FL: Mid-Florida Winnies

March Mid-Florida Winnies Newsletter

This was a great campout. We had 10 coaches come in Sunday before the campout to enjoy the gorgeous weather we had for the entire campout. We had 17 coaches in total by Monday and we had a guest, Chris & Nancy Keane, Michael O’Neil’s nephew. We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at this campout on Tuesday evening with a great cake.

Before we talk about our campout in detail let me tell you about a place from the activities list the Hosts provided for things to do while in Arcadia. Ten of us decided to visit the Lions and Tigers and Bears Nature Refuge on Tuesday. That was a real treat for us. We got to see up close the Alex the Lion, Sampson and Cassy the Bengal tigers and Stormy the Siberian tiger. We also saw the Java Macaque monkeys and the Gibbons monkeys that really scream loud. They had a couple serval cats named Sampson and Footy. Sparkle the leopard was mostly hidden, but we did get to see him and Roxy the panther. They had a bear too. Most of these animals are from the movie or picture trade so they are unable to go back to the wild because of being raised with people and having no fear of them. They also had a wolf hybrid and a coyote. These were surprisingly close to the deer they had in the reserve. The animals are fed twice a day to make sure that they don’t have a need to hunt. The refuge provides tours by appointment only, and the cost is $20.00/person. They also offer a feeding tour in the evening, but that cost is $250 for 1-10 people. Those who run the site are very passionate about their animals and want to make people aware of the harm they do to wild animals when they raise them as pets. Wild animals will never be pets.

Now we’ll talk about the events of our campout. We had an informal happy hour on Sunday and Monday in the covered pavilion right across from the coach line-up. Everyone was on their own for lunch and dinner on Sunday and breakfast, lunch and dinner on Monday. There was also a nice dog park which the Parks’ dogs loved. Some of the other dog friendly coaches made use of the park as well. Our hosts, Tom and Carolyn Horner and Normand and Paulette Belleville were fantastic. The facilities were really nice, and the campground had already set up the socially distance tables and chairs for us.

Our Tuesday meal was great with sliced ham and potatoes and green beans and Carolyn’s famous soda bread. Five rousing games of Left, Right, Center were played after dinner with Dave Rumrill winning 2 games, and Paulette, Elaine Schilp, and Irene LaFlamme each winning a game Wednesday morning our hosts provided a variety of egg casseroles, left over ham and soda bread with coffee and juice and a fruit cup. Bob and Glenda Christian joined us for our business meeting after breakfast and then everyone was on their own until dinner. Dick and Del Warner brought their coach in and joined us for our Happy Hour and stayed to enjoy the meal that night which consisted of pizza from Dominos. We had a variety and everyone had plenty. We had our 50/50 drawing during the meal with $60 going to charity and Don Rumrill winning $35 and Donna Zopff winning $20. After the meal most everyone stayed to play card bingo. Ed Parks, Richard Menge, Donna Zopff, and Pat Smith were all winners with our guest, Nancy Keane, winning as well.

We had a breakfast on Thursday of muffins with leftover ham and soda bread. The hosts also provided coffee and juice with fruit cups. Our next campout is on April 12-15 at Belle Parc RV Resort in Brooksville. We hope to see everyone there. The time for reservations for April has past. The time for reservations for our three-part May campout is over as well. It seems that travel will be on again for the rest of the year here in Florida as the campgrounds are filling up early as usual.

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