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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Night 15 - Getting The Price Per Night Down In Disney

Sitting outside the Dolphin Hotel
Time to leave - bags packed
Night 15 - Lake Buena Vista FL - April 5 - 2018 - On Wednesday night we had just got home from a trip to England via Belgium. We were all jet-lagged - and got a nice night's sleep in our Tallahassee home. We got up early Thursday morning - our goal was to see the grandkids at Disneyworld - 5 hours away. We fired up our 2004 Roadtrek - loaded some stuff - and by 10 AM we were rolling south.

When prepping for the trip - I noticed that the propane frig was left on a month ago. The propane tank was empty. Bummer. So we left without the - a nice cold frig - hot water - stove - furnace. In my groggy travel mind - it was no big deal.

Lulu crawled in the back and slept 2 hours. Then I slept 2 hours - soon we were at Disneyworld. The new western entrance is so much nicer. Right off the toll road and into the park. No need to even see I-4 and US 192. I was surprised to see the toll parking gate up. We pulled into a nice spot and found the kids. We enjoyed 4 days in the parks - when it was time to leave - the gate went up and we left.

The Roadtrek is a different camper without propane. We love the Roadtrek frig - hot water - stove - and furnace. They all work perfectly - with propane. From now on - I will store my camper with the propane turned off at the tank - shame on me. We were condemned to drinking $3 cokes at Disney versus 40 cent cans in our camper.

Here goes the math - ($32,000/15 nights = $2133 a night) - The camper will sit most of the summer. Monday we go to Hawaii. May - Greece. June - Germany. July - Denmark. July - London. Most of them are Lulu's business. What a waste of a wonderful camper!

($32,000/14 nights = $2285 per night) We now have spent a total of 14 nights in our 2004 Roadtrek camper. Monticello is 25 miles from our house. We were going to see a Blue Festival there. What a lovely little town.

Here are our 14 nights on the road - most recent first -

14 - Monticello FL - Mar 10 - 2018 - Saturday night in down Monticello FL - we went to see the Florida Blues All-Stars. There was a parking spot right in front of the opera house - no signs saying parking or no parking. So we squatted.

13 - Auburndale FL. Feb 25 - 2018. We spent the last night of our trip in the front yard of our friend Sandi Jimmerson. She lives in the cute little town of Auburndale in the lake district. We spent the afternoon in Lakeland - at Florida Southern College. It is the home of 18 buildings designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. We took the extensive tour of the buildings - listening to the stories about the infamous architect. The next day we also visited Sandi's library at Citrus Grove Civics Academy. After that we headed home - the entire trip took about 700 miles.

Sandi's home sits on an isthmus of land between two lakes.
We also visited her school library within sight of Disneyworld.

12 - Daytona Beach FL. Feb 24 - 2018. Ironically - we were driving on the beach at Daytona while the Daytona 500 was going on just 2 miles away. You pay $20 a day to drive on the beach - but you cannot camp there - at sunset the cops clear the beach of cars. We stayed in a Walmart lot just a couple miles south in Orange Park. Although we were less than 2 miles from the track - we heard nothing - saw no crowds - and enjoyed a nice quiet windows-open sleep.

Lulu loves the beach - it was sunset and also time to leave.
Water temp was 60. 
11 - St Augustine FL. Feb 23 - 2018. We decided to make a short circle drive around some towns in Florida. We headed east about 200 miles from home to America's Oldest Continuous City - St Augustine. It has so much to do - so much history - nice shopping - water - sunshine - but still a very small town. We pulled up to a meter and slept right on the street. We had a late Saturday night supper at the Bull and Crown Pub and then went to bed. On Sunday morning the streets were empty. We had the town to ourselves.

This picture was taken from the St Augustine Marina

10 - Disneyworld FL. Dec 20 - 2107. We had just gotten done visiting Marylou and Carl. We decided to extend our trip an extra night. Lulu booked a Disney Fort Wilderness campsite online for $96 with tax. We drove over from Tampa and arrived at around 4 PM. We set up camp - and then took the boat to the Disney Hotels the decorations. We did not into any of the main parks - but at 9 PM we did enjoy the fireworks from the top of the Contemporary Annex Hotel. After that we rode the boat back to Fort Wilderness. In the morning we swam a little and looked at the campers' decorations. then we showered in the bath house. At 11 AM we checked out and drove over to Disney Springs. We ate and shopped there. Finally around 2 PM - we got in the camper and drove home. We got home at 6:30 PM - taking turns driving. This was the first time we paid for a camp site with the new camper. Disney is a destination campground. Most people stay there for extended periods.

Fort Wilderness, Disneyworld FL
9 - Zephyrhills FL. Dec 19 - 2017. We drove south from Tallahassee on Route 27 and Route 19 to visit with our good friends - Carl and Marylou Zimmerman. They live in Tamaqua PA in the summer but snowbird here near Tampa. We spent yesterday touring the old Tampa Bay Hotel which is now the main building of the University of Tampa. Henry Plant build this palatial destination for the customers of his railroad. In the 1880's - his trains would leave New York City and in 24 hours - they would be in the warm sunny Tampa Climate in winter. Temperatures hit 80 as we toured the rooms all decorated in Christmas themes. The round trip from Tallahassee and back is 500 miles.
Zephyrhills FL
8 - Cedar Key FL. Nov 26 - 2017. Toured Weeki Wachee - Cedar Key - and Suwannee on the way home from the Gator game. We parked on the bridge over the Gulf at Cedar Key. After this trip we had 15400 miles on the camper.
Cedar Key FL
7 - Gainesville FL. Nov 25 - 2017. We went to the FSU/UF football game. Walmart.
Gainesville FL
6 - Florence SC. Oct 15 - 2017. Driving home from Duke game to Tallahassee. Walmart.
Florence SC
5 - Durham NC. Oct 14 - 2017. We camped in front of the James Duke Hotel at Duke University. We attended the FSU/Duke football game with the kids and grandkids.
Durham NC
4 - Durham NC. Oct 13 - 2017. We camped outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium. We went to a volleyball game - FSU played Duke and won.
Durham NC
3 - Walterboro SC. Oct 12 - 2017. We were on our way to Duke University to see a football game. FSU played Duke and won. Walmart.
Walterboro NC
2 - Mexico Beach FL. Oct 9 - 2017 - I was visiting my former student at his beach home. That is Peter.
Mexico Beach FL
1 - Pensacola FL. Sept 11 - 2017. We were at the Walmart near the Naval Air Station evacuating from a hurricane in Tallahassee.
Pensacola FL
We purchased our 2004 Dodge Roadtrek Popular 190 Camper in August of 2017. It only had 12000 miles on it and it was stored indoors. It was a one owner vehicle.

We bought it with the intention of mainly using it for traveling more than just camping. It cost $32000 and I figure that 320 nights times $100 a night and we would break even at $32000.

We like having a bathroom and bed on the road to use as we drive. The camper is 19 feet long and can park in a regular parking space. It is fully self-contained.

All pictures were taken with my iPhone 7. They are untouched.

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