Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ocala to Mt. Dora

Christmas has come and gone and now so has New Years Eve!   I have got to get caught up!

Christmas Eve was pleasantly quiet at D&S’s home.  On Christmas Day H and I hoped to kayak further up the Rainbow again but unfortunately the weather did not wish to cooperate so we just “explored” more back roads.  While in Ross Prairie, we chatted with folks from our previous stays and this time we’ll add Bill & Carol and Kevin’s names to our list of travel friends!   Originally from Indiana, B&C are full timers who travel in a truck camper pulling a Jeep with 2 orange kayaks on top.  Kevin and his wife travel and write blogs and newspaper articles.   K interviewed both of us couples and wrote a VERY fine article in the Citrus County Chronicle, dated Dec 27,12!  C&B look good but don’t look at me – I was trying to lean back, OUT of the picture!   On K’s blog, he posted a picture of my patch-covered jacket, which has drawn a slew of good remarks!   IF you want to see it - go to:  Facebook and then to the page for VisitFlorida and scroll down to Dec 25.
Golf cart store at The Villages

One day that week, the Market of Marion flea market drew us down for our yearly visit to see what new treasures were hidden among all that “stuff” and this year we also drove a bit further to see how much the small community of “The Villages” has grown.   Let’s just say that the last time we visited, it probably had one zip code   - - Now it has several!  So much new construction and so many new housing developments!   One of H’s fun places to check out is the downtown golf cart store.  $20,000 plus for a golf cart but they are not your plain cart with 4 little rubber tires and a steering wheel, either!  

Fridays are not our favorite days to change parks but it was time to pull up jacks and move on!   H had ordered a new trailer tire from Wal-Mart but the wrong one got ordered – you MUST use the word “RADIAL” when asking for trailer tires.  And know that Wal-Mart does NOT touch travel trailers when it comes to changing tires - the customer must remove the old and must put the new mounted one back on.  Our next home was down US441 in Mt Dora and H was confident we would find someplace else where we could get the correct hunk of radial rubber to replace the one that was wearing out!   That place was PEPBOYS in Tavares!  Good price, GREAT service AND they did all the work!  We were in and out within a half hour. 

1957 DeHaviland Beaver
See several years past of Florida Blogs for Trimble Park in Mt Dora – its another one of our favorite Orange County Campgrounds besides Moss Park and Kelly Park.  This park has the smallest campground with only 15 sites which means it’s hard to get into.  Most sites are right on the water!   Our 1st site was #4, on the small canal that was surrounded by Florida jungle - palmettos, palms and live oaks draped with more Spanish moss!  The park is also home to a million small gray squirrels that use the canopy above as their expressway.  Small black coots hoot and holler to each other.  Egrets and herons of both colors ply the reeds for dinner.  Jays and hawks and finches dart from bush to tree.   Each night we are serenaded by questioning owls (Get it? WHO??), bellowing frogs and chattering raccoons!    One day, H unfolded our little bikes and we rode them to town.  We were either straining to go uphill into the wind or riding the brakes to keep from going head over heels down the opposite side of that hill!  While downtown we snooped in several small shops and visited the beautiful 1887 Lakeside Inn that resides on the hillside of Lake Dora.   A 1957 DeHaviland Beaver Seaplane calls the dock it’s home.  For $50 a person we could have gone up in it!   H was tempted!

Christmas in Mt. Dora
Mt Dora decorates for Christmas to the NINES!   SPFB for several years ago to see the huge marina that covers all their buildings with more lights than the Toledo Zoo uses. The palm trees are even wrapped like big candy canes in red and white LEDs.  Downtown is draped with sparkling white icicles, and the lamplights were alternating red ones and green ones.  The palm trees were wrapped in white also but the tops had the “dripping” ice blue lights.  And the huge tree in the square - OH MY!   Set to music, it changed patterns and colors according to which Christmas Carol was played.   On New Year’s Eve we walked the brightly lit, peaceful little downtown and watched that tree!   We are not “party people” – we arrived as everyone was going to dinner and left before all the real “party people” came out to party!

Sunset at Trimble Park
New Year’s Day 2013 arrived and looked just like the last day of 2012 but everyone in the park knew it was time to pack up and go home!   Except for us!   But we still moved!    From #4 to #8 which was/is THE best site in the park!    Right on the lake – right by the fishing/boat docks, closer to the “facilities”(which are very good and very clean!) - and THE best views of the sunrise and sunsets! 

Travares is one of the other towns on Lake Dora.  Leesburg is on the west, Mt Dora is on the east and Tavares is on the north.  The town’s lakefront is mostly well groomed community park with picnic shelters, walkways, a seaplane for public rides over the lakes, a great play area for the kids, a water park with a large colorful seaplane mounted above and a train depot that is home to a 1907 steam train.   When we arrived, the train was just building up steam for it’s 2 hour run to Leesburg and back!

Ron and Nancy have arrived and are parked right next to us in the next best site in the park!   They are here and so is the rain!                 More adventures to come, tho!