Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Snowbirds Really Have Landed

We woke and drove a hundred yds to be first in line at the dealership service dept when they opened at 08:30. We got the impression the work would only take a short time so we left the trailer with them and drove a few miles back along the road to the local IHOP and ate a hearty breakfast.

We went back and sat.....and sat.......and sat waiting for the news that all was fixed and we could leave for the campground. We were told again and again that it would be....soon. Our concern was that we really wanted to be at the camp by 3pm as we needed help to reverse the trailer onto our lot as two lovely but awkwardly placed palm trees made it almost impossible for a non trucker to achieve this task without damaging the trees or worse still, the trailer. We knew a park guy was available to help us but that he'd be leaving at 3:30pm.

The clock ticked on and we were actually told at one point that we'd have to wait a final 45 minutes while the newly painted edge of the toilet door dried !! We said we'd take the door as is and attach it later ourselves. But they sorted it out using a hair dryer I think but it was still close to 4pm when we got away.

On the way to the park I took a photo of the temperature (F) being displayed on the rear view mirror of the truck.

After the snow and sub zero temps we had left in Michigan, it was so good to feel warm again and know that it could be like this for most of the winter.


Buttonwood Bay is a couple of miles south of Sebring on route 27. It's a retirement community where the age of the permanent residents has to be 55 and over. As temporary residents we didn't have to meet that criteria but it's no secret that two of the three of us are close enough to 55 to be 'allowed in' as permanents.

We arrived at Buttonwood Bay and were welcomed by the friendly office staff who had even arranged for 2 experienced employees to be available to help us get the rig onto the lot. Gotta love the technical gargon eh ??

I liked the place from the moment we entered and I could see why my friends had been so excited about coming back after their one month 'trail period' in April.

As we drove at 10mph along the neat internal roads, I saw a mix of permanent homes and lots which were being rented just like ours. We were following the 2 employees who were ahead of us in their recycled golf cart. As most of the residents are elderly, these golf carts are a perfect mode of transport for getting about within the park. I'd seen them before when spending time in another park near Key West but never on this scale. It seemed that every other home had a cart parked on it's driveway next to the owners car and we saw plenty whizzing along with the drivers looking like they'd been around at the time of the invention of the automobile.

Not for the first time was I reminded of a UK cult tv show from the 60's or 70's called The Prisoner. I quite expected to see a huge white balloon come bouncing along the road but I kept my thoughts to myself as no one else would've 'got it'.

Once at our lot, we handed things over to our trusty helpers and within minutes our home for the winter was sitting proudly in place surrounded by palm trees and every insect in Florida that bites.

Well paradise does come with a few drawbacks and I can just tell people I've got chickenpox !!

There was so much work to do to get settled in and after unhitching the truck and opening up the trailer sides, we said sod this for a game of shuffleboard and headed into Sebring for supper. It had been a long day on top of many long days since leaving Michigan on 20th and we were finally able to relax, have a lovely meal and come back to what will be my home for the next 3 months.

BEEP "Houston, Buttonwood Bay here, the snowbirds have landed" !!! BEEP

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