Day 10 – November 2, 2017

Our first day at our new temporary home, Sanctuary RV Resort, dawned with sunny skies and a cool breeze. We certainly lucked out by not only getting a spot here in this very popular park, but also a very nice site. We have been on the phone with the General Manager, Rebecca, and she has been very upbeat and positive despite the ordeal that Irma provided and the tremendous amount of work that it has taken to get the park back in shape. She has been very welcoming and the tone has been one of looking forward to a visit from a family member.

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Our New Home

The mountains of brush that lay along the side of the road waiting for FEMA pick up is evidence of just how devastating the storm was on the property. That is a common issue wherever you go in Florida. We traveled the back roads of the Orlando area to get to our last campground. It seemed like the mounds were omnipresent. Although the damage to the park is apparent to a certain degree, it is still in very good shape which is a testament to the owners and the staff.

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View of the Main Building

I made my way to the main office to check in formally and try to deal with the electricity issue. The staff is very friendly and really make you feel at home. A staff member, Jahann, who is the Graphic Designer, and obviously handles other duties as well,  called someone to assist with the issue. I was able to discuss the lack of electricity with the park’s Maintenance Manager, Paul, and he explained that all of the breakers and meters had to be replaced and some were still not connected. Fortunately, the park is only half full at this point and he promised to swap out meters temporarily to get us power.

Some might be asking why a lack of AC electricity is a problem. We are camping after all. I frequently make the distinction. We are not camping. We are RVing. Modern RVers, with their sophisticated rigs that have all the comforts of a home, are used to having electricity, water, the leather recliners and couch, and all the technological tools; wi-fi, cable, microwave, etc. There are no tents and air mattresses involved here. We are not cooking over a fire – unless we choose to. And we talk about entitled Millennials. Baby Boomers are not exactly the greatest generation!

When I got back to the RV, Paul had already performed his magic and we had power. The staff is very responsive. We set out to walk the park and check things out. There is a beautiful pool, a spacious green where there will be movies with appetizers and a cash bar, a small dog park and a larger dog area for the Muprh, and a sizeable laundry/activity building. There is also a restaurant on the premises that serves lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch, not only for the residents, but also the general public. We will be taking advantage of their Thanksgiving Buffet later this month.

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Our Site – Irma Spared Our Trees

There will be several activities planned though out the stay, many designed to make sure that the residents get an opportunity to interact and form a small community. The Events Coordinator, Brendan, seems to be working hard to make sure that the formation of that community occurs.

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The Pool Area

We also did some practical things that needed attention. While Eileen did laundry, and met a few of the other residents, I was able to do a little more set up and some minor maintenance to the unit that we had identified on our trip south. We did some shopping for groceries at the Publix which is a mile from the park.

As the day moved along into mid-afternoon the temperature reached the mid-80s. We were reminded that the sun in Florida has a stronger effect than the sun in up north. Having lived through a fairly cool October at home, and some unseasonably cool temps on our way down, 85 degrees in the Florida sun felt a bit more like the surface of the sun. We wimped out around 3 p.m. and closed up the unit, put the shades down and started the AC. Would Mr. Trump say ,”Sad!”

A few hours later, as the sun started to weaken, we opened everything back up and put on the fan. I told you this is not camping. I decided to try the restaurant and ordered some chicken parm for dinner. The restaurant, The Hidden Paradise, is owned and operated by John and his very friendly family. I was welcomed with handshake and treated very well as I waited for my order. I was offered a seat and some water. The food was very good. Eileen had chosen not to order, but ended up eating some of the meal and agreed that it was very good. There was plenty to share. Anyone who knows me knows I am in no danger of starving.

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The Outside Patio Dining Area at the Hidden Paradise

We were able to spend the rest of the evening very comfortably with open windows and the fan. We hear that the population will grow over the next couple of months and then the park will fill quickly on January 1. We look forward to watching that happen.

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