Updated: Jul 29, 2022
It has been almost a month since my last post, so here is a summary of what we've been up to since leaving Maine. We spent 5 nights at Pine Lake RV Resort in Sturbridge, MA before heading back to New York State with one final night at The Villages at Turning Stone RV Park in Verona, NY. We had heard good things about this campground and wanted to check it out. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate the day we were there with lots of rain, but we enjoyed our stay anyway. We had an opportunity to walk around the campground before the torrential downpour. It had a nice layout, pool and walking trails, and we probably would have enjoyed a longer stay here. The resort offers complimentary shuttles 24/7 to and from the nearby Turning Stone Casino, so after dinner, we decided to shuttle over to the casino to try our luck. We really aren't the gambling type, but it was fun to walk around the beautiful building as well as try out a few slots. The casino offers several high-end restaurants and boutique-type shops as well as a hotel and spa. It is also a venue for live entertainment and hosts events throughout the year. I lost my money within an hour, but Pat was up $18 before we headed back to the campground.
Inside Turning Stone Casino
Quick Trip to Florida
The next morning we drove to Rochester where we needed to store our RV home for two weeks. We spent the the next couple of days kenneling Myah and packing for our flight to Florida. We are fortunate to have relatives in Rochester who graciously allow us to stay with them when we can't be in the RV. They also kitty-sit for us, too!
Florida is one of 3 states (South Dakota and Texas are the other 2) that allow US citizens to claim as their domicile state for tax purposes. We needed to fly there to register/title our RV and Jeep and obtain our Florida licenses. Our mailing address is with a mail forwarding service called St. Brendan's Isle in Green Cove Springs, FL (south of Jacksonville). We have a physical mailing address in Green Cove Springs even though we don't own property in Florida. We also don't need to spend any length of time there during the year either.
We had an appointment with the Green Cove Springs DMV on July 22nd, and after about an hour of processing our paperwork, we officially became Florida residents. We were relieved to check this major task off of our list!
Since we finished the residency process so quickly, we had time to tour St. Augustine. We spent some time at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. We got our exercise climbing the 219 steps to the observation deck of the lighthouse. The view at the top was worth the effort!
The day after the DMV, we drove 3 1/2 hours from Jacksonville to Sarasota. My son, Ryan, recently moved to Sarasota from Rochester, so we decided to extend the trip by a few days and spend the weekend with him. It was great seeing his condo and new surroundings. He had a list of things for us to do. We went to the Sarasota Jungle Gardens , the Mote Aquarium, played mini golf, checked out the nearby beaches and went to a slew of wonderful restaurants and ice-cream places.
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Pat reconnected with a former co-worker, Erik, whom he hadn't seen in about 18 years but had kept in touch over the years through Facebook. He lives in Apollo Beach which was about 45 minutes from Sarasota. He invited us to go out on his boat. He lives in a river community allowing him to store his boat in his backyard. He lowers it into the water from a hoist. The boat winded around the canal for a little while until we reached Tampa Bay. In less than an hour, we were in the bay near the city. It was a perfect day to be out on the water! We ended the night having an enjoyable dinner with Erik, his wife and son.
Sarasota is a beautiful area with endless things to do and see. I could have done without the heat and humidity, but it's Florida in the summertime, so that's what you would expect. It was hard to say goodbye to Ryan, but we needed to get back to Rochester and resume our RV life.
We arrived back to Rochester and spent 7 nights in the Buffalo area visiting my mom, stepdad, sister, brother and their families. We knew this would be the last time we would all be together for a while, so it was bittersweet. We spent the time enjoying each other's company, going out for meals, biking on the Clarence Center path, and hiking around Niagara Falls State Park. My good friend, Kim, who I've known since my college days, drove up from Canandaigua to visit with us. The time went by quickly, and before we knew it, we were back in our home on wheels heading to our new view in Ohio before heading north to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.