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Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Winter 2017 Florida Trip–Post #9

Wednesday is our third and last day in Key West.  Even though Ronnie and I complained about how hard it was to get our rigs into the sites here, today, we walked the drive out…… and it is just as bad.

Since I am parked on a row in front of Ronnie, I will have to wait while he backs out and exits on the drive path that he came in on, and then the wives and I will “walk” him out to help with the tight places and turns.  When we get him to the park exit, I will have to back out of my site, and through his site, which is not only one row behind me, but a space to the right!!  Once I miss the trees, rigs and sheds to accomplish that task, then Ronnie and the wives will “walk me out via Ronnie’s exit!!

We will make it, but with the sites over a $!00/night here, it should be much better.  To help with tomorrow, Ronnie and I went to the office and asked that security have a couple of people move their cars at 8:00am in the morning.

Today, Wednesday, we drove to Marathon Key, but did not find a lot of things to do.  We then decided to pay another visit to Key West for a few souvenirs for kids and grandkids, and to make sure we visited everything in Key West that interested us.

On the way, we saw a K-Mart store, and decided to visit it one more time before they are all gone.  It kind of reminded us of why they are going out of business!!


At one ‘Souvenir’ shop, Kathy and Patsy spotted a large chair outside the store while I was checking out, and said they would wait for me out in the chair. The cashier, who I was complaining to about all the shopping costs, told me that this was a good time to get away from them……… she said that a lot of women sit in the chair, but can’t get out!!


The cashier did not know these healthy ladies…….. they got right out!!  I told them what she had said to encourage them to get out, and after exiting the chair, they opened the door to the store………. and telling the cashier “Ha ha, we got out!!!”.  Just like kids!!!

As we were retuning on HWY 1 to our campground, we stopped and checked out a couple of other campgrounds on the way.  They all made us more unhappy with the place we had picked.  In one of them, we spotted some pelicans in a tree….. we were used to seeing them on post in the water……


On the previous post, I did not have a place to post a couple of pictures that Patsy took of the water area of this campground.  It did make the place appear better…… we are just in a bad couple of sites for our rigs.

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And, the last picture prompts the question……. “Why did the ladies cross the road?”

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Well, it was to shop another store, silly!!

Tomorrow, the PLAN …….THOUGHT is to move northward to Everglades National Park and see if we can get a couple of campsites. 

There is NO PLAN from this point on!


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Winter 2017 Florida Trip–Post #8

In the last post, I mentioned that we spent Sunday night at a county RV park in South Bay, FL.  What I failed to mention, was that a very bad and stormy night was forecasted for South Florida.

We did get a lot of heavy rain, and high winds, but no damage at the RV park.  However, while watching the news on Monday morning, there were a lot of reports of damage from the high winds and tornadoes in areas of South Florida that were close to us……….. in all directions!!  One report was from FEMA that a tornado touched down with a 1/2 mile width for 25 miles in length!!  We were just plain lucky!

On the way toward Key West, we took back roads, and avoided freeways and toll roads based on the news reports of traffic issues do the the early morning rain and storms.  We seemed to have avoided traffic congestion and made good time.  Here are some road pictures going from key to key……..


Here, we are approaching MM39 and our campground…..


Also, I stated that we got lucky, and scored two campsites near Key West at MM39.  However, when we arrived, while we did have a 50amp electrical hookups, complete with water and sewer, the roads to our sites and the sites themselves were small and inadequate.  But, it is what it is……. a place to stay that is convenient. Here is our site….


For the rest of Monday, we just rested, washed clothes, and made MH repairs.

On Tuesday, we drove the 39 miles into Key West.  Here are some sights:

The beach…..

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We also visited the “Southernmost point in the USA…..


Since we all had been to Key West and visited the Truman Southern Whitehouse and the Hemingway House, we just drove past them.  We did take photos of the local lighthouse and the Banyan tree growing near it.  To us, they were unusual, and interesting.  We found them in several places in and around Key West……


We decided to have lunch at the Margaretville CafĂ©.  Here are some inside pictures……


The following are general pictures of Key West, including the roosters that run wild around town….


It was a long day, but Key West is an interesting place to visit.

Tomorrow, we will go north on Hwy 1 to visit other cities in the Keys area.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Winter 2017 Florida Trip–Post #7

NOTE:  This will be a LONG post……. but it updates a busy week!

On Monday, after we mailed the old OTA antenna back to the vendor, we drove to the St. Petersburg area to visit the Fort De Soto County Park.  It was interesting, and here are some pictures……..

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On Tuesday, we rested a bit, and then drove up the highway to the Premium Outlet Mall South of Tampa in Ellenton, FL.  Here are the happy shoppers….


While waiting for the Wednesday opening of the RV show, we also visited the Lazy Days RV Sales here near Tampa.

Also while East of Tampa, we visited The Parkesdale Market………. famous for strawberries and strawberry shortcakes and shakes.

On Wednesday, we got up early and drove about 10 miles and got set up in the temporary campground at the fairgrounds.  Our sites were right on one of the roads, and next to the queue for entering the campground.   We spent a part of the day watching the confusion of getting all of the rigs parked close together.  The Woods and us were back to back,


The latter photo shows the parking crew during a lull in arrivals!!

Our four days at the RV show was fun, and interesting to see new ideas and designs in RV’s.  I did not take a lot of pictures of the RV’s for two reasons.  We are satisfied with what we have, and there were just too many to look at.  They said there were 765 rigs in the campground, and they sold out early due to the demand!!

There were a few pictures that I thought were necessary….


Weary show attendees, waiting for another to visit a bathroom!!


Our days started out with “FREE” Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and coffee at 8:00am (EST no doubt!!!), and ended about 8:30pm with free entertainment.  The first night was a “Neil Diamond” impersonator…….


He told us that his 12 year old son was his helper with the sounds, and his name was Bobby Darin!!

The second night’s entertainment was twin brothers who sang songs, play guitars, and told jokes.  They were pretty good, but I forgot their names!!

The last night, we were entertained by a husband and wife duo.  They mostly sang “RV songs” written by the wife, and told jokes……. and some were very original and funny.


One unexpected event at the show occurred as we were resting in the Tiffin tent, and Kathy spotted a guy from our “Texas Allegro Bluebonnet  Club” out of the San Antonio/Austin area in Texas.  It was Robert Stromberg  His wife was in Tampa with him, but at the time was at their hotel.

We made  arrangements to meet them on Saturday at an Outback Steakhouse in Lakeland, FL for lunch.  It was a good meal with good friends…..


Since it was THE STROMBERG’s. who are VIP’s, I dressed in my best shirt…….. a gift made by, and given to me, by my daughter-in-law!!!!


In case you can’t read it, the wording states “I’m a PROUD father-in-law of an AWESOME daughter-in-law”!

In smaller print at the bottom, it says….. “Yes, she made this shirt”!!!

Early on Sunday, we closed up the Bus, and left the fairgrounds ahead of the crowds, and made our journey to Key West.  During the show, we managed to make reservations at an ENCORE RV Resort called Sunshine Key which is located at MM 39 on Highway 1, which means it is 39 miles from Key West. 

We were happy to get the reservation at such a late date in the high season of Florida’s snowbird season, and glad to be so close to Key West for three days. 

We split the trip into two days, and made a reservation to stay near Miami at South Bay County Park in Sough Park, FL.  We got there early in the afternoon, and made a ‘day trip’ to the south beach area.  Here are some pictures…. There are a lot of pictures, but there was a lot to see!!


The above pictures were all taken in the same two square block area…… a lot going on!!!


On Monday , we left South Bay, and headed to Sunshine Key RV Park.

More later……..