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Author Topic: Need suggestions for "test" camping in an RV  (Read 2496 times)
TomHanlon
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« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2012, 03:08:27 pm »

Ladies, ladies please don't take me wrong. I am not saying not to go, just expect that in some parts of Florida, which is a really big state, you might run into some crowds. We have been down to Florida many times at different times of the year and always have a good time. There have been some hard times, like the week between Christmas and New Years that we went to WDW only to find out that is the busiest week of the year. Besides it seemed like everyone was calling me "Mate". I guess it is their summer break time down under at that time of year.

Yes Judi, you will not stand in any lines at restaurants if you eat in your PC. rolling on the floor We like to eat out at least once a day to sample the local food. Ever since I got out of the Navy many years ago, I have tried not to stand in a line to eat if at all possible. Grin
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Tom Hanlon
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Carolp495
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« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2012, 08:37:12 pm »

OMG Sue ... they still have swamp buggy races ?????
I haven't been to one of those since the early 70's ... are they still held in Naples ??

Carol

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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2012, 05:22:27 pm »

Carol,

     The swamp buggy races are still going strong.  And yes---still in Naples.  Login to see a couple of pics.

Sue
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« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2012, 10:49:01 am »

We live an Florida, and our state parks have a reservation system, where you can make reservations at a last minute reservation at some of the campgrounds that we find most intriguing, those with less people and don't have cable or cell.

I will suggest that when you rent, try to request a vehicle with as few miles as possible (say under 12,000 miles), especially if either one of you are not fully sold on RVing. We did this just before making the decision to buy. The RV we rented had 93,000 miles on it, and shook and rattled like crazy, almost put my bride off. i would not let her drive the vehicle as it was so out of align and not balanced. We used CruiseAmerica, they did give us a big discount when we brought it back.

We stayed in a little known county RV camping site in Levy Count. Mound Park just outside of Cedar Key, great weekend good seafood, first come first serve, and we were able to look beyond the junk vehicle we got from CruiseAmerica. Never been happier on the road.

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Greg Matthews
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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2012, 07:16:51 am »

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. We finally booked and ARE going to Florida but more north than south. We're renting from CruiseAmerica in Gainesville and staying in two different state parks near there. One is Manatee Springs and I am on my never ending quest to watch Manatee happily playing in the water. We saw some in Belize but we kept our distance so as not to disturb so we really only got a quick look at one that swam under our boat and checked us out super briefly. With any luck some will be hanging out in the warm, clear spring water where I can watch them. The other park is Paynes Prarie - they have Bison. Now I've been in the midst of hundreds of Bison in South Dakota but Bison in Florida is rather intriguing. Who woulda thought you'd find them there amidst the alligators?
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« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2012, 10:16:51 am »

Come to NH. We have and Elk farm (http://www.velvetpastures.com/home.html) up the road and a Buffalo farm in the next town. But a little cold to visit now.
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2012, 01:25:50 pm »

2 frazzled,

I hope you will see more Manatees than we did (none) last month in Cape Canaveral.  Hurricane Sandy encouraged them to leave the area because the waters got too cold for them.  Maybe it's better now.

We took a 7 day cruise leaving out from NYC on election day, with a stop at Port Canaveral.  We kayaked in the Mangroves of Cocoa Beach to see Manatees but none were found.  None at the big wildlife refuge either, just north of the landling strip for the space shuttle.
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« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2012, 03:44:36 pm »

Ron, we've done a similar search on the east and west coast. Went to the power plant outflows near Ft. Lauderdale (warm water, hundreds gather), no manatees.  Drove up to a spring on the east coast, reports of mother and child playing at the boat ramp the whole week before... but they apparently left just before we got there. Hit the gulf coast on another vacation and checked out a power plant that has actually set up viewing platforms for the crowds of people watching the crowds of manatees but the gulf had warmed up and they had left days before. Went to the gulf and kayaked where they feed on the grasses... no manatees. This time we are camping for a whole week near a place called Manatee Spring. I'm hoping my luck improves. If it does, I'll post pictures. Meanwhile you can google "manatees gather at power plant" and select images to see just how many we missed!
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« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2012, 04:43:34 pm »

Yep, just bad luck.  Those pictures are great.  It gives us something to return for.

My brother and his wife Kayaked with Manatees which were all around the two of them.  My sister-in-law was deathly afraid the kayak would tip over from bumping and they be swimming with the manatees, but the Manatees are quite respectful of visitors floating around in plastic cigars.

Except for this fellow.


I would love to snorkel with them like we did with 10 foot span, 30 foot with tail, Eagle Rays a few days later on our cruise.
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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2012, 07:53:35 am »

I LOVE the Kayak snuggle picture. I wonder if he/she thought they'd found a friend or if they just wanted a ride. We also snorkeled with rays and sharks and squid and barracuda and lobsters and all sorts of other critters in Belize. We booked with Hugh Parkey's Belize Adventures. Absolutely awesome trip. They have a private island in the calm waters behind the reef with over the water cabanas, a restaurant, manatee museum (they do manatee research there) and a full padi dive shop (we don't dive but had a blast snorkeling). We found them at the National Geographic Travel and Adventure Show that comes to DC every year (as well as other cities in the U.S.) Their guides and trips and accomodations were excellent. The food and service were great;  the price was great. They totally took care of us from the time we landed at the airport to the time they dropped us back for our flight home. We can't say enough good things about them and the cool things we did. We stayed on the island for several days with snorkeling, kayaking (booked one sunset kayak tour with them and their guests have full use of their kayaks whenever they want), manatee tour, etc. We then did three days in San Ignacio with guided tours of the Belize Zoo, several Mayan ruins, a horseback ride through the "jungle", cave tubing, zip lining, etc. We were supposed to finish after our three days in San Pedro where we did a bit of shopping, snorkeled with sharks, rays, turtles, and took a sunset sailing cruise but I didn't want to leave so we quickly booked a few days back on the island for relaxation. Nothing beats laying in a hammock under the palm trees on a white sand beach with azure water lapping the shore. I swear I'm going back some day.
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« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2012, 03:41:56 pm »

FYI we plan on being at Paines Prairie this weekend.

Have you made your trip yet? If you do go to Manatee Springs, be sure to visit Cedar Key. There is a fresh seafood market, at where the sidewalk first starts, that features both local fish, cultivated oysters and clams, and always wild atlantic shrimp.

greg
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« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2012, 06:58:02 am »

Greg, thank you for the inside info. We will definitely add Cedar key to our must see list. Enjoy your trip to Paine`s Prarie. I hope the bison and other critters let you get a peek at them.
Holly
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« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2012, 11:29:16 am »

I also agree with Fort Myers area, The Red Coconut is on the beach. 50cent trolly to tons of places to eat & drink cheap!  buy a some cheap bikes when you arrive keep them for your trip, then donate them to the Salvation Army when ya leave!

Also Google maps is good for searching camp grounds, And anything else you may need 
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« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2012, 03:02:02 pm »

Se  Judi's comments. There are many places to camp for a night or two around west central and south central Florida. Florida has excellent state park camping and many commercial rv parks.  Since we use Verizon Mi-Fi I can't attest to the availability wi-fi. Most of the commercial parks have hot spots if you must. We have stayed in most of our state parks having lived in Florida for over 40 years. Nearly all of them have up-graded in order to accommodate the larger RVs.   Mike

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« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2013, 03:17:42 pm »

Nuts. If I have to make reservations, I might as well stay in a motel.
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