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Category: Florida

Christmas RV Park, Christmas, FL

Christmas RV Park, Christmas, FL

We came to Christmas RV Park in Christmas, FL to settle in for a month, do some sightseeing and to leave our trailer safely for 5 days while we went on a Disney Cruise with our family.  Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans… Hurricane Dorian decided to throw a kink in ours.

New terms such as ‘Cone of Uncertainty’ and ‘Evacuation Plan’ soon became very important to us. 

We followed all the weather news projections, read the hurricane prep websites and created the important Evacuation plan!  This meant sitting in lines at gas stations, hunting for a propane refill center that had not run out, enduring the grocery store as the last pallet of water was fought over and stocking up on food.  We booked the last spot at the Jennings, Florida KOA at the Florida/Georgia state line and evacuated there.

Now a new term to us is ‘Hurricane Fatigue’.

Dorian has strengthened to an incredible Category 5 and is crawling along. We’ve extended our stay at Jennings to ride out the storm with hopefully only tropical storm conditions. We hope to reserve a spot in an RV park in Orlando later this week so we can meet up with our family and still go on our Disney Cruise. 

Stay tuned!

Rating: ⭐⭐1/2
Site Quality:  Dirt/gravel road with quite a few pot holes and mud puddles. Grass/dirt pads with some having gravel pads. We got lucky and had a wood deck but as it wasn’t tied down so we were very concerned about safety in hurricane force winds.
Type:  Commercial Park
Access: From Interstate 95 take FL-50 west to the park.
Staff: Friendly but indifferent. Not helpful when we called to make original reservation and took a couple of calls to reserve site. Manager called us crazy when we left early to evacuate.
Amenities:  Heated pool, mail service with TV/game room, community fire pit, shuffleboard, meeting halls and kitchen, 2 very clean laundry rooms, 2 very clean restrooms/showers, dump station, onsite well and sewage treatment. Lots of planned activities during the busy winter season.
Cellular/WiFi:  Verizon and AT&T were both decent at about 4 Mbps.
What we liked:  Our site was D-1 on Dasher Lane. Many friendly long-term residents stopped by to visit, invite us to Friday happy hour and make us feel welcome. Lots of trees. All the names of the roads in the park and buildings were Christmas season names. Nice sunsets.
What we didn’t like: This park was all mostly dirt which made for a soggy, swampy mess during the summer wet season. All sites are dirt and grass with a crushed shell mix on a few. The mosquitoes and no-see-ums were relentless. Being here in the wet summer season was not a good idea but the drier winter season is likely better.
Verdict: Despite the friendly residents we would not return.

ULA Delta IV Medium Launch, Cape Canaveral, FL

ULA Delta IV Medium Launch, Cape Canaveral, FL

This launch on 8/22/2019 was historic as it is the final launch of a Delta IV rocket in the medium, single stick configuration. There were clouds and some rain in the area the morning of the launch that caused weather to go red for a short time.

Launch day sunrise.

We found an Osprey waiting for the launch nearby where we decided to set up to see the launch. We were in Jetty Park where we camped the week before.

Osprey waiting for the launch

We were about 8 miles away from the launch pad which is about as close as you can get for safety. The picture below shows what we could see (with magnification) of the launch pad from where we were viewing the launch. The rocket is hidden just below the trees.

Launch pad LC-37 from Jetty Park
An early launch photo captured from our video
About 40 seconds into the flight and we began to hear the roar of the engines
Smoke trail after launch
Launch Video (Caution large file)
Jetty Park, Cape Canaveral, FL

Jetty Park, Cape Canaveral, FL

We originally booked Jetty Park hoping to see a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral as well as to spend some time on the beach. While we accomplished the latter, we missed the opportunity to see a rocket launch by just a few days and had to move on. Luckily we didn’t move far though and we plan to come back to Jetty Park on launch day to see United Launch Alliance send a GPS satellite into orbit aboard the final launch of a medium configuration Delta IV rocket. We will have more about that in a future blog post.

We weren’t too sure what we’d get into at Jetty Park since many of the sites including ours were grass and the roads were dirt. It turned out to be about as we expected with numerous small pot holes in the road and at least some of the sites were in bad shape due to recent rains. Ours turned out to not be too bad and we managed to get in and out without leaving deep ruts. The other issue was that we were only able to get a 30 amp site instead of a 50 amp site. Because of the way 50 amp connections work you actually get 100 amps of power to work with. So, 30 amps was less than 1/3 of what we normally have. What this means is that we could only run one AC unit at a time and with temperatures reaching into the 90’s they each run full time normally. We managed by just running the AC in the area we were using – bedroom at night and living room during the day. Lucky for us, we had rain nearly every afternoon and that helped too . The one night it didn’t, it took a while to get the bedroom cooled down from 90 degrees.

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