January 1 – Clermont, Florida


Recovering from the wild NYE party – NOT – I needed to gather my self together to begin our next adventure (we leave on New Year’s Day because the campground was full) so we took it easy. Temps to reach into the 80’s today and dry – easy ride – only 80 miles.

Arrived at Clerbrook Golf and RV Park about 1 PM. Huge park with over 1200 sites, some park models here too and don’t forget the golf course. The roads are paved, sites are grass and not a lot of large trees to block satellite. No wifi except at the clubhouse.

Having black eye peas today so the year should be good!

Monday again warm weather – sorry but someone has to be in the heat! Quiet day, reviewed information about the Orlando area and prepared our “suggested” activities calendar.

Again this is a park that has many activities – keep those snowbirds happy. You can do anything from woodworking, shuffleboard, sewing, table tennis (no pickle ball) and bingo (two nights a week – great).

Headed over to the Bingo building tonight and there was no one there. After further investigation, found out it was canceled due to the golf tournament.

I did tell you I was at a golf course resort. Almost every campsite or park model home has golf clubs sitting on their golf cart. They are gun ho for golf here.

Tuesday again warm and dry. I decided to ride the bike around the campground. Was able to get 7 miles before I began to see things twice. Only so many times you can ride the same road. Good chance to get out and stretch the legs.

Have to go to the Visitor’s Center and gather some local paperwork – bike trails – breweries. Took the dogs but before we got there had to find a grill store for more pellets and rubs.

Drove the I-drive 360 (Industrial Drive) through Orlando. This is the main drive where all the tourist development has occurred. Reminded me of the Vegas Strip – restaurant and tourist spot all along the way. Many people walking and seeing the sites.

Headed out of town to yes – the nearest brewery near home – Crushed Can Brewery in Winter Garden. Impressed by the town and will have to investigate in more detail. Also noticed a paved bike trail that I will follow up with.

Wednesday still warm – feel sorry for people up north. Peace today?

You know how when you are leaving a campground, they have a sign that says “Did you forget antenna down, steps in, wife in etc.?” Unfortunately when we arrived here, Brenda couldn’t find her keys or coat (yes she had to wear a light coat on a couple of occasions). After making a few phone calls, she found it back in the last campground – thank you that it wasn’t that far back. Brenda spent part of her day driving back and picking up her stuff – so I had peace and quiet.

Gave blood this afternoon and got the T-shirt.

Tonight is Bingo. Quite impressive, over 200 people playing and a variety of games, 4 coveralls at $120 win for each. No we didn’t win but had fun and met a couple who had just gone to Alaska and gave us numerous pointers.

Thursday Brenda and I headed out with our bikes to ride the West Orange Trail – weather is great. Headed over to Winter Gardens again because we know the bike trail is there. Have been disappointed in the PR on the West Orange Trail (can’t find any maps).

We started at the brewery parking lot and headed west. Nice ride, fairly level and wide trail. A lot of people out today. We made it 3.5 miles and Brenda said “enough”. We need to get back as it’s been a while since she has been on the two wheels. Made it back and sure enough we had to visit Crushed Can Brewery for a cold one.img_2669

Friday Brenda is intending to clean the floor of the coach, so it’s best I get out. Took the dogs and headed out to “The Villages”.dsc_0007

The Villages is a development with thousands and thousands of people and homes. A town in itself. Wish I had a map of the area to get around in a systematic way, but just drove and was amazed by all the golf carts running around.

Took the dogs to the Minneola (town where we are camped) Trailhead for the West Orange Trail. Finally found it and let the dogs walk part of the trail.

Yes that is the Citrus Water Tower with an orange strip.

Now it was time for me to ride – took dogs home and came back. Took off with no idea where the trail went or how far. Quite hilly in this area but continued on. Had planned on going 10 miles but when I reached that point I realized that Brenda and I had done this section of trail the day before (you know what that means?). Continue on because there is a nice reward at the other end – did 11.3 miles and came to the brewery. Had a cold black rye IPA and ventured back on the trail. Did make it home.

Finally the reason we stopped in Clermont. My brother Jim (middle brother, I am the oldest) flew down with 7 of his golfing buddies and they are here for two weeks of golfing paradise. At least they have to feel that way as they are all from Michigan and haven’t golfed in months.

Met Jim and his buddies at a local Irish pub and had dinner and drinks. Good time catching up with my brother, it has been 2-1/2 years since I had seen him.

Saturday enjoyed the morning waiting to see if my brother was going golfing – it’s raining out but you know how those die-hard golfers are – no weather bad enough to stop hitting the golf ball. Sat and watched the temp go from 70 degrees when we woke up to 55 by noon.

After lunch I picked Jim up (he didn’t golf) and we went site seeing, Wanted to go to Old Town Kissimmee (the booklets kept promoting the town) and so why not. We definitely weren’t going to the beach as it was 55 degrees out.img_2690

Walked around Old Town and realized it was an amusement park with rides and numerous tourist traps. Left there and went to Kissimmee and walked around the historic downtown. They have some great public art pieces.

Left there and went over to Lakeridge Winery (sister winery to San Sebastian – see two blogs ago). This is the largest winery in Florida. They were having a festival weekend with music and free tastings. Enjoyed the different wine tastes and purchased a glass of wine to listen to the music. Good wines.

Jim’s buddies called and said they were having dinner at a local BBQ place (Oakwood Smokehouse) so we went with them and enjoyed the food (hadn’t been to a BBQ restaurant in a long time since we smoke all our meats now) and company.

Dropped Brenda off at our house and returned Jim to his home away from home. Stayed and watched the Lions play against the Seattle Seahawks. Being from Michigan, I always enjoy watching the Lions but I was glad the Seahawks won. Had a good time visiting with Jim’s buddies and talking football and other topics.

Let me just say that if you activities for the kids or young adults, the Clermont (Orlando) area is the place to go. Way more things to do than we could even contemplate to do. We did miss some things we wanted to do, so we will have to return in the future!

Sunday is off to Port Charlotte to visit some friends and family.

Categories: Uncategorized

2 comments

  1. We have some good friends in The Villages. They love it there!!

    Like

  2. We’re glad to see you in FL and looking forward to a longer visit!

    Like

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