Saturday, February 14, 2015

Moving Further South- February 7-14, 2015

I seem to be falling behind writing this blog but I will try to catch up our last week's activities. On Saturday, the 7th of February, we returned to Mt. Dora for an Art Festival. Streets were lined with vendors displaying and selling their artistic works. And the streets were filled with people checking out all the art. Street performers, The Propellers, were performing in the area of the beautiful Lakeside Inn. It was a beautiful day.

Sunday was spent at the campground not doing anything exciting. Monday we again went to the Webster Flea Market buying some fresh produce including strawberries. Before returning to the campground we stopped in Clermont for lunch at a Mexican restaurant which we thought was very good. The clouds were heavy in the morning and then in the afternoon and through the night the rain poured.

Tuesday morning the rain had stopped and we were making a move a little further to the south to Zolfo Springs, Thousand Trails Peace River Park, about 70 miles. We had been to this park years ago but at that time it was not a Thousand Trails park. This park operates what they refer to as a "sewer lottery". Part of the park lays so low that it is often flooded so sewer cannot be installed in this area. As one comes into the park you have to park in an non-sewer site, your name is then placed on a list, at 12 noon daily a list of available sewer sites is displayed, you then need to check out these sites to see if the site can accommodate your rig and then at 1pm names are called in order of the listing and sites are selected. First off we needed to find an non-sewer site which was not an easy task due to the previous rains making the area of most of these sites super saturated and not a place we wanted to park the motorhome. Luckily, a park employee directed Tom to higher ground and a make-sift site in a roadway with water and electric. We quickly parked and then checked out the available sites for the day. Tom was at the drawings for the day and surprising there were still sites available when his name was called but not satisfactory for our motorhome (too much slope). So we remained parked in the roadway for at least one night. Tom played Texas Hold 'em in the evening winning $18.00.

Wednesday we were hanging out waiting to get a permanent site going through the same procedure as on Tuesday. There were more sites available today. We both went to the calling out of the names for the sites and when we were called there was still many good sites available. So we now had a site which we relocated to that had sewer in addition to water and 50 amp electric on dry ground. We were relieved because we felt we could not plan to do anything until we were situated in a permanent site. I made a crock pot of vegetable soup. Tom again played poker on this evening winning $10.00.

Thursday we were free to do as we wished so we took off. We drove south to Arcadia and then northwest to Bradenton then down to Sarasota. We then drove along Gulf Drive, a beautiful drive with the bay on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other side. The water was the beautiful turquoise blue that the Gulf is known for. We drove south to north on a very busy drive and very congested touristy areas up to Bradenton. We did grab lunch at Five Guys before leaving Bradenton.

Friday we did not do much today but go into Wauchula to the grocery store and CVS. We have been hearing all week about a cold front coming through that would bring the coldest temperatures since January 2014. In the evening, the temperatures dropped into the 40's before we went to bed. Up north temperatures in the 40's in the daytime would have been welcomed as the front was causing low temperatures down to 0. We did attend a program in the evening in the campground with the Weaver family. This family group of 4 brothers, 2 sisters and a brother-in-law aged 13 to late 20's performed bluegrass style music of mostly gospel. Entertaining.

Saturday, the 14th, Valentine's Day, started with going out for breakfast at a local diner, Pioneer Restaurant. We then drove south again to Punta Gorda, a very pretty city. We walked about an area called Fisherman's Village that had small interesting shops and a free military museum the was small but had some nice displays and docents that liked to talk about their experiences in the military. Ponce Beach is a beach on the Peace River, the water here was not the pretty color of the Gulf. In Port Charlotte, the Greek Orthodox Church was having a Greek Festival that we stopped at. We did split an order of Greek fried cheese and bought a few of those delicious Greek pastries to take with us. Before leaving Port Charlotte we stopped for a late lunch at Dean's South of the Border Restaurant (Tex-Mex food) that we thought had great food. This morning started out with temperatures in the high 30's but the bright sunshine brought the temperatures up to the low 60's. A nice day to be out and about.