12/14/13 Saturday at Clermont, FL (Orlando-TT)
Since we didn’t have far to go and didn’t want to arrive before check in time, we took our time getting ready, then visited awhile with Pam and Randy.
They were so sweet to take us to the farm with Christmas lights and the music at The Villages last night. On our way after 10:30 am. Our non toll road route of US 44 then US 27 was just fine-wide 4 lane road the whole way. Lots of lights and speed limits, but that’s fine when you’re not traveling for hours.
Thank heavens we had help with visuals that come up before our turn into the preserve, because our GPS wanted us to turn too soon (where there was no road) and you’re turning off the highway into the campground. If you’re heading south, as we were, on the left you’ll see a Publix (grocery store), then stop lights, then you’ll notice a large sign on the left-black on the bottom and Thousand Trails on the top. Get into the left turn lane before the sign to turn in right there.
Once you’ve turned in there are lines indicating parking spaces. Don’t pull all the way to the front of the space/line because you’ll have trouble when you get going again making the sharp right turn to go into the park. When you park, go into the building in front of you, the door on the right. Have your Thousand Trails card ready to show them so if there’s a crowd of others wanting help, they’ll help you because you have your card. Normally TT campgrounds let you go on and find the site you like best (first come, first served). They can’t do that here because there are 850 full hook up (FHU) sites. You could look all day and when you found a sight, someone could get it while you go up to tell the office. SO when they’ve checked you in at the office you can look at “the board” to find your site. Tip: if you need/want 50 amps section G has free 50 amp sites. If it’s full (usually is) then there are premium (cost $3/day) 50 amp sites also available. We were so fortunate to have our friends Chris and Andy already here, in section G, letting us know all this the day before we arrived. They also emailed us the site numbers that were empty when we were just coming through the entrance.
Unfortunately, when we asked for those sites, the office told us they were gone. That 3 couples had just checked in before us. (Someone told us they handle about 100 rigs coming/going every day in the peak season of January and February). As we were trying to figure out what next, the ranger found site G47 was open. Yea! Also, at this point, they handed us a note from other friends, Betty and Denny. So lovely and thoughtful of them, letting us know where they are parked. Then just before we left the building John remembered we’d planned to ask to make our next reservations at Orlando while at the office. They have a rule where you can only have 2 “high use” parks on the books at a time. By checking in we’ve dropped our “high use” park (Orlando), leaving only one (Peace River) on the books. So we crossed our fingers and asked for February reservations. (January and February are really crowded times here). We got them!!!
After a couple trips from and to the office with questions regarding where to unhook our “toad” and how to get to our site, we were on our way.
When we found Site G47, we saw that someone was already settled in that spot. Oh Oh. We called the office. They said they’d send a ranger down. In the end, we figured out the ranger had goofed, giving that site first to those there now, then to us. Luckily, we saw that Site 41seemed available, so the ranger returned to the office to verify and put our names on it while we got set up.
As soon as we finished there, we dashed to visit with Susan/Bill/Larry/Gail and Ellen/Ray. Sue/Bill were in the midst of moving all there personal possessions from one home (Adventurer) that they had traded in, to their new home (Monaco Diplomat) which they had recently purchased. We tried not to disturb their efforts. It had been a hard couple days into the process and they need to leave tomorrow. As John was looking at their old rig, he saw their new looking mattress. Susan said they asked Larry/Gail if they wanted it, but they felt it was too soft. John liked it. Susan reiterated that they would love if someone could use it. Well, John and I had been talking about our need to replace our 13 year old sagging, threadbare mattress. His back has been bothering him, so he felt it was largely due to that mattress. What a wonderful idea! They let us have their mattress (just bought earlier this year), so we could leave our old one (matched the age of their rig) in the rig they had traded in. Don’t know if this happens often, but it was a HUGE blessing for us.
In the meantime, Larry invited us to join them and other friends for a dinner at 4 pm. Dang, we had to decline because before we’d gone to visit with Susan/Bill we’d been invited to a 4 pm Dinner with Chris/Andy and their friends Len/Gloria and Lee/Elaine, while they were helping us get into our site at G41. It just so happened that we are parked next to Len/Gloria, who were giving the dinner. So generous to include us who they’d not met yet and even note that we didn’t need to bring anything. Once we got talking,we realized that we’d met Lee/Elaine at Oaks as Point South! Great times and the BEST food. Around 6 pm it starting pouring. We gathered under the awning. I wondered how Susan/Bill were doing with so much of their stuff strewn outside the new rig. Finally, we all gave up fighting the rain as it dripped through the awning and filled to the brim with yummy food and conversation we managed to make our way home (2 RVs down). A little TV and then we got to crawl into our new bed.