Friday, January 18, 2013

An early move south to Fort Myers

January 16-18, 2013
North Ft. Myers, Florida
Seminole Campground

Our plan was to be at Buttonwood Inlet RV Resort for the month of January, but, due to unforeseen circumstances, we moved south sooner than planned. As I am learning from more experienced full-timers, the best plans for living a life on the road are ones made in jello. The plus side of things is that the site we had reserved for the months of February and March at Seminole Campground in North Fort Myers was available two weeks early. 

We stayed at Seminole last year and enjoyed its old Florida campground feel (read: no park models and open campfires), plus we have four friends whom we met last year that are also staying here through March. They were quite the welcoming committee when we arrived. Within a couple hours, we were catching up on our travel adventures and enjoying dinner together on their patio.

The second day after our arrival, we all piled into Steve and Diane’s car (that seats six) to go to the Florida RV Super Show in Tampa. With a two hour drive each way and a long day of checking out all the goodies and motorhomes at the show, we decided to board the dogs at Aas Von Tente’s, a local kennel that we had checked out last year owned by a wonderful German couple. This is the first time we have ever left them overnight!  It turned out that we arrived back early enough that they would have been fine in our motorhome but we both agreed it was a good idea to do this one day trial.  It is amazing how much we are conditioned to having them in our lives as it felt really strange to come home to a quiet motorhome and no dogs to walk, feed, and—most importantly—snuggle with.

The show itself, billed as one of the largest in the nation, could easily take two days to see. We focused on checking out two huge arenas filled with all kinds of booths selling RV related items or promoting various resorts. We signed up for lots of potential prizes, so I expect we will be receiving all kinds of e-mail promotions in the weeks ahead.  Of course we fell for some things that were not in our plans—for me, an expensive set of orthotics to help with my high arch issues, and for Vic, a few little “necessities” from the Camping World booth.  The good news is we were not too enchanted with the latest motorhomes. The expensive ones were too blingy and ones similar to our Phaeton seemed like they had degraded in quality in terms of the upholstery and cabinet work. The Big EZ still suits us just fine.  “Whew,” says Vic. . . .

prevost motorhome at rv supershow

A big transition for me at this location is not having the great Zumba classes I found in Bradenton. This park, however, does offer lots of activities. On Mon, Wed, and Fri they have an aerobics class that follows Leslie Sansone’s Three Fast Miles DVD. I thought it would be boring but the 45-minute power walking goes by quickly and is a decent workout. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they have a Zumba class using Wii fitness. Not my first choice, but it’s free and I don’t have to drive anywhere. I am still committed to finding a nearby location for live Zumba. 

January-March is the high season for this area, and, as a result, there are all kinds of festivals every weekend.  I am already filling in my calendar with plans to attend the Fort Myers Artfest, the Buckingham Bluesfest, and the Mullet Toss on Pine Island. We are also in a great kayaking area.  Last year when we were here we did not have kayaks, so there are all new water possibilities to explore. The two rivers right near our park, the Caloosahatchee River and the Orange River, are supposed to be great for kayaking. Yesterday someone also told me Koreshan State Park near Estero is another popular place to kayak as the water trail takes you out to the Gulf of Mexico.

Going to the beach here is more of a day trip as the best beaches on the Gulf are about twenty miles away, but with traffic it takes about 45 minutes. My goal is to head to the beach at least once a week and I will be happy. I am also looking forward to having down time, days to hang out by the pool and read or play cards with our friends.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that retirement includes slowing down rather than go, go, go all the time. (Okay, more than sometimes. . . .)

The weather here has been ideal: daytime highs in the 70s, nighttime lows in the 50s, with humidity in the 30-40% range.  I was commenting to someone that this weather reminds me of the best summer days in Oregon. It is predicted to be a bit warmer in the next few days with highs in the 80s—still pretty comfortable since the humidity is low.  The water in the park pool is kept between 82-86 degrees which still feels slightly refreshing but easy to wade into.  No complaints from me.  Vic thinks the water needs to be hovering near 90 to entice him. I think it’s a guy thing.

If our plans stay the same, this will be the longest we will have stayed in one place since beginning our full-time adventure.  It sure is great on the fuel bill, but we are looking forward to seeing new places this spring on our way back to the Northwest. In the meantime, I have to remind myself (on a daily basis!) to Be Here Now.  Thank you Baba Ram Dass for that piece of wisdom.  Ciao.


  1. Every time we look at the newer RV models we come away feeling glad we have the one we do now. Not into all that bling at all. Have fun in Fort Myers; I'll be taking notes for when we get down that way eventually.

    1. Yes, we are happy with our Phaeton and I am sure you are too after all the special modifications you have added to make it your comfy "condo on wheels."

  2. Ah! Reunion at Seminole...sounds like a fun time! It's great having "jello" to be spontaneous! Miss ya...hugs to the gang!

    1. The gang misses you too! Glad to hear you are having fun in your new spot. Hope our paths can cross again this spring. Maybe the New Orleans Jazz Festival?


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