Friday, January 19, 2018

Cool reception!

DUNEDIN, FL – Two days have passed since my last posting and they have been full ones. A recap: on Wednesday morning we left Kingsland, Georgia and within minutes we had crossed the Florida state line. We stopped at the Florida Welcome Center where a hospitable greeter offered us cups of fresh orange or grapefruit juice, and a huge array of maps and brochures offered any number of traveling adventures in the Sunshine State.

Sunshine there was, but the expected balmy temperatures, that draw millions to this part of the world in the dead of winter, failed to materialize. It was downright chilly! And just after I had stowed my winter jacket!

We chose the more rural highways to complete our journey, once we’d navigated the Interstate 295 ring road around Jacksonville. It was a welcome change to travel Highway 40 across the state, through Ocala National Forest, and the little towns along its path. Next to the small gas station at Forest Corners, where we stopped to fill up, we marveled at a huge roadside market filled with every garden gnome, statuette, lamppost and birdbath, in the most garish colours and designs! If we weren’t so focused on getting to Dunedin, we would have loved to browse through it.

Between Ocala and the next rural highway on our itinerary, we had to take Interstate 75 for a few miles, but the traffic was not that heavy, and it was familiar territory as well, since it brought us past Bushnell where we’d spent five weeks last winter.

Our last leg was along Highway 52, that brought us westward just shy of the gulf coast, and Highway 19 and Alt 19 through a string of busy towns. The further south we traveled, the more familiar everything became, until we rolled in to the Dunedin RV Resort at last.

It was lovely to see friendly faces welcoming us back, and after heaving our bags and stuff into our park model unit, John and Fawn hosted us for a delicious home-cooked dinner in their trailer.

The heat pump in our unit was invaluable with this unprecedented cold snap! People in the park have been bundling up with toques and scarves, and this morning when we looked out, there was actually a coating of frost on the car windshield, and the palm trees and palmettos look wilted from last night’s chill. We remain hopeful that at some point the tee shirts, shorts and sandals we brought will come into use, but not yet!

Our first full day here brought us to the grocery store for a huge order – basically, we needed everything, right down to salt and pepper! We are dismayed to learn, however, that acquiring a cable TV signal and internet connection will not be as easy. The new units are not yet wired up for these amenities, so our only link to the outside world is via our cellular connection for now. So, I imagine we’ll be doing a lot of reading in the coming evenings.

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