We traveled approximately 200 miles from Seminole Campground to our new park in Mims, Florida. Most of our trip was a pleasant drive through Florida’s cattle country on a 2 lane highway. We had very little traffic until we reached the city of Bartow. A small portion of our route on US 17 took us through towns on the outskirts of Orlando. Don gets tense when driving in stop and go traffic in unfamiliar cities but when I showed him where we were on the map in relation to our exit onto FL 417, he calmed a bit. Once on 417, all was easy going again.
It was late afternoon when we arrived at Seasons In The Sun RV Park. The park bills itself as a Motorcoach Resort but I would say it’s anything but. We’ve been to Motorcoach Resorts before and they have more of a high end look to them with high end rates to boot. Most are pretty exclusive as to who may stay there. This is not a luxury resort. It’s appearance is more of a comfortable well-worn RV park that excepts all types of campers. The folks we’ve encountered here have been friendly and talkative, that includes the staff as well.
The facility has 4 distinct sections. The Groves are open paved sites with ample space between each site. The Hammocks is mainly graveled sites with assorted palms, pines and oaks scattered throughout until you reach the backend, here the sites are once again out in the open. This area is called The Palms. The Palms are the super sites, they’re paved with cement patios and spacious. The Circle the Wagons section where we are parked is more rugged. The sites are in a large circle, they’re gravel and close together but the center of the circle is treed and affords us some privacy from the sites behind us.
This is an active “Snowbird” roost. There’s an abundance of activities to participate in. Some of the amenities include 2 laundry/bath houses, dog walking areas, walking trails, tennis, pickle ball, shuffleboard, and bocce ball. The recreation hall is fantastic! It houses a huge activity room, library, game room and kitchen. The pool area annexes the rec building. It holds a lap pool, a swimming pool and a whirlpool. Another thing we like is that the park is gated and requires a code for entry.
This a great park to walk around in. Five ponds are on the grounds, they attract several of Florida’s shorebirds and are home to a few alligators too. I spotted one in the pond behind the office when I was checking us in. Our overall impression is favorable and we would stay here again. That said, we do feel there is room for improvement. Neither of us are fans of graveled sites, if the park would pave or at the very least, replace the gravel with crushed shell it would make for a nicer patio experience. The park could also benefit from a little landscaping. It would certainly make the place more appealing to the eye.
Once we were set up, it was dinner time. When we checked in the office assistant gave us a coupon for a free appetizer at the Dixie Crossroads Seafood Restaurant in nearby Titusville. Don had never heard of Dixie Crossroads so I enlightened him. I had seen it on both the Travel Channel and in Trailer Life Magazine. I had also heard about it from fellow blogger and full timer Nick Russell of the Gypsy Journal. It has been on my list of restaurants to eat at as we travel. One of Don’s favorite interests is eating out so I didn’t need to twist his arm to get him to go.
We were sure we’d have at least an hour’s wait when we arrived and saw how packed the restaurants parking lot was but much to our delight our wait was a mere 10 minutes. Our free appetizer card was for the Fried Krabby Bites. They’re named Krabby because they aren’t made of real crab meat, but they were still good. The waitress brought us powdered fritters too. It was like having 2 appetizers. They tasted similar to a fried powdered doughnut. Very good. Next we were served the shell fish combo which we had both ordered. The combo consists of Rock shrimp, scallops and grilled shrimp. Neither of us had ever had Rock shrimp before. It’s served in it’s shell cracked open similar to a lobster tail. The meal was excellent but the Rock shrimp was the best part of it. We were too full to sample any dessert.
Back at the rig we watched a tv show then called it a day and went to bed early.
Monday, our first full day here. One of only 2. We went for a morning drive with no particular place in mind and ended up on Merritt Island. Our first stop was the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center. The refuge has a diverse habitat. In it’s 140,000 acres there are salt marshes, hammocks, scrub plains and estuaries. The refuge claims to support more threatened and endangered wildlife than any other refuge in the continental United States. Some of those species include the Florida manatee, Bald Eagle, Wood Stork, Gopher Tortoise and Eastern Indigo Snake. We took one of the boardwalk hikes where the ranger told us that Tucker would be allowed. He mentioned that they’d been hearing the mating bellows from the gators most of the morning. We had high hopes of hearing them bellow too and we weren’t disappointed. We heard it many times as we hiked close to the waters edge.
At one pond lookout point I leaned back against the rail to take a photo of Don and Tucker together and got a heck of a scare. There was a loud commotion behind me. Don and I both jumped and immediately looked over the edge of the rail. We spotted 2 small gators in the water. They must have been in the brush near the rail and were startled by my presence. The commotion we heard was them hustling out of the brush into the water. Our concern was that mama gator could be close by so after a few photos of the young’uns, we made a hasty retreat.
I posted the same photo twice. The left side is untouched. The right, I enhanced to show the portion of the gator that was below the surface better.
Our second stop was at Canaveral National Seashore where I received another stamp in my National Parks Passport Book. Cool! To my mind, it’s not as pretty as the Gulf Islands National Seashore but it had it’s own attractiveness. The waves were larger, we spent a lot of time just watching them as they curled over, trying our best to capture them on film. The birdwatching is really good here. We spotted many different species and unbelievably and much to our excitement, we watched 2 Flamingos fly overhead. What a rare sight to see! Don tried hard to stop the truck in time for me to get off a couple of shots with the camera but by the time he’d stopped and I had the camera ready, it was too late. We were disappointed we didn’t get a photo to share. I did manage to get an armadillo to pose for me. Seeing one in the wild was yet another nice surprise for us.
We didn’t have much time to linger. It was opening day at Comerica Park, being true Detroit Tiger fans, we needed to be back at the Suite Pea in time to watch the game and cheer our team on to victory over the Kansas City Royals. And that is exactly what we did and it wasn’t easy either but a walk off run in the bottom of the ninth clinched the win for us and our Tigers. Woo Hoo!
We had intended to meet up with old friends of ours but Don’s stomach wasn’t feeling well. (Too much stress from the game???) We decided to take a stroll around the park instead, then spend the evening relaxing at home.