Saturday, February 4, 2012

2012-2 Inverness Florida

February.  Winter camping in Florida continues....

Florida Sunsets

Well another month has gone by and the activities at 1,000 Palms have increased a bit.  They’ve added a painting class which runs between $35-$45 a session, where you complete a painting within the 3 hour span of time.  They also continue to have the casino tours for around $39.  Neither of which I’m inclined to attend since I have painted in the past and don’t need to join a beginners class and I go to enough casinos while traveling the country to get in on any good deals they may have.

Art Class for beginners

They did have a guy who does impersonations of various music artists and performs in Branson Mo.  It was moderately entertaining.  Oh they also have a monthly jam session in the clubhouse, but it looks like mostly outsiders come to the park to support it.  Very few residences attend.  Not sure why.

I’ve started an Adventure club that took just forever to get a timeslot on the parks calendar (like two months), as it’s usually filled up with line dance classes almost daily.  We finally got a Sunday afternoon time slot.  Our first meeting went fairly well, sharing tips, campgrounds and things to do in each state we covered.

The Adventure Club I've set up
 The park overall is just on the slightly disorganized side.  It’s as if they go only so far and then just drop the ball.  As an example, they have a meet and greet every couple of weeks.  This last one was scheduled at 10am and the line dancing group was doing their thing right up until 10am… with park visitors coming in for the meet and greet wondering what was going on.  Only after the line dancing group was finished did they start setting up tables, making the large pot of coffee and setting out the (by donation) breakfast rolls and donuts.  Needless to say the meeting was delayed.

After introducing the new campers that had arrived, announcements were made for all the pay as you go activities, a few Park messages like don’t throw non-disposable things down the drain, but not a word was brought up about any of the newly formed clubs and other activities that didn’t bring in money.

The weekly caravans to go out to dinner continue, but no one knows where the group is going until the last minute.  Same with the weekly movie night which could be outside (see if you can figure out where they’ll set it up) or in the clubhouse, but they never announce what the movie will be, supposedly they’re concerned the government will swoop in and get them for showing a movie commercially or some such nonsense.

Another example is their karaoke night.  They set up the music D.J and video prompter way off in a far corner of the large room, a huge blank space (maybe for dancing if there was a crowd) and all the tables for guests are set up on the opposite side of the room up against the wall.   There’s no encouragement to bring snacks or drinks and enjoy the show.  So usually about a dozen people show up and sit and watch across the far end of the room as two or three people perform throughout the evening. The first couple nights they had karaoke they didn’t even bother to turn on the outside lights, so one didn’t even know anything was going on inside the clubhouse.

The basic comments I hear are, “the people are just wonderful here“, “I‘ve come back here because I really like the other campers“.  But after that is said, each person seems to have their own minor disappointments or gripes about how the place is run and it’s a shame because it would take very little to make things right.  But there just doesn’t seem to be the desire to do that.

The owners are rarely in sight as they are concentrating on their new summer adventure program to get more business during those hot steamy summer months.

This park has been a good lesson for me in that it is too small to really enjoy the limited activities that are sponsored or set up by the residences especially for an extended stay.  At least for me.  So basically my days are spent going for walks, swimming if the weathers nice, shopping and eating out for lunch and reading.  I’m just a tad too far away to just pop in and visit with friends or relatives from the Orlando area and they must feel the same as I’ve not had anyone visit me here at the park so far this season.

It’s not a total disaster as I do enjoy the residences here at the park, but the limited activities just have me bored, bored, bored.  In the mean time I’ll plan on my coming summer adventures, less than 60 days away.

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