Wauchula, FL - Events of Wednesday, November 30 to Thursday, December 8, 2016
When we found out our name was at the top of the list for a site at the SKP Florida Resort in Wauchula, we had already committed to our site at Blueberry Hill for another year. Even though that meant we would be paying for two sites, the annual cost of the site in Wauchula is very reasonable so it wasn't much of a strain on our budget. We knew once we gave up our site at Blueberry Hill we would never be able to get the same site with the custom paving and landscaping back again once they gave it to someone else, so keeping the site at Blueberry Hill seemed like a good idea in case the co-op didn't work out for some reason.
By the time we had been at the co-op for about two weeks, however, we realized we love our new site, we love the co-op itself, and we love the surrounding area. The people at the co-op are great, too. Therefore, we started thinking maybe it wasn't such a good idea to spend the extra money to keep our site at Blueberry Hill if we didn't have to.
Margery made a call to the manager at Blueberry, and he said giving up our site mid-year would be no problem since they had a rather long waiting list. Therefore, we headed to Bushnell on November 30th (we were paid up through then) to turn in our shed and mailbox keys and to load up the truck with everything we had left in the shed there and cart it down to Wauchula.
Getting everything into the truck was a challenge because in addition to a good many boxes and containers, we had two bicycles and a 4' workbench to load. It took about an hour of loading and re-arranging, but we got everything in the truck so we could make it in one trip.
We said good bye to some of our friends at Blueberry while we were packing the truck and also when we were on our way out of the park. Blueberry Hill is a really nice RV park, and there are some really nice people there; but we're sure we're also going to be happy at the SKP co-op in Wauchula.
On the way back to Wauchula we had to pass right by the Ellenton exit where Anna Maria Oyster Bar is located, so we stopped for lupper. We both had fried clam strips for $9. Margery had slaw and onion straws ($1 extra) for her sides, and Paul had slaw and red potatoes.
We haven't been to Anna Maria's for some time because we discovered Dan's Clam Stand in Crystal River that was much closer to Blueberry Hill. However, Anna Maria's is closer to Wauchula so we'll be going there more often. The good news is the clam strips at Anna Maria's are even better than we remembered and are as good as the ones at Dan's.
Back at the co-op, we started unloading the truck. Not only is the shed on our new site small, but it has deep shelves running down both sides. The shelves make it nice to stack boxes and containers, but they take away floor space we need for the lawn mover, the bicycles and the work bench. It's more crowded in there than we thought it was going to be.
Since the shed is so small and since it's also pretty old with signs of a few minor water leaks, we started researching new sheds a while back. A few days after we got back from Blueberry and saw how cramped the shed really was, we went out and placed an order for a new shed. We're not sure exactly when it will be in, but it will probably be early January.
One of the things that keeps cost at the co-op so low is almost everything is done by volunteers. When we had only been at the co-op for a couple of days, we happened to meet Ed, who is the head of the Buildings and Improvement Committee. When Ed found out Paul was an experienced do-it-yourselfer, he invited Paul to a committee meeting. Ever since, Paul has been working with a team of co-op members one or two mornings a week whose current project is repairing some water leaks at the back of the clubhouse. Over the last couple of weeks, the guys removed some of the siding so they could replace rotted framing and wet insulation. After all the leaks are repaired, the next project will be to replace dry wall and paneling inside.
Another thing that has been keeping us busy is going to breakfast at the clubhouse every Monday morning. Volunteers prepare things like eggs, sausage, pancakes, grits, and sausage gravy and biscuits. Prices are very reasonable ($2 for two eggs and a sausage patty, for example) and the food is good. It also gives us a chance to meet people and chat while waiting in line for our food and while eating. After breakfast every week there are 10 minutes or so of announcements of events for the upcoming week, so it's also a good way to keep up with the latest news.
Last Thursday, we drove to Bushnell for Margery to get a haircut. She really, really likes her hairdresser there and wants to go back at least every other haircut while we're in Florida for the winter. Her appointment was in the afternoon so we stopped at Pancho's Villa for lupper on the way back to the co-op. Margery had a ground beef chimichanga and Paul had a chicken chimichanga. As always, they were delish as were the corn chips and salsa.
From Pancho's we headed back to the co-op for an evening of TV. We'll have another update soon so stay tuned.