Snowbirds Blog - 2007
On Wednesday December 27 we left Greenfield and headed toward our winter home in Sebring, Florida. We arrived at the KOA in Manchester, TN about 4:00 PM after an uneventful trip. The Manchester KOA is very clean & friendly and we met some very nice travelers. While in Manchester we were able to visit with Bob’s Uncle Dale, Aunt Charlene, cousin Kris & second cousin Katie McCorkle. We even visited McCorkle Hollow!
On Friday, we headed to Perry, GA and camped at Twin Oaks RV Park. Again the staff & other campers were very friendly and helpful. We would recommend either of these campgrounds if you are heading south.
We arrived at our final destination, Highland Wheel Estates about 4:30 PM on New Year’s Eve. We were quite surprised to see the smallness of our site but Bob did a great job getting backed in! Needless to say, by the time we were ready to unhook, we had quite a crowd of onlookers!
All of the residents at Highland Wheel Estates are so friendly and a wealth of information on the Sebring area. Our neighbors are from Elkhart, IN and it seems the majority of residents here are either from Indiana, Mississippi or Canada. We even met the sister and brother-in-law of our good friend Wayne! There are activities everyday of the week; we’ve played card bingo, attended a sausage & pancake lunch and went on a day trip on a casino cruise ship. I enjoyed sitting on deck watching the seagulls, pelicans and schools of dolphins frolicking in the ocean; a wonderful & relaxing day.
While in Florida, we hope to visit with our long-time friend Luke and friends Dennis & Judy. We are enjoying the wonderful weather and are biking and/or walking every day and have visited the driving range at a nearby golf course.
Yesterday, we had a nice visit with our friend Luke and his friend Maxine; it was good to see them again as they live permanently in Florida. After our visit, we headed to Miami to watch our beloved Indiana Pacers play the Miami Heat. Along the way, we saw an alligator in a swampy ditch along the highway, a warning sign for “Bear Crossing next 12 miles” west of Lake Okeechobee (honest!) and sugar cane fields. It was a lovely day and we enjoyed seeing new sights.
Once we arrived in Miami, we had a little trouble convincing parking attendants our truck would fit in one parking space as they wanted to charge us double. We finally found a lot about 4 blocks from the stadium, which was a nice walk. We were able to get to the floor level before the game to get some good pictures of our players; Bob also got Jermaine O’Neal’s autograph (thanks Jermaine!). Of course, we proudly displaced our Pacer gear and rooted loud & proud, but it just wasn’t quite enough. It was a memorable day anyway.
Bob has started golfing on Tuesday mornings with a group from the RV park. He is the youngest, which is quite enjoyable. Kathy has started biking with a group that meets at the clubhouse every morning and rides around the neighborhood for about an hour. We are both walking everyday, and trying to become fit. Kathy is learning to make a basket from pine needles in crafts class.
For those of you in the colder areas, we send love and bunches of wonderful Florida sunshine!
Go Colts!!! It's so great to see the Colts in the Super Bowl after having been so close the last few years....Kathy and I thought it would be really cool to go down to Dolphins Stadium, set up the grill and tailgate before the game, then watch the game in the back of the truck on the TV...The NFL had different ideas, there is no tailgating allowed within 1 mile of the stadium. Bummer...
We are very fortunate that the storms going thru Florida went north of us. It rained here and I had to quit playing golf after 9 holes because of the rain. We spent the day at a craft fair in Lake Placid...the town has about 40 murals in the town and is quite famous for them. We are still getting along well and are enjoying the RV lifestyle. We are going to go to Tampa and watch the Super Bowl in a sports bar....should be fun and there are a lot of Tony Dungy fans there rooting for the Colts...GO Colts!!!
We decided to go to Tampa to see the game because of all the Tony Dungy fans there. So we took the opportunity to stop by Camping World to pick up a couple of things for the rig and went over to Beef O'Bradys to watch the game. We got there early and ask when we needed to return to get a good seat for the game. The lady took our names, wrote them on a napkin and reserved the table right in front of the big, HDTV. We took walk around the neighborhood and returned to see the pre-game festivities. The game started off on a bit of a down note as the Bears returned the kickoff for a touchdown and the Colts were down 7-0.....however after a rocky start, Peyton and the team just took the Bears apart. It was very exciting!!!! We stayed to see the presentation of the Trophy and then made our way back to the campground. We came in at 1am so I'm sure we woke some people up with the big diesel.
We went to the Sebring International Raceway today and watch several cars practice for a race this weekend. It is a club race and we may go back and watch it. We also went past an eagles nest and took some pictures of it. It was at the top of a telephone pole. The eagles kept building the nest there and the utility company finally gave up and put their wires on another pole and left the one for the eagles. It was also interesting to see all the names of the winners of the 12 hour race....Ferrari, Ford, Audi, and Riley and Scott....how did they sneak in? But they are there....see the picture. After that we went down to Lake Placid and wandered thru the city. They have almost 40 murals painted on buildings there, we spent several hours seeing about half of them. (and eating lunch!)...each mural has some hidden items that you can find and some have sound. They also have trash containers around the city, each is a one of a kind creation. Very impressive. I have included several pictures for you enjoyment. Click on the thumbnail image to see full size picture.
Today we left on our first ever bus tour, along with 2 other couples from our park and 40 people from a neighboring retirement park, heading for Key West. The weather was beautiful, the bus driver had just the right mix of knowledge and humor and the trip was just long enough! Our first stop was Everglade City, where we visited a museum, enjoyed lunch at The Oyster House (Kathy tried a grouper sandwich, yum), took an airboat ride in the Everglades and attended an alligator show. We arrived at our hotel in Florida City about 4:30 PM. On the 22nd the bus left at 7:15 AM, arriving in Key West at 10:30. We all bought trolley passes then went our separate ways for the day. We enjoyed the sites and tastes, including lunch at Pepe's, a restaurant President Truman frequented when at the Florida White House. We did some shopping, saw leather sandals being made at Kino's, rode the entire trolley route, had dinner at Two Friends where Kathy had delicious lobster tail, Bob had a hamburger and both enjoyed delicious Key Lime Pie and saw a beautiful sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. We returned to our hotel about 9:00 PM after a very full day. On the 23rd we left the hotel at 9:00 AM, stopped at Straw Grass Mills, a huge outlet shopping mall, and returned to our RV park about 4:00 PM. It was well worth the trip and were happy to leave the driving to someone else! These pictures include some of the sights and the six of us when we returned home.
Today was the annual Hancock County Snowbirds luncheon at Homer's Buffet in Sebring. We decided to attend and hoped we would see someone we knew. There were approximately 140 people in attendance, including former neighbors, church friends and co-workers. We had a wonderful time and look forward to attending again next year. Homer's is a delicious, reasonably priced buffet if you are ever in the Sebring neighborhood.
We went to the Sebring International Raceway for the tour of the track by the Skip Barber driving school. We rode in Mazda RX3 sedans....When I saw the cars and that there were 3 passengers per car I thought it would be a very slow ride around the track....not what I was looking for....We got into the car, the driver told us he was just an old farmer who now lived in Florida...Then we went into the first turn sliding sideways within a few feet of one of the other cars...THIS WAS FUN!!! We took 2 laps around the track and the 3 drivers took turns running on the outside and inside of turns, all fast, close driving. It gave us a real good look at what a driver sees when running in a race. They pushed the cars enough to be exciting. Turns out the driver had once been a farmer in Indiana, but that was a long time ago!