Post Cards 2020

Our current plan is to leave Punta Gorda, Florida in May of 2020. To where is yet to be determined. (see blog post 2020 Vision) So, while we are here any new excursions are technically Post Cards From The Road. Welcome to the first such post of the new year!

I’ve been a car guy since before I learned how to drive. I can pretty much tell you the make and model year of any classic car coming down the road. I’ve heard about Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda for years and here we are only five miles away. This is a private car collection of more than two hundred cars, housed in a former Sweet Bay Supermarket. If you have any interest in classic cars it’s worth the price of admission. Specifically the way they are displayed with same make and model parked next to each other. You can see the difference between the ’69 and ’70 Camaro; the ’60, ’61, and ’62 Bubble Top, and just about every year Corvette including several Split Windows.

The photos below are just a sampling of the many I took: the museum exterior; Corvettes galore; 1959 Chevy Cameo Pick Up; 1902 Curved Dash Olds; 1935 Cadillac; 1935 Chevy Suburban – the first year they were produced, only 75 were built; 1928 Gypsy Wagon – a hand crafted touring coach, so if we were travelling the county in an RV in 1928, this would be our ride? UPDATE: In February 2021 the museum closed and all cars were auctioned off. The last photo is not from the museum but the 1951 Willys pick up we owned when we lived in New Hampshire.

We have comfortably settled into this resort and lifestyle making many new friends and attending most activities. The latest was the chili cookoff. This was attended by about eighty people. There were eleven chili entries to be judged as the best. And the winner? My Kathryn! First place with a score of 154 out of possible total of 160. Great job honey. The best part? I get to eat the leftovers!!

When we lived in Venice, our group of six couples called ourselves “The Chestnuts,” because we lived in a community called Chestnut Creek. This amazing group of friends were ready for happy hour, a concert, a mystery dinner party, at any moment. One of our annual outings was to the Sarasota Polo Fields. It’s basically a tailgate party and horses run by. Today was our latest trip. What a fabulous day!! (Chestnuts photo courtesy of Chuck)

The latest resort activity was the Valentine’s Party. If you celebrate Valentine’s with an intimate dinner for two, this ain’t it! This was a sellout crowd of 168, the most the clubhouse can hold, for dinner and wine, followed by the best DJ ever. And the crowd went wild! Thanks Creekside!!

Houston, we have an itinerary! And you’re on it!! Unlike 2019 when I just chose the stops and campgrounds based on distances, this year we built our 2020 trip together based on many factors. (see the post That’s How We Roll) Is this the actual route we will take? I doubt it. What will change? We have no idea. But this is the plan as of this posting. We hope you will follow along throughout the year to see where we actually visited. And, if you are on our route, we look forward to meeting you!

Human Connection Is More Stimulating Than A Cup Of Coffee

The resort lifestyle continues! And it is not hard to take!! From Monday morning coffee hour to ice cream socials, block parties, taco Tuesdays, pool parties, the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day party and this weekend’s Poker Run. It’s all good.

The resort wide Poker Run was held as scheduled. How it works is, participants go around the resort making a stop at each of the six host locations. It was up to each host to develop a theme and decide what they would give participants for food and/or drink, as well as deal one card for their poker hand. At the end of the day, all gathered in the clubhouse to see who had the best poker hand and enjoy a hot dog cookout. The best prize? A six pack of RV Toilet paper!

Our theme was the Long Horn Saloon in honor of the long horn in the field behind us. We went all in with the saloon decorations – swinging doors, wanted poster, and Sheriff Paul complete with badge and cowboy hat. And of course Kathryn whipped up a fabulous chili for more than one hundred served with root beer.

UPDATE: As of March 24th, our resort is in self isolation. The clubhouse is closed and locked, all activities are cancelled, and no new reservations are being accepted. We still have rigs leaving to shelter in place back home with family and friends, hoping states don’t close their borders while they are on the road. And yes, many campgrounds are closing. We aren’t moving and will ride it out here until it is safe to travel. So far, Charlotte County has only reported four positive cases. Here’s praying . . .

So, until further notice, this is our post card and this is our road! (not) I am not complaining! We feel safe and happy to be together in an isolated place.

Without leaving Punta Gorda, there are still some things we can do while maintaining social distancing. Normally, we spend the Saturday morning of the Memorial Day weekend with other volunteers from Flags For Fallen Vets, placing flags at each grave marker in Sarasota National Cemetery. This year we honored veterans by visiting the Vietnam Wall of Southwest Florida in Punta Gorda. It’s a 50% replica of the original wall in Washington including granite from the same source, following the same slope, and honoring every one of the 58,000 men and women who gave their lives or remain missing during this war from 1959 – 1975. Thank you veterans for your service!

As you may have read in the “Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water” blog entry, we are not traveling yet, and don’t really have any plans to, for the foreseeable future. It’s just killing me to be parked and not on the dream trip we had planned for this Summer, but in our opinion, this the safe and smart alternative. So, as our summer vacation alternative, we have moved our site from the perimeter to water’s edge. It is beautiful to wake up and have the lake right there in the morning, and reflecting the sunset at the end of the day. We move back (to our perfectly normal and more affordable) to our original site come November 1st. Photo 3 is by Kathryn

Funny sometimes how things work out. We still haven’t left, yet we get to see something new. They came to us! A GMC Motorhome rally came in for the weekend. We’ve encountered two RV specific rallies in the past, one for tags, those tiny trailers, and one for vintage, those old painted trailers from the 50’s. If you are not familiar with the GMC Motorhomes, they were produced from 1973 to 1978, entirely designed, engineered and built by GM. They were front wheel drive based on either the Olds Toronado or Cadillac Eldorado. About 12,000 were built, and the rally people tell me there is still about 8,000 still out there. This was the Southwest Florida GMC Owners group.

We are scheduled to move from our current site on the waters edge to our new site for the Winter on November 1st. It’s only ten sites to the West, but we decided to add a trip sixty miles to the North for a week, just for a change of scenery. I mean, we have been in Punta Gorda since last November! We again selected a site on the water’s edge at the new resort, The Tides in Bradenton, FL. This place is huge, more than four hundred sites, with the clubhouse, pool, activities, etc. of course. It was great to be on the road again, if only for a short drive!!

We are back from our week long trip sixty miles to the North to The Tides RV Resort in Bradenton, to our new site back at Creekside RV Resort for the Winter months. We got so spoiled being “on the water” for our temporary Summer site, we decided not to return to the farm side site and stay close to the water for our next six months. Here is the new view!

As December and 2020 come to a close, (good riddance to this year) we are trying to muster all the Christmas spirit we can. We won’t be celebrating with friends or joining the “Christmas Feast,” so putting up decorations will have to do for this year!

I discovered early on in our RV adventure, it’s all about the places you visit and the people you meet. In this case, it’s about the people we didn’t meet. Although we haven’t really joined in any socializing activities at the resort yet, even socially distancing, someone started a Christmas event that requires no contact but does spread cheer. It’s called “You’ve Been Elf-ed!” Apparently its a whole program we never heard about?

What happens is, someone leaves a bag of goodies on your doorstep complete with a We’ve Been Elf-ed! sign. You post the sign on your coach so you don’t receive a surprise again and then you make two bags to surprise pay it forward to someone else, or should I say someone elf!