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Winter Winter Everywhere!

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Jack frost visits the area and we keep reminding ourselves of this great blessing we have to be on the road full time south of all the cold fun.

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Floridians must have wanted to remember what they were going to be missing when they retreated to Florida and developed this area. We are staying now in Winter Garden, which is just down the road from Winter Haven, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Winter Green and Frostproof! This past week the cold weather dipped down into Florida with some areas seeing hard freezes that did damage to plants. Even pixie dust at Walt Disney World was not immune when Epcot Center “had a visit from jack frost.” We made another visit there on Thursday and found that there were many flower beds either black and dying or completely covered up by the imagineers with white blankets. It is easy to forget after the being here now for five weeks that it is indeed winter and that what is sometimes dark, dreary and brown here is a not under 8-12″ of white stuff!

Jason’s parents are now with us again, they too left Frostproof early and that has given us a chance to spend more time together here at Winter Garden RV Resort. We have finally found a campground with a working pool and enjoyed a deep! Low 70’s with a breeze brought a decent wind chill, but we were enjoying a swim, outdoors, in January, and it wasn’t a polar challenge! There are farmers markets in our area and there are countless numbers of semi trucks moving produce on the highways.

We visited the Silver Springs State Park and greatly enjoyed the glass bottom boats. There are numerous deep springs feeding and the water turns over every two minutes with millions of gallons of water. The water is crystal clear and each boat has a huge glass window in it that everyone sits around while the pilot hovers over each of the features and narrates. They have glass bottom kayaks and canoes in addition to the motorized tour boats. There are some very brilliant fish in the waters here. It was really worth a visit and if it were not for seeing this on because of one of our favorite Youtube inspirations, Less Junk and More Journey, we would have never check it out.

Sunday we visited the East coast of Florida and took a lunch boat tour up and down the Halifax River in the Daytona area. It was a great experience, a two hour tour on a well equipped “paddle” boat that served some really tasty meals on the “Dinner and a Cruise.” It was also one of those things in which we sort of just cast our fate into, “well it’s only $19.95, if it is bad we are not out much” sort of feeling. It was nothing like that, it was a really great experience the four of us experienced together. From there then we went out onto the Daytona Beaches and we drove up and down the hard pack sands while the Atlantic was at low-tide. Fate phoned again while Jason took a work related call to talk about the 8″ to 12″ of snow that the University’s emergency management team is tracking back in Wisconsin!

RVtravel.com’s Worth Pondering Message, January 2018: “Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed by them.” —Henry David Thoreau

Rate Cards

We had a duh moment checking into the RV resort this time. We didn’t pay attention to the daily, weekly and monthly rates.

We should have booked two solid weeks instead of 6 days and a week. This is because paying for one week plus six days costs more than two weekly rates back to back. Sometimes it is cheaper to book the longer rate to get a week or a month and just leave early. Many parks will have a stay X days get 1 free sort of deal too. Sometimes you can use the various discount programs, but most often those will only apply to a daily rate and not to any of these special stay a while deals.

This coming week we continue to be in Winter Garden before we depart a few minutes South for Clermont. We are currently in the Winter Park RV Resort that is part of the Encore Resorts system, which as a Thousand Trails member we received a 20% discount on the stay. Since we love the quality of this park, we want to come back here one more time before we leave Florida. We decided to also add the “trails collection” to our Thousand Trails membership, which adds another 100+ parks around the entire US. Otherwise we just have the “Southeast” zone of Trails parks. It is an ongoing challenge to keep optimizing our routes around the membership parks, with the 14 days in a park and then 7 days out requirements of the membership. Jason is planning to return to the office around April 1 and we continue to consider the route and options these memberships give us. In addition to opening up parks all over the country, this now also gives us 5 parks in Wisconsin we are now eligible to use.

Nights Stayed13: January 15-28, 2018
Parking SiteSite 191
Winter Garden RV Park
13905 W Colonial Dr
Winter Garden FL 34787
(407) 656-1415
http://www.wintergardenrv.com/
Encore Resorts Property
Restaurants

  • 4 Rivers Smokehouse - brisket and pulled pork are the best, Barb's favorite is the "Six Shooter" of pulled pork topped with coleslaw on a grits cake
  • Winter Park Fish Co was too far to drive and was just "OK"
  • Grills Seafood Deck and Tiki Bar in Port Canaveral was very fresh. Had the three kabobs with beef tips, shrimp and shark. Also the bacon wrapped scallops were a great meal.
Attractions
WELS ChurchesScheduling and traveling conflicts so far, haven't check them out.
Remember for Next TimeCamping World is about 2 miles to the East, but is old and tiny

Book a full two weeks and not 13 days, their discount for weekly rates is deep vs. the daily rates
AT&T Coverage4G LTE very good, low latency
Verizon Coverage4G LTE good
WiFi CoverageNone at the sites, only at the recreation building
Anytime FitnessThere are two Anytime Fitness facilities in either direction about 2 miles out main entry. One to the East that takes twice as long to get to but is half as far as the one to the West. The Eastern gym in Winter Garden has more modern equipment but the Western gym in Clermont has less stop lights. There is also a third a few more minutes to the South.

Campground has a good fitness room with low-end fitness grade equipment. Also there are well paved roads in the park are good for biking and walking. There are two warm pools in the park.
Mail ServicesCan receive packages via USPS and UPS at main address, First Class envelopes are accepted. Must have the site number and the name in the address. The "Wi-Fi" room at the main office building has mail slots, you have to check there to see if you have a pack slip in your mailbox. You can also steal other people's mail there if you are so inclined.

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