Cave Dwellings: A look back at our first visits to Florida
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A look back at our first visits to Florida

When I was very small, my Uncle Walter Fry was in the Air Force and stationed at Fort Walton Beach, FL. He was in SAC (Strategic Air Command) and eventually traveled a lot with the military. It had to have been in the early 1950’s when my Dad packed up my Mom, brother and sister and we drove to Florida to visit Uncle Walt and Aunt Edie…I was only 4 or 5 years old and we had a 1953 sedan .  My 1 year old brother sat in the front seat on Mom’s lap…My 11 year old sister slept in the back seat…and I had the back window for my bed.  Dad drove non-stop to Ft. Walton Beach…One of my favorite memories is of the ocean..I loved it sooo much. I swore I would go back some day…

Fast forward to 1969…I met Dennis in May, we dated throught the summer and were married in November…Whirlwind romance, as it were.  One of the things Dennis promised me was that he would take me to Florida again someday…and he was true to his word!!



Above were taken during the “courtship” days, Spring and Summer of 1969…and yes, one of the attractions to Dennis was his motorcycle..

We were married November and immediately began planning our family…married November 22nd and our first born (Kelly) was born Sept. 5th…do the math! The summer I was pregnant with Kelly we decided it was time to go to Florida. So, after backing a baby bag with our luggage, we headed South during Caterpillar shutdown (2 weeks in August) and drove to Florida..I need to say that Den’s and my mom were NOT happy with me being about 3 weeks from due ..


Yep, this was Kelly’s first time in the Atlantic Ocean…and not to be his last..It began to be our favorite trip.  Every year when Caterpillar shut down 2 weeks in the summer, the Cave family headed to Daytona Beach..


Ahhhhhhhh, those were the days of curly perms, short swim trunks and bikinis…and, swimmies for the little ones.. We also were at Walt Disneyworld the second year it was open…and that became another “mecca” for our family..and still is for some.


A couple years, we took Den’s mother, Grama Kate with us…She even walked around Disneyworld once with July…She was a real corker! Years moved on and everyone slowly grew up…


The Cave sisters began attracting admirers at the pool, and making Dennis Cave begin paying close attention to the pool action…

When Kelly enlisted in the Navy, 1988, it was the first time we went without  him…and it didn’t seem the same…Pretty soon, the girls had other activities in the summer and we stopped going as a famlily..


In August, 2008, Chris and John got married in Long Boat Key, FL.  We had our Cougar at the time, so we drove down and met the Heisers at Walt Disneyworld.  We stayed at Ft. Wilderness, which was really a great campground to stay at on Disney property.  Chris and John were married at sunset on the beach of the Hilton, Long Boat Key. We parked the Cougar in their parking lot for 4 days and stayed in the hotel with the wedding guests.



Sooooooo, as you can see, we have this love affair with Florida…I must say, that seeing it in an RV opens up a whole new world of the wild and wonderful parts of Florida you just don’t see from 2 weeks in a hotel room and pool.

One more thing,…Chris and John were married August, 2005.  After the wedding, Dennis and I drove the Cougar toward the Keys…to meet Chris and  John at Key West, where they were spending their honeymoon. We stopped at LaBelle, FL and stayed at Ortona Campground for the first time…We still love it there…Then we stayed a Long Key for a couple nights and drove to Key West to visit Chris and John…


Ours spot at Long Key was right on the Atlantic Ocean..and we had a wonderful view…and a few sand fleas joined us…Below it our spot at Long Key..

We left the Cougar at Long Key to drive into Key West…

When we got back to the Cougar that evening we noticed there was a tropical storm off the coast and it was swiftly becoming a Hurrican 1…Yep…Hurricane Katrina was on her way…and we left at first light the next morning..I must say that the ocean was absolutely stunning that evening with the storm building off the East Coast…

We drove 12 hours that day and made it all the way to the Georgia/Florida coast…with rain squalls following us all the way!

As you can see, Florida and the Caves go a long way back…Not sure we will get there this year, but I know in my heart we definitely return as soon as we possibly can…Thanks for tolerating my Florida fetish!



  1. Hey, I enjoyed that post of Cave history!

  2. A nice look back on your family's Florida days. Great forever memories.

  3. What a sweet look back. I enjoyed it very much! Funny you and I Midwestern girls both having a heart for the oceans. Yours southeast and mine northwest.

  4. Great memories, thanks for sharing.

    Celebrating the Dance

  5. nice piece of your family history!! The younger you? look just like your daughters!

  6. Wow!! Florida is a pretty place to visit. Have never been to an exotic location such as Florida. However, going to attend couple of weddings at local wedding venues Los Angeles next month. Then will think about my visit to Florida.