Thursday, January 29, 2015

Relocated to Orlando Thousand Trails- January 27-29, 2015

Tuesday morning (27th) we prepared to leave Wildwood which took us somewhat longer than usual.  We had been parked under southern oak trees for 2 weeks during which leaves were constantly falling on the motorhome.  So before we were able to bring in the slides the awning toppers had to be swept off.  Anyway we got away about 10:15am and drove 50 miles to Clermont where Orlando Thousand Trails is located.  We had a little wait at the registration area for a site to become available but we were in our site by noon.  This site is not under trees which is good for television.  The past 2 campgrounds we were under trees blocking our satellite and we could get only one major TV station, several Hispanic stations and other rinky-dink stations.  Unfortunately, we only have a 30-amp site- 50 amp sites are far and few between.  These membership parks do not put any more money into upgrades then is positively necessary.  Friends, Joan and Buddy Redman, are also here.  After lunch we visited with them for awhile.  The sun is bright but it is cool- temperatures reaching the low 60's but dropping to 40 degrees at night.

Wednesday (28th) we walked about the campground trying to figure out the maze.  It is really a confusing campground layout with campsites of a multitude of sizes.  We do have a very spacious site.  Joan and Buddy are squeezed between 2 other RVs.  In the evening as I was drawing water from the kitchen faucet the water stopped.  Tom went out to check and found that our water pressure regulator was the problem and needed to be replaced.  So off to Walmart we went and were able to get a new regulator. Problem solved.  Another cool day much like Tuesday.  The motorhome warms up well during the day with the bright sun.  We leave the heat off all night but by morning it is right chilly (50's) inside so we then turn on our furnaces, jump back in bed and wait for the motorhome to warm up.

Thursday (29th) I did a couple loads of wash this morning and then we went out for lunch at Oakwood Smokehouse in Clermont. We had gone to an Oakwood in Wildwood a couple weeks ago.  Oakwood is a favorite barbecue restaurant of ours in Florida. Today we had ribs- good, fall off the bone ribs.  Another stop at Walmart for some cleaning supplies and washers for water hoses.  And then the last stop at a car wash to get the road dirt off the Jeep.  Much warmer day today that we were able to sit outside late this afternoon until about 5pm when it began to cool down.  And we are hearing that it is snowing again at home.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Our Last Couple Days in Wildwood- January 25 & 26, 2015

Sunday, the 25th, we went into The Villages to check out a couple open houses.  A realtor, Tim Collins, that we had talked with December 2013 was hosting a house so we stopped by to talk with him.  We had a late lunch at Sweet Tomatoes restaurant, a favorite of ours down here in Florida.  In the evening we went to the Spanish Springs town center in The Villages as the performers for the evening was Marie Rose and Danny Elsworth.  This couple comes to the Senior Center in Taneytown to entertain at the Christmas Party and had told us that they would be here this winter for a couple performances.  While at the entertainment, Bruce and Cricket McGinnis showed up along with their daughter and grandson and later Jeff and Anni Albert.  The evening was chilly with temperatures in the upper 50's.

Today, Monday, our last day in Wildwood as we will be leaving tomorrow morning for the Orlando area.  I did cook dinner today.  We had gotten a spaghetti squash at the Farmer's Market on Saturday so I made an spaghetti using the squash.  In the afternoon we drove in The Villages to go to the movies to see "American Sniper", a good movie.  It has gotten colder (low 60s during the day dropping to 50s at night) here and windy.  Not complaining as there is a snow storm hitting home.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Another Week Has Passed- January 18-24, 2015

We have been keeping ourselves busy this week.  On Tuesday we drove west to the Crystal River area.  We stopped at Fort Island Beach State Park where there was a beach that birds were enjoying during this cooler season of the year
From Florida
and a nice fishing bridge
From 2015/01/20
. We ate lunch at a Charlies, a seafood restaurant that is on the water.  After eating we walked out on the deck and saw several fish 4 to 5 feet long swimming.

Thursday evening we met the folks from The Villages (McGinnis, Alberts, and Snells) for dinner in Wildwood at Cotillions Cafe.   This small restaurant was busy and if we had not had reservations we would not have gotten a table.  Good food.  After dinner we all went to The Villages to the home of Dave and Kitty Snell.

Friday we went to a quilt show in The Villages.  Beautiful quilts were on display along with vendors selling quilting supplies.
From Florida
From Florida
 In the evening we were wined and dined at Anni and Jeff Alberts along with the McGinnis' and Snells.  A real enjoyable evening even though rain moved in during the evening.

Saturday, Tom and I drove to a neighboring town, Belleview, for a Greek Festival at St. Mark's Greek Orthodox Church.  We had dinners of Greek food, pastachio(?), a baked pasta and meat dish, rice and green beans.  A musical ensemble played Greek music which was great to listen to.
From Florida
After a rainy night and early morning the sun was out but it is cooler with temperatures only reaching the low 60's.  Still better than the snow and cold of Maryland.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tampa Super Show and Village Friends, January 14-17, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, we awoke to gray skies and the gray cool weather lasted all day.  We took off for Tampa to go to the Tampa Super RV Show.  The traffic became heavier the closer we got to the fair grounds where the show was being held.  The last 5 miles took us nearly an hour.  When we did finally get on the grounds we again were held up from getting parked as a motorhome making a right hand turn cut too sharp causing the the back end to go into a ditch.  What a sickening sight- 2 tow trucks had arrived to handle the problem.  Finally we got into the show which was crowded.  There were 2 buildings of vendors along with dealer displays outside.  We looked but didn’t buy anything except for hot dogs for lunch.

Thursday was a rainy day.  Just what this over saturated campground needed was more rain, right?  In the evening we went to The Villages to friends, Bruce and Cricket McGinnis for dinner.  Jeff and Anni  Alberts were also there.  These are friends we have known through our Traveling Americans camping club and through the McGinnis’ we have become interested in the lifestyle at The Villages and our desire to relocate here when we are able to get our house sold.  Jeff and Anni have just moved down here as of September but they still have their Maryland house and hoping for a sale on that.  We had a nice evening catching up with all and enjoying a wonderful meal.

Friday Tom and I drove about the area.  It was a much nicer day with some sunshine but the temperature did not get much above 60 degrees.  In the evening we drove into Brownwood Square, a town square in The Villages, where there is entertainment from 5 to 9pm.  Rocky and the Rollers were the group performing and they do bring out a crowd.  We met up with Jeff and Anni and then somewhat later Bruce and Cricket showed up.  Another fun but  chilly evening.

Today Saturday, Tom was up early and went to play nine holes of golf with Bruce, Jeff  and David Snell, another relocated Marylander.  After Tom returned to the motorhome, we drove into The Villages to have lunch at Cody’s, a barbeque type restaurant.  We then walked about Sumter Landing town square where the stores were having sidewalk sales.  We did purchase some clothing items.  It was sunny much of the day with temperatures getting up to the low 70’s

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Webster Flea Market and Wildwood, January 12 & 13, 2015

Monday, the 12th of January, we drove about 10 miles to the Webster Flea Market, one of the largest flea markets around. Acres and acres of all sorts of stuff available. As usual, we ended up purchasing some fresh produce- peppers, blueberries and vidalia onions and nothing else. Returning to the campground it was not long until it began to rain for the remainder of the day. A good day for reading and napping.

Today, Tuesday, we were surprised to see some sun shining this morning. We thought according to the weather reports that we may have to pack up in the rain. We were not in a big hurry to move on as we only had a short 24 mile drive to the next campground in Wildwood, Fl. Tom cautiously drove the motorhome out between the 2 trees we were parked behind. It proved much easier going out than backing in. Within a half hour we were at Three Flags Thousand Trails RV Resort and again have been placed in a campsite under trees. So much for satellite TV for the next 2 weeks.  After setting up we needed to run to the grocery store for a few items but while we are out we had to get lunch.  Oakwood Smokehouse Barbecue Restaurant is a favorite of ours in this area so that is where we stopped first.  There are several of these restaurants in this area but today we went to the one in Lady Lakes.  The sausage is a favorite of ours so that was our lunch today.  Then returning to the campground we stopped for our milk and orange juice at a grocery store in Wildwood.  Temperatures have been in low 70's with no rain so far.  This campground apparently got saturated yesterday.  People pulling out today have left some muddy campsites behind.  Fortunately for us, our site is comparatively drier on sandy ground as opposed to grass and mud.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Dog Show and Homosassa Springs State Park January 8th–11th, 2015

Sumter Oaks Campground is a friendly, neat campground but it lacks some things that we do not like not having.  Because of the beautiful southern oak trees our television connection is poor- satellite is impossible and the antenna only picks up a few local channels of which only one is a major network (ABC).  Wifi is available but seems to cut off frequently which is one reason the posting of this blog has not been as regular as I usually try to do.  We will be moving from here on Tuesday to a campground that is improved in these areas.

Thursday the 8th was a windy cold day.  Temps did not get above 50 degrees (still warmer than up north).  We did go to the dog show in the morning but did not stay very long.  The show was outdoors and with the wind and chill factor not the most pleasant.  Most dogs we saw that day were the big breed dogs.  Leaving the show we drove into the town of Brooksville looking for a place to get lunch.  We saw a restaurant with a full parking lot and thought that was probably a good place for lunch.  Florida Cracker Kitchen was not a fancy place but the food was very good. We had burgers which were served with sweet potato chips.  Breakfast was also being served during this time and those dishes looked wonderful too.

Friday we returned to Brooksville again for lunch.  This time we were disappointed in our meal at a Mexican restaurant called Enchiladas.  The food for Mexican was just too bland.  After lunch we went to the movies to see "Into The Woods" making for an enjoyable afternoon.

Saturday we stayed in the campground all day. I'm working on a quilt project so I was busy with that along with doing some reading as Tom was doing.  In the evening we went to a lounge in the campground rec room to watch the Ravens/Patriots football game.  Unfortunately, the Ravens were defeated.

Today, Sunday, we returned to the Florida Cracker Kitchen for breakfast which was every bit as good as we thought it would be.  We both had omelets that were served with real fried potatoes.  We then drove to Homosassas State Park, a park we had been at several years ago.  A boat from a visitor center transports people back to the park.  The park cares for Florida native animals that have been injured.  There is a hippo, non-native to Florida, that resides in the park.  This hippo was here when previous owners had a wild animal park and were unable to find another home for him.  Some animals are able to be rehabilitated and released but others are not able to be released so remain for the duration of their lives.  There are 4 manatees that will remain here in a secluded area within the Homosassas Spring because of injuries.  Because of the recent cold, wild manatees have moved into the spring because of the warmer water temperature.  There were estimated to be 70-80 manatees in this area at this time. 

From Florida
From the viewing area we were able to see 12 to 15.  There were many boats in the area outside of the state park that were viewing or swimming or snorkeling with the manatees.  Returning back to the campground we stopped for supper at Beef O'Brady's.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Sumter Oaks, Bushnell, Florida, January 5-7, 2015

Monday, 5th of January, we packed up to move on. Leaving Golden Isle Campground Tom drove the motorhome and I drove the Jeep. Tom wanted to have the motorhome serviced at Speedco just a couple miles away. We were at Speedco by 8:30am and immediately taken into a service bay. Speedco is like JiffyLube for Trucks and RVs- no appointments, open 7 days a week. Actually it took longer than we thought, about 2 hours, but Tom said that servicing the generator seemed to take the longest. When all that was completed we hooked-up the Jeep, stopped at Flying J to refuel and then got back on I-95 to continue south to I-10 and then southeast to Bushnell, Florida. After 214 miles we arrived at Sumter Oaks Campground at 2:50pm. The sun was shining and it was a nice 70-plus degree temperature. Sumter Oaks is a nice, quiet campground with lots of those beautiful southern oak trees that have Spanish moss hanging from their branches. Our campsite is situated that Tom had to back between 2 of those trees to get in to it. We have been told by several other campers here that there is a bug going around the campground causing respiratory problems.

Tuesday, another pretty day in Florida while it was snowing in Maryland, we drove into the town of Bushnell. We needed a couple things from WalMart and the car needed a washing. We also got lunch at the Rojo Coyote Restaurant.

Today, Wednesday (7th), we spent the day in the campground. Our prescription insurance plan changed with the new year so Tom has been on the computer and phone most of the day trying to get everything in line so we are able to order our medications. Some problems still exist but it looks like he is getting closer to getting things lined up. There is a 5th wheel across the road from us that have Westie dogs in a pen. This morning 2 ladies have been out grooming these little dogs. I walked over and talked with them. Both ladies have their own RV and are getting the dogs ready for a dog show nearby that runs Thursday to Sunday this week and the next. One lady has 6 dogs and the other has 7. Perhaps we will have to go to the dog show while we are here. It has been another nice day but is predicted that a change is on the way with colder temperatures by nighttime.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Christmas is Over, Off to Florida- January 2- 4, 2015

Christmas has been celebrated with family and friends and now we are heading for warmer winter weather. Friday, January 2, 2015 after loading up the motorhome with the items that we were afraid of freezing and then getting the motorhome out of the driveway we were ready to hit the roads at 9:30am. Our travels to Frederick, Md. and then down toward Virginia where we picked up I-95, the route that we would be traveling to Florida. It was a cold overcast morning. Traffic was lighter and moving well most of the way. A fender-bender accident slowed the traffic at one point but otherwise we moved well through the northern Virginia area above Richmond where traffic can be a nightmare at times. We continued on through Virginia and into North Carolina stopping for the night in Selma, N.C. at 4pm after 339 miles. We spent the night at RVacation RV Park, a park we have been to on other trips.

Saturday morning we were on the road at 8:35am to continue our travels down I-95. As we were traveling south it was evident that we were in a migration of other snowbirds heading for warmer weather. Not only Rv's but cars with licenses from northern states were sharing our route of travel. Traffic moved well through North Carolina. It was in southern South Carolina that we experienced several miles of slow moving traffic. Then in Georgia we moved along well. After 387 miles we stopped for the night in Brunswick, Ga. at 3:45pm. Golden Isle RV Park is just off I-95 and a Passport America park. Reviews on this park were mixed but we decided that for one night we would bite the bullet. We had stayed here years ago but we also know that things change. Actually, we were pleased with this park as it cost $18.90 for the night with P.A. discount and just appears to be an old KOA. And we were pleased that we had gotten to warm weather, in fact, it was very humid making the upper 70 degrees to feel a little uncomfortable especially with our long sleeved shirts and blue jeans. We did go out to a Sonny's barbeque restaurant for dinner. Since our reservations in Florida do not start until Monday we decided to stay here for a second night.

Today, Sunday, we drove to Jekyll Island. This island was first inhabited by an Englishman in the 1700's. There are still remains of this family's house as well as houses of a French family that lived here in the 1800's. This is a beautiful area with southern oak trees covered with Spanish moss and ferns covering the grounds. There is a campground on this island that seemed to be at high occupancy. From Jekyll Island we drove to St. Simon's Island where we had lunch. St. Simon's is a commercialized area unlike the state park that Jekyll Island is. It was warm today although the islands had a rather cool breeze. Clouds covered the sky all day but it wasn't until we returned to the campground this afternoon that the skies opened up for a spell with a shower. Tomorrow we will move on to our destination in Florida. We hear cold temperatures are on their way.