Settled In At TTN

 Posted by at 12:26 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 152011
 

We were up early yesterday morning, eager to get to the Orlando Thousand Trails (TTN) preserve early in the day, since it was supposed to be in the high 80s later in the day. Also, because the sites here are on a first come basis, and we wanted to snag one in the 50 amp full hookup G section, if possible.

We pulled out of Peter and Connie Bradish’s lot at The Great Outdoors in Titusville, drove a couple of miles south on Interstate 95, then took State Route 407 to SR 528 east to Orlando. This is a toll road, and I think we stopped at three toll booths, paying $2 or $3 each time. It seemed like one toll plaza was no more than a mile or two from the one before. I wonder why they don’t do things like they do in Ohio and Indiana, and just have you take a ticket when you get on, and pay one toll when you get off. It would save manpower, and make life easier for travelers. But then again, when do government agencies think things like this through, right?

At any rate, we moved right along until we got into Orlando, where traffic picked up. We had a short run on Interstate 4, where traffic was bumper to bumper, then got off on U.S. 192, took it west five miles or so, and then took U.S. 27 north to the campground. We checked in, drove around and found several acceptable sites in the G section, and were backed into our site, had the HWH leveling jacks down and the slides out, and were all hooked up by 12:45, with 67 miles behind us. While they call this the Orlando Thousand Trails, the mailing address is actually Clermont, which is about fifteen miles north of the campground, and yet, the Kissimmee city limits are about three miles south. Go figure.

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After we were parked and hooked up, I drove back up to the ranger station to tell them which site we were in, and while I was gone, Terry took a couple of pictures of these Sandhill Cranes as they strutted by to welcome us to the neighborhood.

Sandhill cranes 2

By the time I got back to the motorhome, Terry had the inside all arranged, our rooftop TV dish up, and the basement air conditioner on. It was getting hot, and it sure felt good to come inside to find that it had already cooled the rig down very nicely.

We spent a couple of hours answering e-mails, then I printed out mailing labels for some orders that we needed to mail out, and we took off for the post office in Clermont. But on our way out, we first stopped by the campground’s fishing pier and boat launch, on Lake Hancock. This is a great paddling lake, and we can’t wait to get our kayaks wet. The lake has some big bass, and yes, a few alligators, too. But then again, just about anything larger than a birdbath in Florida has at least one resident alligator. I’ve never heard of a kayaker being molested by one though, and we plan to keep it that way.

Lake Hancock dock

After dropping off the mail, we drove to the Golden Corral in Clermont, which was taking part in the company’s free dinner for veterans nationwide promotion. But the place was a madhouse, with people parking in parking lots of stores across the street and streaming across on foot, eager to stand in line for an hour or so to get a free meal. I really appreciate what Golden Corral does for vets, but if there is one thing I learned in my time in the Army, it was that I never want to stand in line again for anything. We’ll go back another time, and I’ll pay for my meal, thank you just the same.

Back home, we had a relaxing evening, and watched the 20/20 interview of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly. I don’t care what your politics are, this courageous woman’s recovery from being shot in the head by a crazy man last January is nothing short of amazing. Terry and I both had tears in our eyes more than once over all that she has overcome, and the love story that she and her husband share.

Our first order of business today is to sleep in, and then do a whole lot of nothing the rest of the morning. Then we’ll probably just goof off the rest of the day.

Thought For The Day – Forgive your enemy but remember the SOB’s name.

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  12 Responses to “Settled In At TTN”

  1. George and I also just arrived up the road at Citrus Valley yesterday. Now we were running away from weather so the weather better stay good the 2 weeks we are here and you are 2 miles down the road!!!

  2. As my favorite saying goes while we are in Florida during the winter “If you see a body of water and can’t see the bottom, there is a ‘gator’ in it.”
    That is a sure way to keep away from any ‘gators’.

  3. Thousand Trails Orlando is listed in Passport America as an Encore Resort and available to PA members . I thought Thousand Trails was a private membership park .

    You should have great weather for the next week !

  4. Happy Terry is feeling better and you arrived safely. Have fun getting your Kayaks wet and do not tease the gators.Thanks for sending us the rain we need so much.

  5. Your making us jealous, of all the hard work your doing.

    We hit a snag in our plans, so we’ll probably be in your neighborhood, for next winter, but don’t plan on waiting that long to try our Sea-eagle kayak.

    Enjoy the weather, because the bad stuff doesn’t always follow You.

  6. Marvin I just looked at the PA website (we are not members currently) and I don’t see where the TT Orlando is listed as being available to PA members. I do see Clerbrook Resort (in Clermont) listed as an Encore park, but these are two DIFFERENT parks.
    Please clarify. Nick, maybe you can shed some information on the subject.

  7. Marvin and Nick
    No further is needed. I just zoomed in on the map a bit and found that the TT Orlando is listed as being available to PA members.
    Now I’m with you Marvin. I thought that TT was a private membership park. (It used to be). We are TT members, but the benefits of TT membership have certainly eroded in the short time since we’ve been members (since 2008).

  8. North Carolina is taking a different approach on toll roads, and one that makes good sense. You can get a single electronic token that will eventually connect with EZPass (Northeast) down to FL’s system.

    No token ? No problem. There are no toll booths anyway on the NC roads. Using cameras, they will scan your license plate while you drive, and send you the bill. The days of the toll collectors, and delays on the road that they create, will soon be over. There are some “high speed” toll booths on the Jersey Turnpike, so this is an extension of that technology but even more convenient.

    Currently I don’t think there is a monthly admin fee in NC, as NY and NJ loved to charge me a dollar / month even if you don’t use it. I am guessing we will need one for the RV and one for the toad, but I haven’t gone to register yet. If there’s no admin fee, and if you travel alot in the toll states, this may be a good alternative.

  9. I’m surprised at you, Nick! Trying to put toll collectors out of a job? (I’m not sure if I’m joking or not, either. I also prefer the ticket system but in today’s economy I hate to see anyone lose a job.)

  10. Steve and Marvin,
    For over a year now many Thousand Tails and Naco parks have been open to the general public. In fact, they have a big sign out front that says Public Campsites Available.

  11. You have a point, Linda, and I thought about that. But why culdn’t those workers be transitioned into other state government jobs where they have personnel shortages due to budget cuts? They wouldn’t be adding anybody to the state payroll, because they are already on it.

  12. Welcome to T T Orlando. We last saw you at the past Gypsy Gathering in Celina. We have been here for a week and may run into you & Terry while you are here. In a week we will be heading for Peace River for 3 weeks then back here. We will spend the winter between Peace River and here. I did see your Ultimate Advantage on one of my bike rides through the park. Have a great stay.

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