Chillin’ in the Keys, settling in and adjusting a lifestyle.

Well, we got to our campground a few days ago, and once we had set our site up, we kind of went into our “Chillin” mode. You know what this is, the Chillin’ mode? Well, traveling on these highways in our country, driving a motorhome and towing a car, is one of the more stressful things an RV owner can do.

So, we all have certain things we do when we get to our destination that make us start to, just, well, slow down and enjoy the camping experience.

The first day my wife and I bounced around the area and the campground checking certain things out that we felt were important.

Having this kind of “calm down checklist” should be no surprise to those of you who have been camping for a while.

Sure, we had stayed here at the same campground, only a year ago, but everyone really should snoop around and see what may have changed, whether for the better or for the worse.

We have done ours, and I’m going to make this as simple as possible and list our actions over the first two days in bullets. This is because most of the things we have done over the past several days will probably be very boring and repetitive for seasoned travelers.

But they might just prove to be useful for other campers who are looking forward to their next trip and want to get “settled in” quickly.

  1. Initially, on the first day, we just hooked up only the electrical and the free cable connections. We already had water in our fresh water tank, and our holding tanks were OK, so this was all we really needed for the first day or so.
  2. Later that day, we opened our main awning and then we set out a pair of chairs and a small fold-up table for our drinks and snacks.
  3. We walked over and checked out the CG swimming Pool to make sure it was open and clean. Swimming Pools in campgrounds are not always kept open year-round and the pool is where my wife and I get a part of our daily exercise.
  4. We checked out the restrooms and the closest ones to us were very clean. This one is critical, some campgrounds will not always maintain the restrooms and bathhouses year-round and the way to make sure they’re kept clean is often by making a “polite” complaint to the office.
  5. We checked out the on-site Tiki Bar/Restaurant and it was open and ready for business.  Having such great thing in your campground, that you can walk to, is a fantastic form of entertainment for campers. And, it was open and ready for us to visit.
  6. After a bit, we drove to the nearest supermarket, a Winn-Dixie on Marathon Key, about 12 miles away, and we picked up several days worth of supplies we would need for our meals.
  7. We also found the nearest Walgreens, on Key Largo, so I was comfortable that I could set up for my meds to be delivered there, when I needed them.
  8. We found a K-Mart, believe it or not, and bought a couple of cheap items we would use over our next month; just simple things that only cost a buck or two each. Finding these low-cost stores is always good for your camping budget.
  9. Back at our campground, and after dinner, we laid out some of our solar powered lights around our little patio so we would not end up tripping over things in the dark. That’s what those Solar powered lights are so great for; self-powering lights that are cheap and easy to use.
  10. Th next day, we walked over and confirmed that the Tiki Bar had a Happy Hour which was from 4-6 each day. We decided this was something critical to our early evening plans on some days, you see.
  11. Now, we’re on our third day, we’re going outside and finally hook up our sewage hose and our fresh water hoses before it gets too hot. Then of course, we’ll dump our tanks, refill our fresh water tank, and “dress” all of the hoses and cords down and out of the way for the rest of our stay.

Looking at it, it’s a very short and common sense list, but we have learned how to get the necessary things done, and still not have to be in some kind of “mad rush” on our arrival.

Remember, the purpose of a camping trip is to do things when things need to be done, and to not feel under any kind of pressure. So, these are what we do and pretty much in this order whenever we get to a campground.

Now, We’re staying at Fiesta Key RV Resort, which is at milepost 70 of the Overseas Highway.

Islamorada Key is only 3 miles north of us, and Marathon Key is about 13 miles south of us. Because they are so close and relatively large enough for decent sized communities and amenities, we love visiting these communities most often. We’ll take advantage of their amenities while we stay here and of course we will eventually we’ll roam further and further away from our home-base and enjoy even more of the great “World of the Keys”.

As some of our fellow campers already know, we’r all different in so many ways, but we all have those things we do that with each action we take away another little piece of personal stress.

Once you are at that place, that place of minimal stress and where everything you see is interesting, then you’re where I am right now; Chillin’ in the Keys!

by Don Bobbitt. September, 15, 2016

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