Orlando, Florida, is well-known for major theme parks like Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios. We've been there and done that several times. Instead of venturing into the city, we chose to hang out at the campground.
Colten and Kate made new friends at the pool. We spent time fishing and looking for alligators; The kids got a little dirty playing in the sand. Who needs a rollercoaster when you can climb a tree?!
We didn't go to any big fancy restaurants; Scott's camp-side hibachi is a work of culinary art. We baked cinnamon rolls and spent family mealtimes in the comfort of our home.
It's okay to visit a "big" place and enjoy the little things nearby. I don't know about you, but I love a good rest day. We appreciate the RV lifestyle for its simplicity and connection to nature. We like to stop and smell the swamp water when we have the chance.
Right off of I-75 in Wildwood, Florida is a neat little Thousand Trails Campground called Three Flags. I really love this park. We stayed towards the front, within walking distance to the office and the pool. The park is small but well kept. The park staff live on the property and are the sweetest individuals.
Three Flags is a great place to stay if you want to visit Silver Springs State Park. The state park provides glass-bottom boat tours of several springs located in the park. Along the ride, you'll see various forms of wildlife. We were thrilled to see a manatee right off the bow; it took a little dive for us. Friends of ours even saw monkeys in the park!
You have to visit the Russel Stover chocolate store! Y'all I died and went to chocolate heaven. I bought a full bag of candy, and it did not last nearly as long as I thought it would. They have every type of chocolate your heart desires, even have a variety of chocolates from various holidays. You can buy a chocolate Easter bunny in June or a pumpkin peanut butter cup in January!
Now, Three Flags sits just outside of The Villages, America's premier active adult community. The town-like neighborhood is enormous, featuring two Wal-Mart stores and a ton of restaurants. Of course, we had to venture to Texas Roadhouse; it's our favorite steakhouse! The food is fabulous and consistent. Anyway, if you like odd facts, do a little research on The Villages. You might be surprised by what you find.
Traveling Moms know sometimes, the final destination is less important than the journey itself. After leaving our home state of North Carolina, it only seemed natural to stop somewhere in South Carolina.
We chose to purchase a Thousand Trails membership the weekend after we purchased our camper. The decision simply made sense for us. We had invested a couple hundred dollars to join our friends for a three day week in a trails campground. We were able to apply those funds and a little bit more, to purchase a basic, regional membership. Purchasing an RV membership is a great option. There are a ton of different memberships out there; research to find one that suits your needs and your budget.
Since the Oaks at South Point is a Thousand Trails campground, we were able to stay for free. The campground is very well operated by a retired military service member. He is a stickler for the rules, which means very few cars speeding through the camp and extremely clean sites. Personally, I truly appreciate that. Enforcing rules keeps the campground safe.
It rained for the majority of our stay, but we did venture down to Hilton Head Island for a little vitamin sea. We stopped to pick up two bodyboards from Walmart. The kids were wild and free and had the time of their lives!
We chose to have fun with cooking in the camper during our stay. I used my oven for the first time to make cinnamon rolls. The kids were impressed! I was also excited to try cooking salmon. It turned out phenomenally. Apparently, Katie's new favorite food group is mom's salmon!
We started our first long camping trip with a stop in Lenoir, North Carolina. The park has a little stream flowing through the sites. So far, it's still my favorite Thousand Trails campground! The laundry facility is very clean and air-conditioned. Our campsite was completely paved and offered a brand new wooden deck and picnic table. The staff were incredibly friendly and offered simple advice that every RV newbie should know.
We spent a ton of time outside, along the creek. My kiddos are not afraid to get a little wet and muddy. We caught tadpoles and skipped rocks. We did the little things that kids today often miss out on.
We took a day trip over to Blowing Rock, which was a wonderful idea! The kids went gem mining, and the scenic mountain views are breathtaking! The city has a cute little downtown area, but with COVID-19, we chose not to stop.
We will absolutely camp at Green Mountain RV Park more routinely as our travel continues!