Sunday, March 11, 2012

Florida March 2012

      This year is going by fast. Can't believe its already March. After leaving Thousand Trails Peace River in Zolfo Springs we arrived at Thousand Trails Orlando. It is a easy 80 mile drive. There are close to 800 sites here and the park is full. We had a choice of 3 sites in the 50 amp section. We choose site G81 and settled in. After meeting friends Dave and Pat and playing Mexican Train, we met friends Jim and Linda, workers at Disney. We also made new friends Lance and Angela who played Mexican Train with us almost every night. We also went to the huge Webster Flea Market with them. Of coarse we went out to eat with them, and Pat and Dave,  to Cherry Pockets. Great, great food again. Every time we went to Cherry Pocket's the food was great.  Been going here for 3 or 4 years.
     We then went to the Florida Strawberry festival and met up with my cousin Pat and her husband Larry. They are in Florida for about a month for the Phillie's spring training. We met them here three years ago, and this year we went to see the Brenda Lee show with them. It was a good show from the 67 year old entertainer. She sang many of her hits from the 50's and 60's.
      A few days later we met my cousin Jane and her husband Nick at the The Catfish Place in ST Cloud. We have been meeting them here for the passed 4 years. Great fun reconnecting and listening to all of Nicks new jokes. Not to mention the great food. We got there about 1 o'clock and the place was still packed with the lunch time crowd. After a short wait we got a table. After an hour plus of eating and talking we were ready to leave. By now the place is nearly empty. THEN we look at the entryway and see three guys six foot plus coming in, followed by a few more six footers. It was the Harlem Globetrotters. Of coarse Linda was up with her camera in a flash. The tallest was seven foot four. Now that's tall. See the photo's. They were very friendly and talked to everybody there as if we were old friends.
      We had a couple of email's about our Tailgator. It can only be used with Dish network. It finds the satellites automatically. It works better if we get it off the ground, like on a table or set it on one of the slide outs on our RV. We can get some HD channels. We can have the service turned off and on by the month. So if  in an RV Park for a month with good cable we could have it turned off.  We just have to have a clear shot of the southern sky. Set it outside, go in, turn on the receiver, and in 5 to 10 minutes it finds the satellites and downloads the guide. We have been here nearly two weeks and at first had it setting on the ground and lost the signal several times. So I put it on the slide out and it has been fine since. We could have set in on the picnic table, but it would have been right along the road. We do have a cable with a lock to secure it.

 A land Tortise at our site in Orlando. The balloons look like the are going to land in the RV park
 The Strawberry festival. The Brenda Lee Show

 The "Big Ass Fan" at the Sanata Fe Resturant, as that is what the label on the fan states. The blades must be about 12 feet long.
 Friends at Cherry Pockets.

 The Harlem Globetrotters.
 Bob with Linda and cousin Jane

Thousand Trails Orlando FL

Update; date- 2/28/12-3/13/12 Stayed here several times before. See passed RV Park reviews. This stay the park is full. Even though it is full, it is still quite. We always try to stay in the perimeter of the park and it seems more open and not crowed.

Thousand Trails Peace River Zolfo Springs FL

                         Update; see 1/20/11
We belong to Thousand Trails and stayed here on our way north since it was on the way. Only thing new is a few area's  the roads were repaved. They are redoing the pool and hot tub.

Gulf View Punta Gorda FL

                            Update;see post 3/12/12 ,
Returned here for a Carriage Rally.

The Glades Moore Haven FL

                           Update; we stayed here before, see 2/21/11, also photo's
Location; 1682 Indian Hills drive, Moore haven FL
Staff; very friendly staff.
Site; Super big site on grass. All roads are paved.
Price; We stayed here with a Tampa show special. $160. week plus tax. Regular rate $35.  day, $210. week.

Whisper Creek RV Resort, Labelle Florida

                UPDATE; we stayed here last year  see 3/6/11, see photo's there.
Location; 1887 N.State Road 29, Labelle FL.
Date; 2/1/12-2/5/12
Staff; Very friendly staff, with escort to our site.
Price; We stayed for free. we got a 4 night free coupon at the Tampa RV show. Regular price is around  $40.

Gulf View RV Resort, Punta Gorda FL.

Location; Gulf View 10205 Burnt Store Road Punta Gorda Fl. An Encore park. Just off State route 41.
Date; 1/15/12-1/22/12
Staff; The staff was very friendly and helpful.
Price; We stayed under a thousand trails special for $139. week plus $3. a  day resort and tax. About $170. total. I believe regular price is about $40. per night. they do give several different club discounts. call for rates and discounts.
Site; We had a pull thru full hook up site, with 50 amp electric.  The roads are paved, the site was grass and gravel. The site was very tight. No privacy between sites. some sites had a small patio. the roads are very narrow. 
Big Rig friendly; Not really,but. The roads and sites are very narrow. With very careful maneuvering and maybe having people move cars you can get into the sites. There were a lot of big rigs here, but is not easy to get into the sites. Some are just not possible for large rigs. There are some bigger sites in the back, but they seem to all be seasonal sites.
Amenities; This is a very, very active resort with something going on all the time.  They have a new clubhouse.There are the usual RV Resort amenities. There is a small boat lunch ramp on a creek that goes out into the bay/gulf. Everybody was very friendly. One day they had a free burger cookout for guest.
Laundry; There is a nice clean laundry with about 8 machines. Never had a problem using it.  They have garbage pick up at your site.
Phone/Wifi/TV; Verizon worked well. Wifi in the club house. TV over the air was good with all the major networks.
Dog friendly; Yes, can walk the dogs any where. Bu, No fields or enclosed dog runs.
Night; Good lighting at night with some road noise.
Book exchange; Small book exchange.
Comment; Very close to shopping and many restaurants in the area. Walmart about 3 miles. Sweetbay about 1 mile. Good paves roads for walking or biking. the pool is a little on the small side, but never seemed crowed.
Opinion; A nice clean very very active park for seasonal rver's.  No "Wow or It" factor. We would not stay here again (but coming back for a Rally in about a month) because it is to tight for a big rig. that said it is a very active park for seasonal stays.

Florida State Fairground-Tampa

Location;Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa FL, just off I4
Date of stay;1/11/12-1/15/12
Staff; very organized staff. They park over 700 RV's in an organized fashion.
Price; The fee for the Super Show Rally was $160. which included 4 nights, 5 days  camping and unlimited entry to the Super RV Show. Three of the nights there was good entertainment for the people staying at the Rally. There were over a 100 door prises with a snack each night.
Site; We went in as a club all at one time and got a site backed up to a fence. A better site them being in the middle of a big Field with 100's of RV around you. We had 30 amp eclectic, supplied via huge generators. No water fill or dump station, some come with full fresh water tank and empty waste water tanks.
Amenities;This is a huge fairgrounds with no amenities. There are rest rooms in the exhibit area, not in the Rally area.
Phone/Wifi/TV; Our Verizon phone worked very well. TV over the air was good.
Night lighting; Good night lighting, very little road noise from were we where parked.
Comments; This is a large fairgrounds not an RV  Park, but good for the Rally and RV Show, and this is why we were there. It is just a large grass field with paved roads. There were shuttles taking you into the show area. We were parked very near the show area and just walked over. But if parked at the far end the shuttles would be great. You are in the middle of the Tampa area so shopping and restaurants are a plenty.

Blueberry Hill RV Resort Bushnell FL Jan. 2012

Location; Bushnell FL. on C.R.609, about a half mile off I75, exit 314.
Date; 3/6/12-3/11.12. Here for Carriage Club Rally
Staff; Friendly staff.
Cost; for the rally it was $25. per night. Regular rate is $35. per night, $210. weekly. Don't know if they honor any club discount. Great monthly rates, a limit time special was $375. month. That I believe expired. The park is under new ownership as of Mid Feb. The long term section of the park has double wide sites.
Site description; All sites in the short term section were narrow and paved pull thrus with full hookups. 50 amp electric. Paved roads. Some small trees with no privacy between sites. Sites are very close. The long term section has much larger sites. Sites there are on grass with a gravel pad and paved roads.
Big rig friendly; Yes sites are big rig friendly, but a little tight turning into the narrow sites if someone on both sides.
Amenities; Heated pool, big Clubhouse, scheduled activities and usual park amenities. We don't use the restrooms but sometimes check them out. The restrooms here are about the best we ever seem in a RV Resort. They are private and all tiles, super clean. I believe they are very new. Also all the buildings were in very good conditions. there is a nice separate billiards and game room. There is also a large pavilion. They sell LP gas.
Laundry; Very nice clean laundry with about 8-10 machines, and parking in front.
Phone/Wifi/TV; Good Verizon signal. Wifi in clubhouse. Over the air TV, about 12 channels.
Dog friendly; yes. A lot of room to walk a dog, as this  is a big park. there is no fenced dog run.
Night lighting; Good night lighting, quite.
Book exchange; there is a small book exchange.
Comments; A very well kept and clean park. All buildings are super clean and well kept. Probably several miles of paved roads in the park for walking or bike riding. A shopping center with a Walmart in walking distance. Several good restaurants near by. Close to the huge Webster flea Market. Easy access from I75.
Opinion; There is no "Wow and It" factor, but it is a nice park. The transient sections is tight and good for a few nights. If we would stay here long time, the long term area in nice, but no privacy  between sites.  If passing thru the area we would have no problem staying here for a few nights, but doubt we would stay here long term, just not enough in the area for our taste.

Midway Campground Big Cypress National Park Florida

Location; On state route 41, Alligator Alley in Big Cypress National Park, next to Everglades National Park.
Date; 1/22/12-2/1/12
Staff; Super friendly campground host met us as we pulled in. There are 4 couple host in this small campground.
Price; $10. per night with our golden Age Pass, otherwise it is $19.
Site; We had a back in site with 50 amp electric. There are no water or sewer hookups. There is a water fill, for fresh water and a dump station. The sites and roads are paved. There are some nice Palm trees between sites. Sites are mowed grass with no privacy between sites. There are 26 RV sites and about 6 tent sites.
Amenities; A restroom with flush toilet's is the only amenity other them locations.
Phone/Wifi/TV; Weak Verizon signal. Since we us our phone to connect to the Internet we had problems connecting. We used our Wilson amp and external antenna to connect, but the signal was still weak. TV signal was also weak with very few stations.
Dog friendly; Yes, a lot of room to walk your dog. no fenced in dog run.
Night; No lighting at night. Very dark and quite. Great to see the night sky. There is some day time noise as this is a main road across the everglades. It is a 2 lane road.
Comments; A SUPER campground for visiting the Everglades and Big Cypress National Parks. The campground was one of the nicest public campgrounds we stayed. in. We could only stay 10 days, as this is the limit in season(told after Dec. 15th to end of Mar.). It is called Midway because it is kinda midway on Alligator Alley. From here we toured the 10,000 Islands, Shark Valley, and the main area of the Everglades. Some of the areas we toured were 3 miles from the campground to 100 miles, the end of the Everglades at Flamingo. We also drove to big Cypress National park about 50 miles one way. If we come here again we would stay here and then move to the Flamingo campground for a few days. There is another campground about 8 miles west of here called Monument. There are no hook ups of any kind. the roads and sites are gravel and dusty when we visited it. It is I believe $6. a night with your Golden Age passport. It is free before the prime season. They have restrooms.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Florida, Dish Tailgator,Fishing Tourament

    First let us say thanks to new followers of our blog and thanks for joining.
    Hi, we got behind. we have been busy. Our kids say "what do you do all day", well its hard to explain. All you retirees and full time RVer's know how hard it is to account for your time. Well we had to do our income tax and get it to the accountant. We had to meet friends.We met Bruce and Sharon, folks we met in FL last year and blog followers for lunch in Fort Myers. They saw we were in the area and we got together for a couple of hours.
     We went to the Carriage Rally in Punta Gorda for week. A great time with 16 RVing couples in attendance. A lot of activities, and of course dinning out. We tried to solve all the worlds problems.
      Next we went to Thousand Trails Peace River in Zolfo Springs. We met friends Tom and Paula. We played our first game of outdoor shuffle board. Great fun, our son Mark said we are official old timers now. It was kind of a laid back week. We played a lot of games with Tom and Paula, and of course went out to eat. If in the area be sure and go to "Paul's" restaurant. Great food with large portions and fair prices.  Just what we need, "large portions" While here we went to pick strawberries with Tom and Paula. We picked about  six pounds each at $1.00 per pound. We did eat a few in between picking. We did make some freezer strawberry jelly, which turned out a little to thin. But it was great over pancakes. We froze most of our 12 pounds. At the farm were we picked the berries there was a unusually tree. They called it a "ear tree". It was a Guanacaste tree. It is the national tree of Costa Rica.
      We had to say goodbye to friends Tom and Paula and headed for Thousand Trails Orlando. We met friends Dave and Pat, Carriage club members and  played "Mexican Train". They were in a park near by, and moving here in about a week. We also joined "Fawn Ridge" rv resort in Davenport. Works like Thousand trails.
Bruce and Sharon

 Linda's bucket is full

 Pick the best one's

 Tom said my bucket is full.

 Six pounds of fresh picked strawberries.

Tom, Paula Bob and Linda with full buckets.

 The ear tree, see why its call an eat tree. These are seed pods.

Our newest toy. "The Tailgater". Its an automatic TV satellite finder.