February and March in Florida – Part 2

We made plans a long time ago (some time last fall) to fly our grandchildren to visit us in the RV in Florida for a week. Since our grandkids are all homeschooled, they can take their Spring Break when they choose. Our RV park is about an hour and fifteen minutes or so from the Orlando airport.

Along with their parents, we decided the oldest, Jade, would come visit first. Then, the day she flew home, the other two, Kylee and Jackson, would fly in for their week with us. As Christmas approached, our oldest son, Jeff, decided to give his nieces and nephew a “once-in-a-lifetime” Christmas gift: an all expenses paid day at Disney World with Uncle Jeff! Our three grandchildren were SO excited on Christmas Day when they opened that special gift.

We videoed their reactions but the video is somewhat blurry. I took some screen shots of the video, but the quality isn’t that great. However, I think you can see their sheer joy and excitement.

It all started with a gift box with a stuffed Disney figurine (Mickey for Jackson and Minnie for the girls) and a $25 gift card for a souvenir. However, at this time, they still did not understand the gift.

Then they were told to go get their iPhones and read the text message Uncle Jeff sent them.

It was at this point that we discovered that they could not access the link for the message because of the security restrictions set on their phones by their parents (good parents restrict their minor kids’ access to the internet on their phones!)

We all got the same text, so their dad read the message from his phone as they all looked on.

And NOW they realize what the gift is and the excited reactions begin!

They are all VERY excited! However, Jade was SO excited she shed “tears of joy!!”

The funniest part was when the parents admitted to them that they HAD ACTUALLY kept that secret from them for DAYS!!!

Then Uncle Jeff got big hugs from all three.

Jade arrived first on Tuesday, February 26th (just three days after we moved into our new RV (see previous post). The plan was for her to go to Disney with Uncle Jeff the next day. However, Uncle Jeff, the weatherman, had been in touch with Jade and her mom for a couple of days because it looked liked that Wednesday was going to be stormy enough to shut down rides and have the potential to make their day quite miserable. Through a series of phone calls, the decision was made to postpone the Disney adventure until Sunday. I could tell Jade was disappointed (as ANYONE would have been!), but she handled it VERY well. I was so proud of her maturity in this situation.

The day finally arrived for Jade’s Disney adventure. We drove north to Kissimmee to a spot to meet Jeff that was close to Animal Kingdom. When Jeff arrived, Jade went with him and we returned to the RV (we didn’t have a day planned that was as fun as Jade’s day; we had housecleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping chores to attend to). Here are some photos of the fun and sheer joy Jade had with Uncle Jeff.

Jade used her gift card to buy her first pair of Mickey ears.

Jade and Uncle Jeff are in the very back row.

Waiting in line for the Avatar/Pandora ride.

Waiting on Fantasmic nighttime show to start.

While Jade was with us, she decided she wanted to go visit Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL, which was only about a 20 minute drive from us. This is a contemplative garden and bird sanctuary consisting of a 250 acre garden and a 205 foot tall tower with its carillon bells. It is located on top of Iron Mountain, one of the highest point of peninsular Florida (approx. 295 feet above sea level. It is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here are some pictures of our visit to Bok Tower Gardens.

As I said earlier, Jade came the first week and the day she left, we picked up Kylee and Jackson for their week with us. We were staying at Rainbow RV Resort, Frostproof, FL. This RV park was really nice! It had a lot of things to do with the grandkids and many activities planned. We spent a lot of time both weeks swimming (and sitting in the hot tub!) as well as playing bocce ball, shuffleboard, pickleball, and horseshoes. We played numerous games of Skip Bo and taught the grandkids to play Gin Rummy. They had never played that game before, and they caught on quickly. They became really good at it, and we played it nearly every night. All in all, everyone of us had a wonderful time both weeks.

The week Kylee and Jackson were with us, the weather was great. They were anxiously waiting for the day to “cash in” on their Christmas gift from Uncle Jeff. Finally the day arrived to go to Disney World! Jeff wanted me to go along this time because their was only one of him and two of them! He even offered to pay my way, so I got to enjoy the day with them, too. The weather was PERFECT; it was a little cool in the morning then warmed to the low 70s in the afternoon! Even though it was a spring break week and there were a lot of groups of kids there causing the lines to be somewhat long, we had so much fun! The pictures tell it all.

Silly grandkids! They’ve learned that from Papa Jack. 😂

Waiting in line for the new Avatar/Pandora ride. The wait was THREE HOURS! The ride was: FANTASTIC!!!

This view NEVER ceases to excite me … and EVERYONE ELSE!

Mickey shaped food was EVERYWHERE!

Uncle Jeff, Kylee, and Jackson rode this ride. I did NOT! They are on the back row on the left side.

Waiting for FANTASMIC nighttime show to start. It was FANTABULOUS!

We really had a great time while the grandkids were visiting us. We were sad to see them go. After they left, we had a couple of naps to rest up from all the fun!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

February and March in Florida – Part 1

Well, it’s been a busy two months in Florida. On February 1st we drove south to Frostproof, FL, to Rainbow RV Resort. This is a Sun RV Resort property and probably the NICEST RV park at which we’ve ever stayed. However, it was a little “pricey” and because we booked kind of “late” for the winter season, we didn’t have much choice. We have learned we MUST book reservations in FL for winter seasons EARLY!! You can see in these photos how nice this park truly is.

The Clubhouse

The Clubhouse. Canadian flag is on this side because there are SO MANY Canadians at this park.

The Clubhouse. The American flag (although you can’t see it very well) is on this side.

Bocce Ball is VERY popular here. It is fun game to play!

Pickle Ball courts. Another popular and fun game.

Back of the Clubhouse where there are mail boxes. This building also has restrooms with showers, laundry room, fitness center, and a room with pool tables. There are several swings like the one in this picture around the clubhouse.

Pool behind the Clubhouse. It has two hot tubs.

These are Petanque courts. It’s a French game played with balls and is somewhat complicated. We couldn’t find anyone to teach us how to play because it is not as popular here as Bocce Ball.

Horseshoes.

Shuffleboard courts.

One view from the Clubhouse.

We barely got our RV and campsite set up and people were stopping by welcoming us. Jack always asks what are the best eating places around, and we learned about a little “mom and pop” 50s style diner called Frostbite in the town of Frostproof. So our first night there, we tried it out.

Frostbite was really crowded! We literally got the last available table. People that came in right after us were put on a waiting list. I’m telling you – this place was FANTASTIC! The waitresses were very pleasant and truly hustled to get everyone served in a timely manner. The food was delicious and reasonably priced. And the ice cream! Let’s just say it’s the most delicious I have EVER tasted! EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. we drove by this place, it was super busy NO MATTER what the time of day was. You will just have to stop by some time to experience it for yourself.

While in Florida, we kind of had in the back of our minds that we might look for another RV (a newer model) because there are SO MANY places down here to purchase RVs (retired Snowbirds + RVs = LOTS of RV sales lots!). We have spent quite a lot of time looking ever since we got here in November. In the middle of February we finally found something we liked that was in our budget. We traded our 2009 Winnebago Latitude (it was a GREAT “starter” RV for us and will always be one of our favorites!) for a 2016 Tiffin Phaeton.

Moving from one RV to another isn’t something to take lightly. It’s like moving from one house to another but with some UNIQUE problems to be considered:

#1: You can’t really pack things in boxes ahead of time because you have NO WHERE to store the boxes.

#2: Moving into the new RV after you go through the three hour (or more) “orientation” for it doesn’t really leave you enough time left that day to transfer your belongings from the old RV to the new RV. (Note to self: If we EVER trade RVs again we WILL schedule orientation one day and moving into the new RV for the following day!) We literally transferred our belongings as fast as we could from around 1:30 p.m. to almost 8:00 p.m. which was the closing time at the RV sales place. Talk about exhaustion!

#3: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT move into a new RV with only THREE days before the first grandkid comes to visit for a week followed by the other two grandkids coming to visit the following week!! We got everything into the new RV and had to put off the rearranging to meet our needs until after all the grandkids left.

Here a few pictures of the new RV (please don’t pay attention to some of the “stuff” that is still laying around; not everything had found its place yet).

It looks black, gray and white, however, when the sun shines on it from a certain angle, it is a really pretty burgundy or egg plant color.

The section with the three drawers on the left side of the countertop pulls out for more countertop/serving area. I wish I would have taken a picture of that section pulled out. Oh, well…

We now have a half bath in the mid-section of the coach. It came in really handy while the grandkids were here.

Master bathroom with shower, full closet, and stacking washer and dryer is in the very back of the coach.

I am certain I will be rearranging things in the new RV for at least another month or so. I will be happy to do it, though, because this is a really nice coach/home.

The next blog post will tell about the grandkids visiting us.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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