Stephen Foster State Park

Campground at Stephen Foster Cultural Center

Campground at Stephen Foster Cultural Center

It was cool and overcast today, but after I got out walking, it felt crisp and invigorating.

Lights strung on the huge live oak trees are a magical site at Christmas.

Lights strung on the huge live oak trees are a magical site at Christmas.

Workmen have been busy here since September stringing the lights for the Christmas Light Extravaganza.  If you would like to see a picture of how it will look when it’s finished, here are photos I took when we visited December 21, 2011.

Our campsite here is not that great.  It’s way in the back and is surrounded by dense scrub.  It’s almost too private because we can’t people watch back here!  But it’s a great place to cocoon in the chilly weather.

Sheba has amazed me this trip.  She has been so good!  Mom’s husband, Jean, remarked that she sure is a well-behaved dog.  She listens to commands, doesn’t get upset by having to be tied up between walks, and has only barked a few times.

Here's our campsite.

Here’s our campsite.

I am SO glad we survived puppyhood with her and did not adopt her out.  Everyone she meets loves her, and I often hear people say, “I used to have a dog like that….”

I missed being able to visit the museum and craft demonstrations today.  I just assumed they would be open.  Will have to check my paperwork and hope they are open on the weekend.

Anyway, we are relaxed and happy!  We have reservations at a county park at Mt. Dora Monday-Wednesday.  That’s all that was available on such short notice.  After that, we’ll probably hit one of the Ocala National Forest campsites for a few days, then head back to Ocean Pond to camp with Gail and Mike again.

Craft shops being readied for Christmas

Craft shops being readied for Christmas

Gift shop

Gift shop



Sunset on moss

Sunset on moss

My girl Sheba

My girl Sheba

Carillon tower (sp).  We have enjoyed the songs of the bells.

Carillon tower (sp). We have enjoyed the songs of the bells.


Previous Post


  1. Glad to hear the good report on Sheba….it’s wonderful she is behaving! And like Stephen Foster….I know I have visited there but can’t remember ever camping. Must check it out soon. Stay warm…if you can survive these frigid nights, you can handle anything!

    • Hi, Lynne! The nights inside with the heater aren’t a problem. It’s getting up early to take the dogs out in the cold that I dread. But a fast walk usually warms me up.

      I remember a field trip to this park when I was in elementary school. Have been here several times, but this is the first time to camp here. It is so quiet, even though it’s Saturday night and the campground is full!

  2. Yay Sheba! And kudos to you for being such a loving and patient parent. Now you will reap the rewards for many years.

    • Kim, the turnaround in my bonding completely with her was when she was off-leash at Moms and stayed in the yard and obeyed every time we spoke to her — except when she chased a feral cat.

      So we are in it for the long haul with her. And already I am reaping the sheer joy of her love and trust. It’s also nice to have a reason I must get out and walk. 🙂

  3. Tim

     /  November 15, 2014

    I’m so glad you kept Sheba.

    • Tim, thank you so much for your help and encouragement when I was struggling over what to do with her. I appreciate it so much! 🙂

      • Tim

         /  November 16, 2014

        I’m just glad it worked out. Sheba is a beautiful dog and will bring you much joy.

  4. Looks like a great place. Good news to hear Sheba has calmed down so much. Large puppies can be tough to handle. Loved all the pictures but your campsite didn’t show up for some reason. Keep the pictures coming.

    • I’m not sure why the picture didn’t show. My graphics program sometimes will not show pictures in proper orientation and straightening them in WordPress must cause problems.

  5. The part I loved the most about this post were your comments about Sheba. Some dogs just take a while to settle in, and it sounds like she is doing beautifully.

    I couldn’t get the link to your December 2011 post to work. It kept bringing me back to this current post. Will have to see if I can find the post in your archives.

    Thanks for a warm-looking post. I’m looking at steady snow here. Waaay too early for this!

    • Judy, I did have the link wrong, but I fixed it. It’s working for me now. In my stats I noticed that a lot of people got a 404. Maybe it was a cached page.

      Anyway, as Sunny declines Sheba’s gentle trusting eyes mean more and more to me. Once I got over thinking my ideal furbaby had to be a small dog, I have truly fallen in love with her.

  6. OK, found the other post. The trees are spectacular! Wow!

    • That night we came for the light show lives in my memory as a magical evening. The free hot chocolate and popcorn made me feel like a kid walking in Wonderland. 🙂

  7. Horst

     /  November 16, 2014

    Sooo glad all is going well with you Guys, and family!…what a great Park and Campground. seems like a park that creates a “Dog Friendly” environment…and that Sheba is doing great, what a bonus!…thanks for sharing…Horst sends

    • Also, the people who work here are so welcoming and friendly. We are really enjoying it.

  8. That park is a tough ticket in December. We wanted to take our youngest Grand kids there in the new Oliver for the lights but there are zero sites available. We spent three nights at Suwanee River State park last month and enjoyed it. Clean and well attended, with full hookups.

    • So sorry you weren’t able to get a site in December, but I know that it’s wildly popular around Christmas.

      We’ve stayed at Suwannee River State Park, too. My favorites were the river trails and the old cemetery. But its main attraction to us is that it’s very close to where my Mom lives. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: