Travels with Snowbirds 2015, Wednesday January 14, 2015, Seffner FL to Tampa RV show, about 5 miles

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January 14th 2015
Published: January 15th 2015
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The one about mud

It poured all night long as I slept in the service bay but the roof covered me. The overhead fluorescent lights burned all night long, but I have total room darkening shades and curtains so that didn’t bother me, but I sure did toss and turn. About midnight I heard the roar of a big truck. Looking out the window, I saw someone who had a bad day. One of those ultra large tow trucks was pulling an ultra large RV into one of the service bays. The RV was being followed by their tow car. I could not see who was driving, but I just now they did not have a happy day.

Winston got me up early, so it really was a crappy night’s sleep. I walked him in the rain and fog and dark. I am so far west in the time zone, it is dark until 7:15 – that’s just awful. Bad sign, he did not poop. I put him in his crate and went for breakfast using another one of my free coupons. I saw mechanic Barry and he told me I was first up and would be done by noon. Free breakfast was scrambled eggs, corned beef hash and sausage. I have noticed that their food is not seasoned at all. The corned beef hash tasted like roast beef hash. All fine with me, rather under seasoned than too salty. At 9 I attended the absolutely awesome Driver Confidence class. I attended this class when I purchased Moya in 2013, but I knew it would be a good way to kill a few hours and I knew I would learn something. You get taught how never to hit anything with your rig, and how to turn around and park easily. While this is not a behind the wheel class, I left feeling like I could rule the world from the wheel of my RV and did re-learn 3 things – (my passenger mirror is focused wrong, I watch the wrong part of the road, I should be looking about 5 to 7 seconds ahead, not road right in front, and how to track the middle of the lane better). I looked for Service Advisor, Samantha, but she was not there, so I headed to Moya to find the Winnebago decal was being applied to the new hood. Barry told me once that was done I was finished! Yay!. I went inside to find Winston pooped in his crate. Yuck, expletive deleted. I started to clean it up, but Winnebago decal applier asked me to step outside so he could get the decal straight. Winston was very docile, he knew he was bad, but it actually was my fault. I happily left the service bay at 11. Now, this is interesting. You can’t drive your rig out of the service bay. You are driven by a porter and escorted to the cashier. I have never NOT driven Moya, so it was very strange sitting in the lounge chair. Winston certainly was not giving up his shotgun seat. The porter gave the keys to the cashier, and only once I paid and got my exit pass were the keys returned. I guess they have a problem with people bolting without paying! They very pleasantly refunded the one night’s camping fee that I missed because I was in the service bay. No hassle. Back to my campsite to find a car in it. Growl. But, the owner was right there to move it. She had to relocate her car from in front of her rig while it was being washed. For the rest of that day I did absolutely nothing except play computer games and crochet and take 3 naps. I took Winston out for a walk about 8 and neighbors went goo goo gaga over Winston. They had to introduce my Bedlington to their Wheaton. Both dogs had fun, and I wish they could have played in a fenced area. They are in the Seffner area to close on their new property at Bay Lake RV resort in nearby Polk City. That’s where I saw those structures with the roofs on stilts covering RVs. I learned all the vocabulary about these communities. There are pads and porticos and casitas. The casitas range from 200 to 900 sq feet and consist of a laundry room and workshop. The back of the casita is a large outdoor kitchen. These folks purchased a lot where they will build a 900 sq ft unit with one bedroom. The idea is, you pull your RV in, park it under the roof, live in it and use the casita for storage and laundry. I zillowed the community, but all rentals and resales are run thru the community, so I could not tell how much they cost. I am going to guess that his 900 sq ft project on a large lot on the corner, on the lake was not cheap. There is a $12M clubhouse/pool/tennis club and lots of 55+ activities for them to participate in. I wonder what your job is in northwestern Arkansas that you can live this lifestyle…?????

When I went to bed, I fell asleep quickly and slept until the alarm woke me at 6:30.

I showered and broke camp quickly and headed out to Walmart and/or Publix for a few items. This shopping center was also the place I was meeting up with Joan and Joanne to head to the RV show. This particular Walmart is probably the smallest one I have ever been in. Very limited selection of everything. No dairy or fresh produce or bakery. So, I headed over to Publix which also was very small, and dark. It needed a big updating. But, I got what I needed as did Joan and Joanne and we were on our way 5 miles to the RV show. By 9:15 we were on line and we waited. And waited. And waited. We could see that the issue was the field the RVs park in was a muddy mess. There were deep dark brown trenches where tires had made huge holes. There was standing water. It was not a place I wanted to walk at all nor park my RV. None of the volunteer escorts had any idea what the issue was. So, I made a few phone calls, caught up on email, played Trivia Crack (the newest app game rage) and ate breakfast. We eventually parked on the edge of the muddy field, but not next to each other. Joan and Joanne drive small Class Bs and they put them on the end of the row where they wouldn’t be hidden by the big rigs. Nice and good thought, but we are not together, but 6 sites away. Not awful, just annoying. I put my wood blocks down under my hydraulic levelers so they possibly would not sink into the mud too much and I actually got all of them in the right place. My neighbor came over and was very happy to see me. He remembered me from Thousand Trails. Angel and Teresa. Seems everyone remembers Winston. They have a smooth coated collie and a shiba inu. Nice people and happy to see them! They are on the verge of being full time RVers. Jealous.

In years past, the electricity vendor rode around in his sup’d up golf cart making sure all power worked but no one showed up. My neighbors plugged their electricity in, and a few said the polarity was reversed, whatever that means. They have very large surge protector devices which have more gauges than my dashboard. I don’t have any such thing. They cost $200+ and at that price you also buy a $25 indestructible antitheft lock. So, I didn’t plug mine in as I don’t know what effect reverse polarity would have on my RV.

Ginnie called, she and Kim drove over in the car and they had just arrived. It took them 2.5 hours to go 40 miles. The traffic was awful. Then, when they got here, there was no place to park because they moved some of the campers RVs to the day trippers lot and there was not adequate parking for the day trippers. And, the lots were muddy. I knew that.

I waited for the electric tech who never showed up. I bit the bullet and plugged in and all seemed well. I made a quick lunch and set off, walking, to the show. I met up with Ginnie and Kim and we shopped at the vendors (Ginnie got a new rug and picnic table cover set) I looked at chairs, and surge protectors. They left at 3, just in case there was traffic on the way back. They will try to come again tomorrow if the traffic is not as bad.

I know I have described this show in past years, so I will be brief. Trying to explain te size is difficult. It is advertised as the largest RV show in the country, and I believe that. There are 1000 campers in the various fields. There are numerous volunteers who camp in another area. There are 300 or so non RV vendors in 2 large buildings. I think there are 1000 RVs on display – all sizes All of the big RV dealers from the state are represented. There are vendors selling tow trailers and dollies, and Park models. It is probably going to be impossible to cover the event even if I give it 3 days. I won’t, because Saturday I am going to walk over to the very nearby Hardrock Casino.

My iphone health app says I walked 4.2 miles today. My feet hurt. My knee hurts. My tummy hurts. And, when I step outside I see mud.

Kat out


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