I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but that has been kind of a weird year.
In March, before we understood the full gravity of the COVID pandemic, we left Key West intent on travelling west as far as the Pacific Coast and then up into Canada. Then reality intruded and we instead spent the entire spring hunkered down in Sanbel, FL. We finally got in a bit of 2020 travel, though limited ourselves to the US Southeast, most of it in North Carolina. With winter approaching, we headed back to the Sunshine State, and after a couple of weeks find ourselves right back in Sanibel, intent on finishing out the year here and part of 2021 as well.
This is almost normal for us: over our years of both part and full time RVing we have gradually increased our time spent at Periwinkle Park in Sanibel from a weekend here and there up to a full month in late fall and week or two in late winter or early spring. That growth in our annual stay time has been facilitated by the staff here knowing us a little bit better each year and rewarding our customer loyalty with their flexibility and effort in finding us longer stays at this high demand location.
We can sort of look at our Sanibel RV pattern during this COVID-altered year has an expansion on our usual schedule; instead of a few weeks in the spring, we did a few months, and instead of one month in the late fall and winter we are doing two. Said expansion, however, would not have been possible without the limitations other RVers are experiencing. Simply put, some of the snowbird population and nearly all of the Canadians are just not here this winter, opening up spots in these popular resort RV parks.
In any case: we arrived a couple of days after Thanksgiving, and intend on staying until almost the end of January. This will give us two full months, which, with the modest monthly discount, reduces our nightly cost from $62 to a little over $53. That is still on one of the most expensive rates we pay, anywhere, and once we leave the island we will be doing some serious belt tightening in terms of campground fees, which will hopefully include some free boondocking as we move west later in 2021.
As for markets and craft fairs: though an ever increasing number of them are back in business (with varying levels of COVID control) we won’t be participating until we have the safety of a vaccination and hopefully the additional protection afforded by herd immunity once a high percentage of the general population has also received their shots. We accept this, but it is so hard to decline an invitation to an event that has, in past years, been so profitable for us, such as the Cape Coral German American Society Christmas Fair or the Key West Gardenfest.
Ah well, we are making the best of it! We have the Sanibel beaches, fantastic Florida winter weather, shelling, and the comfort of one of our favorite RV parks. More on our Sanibel and South Florida winter next post.