After our four day stay in Coral Springs we headed back north towards Central Florida. As long as The Big Kahuna is stored there while up for sale we are trying to bias our time in that vicinity to support showings and deal with a few glitches in the house systems. We are not in a rush so we can work our way up the coast at leisurely rate. Passport America helped us find another low cost two day stay 90 minutes along I-95, the Port St Lucie RV Resort.
GPS led us astray, taking us down a back road on the wrong side of the park where we could see the place but had no access to it. It was pretty obvious that we just needed to back track and continue on to the main road to find the entrance, so no big deal, but it does seem like Google Maps has been giving us more entry point errors like this of late.
At $29.50 a night, PSL RV Resort is a solid value for the area, but a bit odd in several ways. First, the only RV Park Review we found to be accurate was the most recent one from September. Apparently a change in day to day management has resulted in a lot of improvements. While the place may not be all that pretty, the upkeep is quite solid, and the amenities were far better than the older reviews gave the park credit for, e.g., contrary to the older reviews, we had solid, though video streaming restricted, wifi at our site, and most of the spots had cable TV available for $1 a day. This is something we keep an eye out for when using reviews to select between competing parks: the more recent, the more accurate, as parks can improve or degrade quickly based on ownership and management.
Second, there are no lovely views within this park. It is a big grass field centered on a currently dry retention pond with an oval road around it, RV sites on each side, the whole thing surrounded by a fence and limited vegetation. There are a handful of large oaks, but mostly smaller varieties spaced at each site that are not large enough to provide much shade yet. Lastly, Passport America 50% discount is reduced by the separate $4.50 per day electricity charge, regardless of whether you use a 30 or 50 amp connection. This negative is offset by the inclusion of sales tax into the base price. So 29.50 all in got us a nice level full hook up, 50 amp spot with cable TV and usable wifi in a well maintained and safe location, though without much to see within the park. For those that need them, they have a few pull through sites along the entry road as well.
After two days we continued up the coast to Patrick AFB’s Manatee Cove Family Camp near Cocoa Beach. They had mandated a full evacuation for Hurricane Mathew, and were still sorting things out in his wake. They had plenty of open spots, but several of the nice ones were being reserved for evacuees who had not yet shown up to reclaim their sites. We ran into the standard military base problem/GPS problem of showing up at the main gate only to be redirected to the commercial truck entrance. By the time we figured it out we had to unhook Loki in order to back out of the main entry road. The airman manning the gate were helpful in getting traffic to cooperate with our manuever, and after a few minutes we backtracked south a couple of miles to the proper gate.
Air Force bases are typically so much larger than their naval counterparts, and we had to circle nearly the entire thing to get to the family camp, but it was well worth it in terms of both value and appearance. We got a full hook up site overlooking the inter-coastal waterway bay, and were finally able to use one of our five free night passes purchased as part of the Air Force’s Frequent Camper package. Since Manatee Cove is normally $24 to $30 a night depending on specific site selection, this was the place to use that pass. While there was no wifi, cable TV, or much of anything in terms of walking distance amenities, the location was excellent and we had all that a large military base has to offer, especially the commissary and the veterinary clinic.
That’s right, yet another subsidized service for military people, including retirees, is access to low cost pet care on bases so equipped. We had tried to get Pad Kee Meow’s annual check up and shots done at one of our previous AFB stops, but they were full up for our limited stay. Patrick was able to fit us in with less than 24 hours notice. Fantastic. For $67 we got her annual exam, one year rabies shot, and three year feline distemper shot. This is important as we are finding that about 1 in 20 places we stop actually wants to see proof of rabies vaccination for pets, and PKM’s had just expired.
We spent each evening having a cocktail on the bay shore enjoying the sea breeze and watching the dolphins and sea birds. Our last morning we were fortunate enough to watch three dolphin engaging in cooperative hunting as close as 20 feet from the beach. When passing back through this area again, Patrick AFB will be high on our list of places to stop.