Frostproof, FL – Busiest Month Yet!

The month of February was special for two reasons.  First, our good friends, C and K came to visit us and check out the RV life, and second – it was our busiest month yet! 

On Feb 2, our friends arrived, just in time for Super Bowl.  We have a running joke with C because she is so little, that we HAD to try Costco’s Kirkland vodka – the bottle is almost bigger than she is lol. (No, we did not finish it that weekend!!)

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With a long-planned Super Bowl snacky meal, John and K enjoyed the game and their American beer.  C and I laughed and shared drinks in my “office” (bedroom, with iPad fun, and lots of laughs).  C and K got us started playing pool, and after they left, John and I must have played 20 more times after they left, and I only won once.We had a great time with our friends, even though the weekend was short!!

We met relatives for scenic cycling in Celebration, FL, which is a neat little town, created by Walt Disney, which you can guess when you see how beautiful and perfect the streets and houses are – another happiest place on earth? We also made a lot of 4-legged friends, passing so many pups being walked.  I can’t forget the Sandhill Cranes walking around like they owned the place – each time we saw them we’d laugh at their goofy gait.

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We finally met up with old friends and had a 3-hour visit during a restaurant lunch, and and then a 2-hour McCoffee  visit (we’re those old folks now).  This wonderful couple watched our rig and our cats when we had a family emergency last year in March, and we hadn’t seen them in over a year.  It was non-stop chatter and laughter, and we’re meeting up again this April in Raleigh!

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In Frostproof we met another lovely couple from Missouri, and with them saw a Willie & Waylon tribute band that were excellent (except Willie wasn’t quite as skinny as the real thing lol), played Bocce ball, and tried to learn Bunko (fail). Yet another couple brought us some famous cinnamon muffins and shared their recipe for Chicken Dianne and I thanked them with a batch of homemade cookies.  The RV life is really very friendly.  By coincidence, my cousin and 12 of her husband’s relatives were in nearby Davenport for the Daytona 500, and we spent a day with them in their luxury rental house (3 master bedrooms, house sleeps 14!). This was a wonderful coincidence.

We enjoyed Bok Tower, a 250-acre garden, complete with a 205-foot tall Singing Tower with its carillon bells, which is a bell-type instrument of which there are only about 600 in the whole world.

One last neat thing we did was Spook Hill, an oddity of nature (..or..just science?), which is a small downhill-pointing road you park on, put the car in neutral, and watch as you roll backwards, UPHILL!

Frostproof revealed itself to be lovely and more than frost-proof.  I took these shots one day around sunset, and am glad to have this memory of one of our best months so far.

February was busy in Frostproof, FL (if you ever go there, you must try Frostbite, the 50’s diner which will have you looking for Fonzie!) but we also took time for the gym, baking, crafting and researching (good wifi for a change!).  We booked April from this park, which will lead us to Charleston, SC, to Raleigh, NC, and then right on home by May 1.

Next up, Kissimmee, FL.  KissIMMee, if you want to sound local!

 

 

 

 

 

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Venice, FL

We spent the month of January in Venice, FL, at a park which was similar to a vacation all-inclusive.  There were the usual Snow Birds, plus a lot of families who either spent the season there, or were full-timers (home-schooling is very popular with RV families).  The town of Venice was also very “vacation-y”, and we enjoyed browsing/lunching on the main strip, which had some very interesting shops and restaurants.

IMG_7702.jpgThis park had a lot to offer: weekend food trucks, a huge library, weekly woodworking, karaoke, water aerobics, and a free welcome dinner to kick off the season.  I went to a flea market, made friendship bracelets with 5 of the “football kids” (see below), and John got into his woodworking – which led us to a show where the National Woodworking Champion was teaching a course!  John kept up with his cycling, and even saw an alligator ON the path (said it was not much different than a log, lol).

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All the families we met were really super.  The kids were polite, calm and mature – and then, home-schooling let out around 2:30, haha.  At first I enjoyed how sweet it was that a group of 4-9 kids were playing NFL RULES football on the street – just adorable.  Then the ball hit the rig.  Then again.  And once more.  John started to say that around 2 pm he was getting nervous because they were coming out to play soon, but it was such innocent fun, I’d watch for about an hour at a time.

As this was around halfway through our trip, it seemed one day as though John could be getting tired of all this togetherness.  We do spend most days together, but we have separate hobbies, and my go-to joke is “when we have a disagreement, one of us goes into the car with a cup of herbal tea for 15 minutes”, lol.  In the evenings our hobbies and “downloads” separate us happily for a couple of hours after dinner (unless Triple D is on!).  We do go out for lunch about twice a month, and in downtown Venice, John found this pillow’s saying hilarious.  I laughed out loud, so that must be a good sign.

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RV sites generally range from luxurious to “we can’t even put out 2 chairs, as the next rig is so close”.  One day we met Jade, a huge Goldiepoodle, because we had to move some of our outdoor belongings (ONLY our picnic table, stand-alone hammock, chairs, and carpet, lol) in order for her owners to drive their golf cart onto their toy hauler, so they could leave. This park did NOT have spacious sites, and 3 of us were oddly connected to the electrical pedestals near the rear of our rigs!

We gladly watched the couple’s two little boys, while the parents worked, and they put a hat on Romo, and told us we should visit them in “United-States-of-America-which-is-in-Michigan” – so cute!  Oh, and  Jade, the Goldiepoodle, has 2 -inch eyelashes, which must be TRIMMED monthly!!

Venice was great, and next up is Frostproof, FL for the month of February!  Yes, Tim, I know I’m way behind..

Cruising, and New Friends at the Park

Although we’ve been enjoying the RV life, we had booked our first cruise many months ago, which is why we HAD to be in Miami during December. On December 8 we met our daughter*, her fiancé, plus his parents and my Energizer Bunny Mother-in-Law to board the Norwegian Bliss.

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We ate too much, tried new drinks (cucumber jalepeño mojito!), and danced to a different genre of music almost daily. We enjoyed great entertainment and partied at the ‘80’s Retro Dance like we were 19 (hehe, hello 1985).

 

 

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The food was excellent and (too) abundant. We were both craving an apple as we pulled into the RV park – what might that tell you, haha?

It was a great experience, and we connected with our future in-laws in a warm and wonderful way – and generally had a blast!

* Special thanks to Cruise Director, Emily Reid for organizing this wacky group of 7!

 

Back on land, our site at Larry and Penny Thompson Campground was excellent, and situated in such a way that we saw everyone (and every dog) walk by multiple times a day.  From our small buddies who were full-timing with their parents, to the wise and experienced couple across the street, everyone was so nice and welcoming.  Jim and Audrey had so much to teach and tell us, as they’ve been RVing for 30 years!  At 90, Audrey was perky and fun, and Jim knew all the best spots.  They took us to lunch at their favourite diner, where Jim likes to “aggravate” the servers, haha! On our 2nd last day, the mom of the two tiny buddies actually bought and gave us an Instant Pot cookbook! The kindness of campers is one-of-a-kind!!

 

 

 

Next up for January, Venice, FL.

Everglades and Robert’s Milkshakes

On one of the first days of December we toured boardwalk path, of the 1.5 million acres of wetlands that make up the Florida Everglades National Park. The alligators were out in the sunshine, and at least one looked like he was at the dentist. A few had “crossed the road” (paved path) to the dry side! We saw two babies (3 inches, at most), and heard a Park Ranger tell a group of kids that she’d been doing this for 2 years and had never seen a baby before!! Isn’t swampland beautiful?

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After this kind of sight-seeing we went to see about the milkshakes at Robert Is Here.  I’d been calling it “Bob’s Not Here” for a couple of hours, haha. We chose one of the 21 flavours, all made with fresh fruit – and it was delicious, along with our first ever Cubano (famous cuban sandwich).

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What a neat place! Part cafe, part market, part petting zoo and a historical sight for old aircrafts and vehicles.  We got a lesson in Turtle Love, which was actually funny  – the male was squeaking like a mouse!!

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Next up is another adventure – our first cruise!

 

From FLL to MIA

During our last few days at Yacht Haven, John gave the RV a good wash (by hand, a 4-day process), and we went to Butterfly World, which may sound boring, but was actually pretty and pretty fun.  The tour only took about an hour, but we learned so much, and got a few nice shots.

 

 

 

On Fri Nov 30, we checked in at Larry & Penny Thompson Campground It’s built on a former avocado farm, and is just great!  Long, flat bike paths, and built-in exercise equipment on the walking trail – with a scary warning!

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One morning we chatted with Jim, who’s been RV’ing for 30 years!  He knew so much, and shared stories from his days with the Coast Guard. His stories were fascinating, and his wife is still on the move at 90!  We’ll see if Jim’s suggestion for the best milkshake in Florida holds true! (Added later:  I think it did!)

Next up is Everglades park, and while John researched, he’s sharing a great recommendation for lap desk/ lap warmer!

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It’s Getting Hot In Here

After 5 days at Cape Canaveral, FL it was time for Ft. Lauderdale.  Our park is called Yacht Haven, and we are parked across the road from a small portion of Marina Mile – WOW!!  Our first day here was so hot we had to wait until around 6 pm to take a walk – – and GAWK. John has some solid knowledge about boating in general, from a lifetime of cottaging and also from his last 10 years of work – he estimated some of them are worth between $40M – $100M.  WHAT?!

IMG_2278These views from our “front yard” were amazing!

 

This is the first time on this trip we’ve stayed 2 full weeks.  We met a few people, dropped into the clubhouse for coffee & treats twice so far, and attacked the bookshelf/library.

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They asked us to please NOT return the books we’ve borrowed, so we’ll use them at future parks where “take one/leave one” is a bit stricter.

John went kayaking, and on 3 bike rides, but I’m more of an indoor and A/C cat, so my knitting is coming along.

We enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 22, with our friends of 25+ years, who have a condo about an hour away. It was the first time we’d properly entertained guests, we had a blast – and we realized we have NO serving dishes! Think of a buffet for four, with 2 cereal bowls of mashed potatoes!

The next Sunday we went on a 2 hour (honest!!) kayak ride. We saw so many yachts and fancy homes, I sometimes forgot to paddle!!

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Funny enough, it was the iguanas that I really fussed over. They’re so cute!!

 

Heading South Quickly

This year we made a different plan than last year.  In order to escape the chill of late October, we zipped south like classic Snowbirds do.  One night each in Cortland, NY, Winchester, VA, Raleigh, NC and finally 6 nights in Jekyll Island, GA. Jekyll Island is a historic and gorgeous place, where we did some sight-seeing and I rode my bike twice – and received a few hilarious wise-cracks on Instagram, haha!

Staying one night in one place isn’t as great as settling in for a few days/weeks, and a bit confusing.  Once John asked me to take out the garbage, and I headed straight across the street.  Shaking his head slowly, he said,  “um, it’s behind us?”..

Next was Cape Canaveral, FL, where we saw huge cruise ships coming in and and out which was very exciting since we are going on our first cruise this December! We went to a great little waterside restaurant, where charter fishing boats docked, and we could taste the freshness in our meals!

This is where we also had sunshine during rain, and Romo helped with mapping for our next leg. Apparently, it tired him out!

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