Location: Casey Jones RV Park, Lake City, Florida
Dates: Nov. 6 to 7, 2017
We left Wetumpka with our little convoy on the morning of November 6th. We decided to drive until we were tired of driving. The trip from Wetumpka to our lot in Florida is fairly long – about 480 miles – so we figured we wouldn’t want to pull the whole trip in one day. Especially since Val was pulling the golf cart behind the car.
All trips towing a trailer just take longer, in some part due to slower speeds. We were rolling along at 60 MPH max since that’s as fast as Val felt comfortable pulling the U-Haul. Considering the fender on the trailer had a speed limit 55 sign on it (for liability purposes, I’m sure), that worked out well for us. We ended up staying the night at Casey Jones RV Park in Lake City, Florida, just after turning south on I-75 from I-10.
Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club
Dates: Nov. 7 to 16, 2017
The next morning we were rolling fairly early. We had left both vehicles connected to their respective trailers overnight, so pulling up stakes and moving on was fairly easy. We arrived home before lunch. After setting up the RV and unloading the golf cart from the trailer, we set out to take care of some errands and eat lunch.
We dropped the U-Haul trailer off first. The storage place where we returned it was about 3 miles down US 27 from our neighborhood. After dropping the trailer, we stopped by the post office and picked up our held mail. With the mail picked up, we headed to grab a bite to eat before heading back to the trailer to set up the rest of our outdoor stuff.
Since we fly commercially two to three times a year, we decided to go ahead and sign up for TSA Pre-Check. We filled out forms online, then headed to the Orlando airport to finish up the sign-up process. It was $85 for each of us and that is good for five years. Since Orlando is such a vacation capital, we figured it would be a good investment for flying out of here.
Local news reports recently started suggesting that people flying out of Orlando get to the airport up to three hours before their flights due to increased security checks and just the sheer number of holiday tourists.
On Saturday, the 11th, our neighborhood held a breakfast in honor of our veterans. We had a very nice breakfast and talked with a few of our neighbors. We’re still learning names and trying to put them to faces. Of course with winter approaching, more of our neighbors are returning to Florida.
After breakfast, it was time for a golf cart parade around all the neighborhoods in the community. The parade ended at our main clubhouse where they had a small ceremony honoring all our veterans (including some Canadian and at least one British veteran).
One of our neighbors had brought and old military jeep he owns along with a huge display of older military uniforms and other items.
On Sunday, we decided to head over to Fort Wilderness at Disney and go on a horseback ride. After that, we rode the boat over to Magic Kingdom and wandered around for an hour or two, then rode another boat back to Wilderness Lodge to have dinner at Whispering Canyon. A boat and bus ride from there took us back to the front of Fort Wilderness where we had left our car parked and it was on back home after a busy weekend.
Malcolm worked several days over the nine days we were home. After suffering with seasonal allergies from the time we left to go to Alabama, he finally decided to go to a doctor to have something done. He had bronchitis and probably a sinus infection from all the sniffles and sneezing.
Malcolm went to what he thought was just a walk-in clinic, but turned out to be more or less a full-service doctors’ office. The doctor was really nice and gave Malcolm a prescription to get a full panel blood test done to test for various allergies and to check up on his cholesterol levels. She also wanted to follow up on his acid reflux at some point. It’s nice finding a new doctor that easily, especially considering the amount of time it took to find someone in Alabama.
Before leaving home to go visit with David, we spent an evening over at Disney Springs to see the various Christmas decorations and to pick up a couple Christmas gifts. They have a Christmas Tree walk that has several snow machines set up making real snow. Of course it didn’t accumulate on the ground, but it makes for a fun way to experience snow all the way down South.
On Wednesday, the 15th, we packed up all our outdoor stuff along with the golf cart so we could head out early Thursday morning for the trip to Panama City Beach. The trip is just under 400 miles, so a full travel day.
Dates: Nov. 16 to 17, 2017
We made good time (we left the car at home) heading from home to Panama City Beach and checked into the RV park here around mid-afternoon.
David worked until late afternoon and just headed home for the evening. We ended up picking up some items at Target and ate dinner at the trailer. Malcolm got a little work done during the afternoon.
This morning (Friday the 17th), we headed over to Tyndall Air Force Base and met David at the visitor center. He rode back onto the base in the truck with us. We attended the airman’s Thanksgiving lunch on base, enjoying our food and the company of the various airmen at the squadron break room where David works.
David was working today, so he took off just long enough to ride back out to his car and drive back to work. He came over to the trailer after work and we went out to eat dinner together. He came back to the trailer and visited for a bit before heading home.
We’ll be here all through the coming week, celebrating Thanksgiving with David and quite a few of his airman friends and families. Our last count was that there will be around 25 people at David’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.