FL: Mid-Florida Winnies

Mid-Florida Winnies September Outing

This was our first campout after being gone for the summer and we had 7 coaches in attendance. That was low but we had lots of fun.The Smalleys, Parks, and Bedfords arrived on Saturday. The Smalleys and Parks did the extended glass bottom boat tour at Silver Springs on Sunday at 1pm. This tour was 90 minutes long and we got to see all of the springs that feed the Silver River as well as alligators, a variety of water birds and the Rhesus Macaque monkeys that have populated the area for over 90 years. It seems that an early (1930s) entrepreneur wanted to spice up his boat tour with some animals and did some research on what type of monkeys could survive in Florida’s weather. He settled on the Rhesus Macaque monkey and had several shipped in. He took them to an island and decided to let them alone for a few days to see how they did. Upon his return he found that all had disappeared completely. He didn’t do enough research because these monkeys can swim and they decided to investigate their surroundings. They have been thriving ever since that time in the forests surrounding Silver Springs.

We had our first three Happy Hours at the coaches and they were informal. We laughed and shared stories of our travels over the summer. Our group included the Monteleones, O’Neils, Runfeldts, and Schilps along with our three hosts the Bedfords, Parks, and Smalleys. All the coaches had arrived by Monday afternoon and a group of us decided to go to a local restaurant for dinner. We had thought about Outback but the wait was over an hour so we settled on Terry’s Place which has been visited by some in our club. The food was very good and the service was excellent.

Starting Tuesday, all our activities were held in the clubhouse at the park. We enjoyed Happy Hour at 3:30pm each day to allow our members with furry kids time to feed and walk their dogs before dinner. We had an excellent spaghetti dinner with salad and Texas Toast on Tuesday supplied by Marsha and Jim Bedford. They also provided two loaf cakes for dessert. Wednesday morning began with breakfast consisting of sausage gravy provided by the Parks with biscuits from Bob Evans and scrambled eggs by the Smalleys. We also had mini sausage links. This was a veritable feast. Then it was time for a trip to the local dog park. The Parks and Bedfords took their four-legged kids for a romp through the fields with some relaxation in the kiddie pools.

Tuesday evening everyone had to make their selections for the sub sandwiches for the Wednesday evening meal. The subs were supplied by Firehouse subs and were delicious. They were complemented by southern and New York style potato salad and macaroni salad from Publix and chips. We eat the candy from the table decorations as desert. We had a 50/50 drawing and Debbie Monteleone won the $25.00 prize. After dinner we played 5 hands of card bingo with the following results: game 1: Cynthia Runfeldt; game 2: Ed Parks; game 3: Phil Runfeldt; game 4: Elaine Schilp; game 5: Mike O’Neil. We used the table decorations as prizes. We all had a good time regardless of who won or lost.

Thursday morning saw us all getting ready to leave for our homes. We had mini muffins, leftover sausages and fruit cups consisting of half a banana and grapes with juice and coffee. We said our goodbyes and wished everyone safe travels until our October Rally which will be at River Vista RV Park in Ruskin.

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