by my favorite science fiction author Orson Scott Card. We stopped an ate at some gyro restaurant there, I'm not quite certain on the name, but I got a Philly Steak sub which was prepared in an odd to me fashion by having mayonnaise and lettuce on it, and not a ton of meat, but was kind of good none the less.

Animal Rescue

Across the street from the campground is a rather small animal rescue located on a couple of acres hidden behind a few things such as another campground. I don't have any images because I didn't have my camera yet. My mothers blog at ShowUsTheWorld has images.

In order (following the tail in a clockwise fashion):
A common American short hair cat which followed us around,
Grey Vultures Everywhere (not part of the rescue, but there in a multitude),
Grey Foxes,
Brown Bear,
Otter (Supposedly, I didn't see any),
Horned Owl,
Turtles (though I'm not sure they we're actually part of the rescue),

Not a rather long list, but still a very interesting place.

If your at the Thousand Trails campground in Wauchula this is a good place to go mainly because of how close it is. I think it is $4 to get in, my mom has a family pass for the year because she considers this the closest thing to home, and likes the rescue a lot.

More to come, stay tuned.

Week Two: Wauchula

The second week we headed over to the Thousand Trails campground in Wauchula Florida (though I think technically it is in Zolfo Springs, the campground claims it is in Wauchula.) This is more of a campground in the fact that it is technically classified as a preserve. It had rained the days preceding our arrival so the spots available were muddy, and the trails swamp like in nature. None the less its nice to be outdoors.

My family is into a sport called PickleBall that is, as I describe it, a mutant cross between tennis and ping pong. It is played on a court the size of a badminton court and is played using what is essentially a perforated ball similar to a wiffle ball, and what resembles a boat oar cut short.

Two players on each side with scoring close to that of ping pong and played more in the style of tennis as I have mentioned. It is a fun, fast paced game which because it is played on a smaller court is easier for older and younger players to play then tennis (or at least that is my assumption.) From what I can tell a lot of 1K Trails have these courts making it my families game of choice. It is very fun and I'm glad that everyone here is so welcoming to newcomers. I'm not huge on sports and consider myself more of a outdoor - running, jumping, kayaking - sort of person. But I have had tons of fun playing this sport.

The town in cozy in that small town since. Main street seems to be the only street and the local shops and restaurants seem to have been around since the town was founded in the early 1900s. It is as the crossroads of a bunch of the somewhat minor state roads, so it makes sense that the campground is located here in that since. And although one might think that there isn't allot to do in the middle of no where, they would be happily mistaken, for although the attractions of sorts about the place lack the luster of what you would find in more heavily populated areas, they make up for in charm and a feel of receiving a more one on one experience where ever you do go.

Week One:

During my first week we stayed at the Lazydays campground in Tampa, Florida. It's a nice campground with a sort of sub-urban feel to it because it is all paved and is lacking in the camping aspect. None the less it is nice, and the staff at Lazydays is, as always, extremely friendly and welcoming (although I did get stopped by the security guards at night for being outside, throws them off when their guests are under 80.) It was cool to stay there because I got the chance to see some of the different RVs out there on display, if I ever decide to continue doing this after my welcome at my parents house expires. We went to the Busch Gardens theme park while there because we have year passes to get us in to that and Seaworld year round. I also got to see my Aunt Diana and cousin for the first time in a while, which was cool. We didn't stay there long, about 5 days. Then we packed up our house and hit the road.

On The Road Again

Welcome to my blog. My name is Aric Showalter and I am living full time in an RV with my parents and brother, traveling through North America a week at a time discovering and exploring whatever we can find.

My parents brother and sister have been traveling for the past two years in this fashion and I recently switched places with my sister to experience something not many get to experience, and something I may not get the opportunity to experience again.

I am 18 years old and when my parents first decided to do this when I was 16 I decided to move out and get a job because my view back then was that living the life style they envisioned seemed to me to be unstable. My fear was that I would be unable to move out when I wanted and get a job and so on. I moved in with my best friend who I have known since 6th grade. I got a job at a restaurant and was promoted to manager within a few months. I got to experience all that I had hoped to get out of having an independent life style, and through that also found a new respect for living rent free in my parents home.

My younger sister then decided to move in with my older sister and a spot opened up in the RV and I politely got on my knees and asked my parents to allow me to move back in and travel with them. Sometimes its nice to see things in a new light, and luckily they said yes.

So I plan to document what I can about my travels. I am a sole man, with a camera and a computer and a chance of a lifetime in my hands. Once which I intend to share with the world.

You can find my mothers blog at
There you can backtrack through the past few years to see what they have been doing, and what I intend to be a part of.

Ciao, and stay tuned.

[these next few posts will be me backtracking through what I've been through so far.]