We had, like in past years, an awkward final week of December as we tried to hit as much of our family as possible during the holidays. We left Sanibel and headed north to Venice for a partial day visit with Gloria and Jerry. Gloria prepped a traditional Christmas type meal with a pineapple glazed ham, and Rose’s brother Jerry came by as well.
After an early dinner we continued up the road to Blue Spring State Park in Central Florida a for a two day stay in order to attend Aunt Judy’s annual Christmas brunch. Christmas morning we broke camp and parked the rig in the empty school parking lot a few blocks from Judy’s so as to avoid a difficult maneuver in her car filled cul-de-sac.
It was a big group this time; with my dad, step mom, mom, step dad, son and daughter-in-law all in attendance. Cousin Bryan and his wife Ashley and Uncle Bill are always there, and sometimes other family as well, so it is a decent sized gathering, and Judy always goes big in the food and drink readiness department.
After things started to wind down we hooked up the tracker and headed south to Coral Springs. Hitting two families four hours apart on Christmas makes for a long day, but it is our best attempt at a compromise. We arrived at Xavier and Joy’s in the early evening and parked in his lengthy and fairly wide driveway. We are able to fit the motorhome fully in with a couple of feet to spare, and as ong as we carefull position the rig to the very far left of the driveway, there is enough room on the right side for both Xavier’s car and the Tracker to fit as well.
Our timing was excellent since Rose’s sister Melissa was in town from New York as well. We didn’t do a whole lot during our stay, but we did have one outing to the newly completed Hard Rock Cafe, a pretty impressive if a bit tacky hotel in the shape of a giant guitar. The interior is quit nice, especially the oddly lit indoor waterfall and live plant walls.
The night before our departure we got a bit of bad news: Coral Springs Code Enforcement dropped by to let us know someone had complained about the RV in the driveway, and showed us the local ordinances indicating that we were definitely in violation. We have been parking there for few days at least twice a year for five years now, but apparently someone new moved in and reported us to the city.
This really puts us in a bind for future visits; we can’t ust store the rig nearby because, due to severe allergies, our cat can’t enter the Murillo home. With the rig in the driveway this was never a problem. But now we will either need to go through a real Kabuki Dance finding a someone to watch the cat and another place to store the RV, or pay the rather exorbitant fees for an RV park in the area. We will figure it out. Fortunately for this stay, code enforcement just called it a warning and allowed us to stay the final night so long as we promised to be out by morning.
So we packed up a little earlier than we might have and headed south to Cutler Bay for our final Florida friends and family visit of the year: one night with the Nieves clan. They switched houses recently, and their new driveway is long enough to handle Serenity, so we did not have to spend the night in the neighborhood’s club house parking lot.
We always enjoy seeing Jayson and Lisa and their three daughters, Antonella, Evangeline, and Kai, Rose’s Goddaughter. We spent the day and evening catching up, telling stories, eating pizza, playing games, watching and unfortunately large number of videos on Tik Tok, and perhaps a wee bit of drinking was involved as well.
The Nieves house is ideally positioned for our route in and out of The Keys. In the morning, on the last day of 2019, we backed out, hooked up, and made the three hour drive to our primary winter home, Sigsbee campground on the Naval Air Station at Key West.