Wekiva Falls RV Resort is an odd place: situated over a high output natural spring creating a beautiful clear swimming hole, this huge private resort (over 800 full hook up sites plus a tent and rally area) has the usual amenities you would expect for a Florida park situated on a river. We stayed here once before for a GMC Rally, and mostly remembered it for the heavy crowd of day users with an extraordinary tattoo and cigarette to body ratio. In addition to the unusual spring fed swimming area, it has a marina, bar, kayak and canoe rentals, club house, pool, playground, store, propane refill, etc. It is, however, a bit pricey, with the standard spots packed in fairly tight, and the usual barely functional wifi.
In other words, not a place we would normally choose if it weren’t for a couple of bonus factors: My dad and step mom are staying here for a month, and The Big Kahuna is stored here awaiting sale. So it was a natural fit for us given the holiday season. We secured one of the premium spots just a couple of sites down from dad’s on a weekly rate, which came out to about $39 a night.
We spent three days visiting with friends and family and taking care of long delayed upkeep. For instance, the plastic brackets that hold the vinyl rear and side windows secure on our Geo Tracker are, like many from the mid ’90s, mostly broken. We have been to a couple of salvage yards during our trip seeking replacements, with limited success. While killing time here in Central Florida we took a drive up to the Zellwood yard which reported they had a Tracker ragtop carcass of the appropriate year. This pick and pull place was what you would expect, covered in mostly trashed or picked apart cars and trucks, but we scored gold there: the two most critical pieces we needed were still on the old truck, and I pulled them as well as a rubber gasket for $15. And while I was doing that the place got robbed.
I was mostly oblivious to everything but the aftermath, but Rosie had near ringside seats for the whole ordeal. Some men in a gold truck towing a trailer had maneuvered to the rear of the lot, loaded up some parts, and fled without paying. The owner and a couple of employees saw it developing, and two of them managed to get in a car and give chase. While the owner was on one phone with the cops and the other with the chasers, he attempted to coordinate the police to the right location. I don’t know the end result, but the chasers returned to report that the fleeing truck and trailer had exceeded a hundred miles an hour through Mount Dora. Excitement! See what you non-RV, salvage yard avoiding people are missing?
We also attended our last market of the year, a new one for us, the Deland Artisan Alley Farmers Market, held at night in the downtown revitalized area. With some trepidation about being able to properly display our wares at night, we arrived an hour early for new comers site assignment, and got situated away from most of the other jewelry vendors near the end of a row next to a spray paint artist. This was good and bad: we had to deal with the fumes from his activity all evening, but he drew a continuous crowd that resulted in greater exposure for us. He had a routine where he would complete each spray painted artwork during the course of one song appropriate to the material. For instance he might use a track from Star Wars while painting a Darth Vader/Death Star scene, or from The Little Mermaid while painting Ariel and friends. There was judicious use of fire involved in his show, ostensibly to dry the paint but I suspect more so for the theatrics.
It worked though, he did good business all evening, and at the end of each performance the crowd would often turn to us nearby vendors, resulting in a solid night of sales for us. Yay, us. We rewarded ourselves by skipping the next day’s Sanford market. Though it had been a reasonably good event for us, it took nearly all day, and since it would be on Christmas Eve day we weren’t confident in the crowds. This meant we finished the month with only seven events, well short of our goal of ten, but we made good money and are satisfied overall.
For Christmas we headed to my Aunt Judy’s traditional brunch attended by pretty much all of my Central Florida family members, and it is a reliable feast. We had a solid dozen people there this year including both my kids. It was great to see everyone gathered together again, and though the need to balance seeing our South and Central Florida family and friends might preclude us attending every year, we hope that we can have many more of these great family events down the road.
On the 26th I successfully strong armed another “gathering of the cousins,” which is pretty similar to a Gathering of the Juggalos, like we pulled off during the holiday season in 2014. Rob, Carlyle and I were thick as thieves growing up, but we don’t manage to see each other very often, particularly all together with our families like this. We managed to get 15 of us together, including their families and children and my kids as well, for a big cook at the Wekiva Falls resort. My dad and Marcia co-hosted the event, with the kids having arrived early enough to enjoy the spring fed falls and swimming hole. We hope to continue this new not-quite-a-tradition-yet event in future years, even if its not during the Christmas weekend.