Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Partying with Snowbirds

Monday, March 19, 2012

OLA: Partying with Snowbirds

Bill's offered his 68th birthday cake to the snowbirders of the RVing world!
snowbirds learning many line dancing variations
SNOWBIRDS!   The term makes you think of old, retired people from as far north as Newfoundland in Canada who leave their cold homes in November to spend a warm winter in Florida then make their way back home in March. They may have a few years under their belt, but they are definitely young at heart, and they certainly know how to have fun! Last week we introduced you to our young traveling friends from Slovenia. This week we spotlight our more regular companions in the RVing world, those sexygenarians like us (or older!) and about ‘partying’ with them.

Fay and Butch toasting the celebrant
Lake Magic in Orlando, Florida

Lake Magic in Orlando, a member of the Encore group, is the overflow park of Orlando Thousand Trails, one of our favorite parks. It sits on Highway 192 West, part of the triangle that circumscribes the theme parks of Orlando. It is only 6 miles from Disney! The RV haven is very nice with well-maintained facilities and tons of activities. We were lucky that Orlando Thousand Trails did not have space for us and got booked in and introduced to Lake Magic instead! 

Warren and Berta leading the singing
But the Park’s outstanding feature is its energetic community of younger snowbirds. Some store their RVs in the Park to use it as their alternate home in Florida. Some rent or own park models and just drive to Florida in their cars, and some are just like us who haul their home full time on the road. We were lucky that we got drawn into a group that seemed to party every day, with pot luck food and loads of karaoke singing and line dancing, led by Warren and Berta who own the equipment. 
Bill singing 'Wake Up Little Susie'
A traditional ‘Virginia’ barbecue courtesy of Fay and Butch coincided with Bill’s 68th birthday, so we brought a large German chocolate cake.  A host of sides were brought by the other 45 guests. A hearty Happy Birthday was sung as Bill offered his cake that read ‘Happy RVing and Snowbirding’ to start dessert time. Then the group burst into karaoke singing, street dancing, and more eating! And, like always when a party ends, Warren and Berta led the group in singing ‘We’re Best of Friends’!

St. Patrick's Day celebration with the 'band'
Three Flags in Wildwood, Florida

Over at Three Flags, another Encore campground, management had ushered in the snowbirding season with the Thanksgiving Party where they served roast turkey while we campers contributed sides and desserts (also became my own 63rd birthday celebration). Then March 17 they bid goodbye to the season with its St. Patrick’s Day celebration, serving corned beef and cabbage, traditional Irish fare, plus all the sides and desserts from the campers. The holiday is a cultural and religious holiday for the most commonly recognized patron saint of Ireland and the arrival of Christianity to the Emerald Isle.

just the dessert tables
Joe and Dottie having dinner with us...
During the winter of 2009/201, we met Joe, 81, and Dottie, 82 also in Three Flags. He has become Bill’s fishing buddy while Dottie is my Scrabble and Upwords playmate.  Dottie and I also exchange a lot of fave recipes.  At about the same time we met them, we also met Bob and Laverne, who are just a little older than us. They run a popular entertainment blog so they introduced me to the world of blogging and Entrecard. Without them, I would not have known how to establish my online presence.  

Bob and Laverne having dessert with us...
Bev and Dan going out with us...
We were also surprised to see Dan and Bev Johnson (the same age as Bill and I) in Three Flags this year. They are from the Seattle, Washington area like us. We met at an eastern Washington campground when we were on our way back to Seattle. This time around, a special bond developed because they kept me company when Bill needed to stay in the hospital after a heart attack. They visited Bill at the Heart of Florida Medical Center the following day.

Carol singing 'Act Naturally'
The RV and travel community can be very isolating even if we meet a lot of people at all of the campground activities. Once in a while, however, we are able to form special bonds with fellow travelers who become lifelong friends. We make the effort to keep communication lines open even when we are apart and take pains to schedule next meetings. Once again, we are reminded of the theme of this blog…’It is not about age, it is about lifestyle’.  We share the cruising lifestyle.