Very Cold Winter
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1 to June 1, 2010)
January 1 to April 21: Port St. Lucie,
Route: N/A - Winter
Port St. Lucie RV Resort
The sites are tight, and the prices are high in winter, but this is
really the only RV park in town other than the Outdoor Resorts. As
gorgeous as the Outdoor Resorts park is, it is targeted at folks with
very deep pockets. Monthly rates there top out around $1,500.
We now spend our winters in Port St. Lucie to be close to where my mom
lives in an assisted living facility. It's about 10 miles away from the
RV park. My brother lives about a mile and a half from the park.
Between us we try to make sure our mom is visited at least four times
during the week.
The first thing to mention is that this was the coldest winter we have
experienced. It was, of course, cold all over the country, but
unusually cold for Florida. That kept folks indoors more than in past
This winter at the RV park we met several folks who also return to the
park every winter. Most were snowbirds and a couple were fulltimers.
Diane, especially, made some good friends in the park and the ladies
were pretty active with visiting each other and getting out to lunch.
My saga with the pain caused by a back problem continued after the trip
to Phoenix for the holidays. I decided to see an orthopedic doctor who
concurred with the spinal stenosis diagnosis I got while in Atlanta.
The problem was caused by a synovial cyst on the spine. This doctor
suggested another epidural, but said that if it didn't work his
recommendation would be surgery. Fusion surgery. Screws and whatever
else he could put in the spine. That didn't set well with me because a
neurosurgeon I saw in Atlanta told me that the L4/L5 area didn't show
any instability so fusion probably wasn't necessary. A surgery with
fusion is much harder to recover from. I decided to go ahead with the
epidural and also to find a neurosurgeon.
The first step was the neurosurgeon and I found a guy in Jupiter that I
felt comfortable with. He looked at all the MRI and Xray data and said
he wouldn't suggest fusion. Rather he would do microsurgery to try and
remove, or lessen, the cyst. Sounded like a good idea to me so I won't
be going back to the orthopedic guy.
The next step was the epidural. It turned out the doctor I went to
graduated from the same college I did in New York (SUNY Brockport)
before going to medical school. He did the epidural and I could tell he
was much more aggressive with the needle than the doctor in Atlanta.
pain level dropped from 4-5 to 0-1 within a week and to zero by the
second week. The neurosurgeon had told me that if I remained pain free
for six weeks I could try golfing. Well, I gave it five weeks and
played golf with my brother. No pain. It was getting late in the season
so I only got to play five times, but no pain. As I write this
travelogue in August it has been seven months since the epidural and it
seems to be holding so far as I don't have the pain I had before. So
far, so good.
My niece, Michelle, came down to visit her father for St. Patrick's
Day. Diane and I joined her and my brother for a St. Patty's Day meal
and outing at a local Irish pub. What a hoot. They had a ring set up
some wrestlers to do their thing. Too funny. In one tag team match
there was a woman and a man who were in pretty good shape. Their
opponents were a short guy and a woman who had to be almost seven feet
tall. What an Amazon. I've never seen a man or woman that tall before.
Obviously, she and her partner won the wrestling match. It was a fun
The other thing of note was that we looked at some houses while we were
down there. We have been feeling a bit of a pull to having a more
permanent and larger place, probably me more than Diane. I noticed a
housing area close to the RV park and it was made up of 56 duplex
units. Very nice two bedroom units with either a one car or two car
garage. Nice landscaping. They were very expensive at one time, but the
housing market had dropped the prices substantially. We looked at three
units that were on the market and seriously thought about buying one.
However, the same weekend we looked at the units our friends Mike and
Jeannie at the RV park hosted a pig roast with some 60-70 people from
the park in attendance.
At one point I said to Diane that if we were to buy a place to live in
for the winter she would lose her friends at the RV park. It's also
very clear to us that the social life and camaraderie amongst RVers is
much better than with neighbors in a housing development. It's very
interesting that even the snowbirds who come down to the park have said
they don't socialize with their neighbors in the same way they do with
their neighbors at the RV park. It's just the way it goes. So as Diane
and I were sitting together at one point during the pig roast I asked
her if she'd prefer a house that offers more space, but less social
life, or "this" as I pointed to all the people around us. She said
"this" and that told me that we weren't ready to come off the road.
Yes, we did pass up the $8,000 that we would have gotten for qualifying
as first time home owners, but it wouldn't have been a good move for
All in all it was an enjoyable winter season and we look forward to
getting down there again in November.
April 22 to
April 25: Cocoa Beach, Florida (107 miles)
US 1; local roads
When we get the chance to go up the coast we know we can contact our RV
friend who owns a hotel along A1A. He allows us to park behind the
hotel where he has a couple of 50-amp power outlets for when he and his
brother park their motorhomes there. We made contact and he said it
would be great to stop there and visit with he and his wife. We spent
four days there and the weather was great each day. We got to sit out
the beach and walk along the water's edge. What a life.
We also got to visit with our friends who live at The Great Outdoors in
Titusville, Bill and Martha Verity. It's always nice to seen them when
we get to that area.
April 26 to
April 27: Ocala, Florida (219 miles)
I-95; FL 40
CoachCare parking lot
This was a two day stop to get our generator serviced and to check on
my mom's house that is still on the market. It has been extremely hard
to sell houses in this horrible housing market, especially in Florida.
April 28 to April 30:
Lake City, Florida (83 miles)
Oaks n Pines RV Park
We almost always get to spend a couple of days in Lake City to visit
with Diane's brother and his wife as we move north.
Macon, Georgia (288 miles)
J in Valdosta, GA for $2.979
Just an overnight stop.
May 2 to June 1:
Cumming, Georgia (112 miles)
I-75; I-675; I-285; GA 400;
This campground was built in 1976 by Lamar Pendley and is still owned
and operated by the family. There is a catch and release pond on the
property with RV sites in the trees as well as in the open. We got a
site for the month near the office that allowed us to use our dish.
J in Jackson, GA for $3.029
Ever since we went on the road fulltime in 2000 we have parked in our
daughter Jill's driveway in Douglasville when we were back in the
Atlanta area. However, we have lost that parking spot recently due to
Jill and Chris having moved to Corinth, Mississippi. There aren't any
good campground choices around the Atlanta area, but we found one in
Cumming that may work for us when we are in the area.
As usual, we scheduled appointments with our doctor and dentist and
spent time visiting with the kids and grandkids. Jill and Chris drove
in from Mississippi to celebrate her two kids' birthdays. April turned
21 and Richard turned 19. One night we went to Buca di Beppo for a
After a month in Cumming we hit the road for our summer travels. As we
departed we had no plans for the summer. All we knew was that we would
head up to the Newmar factory and Spartan factory and see what
developed. Our initial thought was that we might tour more of Wisconsin
Until next time,
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Roaming America with Rich &
Diane Emond -
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