Wekiwa Springs can get hard to reserve in December, and the week directly surrounding Christmas and New Year especially so. A couple of weeks in advance I had no difficulty securing five weekday days in mid December, but it was not until our three day stay in Lake Monroe that I was able to extend that another five days through Christmas. This made possible, of course, via the tried and true “just keep checking the reservation site for cancellations” method. I find that using the “date range availability” viewing option is the easiest way to spot openings for any Reserve America controlled campground.
Sunday morning we broke camp early in order to get the rig parked in the lot behind Sweetwater-Wekiva market with enough time to set up for the event, which gave us another decent performance. Shayna, the market manager has worked to add special events to draw in more people, and this week included a puppy parade with free dog treats for all participants. It’s rather strange how consistent this market is for us: though it has limited foot traffic compared to the steady stream of people at Deland, the people that show up are much more likely to buy. Works for us!
From there it was on to the state park just a couple of miles down the road. We would spend the first five days in the “upper loop” at site #38 and the second half in the “lower loop” in #4. I mention this because the loops are different in appearance and services. Both have smooth, hard packed dirt sites with plenty of trees and other greenery, but the upper loop has noticeably more older growth oak and general forestry, while in the lower loop all sites are full hook up rather than power and water only (there are a handful of exceptions in the upper loop with full connections.)
Our ideal site would be in the upper loop in one of the higher numbered sites with full connections, but for those that value their satellite TV, the lower loop is less likely to provide signal obstruction. Regardless of site, the camping fee pays for the park entry, so anyone staying can enjoy the wonderful swimming area at the spring head.
Somewhere in the midst of all this I picked up Rosemarie’s Christmas gift and hid it in a locked storage compartment and kept the key on me, just in case. This was insufficient to prevent her from sleuthing it out when she accidentally found and then accidentally read my to do list, which included, of course, picking up her Circut Explore One die cutting machine that is all the rage with the crafters this year. And then her sister Dolores convinced her that, yes, it’s a nice gift but you really need to have the (more expensive) Circut Explore Air 2. But of course. Thanks, Dori.
In addition to our three final markets of the year occurring during our stay, we had a ouple of family gatherings to celebrate the Christmas holidays. We managed to somehow avoid getting any pictures to prove these events occurred. Mom and Tim joined us for one night in the park, meeting their “camping” quota for the year. Jackson and wife Andrea joined Rose, me, Dad and Marcia for an afternoon cookout at Wekiwa Springs on the 23, and Aunt Judy hosted Christmas Day brunch for dozen of us. This is the only big and consistent Christmas gathering we attend, despite my attempts to force a “gathering of the cousins” each year like we managed in 2016. Ah well, 2018 will be the year, I’m sure.