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Week 5: Ending 12/15/2002
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2002 9:38 pm    Post subject: Week 5: Ending 12/15/2002 Reply with quote

Week 5: Ending 12/15/2002:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
We decide to move on after four days here. Not that we don’t love the beautiful Bulow RV Resort, but WE WANT WARMTH! So it will be off to Key west soon. The four days are spent dealing with phones and computers, and looking for alligators. All we found were turtles, but they were fierce looking turtles. Well, not really. They apparently thought that WE looked fierce, ‘cause every time we caught a glimpse, they were off and running (swimming, or paddling, or turtling, or whatever mode of locomotion a turtle employs.).

We’re moving again! Headed for Key West. We’ve made inquiries and they tell us no reservations are required. It’s about 400 miles, plus or minus, from Flagler Beach to Key West, so it was a joyous day of driving, being kept abreat of every turn by our new GPS Navigation system. The unit performed nearly perfectly, giving instructions verbally, like “In 500 feet, turn right. In 200 feet, turn right. Drive 240 miles then exit right” We wind up returning this unit next week (no we’re not fortune tellers, we’re making this journal entry late) because Circuit City proves yet again to be unworthy of our business. Let me repeat that for emphasis:

The drive was long, rainy at times, and we got caught in Downtown Miami traffic, but great. US Route 1 was a lot wider and more forgiving than we had imagined. Mostly 2 lane (one each way) with long, strategically placed passing zones of 3 lane highway (2 one way, 1 the other) to give people a chance to pass the Happie Camper. We arrive just after 8PM to a greeting committee, and settled in for the night, and for the 7 nights after that. 8 days in Paradise!

Warmth and Sunshine! Come to the Florida Sunshine Tree! (Sorry Anita.) We venture to Key West, Hit “Mile 0”, the end of US Route 1, make a few phone calls, and go back to bed.

Back to Key West, but first, a little bit about our campground. It’s the Sunburst RV Park, in Sugarloaf Key, at mile marker 19.8. It’s next door to a KOA campground, so be sure to take the 2nd left headed south on Route 1. Now, to confuse things, mail has to be sent to Summerland Key, because Sugarloaf Key lost it’s post office. This also had other nasty effects. The address printed in our directories had the old Zip code, and the GPS system didn’t recognize it. The sign out front says “Lazy Lakes Campground” due to some unspecified legal issues. So off of US Route 1 south, make your second left after mile marker 20, turning into LazyLakes Campground in Summerland Key if you want to get to Sunburst RV Park in Sugarloaf Key. Sigh.

Our site is an “off lake” site. That means there is one row of sites between us and the Lake. The campground is smallish, about 30 or 40 sites in this area. There are a total of 100 sites in the park. Ours is a pull-through site, so you just pull straight in with the rig (after disconnecting the dinghy) and when you leave, you just pull straight out. No backing up, and the utilities are in the right spot. Very convenient.

The campground seems to be on the edge of a man-made lake. Looks like a very large area of coral has been excavated and the sea water rushed right in. There are peninsulas of what we assume to be coral that include boating and barbeque pits. Very pretty. You can see pictures of the campground HERE.

We visit Key West again, bopping around in the HappieDinghy (Quite an appropriate name for Key West, n’est pas?)
We decide that Key West is a lot like Provincetown, but without the charm. In Key West’s defense, it is a LOT bigger than Provincetown, there’s a TON more commercial development (Big Kmart, a small Sears, a couple of sizable supermarkets, a few car dealerships and marinas, several humongous cruise ship docks, and even a Home Depot is on the way.) It’s just a whole different scale.
The attitude is laid back, and there are lots of alternative lifestyle bars and retail operations around. But the small-town charm of Provincetown is completely absent. The streets are wide and busy, pedestrians have to be (or SHOULD be!) on the lookout, everything is quite pricey, and it’s almost too far to walk around, and parking is extremely limited. This does NOT make for a Happie tourism experience. We don’t want to give the wrong impression, Key West is STILL a nice place to visit, the weather is fantastic, but we don’t think this is a place where we’d like to put down roots. Besides, real estate prices are through the roof. Anything approaching the amenities of our old home with a half-decent location is a million bucks, EASY.

Sunday morning, Joan wakes Ron up with “I think we’ve tripped the circuit breaker”. Now, that night was particularly perfect, so we were sleeping without A/C or heat, and with a window or two open. So tripping a breaker wouldn’t be a good thing. Long story short, the campground hookup had just met it’s maker at our expense. The neutral inside their box was toasted, and was feeding our 120V circuit with 220 volts. The surge suppressor on the HappieComputer did it’s job, sacrificing itself to the voltage demons, but the MagCharger Charger and the Clock Radio weren’t so lucky.

After discussions with management (mostly friendly), they agreed to reimburse us for the destroyed products.

We went to a local flea market, which was tiny, but we managed to acquire flames.

See you next week!
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