We have decided to sell our 2015 Newmar Ventana LE. Not because it has rained every day ever since we hit Florida (yes – I know high 50’s & low 60’s are better than freezing temperatures), but because if when we have to be inside all day, we want to be as comfy as we can. Think of it as wanting to jump from a Ford Fusion to Ford Taurus! Anyway, I should have been suspicious when I realized Roy has never stopped looking and investigating the step up from what we currently have. I actually love the Ventana LE we have now, but it would be nice to have a few more creature comforts… Anyway for your viewing pleasure, here is a video which shows the inside of our current RV.
Like I mentioned above, it has rained every day since we hit Florida. We took our time getting down here, which was an interesting experience since the RV was still winterized and we didn’t have access to fresh water. It truly was like camping, but was broken up by a one night stay with our wonderful friends Janet and Steve in Atlanta. When we reached Fort Myers we dewinterized the coach with the help from a very kind fellow who was parked across from us at Upriver RV Resort . I have to say that we encountered the absolutely nicest people ever in that resort. We stayed a couple of nights and tried to book a site there for after our stint in the Keys, but they were completely filled up. This is a BIG lesson we are learning – being “spontaneous” and bopping around is not really an option during the winter in Florida. The most desirable parks are already reserved up by April or May of the previous year. After realizing this, we spent several hours mapping out the rest of our Florida stay and felt lucky when we found anything at all.
The interesting thing at the Upriver RV Resort was that the sites alternate as RV, then a permanent prefab home, then a RV and so on. There are also what they call “canal sites” where vehicles are parked right next to the water. We had a sweet surprise on our site; a previous occupant had left a couple beautiful orchards in the trees.
After we left Fort Myers, we headed toward Marathon Key. We decided to take Highway 41 instead of I 75 on the recommendation from several people that it was more scenic and that I 75 was now where the original “Alligator Alley” was. Of course it was raining, but that didn’t deter Roy from cruising in the RV as seen in this 20 second video.
We stopped to take an air boat ride run by the Miccosukee Native Americans.
The air boat takes you to several huts were women were selling craft items. Just a bit commercialized but we didn’t mind. We also got to see a few alligators lurking about.
O.K. – Just one more video. This one is the air boat ride.
We spent the night before we checked into the keys at The Boardwalk RV Resort in Homestead, Florida. All I’m going to say here is this: it is convenient to Highway 1 but the sites are very, very tight. I don’t think we will be able to stay there again – we were just barely able to back into the site without hitting a pole or another rig.
From Homestead we traveled down to Jolly Roger RV Resort on Marathon Key. This is a beautiful park. It’s not too big and the views of the ocean are stunning. The only trouble was it actually rained every single day we were there. The first day and the last were the only days were the sun managed to shine for a couple hours each day. I did manage to get some photos when the sun was out.
After one storm, the water rose up over the sea wall shown in the picture above.
We had stayed here for four days last year and appreciated that it is just a short day trip to either Key Largo or Key West. Marathon Key also seems to have plenty of restaurants to pick from and since we weren’t hiking or bike riding in the rain, we had time to check some out. The best ones also sell fresh seafood and fish if to take home to cook. We highly recommend Brutus Seafood Eatery and Market, Fish Tales Market and Eatery, and Captains Three Fish Market . The weather was so crummy that we didn’t make it to the great John Pennenkamp Coral Reef State Park on Key Largo, but one rainy day we did make it to Key West.
We visited The Truman Little White House where U.S. President Harry S. Truman loved to have working vacations. It was like a Camp David destination for him. Unfortunately photos were not allowed to be taken in the house but they do rent it out for events such as weddings. Several other presidents have stayed in it as well. The last one was Bill Clinton who reportedly really enjoyed himself in downtown Key West.
Our visit to Key West was cut short when the electricity in the shops went out and it started pouring.
One fun thing about Key West is all the chickens and roosters that just amble about all over town.
One regret is that we didn’t visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, but that leaves us something to do for next time!
Next: On to Lake Okeechobee and hopefully better weather!
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