We were unable to line up a campground in Georgia so we moved back down to Manatee Hammock for several days after leaving St. Augustine. It really does seem like moving day is getting easier. We’ve all got our jobs and the boys especially are getting so they don’t need supervision for theirs. Having a full hookup site helps as I can dump tanks in parallel with other travel preparations going on.
When we took the garbage to the dumpster before we left the Pepper Tree “resort” I noticed a whole big pile of couches, chairs and carpet rolls piled by the dumpsters. We had a piece of carpet (free carpet remnant) we used on the vinyl floor at the beginning of the trip to help keep our feet warm in the cold temps. But for more than a month it has just been taking up room in the basement. I inquired if we could leave it with the other stuff and permission was granted….wooohooo, got rid of some stuff!
We were on the road by 10:30 with only about a 2 hour drive and a 3:00 checkin. So we dilly dallyed. We stopped at a very touristy Indian River Fruit stand and bought a bag of oranges. Then we stopped at Daytona speedway to check that out. We ate lunch while parked in the giant parking lot then went in and looked at the gift shop. The last time we were here you could go out and see the track, but that’s apparently a thing of the past. The kids got their pics taken with some flat NASCAR drivers and then we continued on our way.
Big parking lot
Arriving back at the Hammock was nice. It was familiar. We knew where it was, we knew the check-in procedure, we knew exactly where our site was, etc. I love adventure, but every once in awhile familiar is good. In fact, it’s the juxtaposition of the unfamiliar and familiar that I like about bringing your home on your adventure…whether you carry your ultra light fabric home on your back or you pull a 38 foot mansion behind your truck it’s a really cool feeling to wake up in the comforts of your familiar home and be surrounded by new vistas, people and experiences. While the vistas weren’t totally new back in the hammock the experiences we had and the people we met were.
We had really nice neighbors, Mike and Pat, who we chatted with often, swapping RV tales and sharing family photos. They have spent many winters at the campground and were able to give us lots of advise about the area and were just really nice folks. Despite their mobile lifestyle, Pat had been growing tomato plants and one was probably 5 feet tall. Her neighbors will be jealous when she gets it back home to Connecticut this spring!
Speaking of nomads who garden, several doors down was a lady staying long term at the campground. I had seen her place during our last visit but did not get a picture. This time I asked if I could take a picture and she said “of course, but not with me in it”. Check this out….she lives in that tent you can hardly see behind her incredible garden.
We spent 5 full days in Manatee Hammock and most of it was spent at the campground. I worked, the kids did school, we did some cleaning and organizing, and we played. We kicked the soccer ball around, threw the football, played frisbee, took walks, played at the pool and went to church.
Our home church in Longmont has a Thursday night service, so when I found out that the church right up the road from the campground had a Wednesday night service we decided to give it a shot. New Life Christian Fellowship has a casual worship time on Wednesday night with worship through music and then Pastor Linkous bringing a message complete with lots of “can I have an amen?”. Once again we felt very welcomed by the people. During the meet and greet time Pastor Linkous asked people to “be sure to welcome the family from Colorado”…and boy did they ever. I have no problem with this at all, but I can see how if you were a seeker wanting to keep a low profile this could turn you off. Spending the evening in the company of the church was really nice.
I took the Beast in to get an oil change while we had some down days. Tire Kingdom quoted me $177 for an oil change, Firestone quoted $88 after tax…same thing the dealership charges. I don’t know if $88 is a fair price or not but it beats $177 so I made an appointment and was in and out in 1 hour. For once, the Beast got a clean bill of health and didn’t cost me any more than what I went in expecting to pay. Praise the Lord!!
For some reason I really liked this campground. Well, actually I think I’ve liked just about all of them. But I got more attached here. I think it is partly due to the fact that we spent over a month in Florida and would finally be leaving and I am not ready to leave. I wanted to rewind time and go back and do it all over again. However, new adventure lies ahead and I know it will be great!
Working and reading
Fa Family Lo Mein
Down by the water
Crack the whip
Dining room view
The Q master
Brielle and Steph
Breens and Wachs