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Sat. Jan. 28 to Fri. Feb. 3- Lutz, Crystal River, Ocala. FL

Saturday- We drove north about 25 miles to Dade City. Our destination was the Kumquat Festival. This was a one day festival with over 450 vendors. There were Arts and Crafts, a Car and Truck show, Farmers Market, Kid Corral, Entertainment, and lots of Kumquats and products.

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It was pretty crowded, and fortunately the weather cooperated.

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The Festival was very well organized. We parked at the Fair Grounds, for free, and were bused downtown. The Festival was 20 square blocks, around the town square.

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We wandered around looking at everything. We tasted some of the the Kumquat products. 

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I purchased a towel for the refrigerator door. We ate lunch at the Garden Café. They had a special, which was a turkey sandwich on a croissant, with a bowl of soup. We split it so lunch was $10.

We stopped to watch country singer Eli Mosely on the Courthouse steps.

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We of course had to stop for Kumquat beer and Kumquat wine. I hated the wine. Bob was not really fond of the beer either. It said both of them tasted kind of sour. We ate an actual Kumquat, which neither of us have ever had. It is a small orange type fruit. You eat the whole thing, peel and all. It is firm like an orange, but about the size of a cherry tomato. It is sour when first eaten, but the sweetness is in the rind, so the longer you chew, the sweeter it becomes. It was okay, in a pie, shortcake, or ice cream etc., but not by itself.

We took the bus back to the parking lot. As we were leaving we noticed this sign. They made sure that you would not miss out on any pie!

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We returned to the MH, stopping at the Bealles outlet on the way back. When I was at the Chihuly exhibit, I had leaned back against the wall and gotten paint on my new capris. I need to replace them, as the paint did not come out.

We had a quiet evening, watching the rest of House of Cards.

Sunday- Moving day again. It rained and was was chilly all last evening and this morning. We drove out of the park and had to make a U-turn, so we did not hook up the car. We continued about 2 miles to a Publix  shopping center. We pulled in and on the street side of the parking lot where we stopped and connected the car.

We turned north on Toll Road 589 and continued to Crystal River. We drove into Crystal River RV Park, another Encore park. This place was damaged by the Labor Day hurricane, Hermione.We have been told that they suffered a 4 ft. storm surge all the 4 1/2 miles out to Hwy. 19! The office is located in a trailer and there was no one there to check us in. Evidently the office person had a medical emergency. There was an envelope on the door for us with a park map. Much of the park is closed for repairs. The adult center and the family center are both under construction. The bathrooms are open as is the pool, but it is too cold to get into the pool!

This is an Encore super park. We think that the super part comes from the fact you can rent a site on the canal, with a boat dock at each site. Other than that, I would not recommend it. We are in a site which is under trees that keep shedding acorns. They bounce on the roof and are pretty noisy. Also the roads are very narrow!

We parked and crossed our fingers that we would get satellite, which we did. Once we ate lunch and settled in, Bob noted he was having the A-fib. So we relaxed and watched TV; Longmire on Netflix, until it passed. We had watched Longmire when it was on TNT, but it later became a Netflix original. We ate dinner at home.

Monday- I flipped the switch in the hallway this morning and there was a loud pop. The light did not work! So after breakfast Bob started working on that. He checked everything and finally called an RV Tech to come to check it. Fortunately, the guy was going to be in the park, so he said he would be here after lunch.

We left and went to town. We stopped at Bealles Outlet, where I was able to purchase a pair of black capris. Then we went to Subway to pick up sandwiches for lunch .

We returned and ate lunch, then Bob waited for the RV tech to arrive while I went to the grocery store.

I returned and the guy arrived around 4. He went through everything, finally deciding that the light itself was bad. So Bob is going to an RV supply place in the morning to purchase a new one. We ate dinner and watched some TV.

Tuesday- Bob left at a little after 8:30 to go to an RV supply store to purchase a light. Two places did not have one. So he returned. We left at 11:15 and drove to Beverly HIlls to visit long time friends Dick and Jackie Imes. We had  wonderful lunch with them.

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We returned to the MH and ate a light dinner. We watched TV, read and generally relaxed.

Wednesday- We worked around the MH. After lunch, we went the Three Sisters Springs. We arrived at the entrance to find that they did not have parking and you have to go to the Town Hall to catch the Trolley to the park. This meant that we missed the 1 PM trolley. We wished that they had this info on their website!!

We arrived, parked and paid the $12.50 each to ride the Trolley thru town to the springs. We finally arrived and walked out to visit the Manatees. They have two tours, one at 10 AM and one at 1 PM, which we had missed. I am not sure what they do on the tour, but there were volunteers every few feet who would answer questions and tell you anything you wanted to know about the park or the Manatees.

Three Sisters Springs Manatees

Three Sisters Springs Manatees

There were a lot of Manatees napping in the springs. There had been about 150 there this morning, but now there were about 50. The Manatees come in from the cold Gulf and return to the Gulf when the water temperature improved. The springs provide fresh water.

Three Sisters Springs Manatees

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The Manatees sleep on the bottom of the springs. They surface about every 20 minutes for a breath and do not need to wake up to surface. They can do it in their sleep. You can tell the parents from the calf’s by their size.  

We returned to the car on the Trolley and went south to Homosassa Springs. We drove thru town, such as it is… We stopped at the Yulee Sugar Mill. This area is great for growing sugar. There were many plantations in the area. Because it was not economical to ship the sugar cane to a mill, each plantation had their own mill. During the Civil War, the plantation house was destroyed, but the Union troops did not destroy the sugar mill.

Yulee Sugar Mill

Yulee Sugar Mill

They squeeze the sugar cane through the rolls above, and the liquid falls to the bottom. The canes themselves were burned to provide fuel for the fires.

Yulee Sugar Mill

Yulee Sugar Mill

The drippings were put into vats/kettles and then heated up. Then the ‘sugar’ was put into barrels and the molasses would drip into a curing room below. The sugar was brown, not white.

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Once dry, the sugar was cut into large cubes and shipped in that form. It was a quick tour into the making of sugar!

We stopped for gas on the way back, $2.29/gal. We returned to the MH, ate dinner, and watched TV.

Thursday- Moving day again. We did not hook up the car, as we were only traveling 30 miles to the Wildwood Three Flags Thousand Trails park. We arrived and ran around looking for a site. We finally decided on site 112. We parked, and have 50 amp FHU with satellite.

Bob hooked up the electric and it did not work. He checked the box, and it had electric. Oh no! He reset everything and it started working. Hmmm, we might have an electrical problem.

We ate lunch, then went to The Villages. This is a huge, at least 30 sq. miles senior haven. It has been described as Disneyland for seniors!

Friend Joe Shannon had called in and  thought we might want to take the free trolley tour, so we went to the center to take the tour. The 2 pm was full, so we went shopping. We will try again in the morning. We returned to the MH ate dinner, and watched TV.

Friday- We left and returned to The Villages for the 10 AM Trolley Tour. It was very interesting. There are no condo’s at all, but there is Independent Living, Assisted Living etc. In addition to the many, many single family homes.The last estimate was 60,000, but they are closing on 12 to 15 per day! We were told that the monthly cost is $145, which is pretty reasonable, but the houses are expensive to purchase. Plus there is a lot of traffic, both cars and golf carts. The design of the area is really well done, and if you are looking for a place to retire, be sure to take a look at this place. They have over 3,000 activities going on! WOW!

We returned to the MH, ate lunch and Bob started looking at our power management system and our automatic power transfer switch. No burn areas, no loose wires…. Hmmm. He could not find a problem.

At about 4, we left and went to the Brownwood area at The Villages. We walked around the area and met up with Ginny and Joe Shannon. We watched the show, which was very good. The music was 50’s 60’ and the dancing began. The two people in the navy blue shirts were wild. He was throwing her around. They danced every dance!

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Joe walked over to Cody’s Roadhouse and put us on the reservation list. We had a 45 minute wait, so we continued to watch the show which actually went on until 9 pm. We moseyed over and sat on the patio. That was an issue, as they had very loud entertainment. A couple, who were very good, but way too loud for us to talk.

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We had a nice dinner, then left and returned to the MH arriving about 8 PM.    

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