With our motorhome freshly repaired we headed back up to Central Florida, intent on spending the bulk of December there, at least through Christmas. Our first stop would be our favorite county park, Trimble Park, located a couple of miles south of Mount Dora. We discovered this gem a year ago as we returned to Florida after making our one year circuit of the west half of the country, and now make it a point to return when in the area.
Though not well known, with only 15 sites it does tend to fill up on weekends and holidays, so we felt fortunate to lock in a full week reservation. Last year they seemed to have a policy of holding back a couple of sites for walk ins, but that is, apparently, no longer the case, so if you want to visit this great lakeside spot, reserve early. Even with reservations, you are not selecting a specific site, just the right to one upon arrival. After we checked in we were thrilled to see that site #13 was unoccupied; we had scouted that one as the best spot in the park during a previous visit, and felt doubly lucky to get not only a full week stay but also in our preferred huge site right on the lake with no neighbor at all on our right side.
We had excellent weather, and enjoyed the usual assortment of wild life, but did not have near the explosive level of nature activity as our last visit. But this stay wasn’t just for relaxation, we had work to do as we continued our push to vend at farmers markets until Christmas. While prepping for a return to the Sanford market, our neighbor reminded us of the huge flea market in Mount Dora, Renningers. I made a call and found the requirements to participate simple and the cost relatively low. Though Sanford had been decent for us, we thought we ought to at least try a flea market.
Vowing never to return, and possibly to skip flea markets all together, we looked forward to the Sunday traditional farmers market in downtown Mount Dora. Surely this art and boutique oriented town would have a great location and plenty of potential buyers. No. No they do not. While the setting in Evans Park by the shore of Lake Dora was indeed beautiful, it is located well off the main drag and thus enjoyed almost zero natural through put. Combine that with apparently limited advertising and a location that has shifted twice in the last year or two and you end up with very few people in town that even know it exists.
While it was not as painful an experience as the previous day’s flea market, we made less here than at any of the other 21 events to date. The market manager promises that in a couple of weeks they will be located in the main downtown park which will enjoy very heavy foot traffic, we will believe it when we see it and won’t do the Mount Dora market again until that move is confirmed.
While in Trimble we got to visit with several of Rosemarie’s long term friends. Nancy came to see us from nearby Eustis one evening, and we visited with Anthony, Anita, and their girls Angel and Bella at their home in Mt Dora another. We also met Will, our neighbor for a few days, who regaled Rose, Nancy, and I with stories of his time as a POW in Vietnam, and his post war career as an Elvis/Tom Jones/Engelburt Humperdinck impersonator. The people you meet in these campgrounds…
We had such a great stay at this affordable ($23, less if you are senior or an Orange county resident) campground that we tried to extend. Alas the park was not only booked solid byond our stay, even the waiting list was full. We chcked around the local public parks (the private ones in the area are pricey this time of year) and found an opening at nearby Kelly Park that would get us though the weekend.