After leaving Georgia last week, we drove for a few hours on Thursday and then spent the night in a Cracker Barrel parking lot in Florida. On Friday, we pulled in to the Orlando Thousand Trails RV Park. OTT is an 850 site park with all sorts of fun things for kids (and adults too!) to do. We spent most of our 9 days here…Vaughn or I took the kids down to the pools every day.
The kids had a great time in the beautiful sunshiny Florida winter weather. I took them a few times, but mostly, I sat at the dining room table and tried to get our business books from last year completed. I tried and tried, and spent hours and hours ‘working’ on them, but to be honest, the weather and the park were just too distracting, and I only got about half of my work done! What should have taken me 2 days, I could not seem to get done in the 7 I worked on them!
The campground also had pickleball courts, mini golf, shuffleboard, volleyball, foosball, pool, air hockey, and all sorts of other activities. Eli and Jake spent some time every day in the weight room, but not until AFTER Eli’s birthday last Sunday, when he turned 19 (weight room rules are over 18 and 14-18 with an adult) But the pools were the favs.
While we were there we thawed 8# of our Texas-caught catfish and had a fish fry. This past Sunday Eli and Beth got out their wares and set up a table at the park’s craft show. Eli only sold one bracelet; there was a long-term park camper that also sells them, he and Eli talked some, and Eli got some good ideas. Eli has been reinvesting a lot of his profit into more materials, and he is also saving up for a MacBook Pro. Beth sold a few of her clips, and spent her money on getting a perm (but it didn’t take :( ).
Before the craft show, which started at 11, we got up and went to church at the park (did you know that Thousand Trails was started by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans??? and part of their corporate rules for the parks is church services every Sunday! :) ) Church started at 8 (that’s 8 A.M.), which is a stretch for us. Normally we would have gone to a service off the preserve because 8 is so early to be getting all the littles ready, but since the craft show was at 11, and the kids really wanted to do it, we went here – and were so glad that we did! We will always get up and go to church, even at 8, at this preserve!!! We really enjoyed the pastor and his family, and loved that he wasn’t afraid to preach the gospel.
After church, we ran home and ate breakfast; it seemed weird to eat breakfast AFTER church, but since we are not used to getting up so early, no-one was hungry before.
We all went down to check out Beth and Eli’s booth at the craft fair, and the littles got to play some games at the activity center… Patient Daddy! Molly just liked to hear the ‘clink, clink’ of the pieces hitting the wooden base – her pieces moved all over! While we were at Orlando Thousand Trails, we celebrated Eli’s 19th birthday,with gifts and ice cream topped with hot brownies. But mostly , we just lived in the pools. A sweet snowbird gave the kids some noodles telling them that her kids were grown and she didn’t think that they’d be using them anymore…(tho they looked suspiciously brand new ;) ) We relaxed. We bought local fruit from a roadside stand. We met new friends.
Our second day at the park, Vaughn took the kids to the pool, and the kids from an RV a few doors away were down there also – the boys looked about Emma’s age, so when she came back, I asked her if she had made any new friends. She wrinkled up her nose and said, “No. They just had boys!”.
Having so many siblings, my kids don’t HAVE to make friends – their best friends are right here with them all the time! Sometimes I forget to train/remind the littles to reach out and make other friends. After Emma and I had a short discussion about being friendly and making other people feel at ease, she decided that she could maybe be nice to them even if they were boys. ;) The next day, the kids were at the pool together again, and before long, Emma was talking their ears off; after that the boys and Emma (and usually Peanut) were inseparable – they were for the rest of the time we were in Orlando – it was so cute!
The big boys also made some really nice new friends, and they took a nature walk down to the lake, played games of Axis and Allies, foosball, and ping pong, and had a few paracord bracelet-making sessions.
We watched endangered gopher tortoises. We got sunburns. We enjoyed lovely sunsets.
We had a great time in Orlando, but it was time to move on; for various reasons, we left before our reservations were up. We are now in a different RV park, and my big guys are getting ready for a new-to-us weeklong adventure, starting on Sunday, that is going to be an incredible experience for them. Me, and everyone from Thomas and down, might be staying ‘home’, but we have so much that we want to do in this new location! First up for me tho is an all-nighter so that I can get all that bookwork caught up – I’m hoping that if I work on it at night, I won’t be distracted by the lovely Florida sunshine that we have had every day since we got here!