Oh, Christmas Tree!

This past Saturday evening we went to downtown Ocala, FL, for their 35th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. I don’t think I have ever been to a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in my entire life (unless you count all the Hallmark Christmas Movie ones! 😆).

It started with a parade through downtown around 4:00 p.m., however, we didn’t get there in time for that. When we did arrive, we had trouble finding a place to park. They had most all of the downtown streets blocked off. I had read on the internet that they had a shuttle service from various parking areas, but I didn’t know where those parking areas were. We just drove around until we finally found a parking place. Before we left the parking lot, I did this “just in case” we had memory problems:

This way I could put the location of the car into my GPS if we couldn’t find it! 😂

We walked a few blocks following the “traffic” of people because we really had no idea where we were going. It wasn’t long before we started seeing bouncy houses, vendors, and even MORE people.

We walked around for a while looking at everything, bought a couple of corn dogs for supper, and found a spot to sit on a curb and wait for the lighting. I have no idea how many people were crammed into that downtown square, but there were A LOT!

Here are a few of my pictures:

The tree is in there on the left side, however, the two street lights make it hard to see it.

The tree before being lit up. I guess I was photo bombed.

Believe it or not, but the tree lights are not on in this photo.

The tree lights change colors!

Maybe one night this week we will go back downtown and get some better pictures of the lights without all the people in the way.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

FLORIDA or Bust!

Well, we finally made it to Florida for the winter.  We are staying in Wilderness RV Park just outside of Silver Springs, FL.  We found it on the internet, and we got REALLY lucky.  It is a wonderful park with a lot of amenities and a host of activities to keep us busy.  It is also a gated community which makes us feel quite safe.

We were tired travelers when we arrived on November 10th, but unknown to us, a very nice surprise awaited us at our camp site.  Our oldest son, Jeff, who lives in Gainesville, FL (about 35 miles from Silver Springs), had conspired with the park personnel and entered the park before we arrived.  He set up the cutest “Welcome to Florida” celebration complete with a Gator wine holder, champagne, and glasses.  Needless to say, we were totally surprised, and this surprise gave us the needed “boost” to unpack and settle in.

This park has three sections, and we are staying in the Preserve Club which is the nicest of the three sections (I told you we got LUCKY!).  The sites are large with a gigantic concrete pad and plenty of space between you and your neighbors.  Everyone we have met has been super friendly and helpful.

The Preserve Club has its own entrance gate, and you need a special key to be scanned in order to raise the gate and enter.  It also has its own clubhouse, pool (heated!), and hot tub. RV sites can be purchased (QUITE expensive!) and deeded to the owner.  Here are some photos of the Preserve clubhouse (outside and inside) and pool area (you have to have a passcode to get in the clubhouse and a passcode for the pool, too).

Many of the owners have built upscale storage sheds that open on one end to a full kitchen/bar/grill area (complete with a fully stocked bar and bar stools), patios and gazebos furnished with lavish outdoor furniture, and screened-in hot tubs. Needless to say, we feel like the Clampetts from the Beverly Hillbillies with our “generic” outdoor setup!

The park has many amenities available to all campers. It has a restaurant (actually opened to the public), candy store (YUM!), Bath House (for the pool for the whole park), Fitness Center, Recreation Center, Mail Center (for permanent residents), and Laundry.  All facilities are well-kept and clean.

These camp sites are not in the Preserve Club, however, they are VERY nice sites also!

Sunday evening our son took us to a wonderful Veterans Day concert and celebration at a Veterans Park in Ocala. There was a big crowd, the concert was great, the emcee told some really cute jokes, and the finally with fireworks was the perfect ending to a lovely evening.

The moon was gorgeous that evening, but the picture doesn’t do it justice.

Although we haven’t even been here a week yet, I think we are going to really enjoy ourselves in this RV park.  What’s more, we are going to enjoy being close to our oldest son and visiting him often in the next few months!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!

Betty

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