We’re staying at a campground in Alachua, FL (14 miles Northwest of Gainesville). This is the week that Nancy is working through her Myers-Briggs Certification. Weather has been chilly in the 50s during the day and high 30s at night. It has to get warmer sooner or later! Right?
There is a wildlife preserve here on the campground property. So far we’ve seen a bull, donkeys, an emu, horses, cockatoos, parrots and a jackaroo. Chessie is funny to watch – if she comes across an animal that is her size or smaller, she wants to play; anything bigger and she just ignores it.
We’re currently at the Monaco Service Center for what we thought would be minor repairs. Unfortunately, the “minor” was a little more involved and included replacing several ceramic tiles, both television sets and rebuilding one living room wall.
We’ve not had much of an opportunity to explore this area of central Florida as a potential “settle down” spot. We did visit a community called The Villages (www.thevillages.com) It’s an adult community that currently covers about 10 square miles and has multiple “communities.” There is a recreation center (swimming pools, tennis courts, racquet ball, etc.) in each one. There is free live entertainment in the town square EVERY night of the week with entertainers like Vince Gil providing special concerts. The price points for the homes range from the $90Ks to over $600K. Different homes are built in each one. Unfortunately, there are currently no plans to build homes with motor home garages. The overall concept of the community was wonderful – shopping, churches, entertainment, hospitals, etc. all within a golf cart ride away! Yes, you read correctly – the entire 10-acre town is accessible by golf cart. We even saw one that had been renovated to look like a 40s street rod. I wish I had gotten a picture but couldn’t pull the camera out quick enough.
Town Square, The Villages
Where else but in Florida would you see an artificial Christmas tree in a town square? It was beautiful but just took a little getting used to without snow or cold!
Well, we’re still at the Service Center. The couple tiles turned out to be a waterline leak behind the shower. For those of you who don’t own a coach, the entire deck is carpeted before any cabinets, etc. are set in place. The carpet under the shower was wet so we had huge fans running for ½ a day to dry out the floor and now they are re-tiling part of the bath and kitchen. We’re very happy that this was all discovered early and while we’re in the shop as it would have been a real hassle to have the repairs completed somewhere across the country that wasn’t a factory service center.
Happy New Year!
For those of us who were fortunate enough to be camping at the Service Center for New Year’s, we pulled together a Happy Hour on Wednesday afternoon. We have a great time making new friends and toasting to the New Year. However, the mosquitoes were so bad that we all went back to our own coaches around 7:30 pm. Come to find out Thursday morning as folks made their way around the campground, NO ONE made it to midnight to welcome in 2004!
We all decided to pull together a potluck dinner for New Year’s and had a great dinner including dessert. One of the women in the group had stopped by our site a couple days before because she was curious about our NH plates on the Harley. Ironically, she and her husband are from Greenland, NH. For those of you who don’t know, Greenland is a short 10 miles northeast of Kingston.
Cheers to Everyone. . .We wish you much health and prosperity in the New Year.
Our new friends are from Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Mississippi.
Ron decided to run for Mayor of the Monaco Campground since as of the 2nd of January, we have been here for three weeks.
We promised the Senior Tech on our crew that we’d acknowledge him on our website. . .so we’ve gone one better. . .here’s a picture of him sitting in the basement replacing the Aqua hot bin cover. Seriously, Tim and Tim’s Supervisor, Bobby, took great care of us and we are very happy with the service we received.
Tim The Toolman
There is a runoff pond on the property and as with any body of water in Florida, there are resident alligators. This pond’s senior gator is named Monaco and about 4 feet long. There are also a number of birds, turtles, alligators and snakes residing in this pond. Our site backs up to the swamp and pond and made for great wake-up sounds in the morning.
The swamp and wildlife are off to the left; the runoff pond is off to the right.
The Swamp and Pond are on the edge of a Cattle Pasture.
Turtles to the left. . .Monaco the alligator to the right.
Just one last photo from the Monaco Service Center. . .
We had the coach washed and detailed after the work was completed. Many of you know how compelled Ron is to keep the aluminum wheels polished . . .so it’s no surprise that within minutes of the detailers leaving the site, I found him with polish in hand. . .
Gotta keep ‘em shiny!