We have made it to the land of the sun, palm trees and warm weather! On Sunday we traveled from South Carolina to our “domicile” location in Bushnell, FL. Seems impossible that we are now here. As we reflect together, it was a year ago this week that Jason was working through deciding on the first job offer and whether to stay with the university. As we now look back, we are absolutely amazed at what we have accomplished and the opportunities that God has presented us in just one year. We are so thankful for the opportunity to live in such a way to improve our quality of life and to be able to work with great people that made and continue to make it possible.
We made a major milestone by surrendering our Wisconsin driver’s licenses and obtaining new licenses as Florida residents. Once our title for the RV and truck arrives from the credit union at the DMV, we will be able to register them in Florida. Then we go to Sumter County to file our intent to domicile paperwork. The staff at the Florida DMV here are absolutely amazing and should be role models to other states! After reading horror stories from others, we were being a bit aloof not knowing what sort of questions may come up. Once they saw our Escapees Sumter Oaks RV Park address the gig was up, but in a good way. Our representative was very helpful, coaching us through what was the best way to answer the questions and made it very painless. In all, we have noticed that people in this area are very warm and go out of their way to say hello on the street.
As Florida’s two newest residents with the Florida driver’s license in hand we set out to purchase our annual Disney passes exclusive for Florida’s residents! The pricing of that annual pass is the same as a four day park-hopper pass, plus we get free parking and discounts at restaurants and shops. Unfortunately, there are some blackout dates now until the end of December. We did get a chance to see our favorite Candlelight Processional at Epcot Center and made a short visit to Magic Kingdom. It’s OK that there is a blackout period, the crowds are nuts during those times anyway! Even though Orlando is reported as 30 miles away, there isn’t an easy way to get there from here. It is over an hour from the campground to Disney properties. We purchased a Sun Pass transponder for the tollways and that does help a bit being able to zip through without tossing in the change.
This RV park is an “Escapees” park which is mostly for older retired RVers. We are members of the Xscapers club, for generation Xers, but it is hard to find others under 50ish. Our next door neighbors are also working full-time RVers and he just happens to also be a telecommunications engineer working for a major telecommunications carrier. He and Jason have much in common to chat about and since they have been doing this for 5 years now we can learn plenty. They have decided to also make the change from Ohio to Florida to do the official domicile process with Escapees after 5 years. They too are finding their largest monthly cost is internet access. We have hotspots on both AT&T and on Verizon to double down on connectivity options. Unfortunately Verizon is VERY expensive and doesn’t offer an unlimited option like AT&T does for their hotspots.
This week we have done lots of exploring of our new home area. The Coyote Rojo mexican restaurant is really good and we found a new BBQ restaurant chain called Sonny’s. The town of Bushnell is sort of like New Richmond, WI. There is an older section and a new section along the highway where Walmart has pulled business out to now.
Jason’s parents are planning a visit here in January so we will be celebrating Christmas with them once they arrive. We do hope to join in the family Christmas events back home at least a little bit over video calls. The RV park here has a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day event in the activity center including a traditional Christmas meal and then on the 26th another event with left-overs!
We are not for sure now what our return plans are for the spring. We had planned to start heading back in early February. We may capitalize on our Thousand Trails membership and stay in the area further so we can also exploit the Disney pass a bit more. This all started also when we learned of a new BBQ chain that is holding a big national contest in March here. Jason is also contemplating a conference that is being held in Orlando and may be able to attend locally. We may decide to just stay in this area and “high tail” it back to Wisconsin once it is confirmed the snow has melted.
|23: December 11, 2017 - January 2, 2018
|7: Feburary 11-18, 2018
|Site 46 for the duration
Sumter Oaks RV Park
4602 CR 673
Bushnell, FL 33513
Blueberry Hill RV Resort
Bushnell, FL 33513
Chuck's Odd Couple Restaurant (breakfast)
Big O's Home Plate (burgers)
Howie's Family Restaurant (breakfast)
From Winter Garden RV Resort notes:
|Disney World & all the fun (75 minutes East)
Pine Island Beach Park (45 minutes West)
Centro Ybor, Trolley (45 minutes Southwest)
Dade Battlefield State Park ($3/vehicle) (15 minutes North)
|Grace of Spring Hill, FL
Emmanuel Lutheran of Zephyrhills, FL
|Remember for Next Time
|C Y Western Co (clothing)
The chinese restaurant West of Walmart is horrible.
|4G LTE poor to great, depending on whether the service is horrible when overloaded over the holidays. Using a directional antenna on the WeBoost helps, we can change the direction of the antenna to a different tower that is not so overloaded.
|4G LTe Excellent
Full bars 30-50 Mbps down and 5-10 Mbps up. Latency good between 40 and 50 ms. At the highway it is not the same story, so the sector of the tower covering the RV park is much better.
|4G LTE good
|4G LTE Excellent
|None, not provided
|There is a WiFi service, but impossible to get in because of all of the hotspot interference.
|A good quality gym in Bushnell, FL, by Walmart (showers were pretty dirty though)
|Can receive packages via USPS and UPS at main address, First Class mail is forwarded to the mail service in Livingston, TX. FedEx delivers directly to the site when the site # is in the address.
|UPS and FedEx will deliver directly to the site if you include the site number in the address. USPS delivers to the office and then the office hides it on you. Really they put in the mail room and don't tell you there is a mail room. But they do have a good process for those that are here permanently.