There are 4 Orange County Parks that have campgrounds. On this years trip we have been to Trimble Park in Mt Dora and now Moss Park in south east Orlando where all the huge airliners are in constant motion of either full flap down landing or full throttle takeoffs with their passenger compartments full of excited new tourists or exhausted weekend enthusiasts. Our favorite camp host, George is still in winter residence here and stopped over to say HELLO soon after we set up! My previously favorite site was right next to George's small motorhome and H's was all the way down near the small boat dock/fishing pier that extends out into Lake Mary Jane .SPFB!! This year however we were able to park on site 29 - - one of the biggest yet secluded sites and the closest site where Sam and Sandra - the resident sandhill crane couple have their nest just off shore, perched out in the swampy grasses. Anticipation grew as the week lengthened. When the new blond baby was just 2 days old, the proud parents brought their little one on shore. H was the first to welcome them! Just like a wobbly little toddler - the chick promptly tripped over a pinecone as it hurried to keep up with its folks who were head down, searching for something to eat in the pine needles and dry leaves.
The usual assortment of Moss Park neighbors came to welcome us or to just squawk and keep searching for their next tidbit of food as they wandered thru our yard. A quick little armadillo with its nose constantly snooting thru the thick ground cover tried to ignore H as he confronted it for a picture. The turkeys paused only a few minutes, the handful of timid deer shyly tried to pass thru each evening without anyone noticing them and the sandhill cranes were ALWAYS ready for a snack or just to yell and holler for whatever reason.. When the cranes weren't trying to outdo each other in the volume department, there was a bright red cardinal that would sit on the grill and sing for us!
Three more delicious seafood meals at the Catfish Place took care of our craving for scallops but the shops in "historic" St Cloud were a disappointment this visit. A quick stop at Joann's took care of that "itch" but without any coupons, my purchase was limited to just a few "on sale" items only. Even the flea market was a dud. The Disney Boardwalk was not! H's foot pain was under control and he found a parking spot in back of one of the half dozen resorts that border the small lake and the wide wooden walkway that surrounds it. A VERY pleasant way to spend the afternoon - just strolling, people watching and being amazed at the innovations of the Disney designers. We watched a squadron of small fiberglass boats, powered by black outboard motors, seemingly speed under the small bridges and then chase each other around the lake. H guessed their "high powered" engines were at best 9.9's and their speed was all of full throttle 10 mph! Looks sure can be deceiving! Then there was the Pirate Ship that sat with its stern to the lake and its bow facing a fascinating water park with winding streams of fast moving water and its own white sand beaches where awaiting parents watched their small sailors float by. The kids would climb aboard the big brown beached boat and deftly work their way to the top. Sliding down thru the dark brown "tube' they would end up in a circular go round before being dumped with a big pompous splash in a small pond at the foot of the slide. Out they would climb and run back to the ship for another wet trip back down! A new way to "Walk the Plank"? Slide the Tube? Our trip back to the campground was not without even more strange sights. As H pulled up in ever slowing traffic, he spotted a bright red VW ahead of us that looked as if it were being engulfed by a GIANT crustacian. The Lobster Mobile? I would imagine that the driver of that advertising nightmare was extremely thankful that the 'vehicle's windows were blackened. Either that or behind all that blackness, he was laughing hysterically at all the goofy tourists who would gawk and take numberous pictures as they passed slowly by him. Who, me?