A State Fair in the middle of Winter??

In February when much of the Country is buried in snow and freezing temperatures it’s nice to visit the Florida State Fair in sunny Tampa with blue skies and temps in the 70’s. It’s rides, food, entertainment and attractions – musical acts, racing pigs, zoo, circus, flying dogs, dancing bears and all of the cuddly baby animals you can take!

Join me as we take a photographic tour of this year’s 2018 Florida State Fair on my Pinterest page at https://www.pinterest.com/snowbirdrvtrail/this-is-the-florida-state-fair/.

Keep current on Tampa and Suncoast Area happenings on our free monthly Snowbird Visitor’s Guide at http://www.tampabaysnowbirder.com/.

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Work Camping Job Posting – North Georgia

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ENOTA MOUNTAIN RETREAT
Received: 2/14/18
We are a highly rated retreat facility & campground in the North Georgia Mountains. We are seeking dedicated, reliable and committed couples or individuals. We are currently staffing for all positions including front desk, bookkeeping, housekeeping, landscaping, cooking, mechanic, maintenance, construction, carpenter, plumber, electrician, farm operation, & animal care – no camp hosting positions. We are also seeking a qualified experienced management couple.

We operate as an educational, sustainable 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We offer a great working atmosphere and a beautiful nature experience with 4 waterfalls, 5 streams, and certified organic garden and farm surrounded by 1 million acres of national forest at the highest elevation in the mountains of north Georgia. Enota is rated in the top 100 places in the nation for camping. Full hookups or lodging and other benefits are included.

Make sure to visit our website to view our videos including TV specials, property & farm tour, and educational programs for youth to get a better sense of our property.

If you think we may be a good fit for you, please complete the short application on our website. http://www.enota.com/

You can email us at enota@ enota.com

We look forward to hearing from you!
PH: 706-896-9966

Posted by: http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/

 

New PA Open Camp Host Positions

Camp Host Couples Wanted at YMCA Camp Sherwin
Received: 2/4/18
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Camp Sherwin is located in Lake City, PA on the shores of Lake Erie, between Walnut Creek and Elk Creek Access areas. It is a public campground with tent, RV, Seasonal Sites, and Cabins. Facilities are also available for weddings and group events. YMCA Summer Camp Day Programs also are operated from this site. Camp Sherwin also holds wellness programs, community events and weekend family activities for all ages and interest groups.

Host Couples will set an example by being model campers observing all rules and regulations. Our volunteer hosts must be a team such as a husband and wife. Must be over 21 years old. The schedule will be flexible enough for hosts to still enjoy the many resources of Erie County.

Camp Sherwin Campground hosts perform a variety of tasks, such as greeting customers, coordinating weekend activities/events, and cleaning up cabins/campsites. They will also perform light maintenance work around the campground such as sweeping and stocking supplies at the shower houses, pond maintenance, court maintenance, yard work, help setting up the halls for rentals, helping with small construction projects, making emergency minor repairs when possible, informing the Camp Director about potential problems, and various other duties. Hosts need to become familiar with local points of interest and the location where local services can be obtained, e.g. fuel, lp, laundromat, groceries.

On duty hours include weekend hours and holiday hours and will be mutually agreed between the manager and host. The manager will approve specific duty hours and assignments for an average of 30 hours per week. Hosts provide their own RV/tent and are provided a free campsite with utility hookups and access to WIFI.

Benefits of being a volunteer camper at YMCA Camp Sherwin Campground:

1. Free campsite with water, electric, and dumping station, ice and WIFI.

2. Metro YMCA Membership during your hosting period.

3. Use of recreational amenities, including swimming pool.

4. Staff shirt.

Contact 814-882-5033; Lake City, PA TCrawford@ymcaerie.org

February on Florida’s Suncoast – Things to Do!

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Okay, what do an Italian-American Festival, a concert band, community chorus, running in your underwear, Mardi Gras, a State Fair and a Flamingo Festival have in common?

To find the answer to this and other more serious conundrums check out Jack and Niki’s Tampa Bay – Suncoast Snowbirder. Our new February issue of things to do and places to go on Florida’s West Coast – the Suncoast and Tampa Bay area – is free and online at http://www.tampabaysnowbirder.com/.

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It’s Winter – let’s talk Summer camping!

Jack asks, if you have a minute won’t you come sit by the campfire and we’ll chat? It’s Winter and the perfect time to talk about camping next Summer.

I’ll start. As kids growing up in the Northeast we endured Winter. We couldn’t afford snowmobiles and ATV’s but we made our own fun.

After high school, fun with the Military and entering the work civilian force Winter took on a whole different meaning – like starting out every morning in a cold car, always looking forward to going to work in the dark and coming home from work in the dark. All  while trying to stay warm and keeping the car on the road.

Yes my friend, “cabin fever” can be a very real threat.

But that’s when I learned I had a love for golf!

Well, actually not for the game of golf itself but rather the sunny, blue sky days and green grass venues from where they always broadcast the tourneys. I admit I spent a considerable amount of Sunday time watching them and daydreaming while it was snowing and blowing outside my windows.

I guess at some point in my life I really and truly decided I did not care for Winter at all!

Unfortunately my career was based in the Northeast and Winter was really hard to ignore. It usually begins to slowly creep up on you from every direction and by late February it has taken up entirely to much space in your mind – my mind at least.

Fortunately for the last few years before I retired I shared office space with a like-minded individual named (don’t call me Ronnie) Ron. Ron and I both loved Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Though we vacationed at different times we would spend countless hours each Winter planning the perfect Myrtle Beach getaway – what to see, where to go, what restaurants to try, etc. To make a long story short we spent many more hours planning the next trip than we actually spent going on the trip. You know what though? It got us through the worst parts of Winters.

Once I retired and Niki and I started RVing, Winters took on a whole different meaning. In fact we started looking forward to each Winter as much as the Summer. That of course is because when the leaves started falling we started packing our little home on wheels for the trip South to a warmer Winter, old friends and familiar places.

You may have heard or seen me mention on our website (snowbirdrvtrails.com) that we always took our time coming or going. No quick three days down and three days back for us. At one time we did have to scurry like that but soon decided it’s really not what retirement should be about.

In our travels North and South we normally take a month coming and going. A different route each time and normally different campgrounds in different areas to explore. One motto we have pretty much followed is “Last out of a campground in the morning and first to arrive at a new campground in the afternoon!”

After our first 1,500 mile trip where we spent a night in each campground and put in as many miles as we could each day, we arrived at our destination so tired we were ready to sell the trailer! That’s when we decided that on the return trip we would travel no more than 250 – 300 miles each travel day and spend at least two nights in each campground to explore a bit of the area. Eight years later that’s how we still do it.

That brings us up to today and this very Winter of 2018. No doubt it may be sub-zero and  snowing and blowing where you are. You may be at work, you may be at home snowed in or you may be retired and actually enjoying warmer weather. Wherever you are let’s you and me do some planning and looking forward to the warmer weather to come. You know that time when the snow is gone and you can air out your camper or your tent and get ready for the fun to come.

I know many of you are still working and have to plan your vacation days with the destination in mind rather than the trip. I understand that. We were also there as well not so long ago.

With that in mind let’s just talk about areas and campgrounds past, present and future. We have over 38,000 miles on the road and are closing in on nights spent at 200 campgrounds so far. I am going to start posting some of our favorite campgrounds and areas we have visited in our travels. It may be an area you have visited or that you might be interested in visiting one day. Maybe you know a special place we need to visit near there or elsewhere. Maybe you are thinking about where you plan to RV, camp or visit on your next adventure. What ever the case you are among friends around this campfire and we invite you to join the conversation.

Fellow campers we’ll get through this Winter thing together!

I do apologize in advance for any writing errors. Niki usually edits my articles but I am just winging this one and we’ll talk about whatever makes you happy.

The first campground I would like to bring up that we like is somewhat centrally located on the East Coast. It’s located in Mt Airy, North Carolina and called “Mayberry Campground”. The name is appropriate as the town is the birthplace of Andy Griffith. We have camped there several times coming and going and we find something different and interesting each time. The people are friendly, the food is good and the prices are right.

Mayberry Campground is open year-around and located off Exit 11 of I-74 at 114 Bunker Road, Mount Airy, NC. The campground is gravel, full amenities and has both pull-through and back-in sites. It is a Passport America “half-price” campground.

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Before I go further let me say I am not a paid spokesperson for Passport America but I talk about them a lot because we are lifetime members and stay at PA campgrounds at least 75% of the time. The club is not for everyone but if you travel a lot it is definitely worth it (or I wouldn’t be suggesting it.)

Mount Airy and Mayberry Campground are both located on what we feel is our favorite route South from the Northeast.

(Our video pulling into Mayberry Campground.)

Mayberry Campground is located on part of the former 2,000 acre farm belonging to Chang and Eng Bunker, famous Siamese twins of the 1800’s. The twins – forever conjoined – had a prosperous farm as well as 2 separate and prosperous families. They married 2 sisters and had 21 children between them. They kept 2 separate homes, alternating 3 days at each home.

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THINGS TO DO IN MT AIRY:
Visit Andy Griffith’s “homeplace” at 711 East Haymore Street. Less than a mile away you’ll find the real “Snappy Lunch” and still making the “famous pork chop sandwiches”. It’s next door to “Floyd’s Barbershop” and “Opie’s Candy Store”. Just a little farther down Main Street you’ll find “Wally’s Garage” and “The Courthouse” with a recreation of the jail set office and cells we remember from The Andy Griffith Show. That’s also the place to sign-up for a real “Andy Griffith Squad Car Tour” of Town in a vintage Mayberry Police Car like Barney and Andy drove.

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Not far away you’ll find the Andy and Opie statues in front of the “Andy Griffith Theatre” and the Andy Griffith Museum where they have hundreds (perhaps thousands) of artifacts and memorabilia from Andy’s career on stage, TV and in the movies and as a singer and comedian. The Museum’s lower level has an exhibition of material from Eng and Chang’s life as well.

We do dine out a lot on our trips. We like to find the local “Mom and Pop” restaurants that the locals rave about. You may have seen me mention this before but we have two questions we ask of the hosts or locals at any new stopover – What is the “must-see” thing or place locally that you must show your friends and family when they come to visit? The other question is “What is your favorite locally owned restaurant with great homecooking?” The answers usually supply us with much to see and do on our next day.

If the following sound a tad like reviews it’s because they are. It’s what we also do on our website. We put our own two cents in on the good, the bad and the ugly in campgrounds and restaurants that we find. If we have not eaten there or not camped there we don’t review them. I am happy to say we have only found two of Niki’s “Deliverance” campgrounds in our travels.

On our very first visit to Mount Airy we had dinner at “The Copper Pot”. Real Southern home-cooking served by cheerful ladies with lovely North Carolina accents so thick you almost need an interpreter. Good food and Great people – the feeling is real down-home friendliness.

We also have tried a lunch spot suggested by the campground and backed by many good reviews on the Net. It’s called “Little Richard’s Smokehouse BBQ”. We like BBQ and have sampled it in about every State East of the Mississippi. This place is our new favorite for BBQ done right. Tender and juicy – slow cooked over hickory coals for 16 hours and truly finger lickin’ good. The sides are homemade as well. For sides we both tried the mac & cheese and turnip greens accompanied by a large basket of hush puppies. They have a soft drink – new to us – called “Cheerwine” which is cherry flavored and also tasty as were the warm blackberry cobblers we had for dessert with vanilla ice cream (of course!).

We can also recommend Tlaquepaque Mexican Restaurant & Grill at 2123 Rockford Street. I can’t pronounce it either but it’s a small restaurant with a talented chef. Both of our meals, traditional Mexican combos, were really delicious.

So have you been to Mount Airy and/or Mayberry Campground? What did you like or didn’t like. Did we miss something?

Where are you headed on your next adventure. Come pull up a stump by the campfire. The coffee pot is on and we have your cup waiting.

Jack
(To be continued.)

In photographic summary: The 2018 Florida RV Supershow

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We have added a 22 photo Pinterest summary of our visit to the 2018 RV SuperShow held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa (January 17 through January 21.)

You can view the photos and descriptions at https://www.pinterest.com/tbsnowbirders/2018-florida-rv-supershow-in-tampa/.

If you attended the Show we’d love to hear your opinions. Your comments and questions are always invited.

Jack and Niki
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com
snowbirdrvtrails@gmail.com

 

The 2018 Florida RV SuperShow has arrived!

Niki and I were fortunate to visit the 2018 Florida RV SuperShow today on “Industry Day” before it opens to the public tomorrow.

The Florida RV SuperShow, arguably the largest RV show in the Country, is at the Florida State Fairgrounds from Wednesday, January 17th thru Sunday, January 21st.

You’ll find nearly every trailer manufacturer represented with hundreds of all types of Recreational Vehicles to walk through, dozens of vendors with the latest gadgets to make your RV life fun, safer and more comfortable. Add tons of information about campgrounds in many States and free RVing seminars and you’ll walk away knowing you’ve experienced an RV happening.

We had a great time meeting and talking with many of the vendors. Oh, did I mention you will also find all of the great food that you’d find at the best Fairs and Shows.

These are a few photos from our visit today – some of what you will find when you visit.

Main Entrance to the Florida State Fairgrounds is located at 4800 US-301, Tampa, FL 33610.
For a large map of the RV Show visit http://www.frvta.org/wp-content/uploads/2018-publish-for-web-vas-of-1-14.pdf

 

Work Campers needed in Arizona

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New Work Camper Position in Arizona

Happy Together RV Resort in Mohave Valley, AZ (on Highway 95, next to Spirit Mountain Casino, 20 miles south of Laughlin, NV, and 4 miles north of Needles, CA) is seeking happy workampers to help with 1) general cleaning duties, including 2 bathrooms, shower stalls, clubhouse, and outdoor facilities as needs arise and 2) general maintenance duties, including light electrical and plumbing work, starting February 1, 2018 through April 15, 2018, and same for 2019 season starting October 15, 2018 through April 15, 2019 or longer. Both positions may involve some help with activities and other projects.

We have 87 full hook-up sites and no tent sites. These are non-paying positions and for 24 hour a week in exchange for a back-in site with full hook-up, including free cable and free wi-fi, and electric. We are on Highway 95 and next to Spirit Mountain Casino

Happy people only need apply. We have a great and friendly group of people staying at our park. To see it in photos, please visit our Facebook at Happy Together RV Resort. We have lots of fun activities together and all our current workampers started out as customers and are willing to come back next year. If anyone is interested, please email me at email@happytogetherrvresort.com for more detail. For cleaning position, we prefer to have someone with experience and who likes cleaning. Thank you

Website: www.happytogetherrvresort.com

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Jack & Niki ask – Guess who’s coming to town?

No, it’s not the jolly old fellow with the long white beard. He came and left last month and is now seen regularly at the hot spots in The Keys with his wife and entourage of small, happy people.

No, it’s the 2018 RV SuperShow setting up at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa!
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Everything you want to see and know about every type of Recreational Vehicle and the people that know them best will be at the Fairgrounds starting this Wednesday, January 17th through Sunday, the 21st of January.

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For a larger map of the RV Show visit http://www.frvta.org/wp-content/uploads/2018-publish-for-web-vas-of-1-14.pdf

2018 will Celebrate 33 years of the Florida RV SuperShow. This show is recognized as the greatest RV show in the country. Campers welcome, daily seminars, over 450 vendor booths and more than 1550 RVs covering 26 acres – it is a site to see!

Niki and I try to attend the show each year on Press Day to see what’s new with the RV manufacturers, gadget suppliers, new campgrounds to visit and we’re doing it again this week. We will report back during the Show with pics and some of the new things we discover. This is not just an RV Show – it is an event!

If you are an RVer or have an interest in joining the vast brother and sisterhood of carefree, fun-loving souls roaming our Country’s highways and byways then this is the  time and the place for a serious visit! Find more about the week ahead below.

-Jack and Niki

Main Entrance to the Florida State Fairgrounds is located at 4800 US-301, Tampa, FL 33610.

  • Public DaysJanuary 17 – 21, 2018

    Open to the public for 5 days, Wednesday through Sunday, this is a must see show for all RV enthusiasts. Whether you’re an experienced RVer or just getting started, the SuperShow is made for you! Offering educational seminars, daily entertainment, trams to help you get around, and the latest innovative RV products and accessories! Two booth exhibit halls are full of parts and accessories, campgrounds and resorts, tourism information, towing supplies and many other products. Plus you’ll find all types of RVs from small travel trailers to bus conversion luxury motorhomes.

  • HoursWed – Sat: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • LocationFlorida State Fairgrounds
    4800 US Highway 301 North
    Tampa, FL 33610
  • Admission$10 per Adult
    Each ticket good for a FREE 2nd day return!
    Children under 16 are FREE

    Click here for On-line Ticket Sales

  • DiscountsSenior Citizen’s Day
    Wednesday Only – $1.00 off admission
    Military and First Responders
    $1.00 off every day
    (Not valid with other discounts)
  • ParkingGeneral parking is handled by the Florida State Fairgrounds.

    $6 per car, $12 per RV

    Special RV Entrance
    RV’s can use the southern most gate to the Florida State Fairgrounds located on US Highway 301

    Here’s a map to your VIP RV Gate
    (Parking fees still apply)

  • PetsMild-tempered dogs are welcome on a leash. Please clean up after your pets.
  • CampingOvernight Camping:

    Overnight Camping is available and is handled by the Florida State Fairgrounds.
    Click here for instructions

    Area Campgrounds:
    Connect to Camp Florida for area campgrounds

Seminar Schedule

Wednesday, January 17 – Saturday, January 20

  • 10:00am Basic RV Maintenance presented by Rob Cochran
  • 11:00am RV Weight and Tire Safety presented by Walter Cannon
  • Noon Habitat RV Care-A-Vanners (Habitat for Humanity) presented by Lucius Herrmann
  • 1:00pm RVing 101-What You Will Need to Know presented by Bob Marx
  • 3:00pm Extended and Full Time RVing presented by Bob Marx
  • 4:30pm RV Generator and Cummins Engine Maintenance presented by Bryan Greene and Chris Crowel

Sunday, January 21

  • 10:00am Basic RV Maintenance presented by Rob Cochran
  • 11:00am RV Weight and Tire Safety presented by Walter Cannon
  • Noon Habitat RV Care-A-Vanners (Habitat for Humanity) presented by Lucius Herrmann
  • 1:00pm RVing 101-What You Will Need to Know presented by Bob Marx

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