Saturday, October 23, 2010

Life at the Plantation

Ellie 005This is our site at Rainbow Plantation, it’s number 35.  Yes, it is the same site we occupied two years ago when we were here with Dortha and Mark.  At that time, there was also a resident magpie living in one or both of the trees you can see on either side of the Castle.  The bird did not like our Castle, and showed us how much he disliked us being in his space by pecking at our roof every day – so why did we get the same site this time?  Simple answer: we knew we could get satellite reception here.  When we first checked in, we were assigned a different site.  We spent awhile trying to get a satellite signal, but finally decided to go with the site where we knew we would get a good signal. So far, so good – no bird here.

We’ve been getting things settled in and looking like home.  When I took this picture, we were alone in the neighborhood, now there are two rigs across the street, but none on either side of us - yet.  As the weather cools in the North, we know we’ll be getting more neighbors!

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The rates here are low, and the campground is beautiful.  The weekly rate is $85 plus electric.  To save even a few more pennies, we’re turning off the breaker and running on batteries during the day, at least until it gets too warm in the afternoon.  Even though we have trees on each side of the rig, we get enough sun to keep the solar panels charging the batteries.

We’ve found that the people here are very friendly – even more so than at some of the other Escapee parks we’ve stayed at.  Each Escapee park has it’s own personality, along with it’s own policies and rules.  This park has 4 different types of sites.  We’re in the campground, which is just that.  There are 87 sites, most with 30 amp electric, water and sewer, and a few with 50 amp, water and sewer.  Then there are 10 lease sites, which I believe are leased for a one-year term.  The next type is what’s know as ERPU (Escapee Rainbow Parks Unlimited) which are also on a lease basis, but in this case, it costs $14,500 to lease a site for 5 years.  After the 5 years, you can renew for another 5 years for $1.00.  With these sites, there is also a yearly maintenance fee of $750.  If you don’t renew your lease, you do get the $14,500 back.  The fourth type of site is a deeded lot.  You purchase the lot and can build a permanent dwelling on it.  These lots can be sold to people who are not members of Escapees, however, as I understand it, the new owners cannot use the common facilities like the club house or pool. This is a popular winter destination, so the park will fill up over the next several months.

Thursday we went on an exploration drive through Foley, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach:

Map picture

The top push pin is our location.  Then, moving south on Highway 59, is Foley, Gulf Shores and east is Orange beach. 

The water is blue, the sand on the beach is soft and white – it’s lovely here!

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Of course, while we were out, we stopped at a local favorite for lunch – Jimmy Buffet’s sister, Lulu's:

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You can see the results of some of my other activities – I’ve been working on the look and layout of the blog.  I’m still tweaking things, so don’t be surprised if the look changes even more over the next few days.  I found a problem with how my side links were being displayed – there was a huge gap between some of them and I was stumped as to what was causing it.  I started moving gadgets around and finally discovered that the one I update most often – “Our Current Location” – had about a zillion added lines in it that I didn’t see in the little edit window on blogger.com until I looked at the html code.  Once I deleted them, the side links started behaving again.

Yesterday evening we joined a large contingent of our fellow park residents at what’s known around here as a “sundowner”.  It was hosted by Ron and Ruth Phinney, whom we just met at this event.  We hope to get to know these folks better while we’re here!  They provided a big ham, and the rest of us brought a huge variety of delicious side dishes including desserts.  The neighborhood was buzzing with activity, but we were just too busy to get pictures!

Jim has started on his big organizing project.  He’s been outside most of the day, sorting through all the goodies in “his” compartments.  I finally took care of the long neglected task of defrosting the freezer.  This time, when I got it done, I lined the top and back wall of the ice-maker compartment with plastic wrap.  We’ll see if that little trick makes defrosting easier next time! The theory is that since this is the part of the freezer that accumulates frost fastest, it will be easier to remove said frost by simply peeling away the plastic wrap.

Remember, make each day count!  Till next time…

7 comments:

Darrell and Judy Patterson said...

We just love that beach. And this time of year is the best - kids in school and we get the beach pretty much to ourselves.

The other thing that we love about this area is the social activities. Ron and Ruth are great hosts. They have great big hearts and just love to lend a helping hand.

Glad you're here and look forward to getting together often.

John and Sandy said...

Looks like you guys are all settled in at the Plantation, and from the looks of the photos you will still have plenty of room for us:) We look forward to seeing you again. Love the photos of the beaches, can't wait to check them out. See you on Monday.

Chuck-Kathy said...

Ellie, I use the plastic cutting sheets for the freezer. Not sure the platic wrap will be strong enough. Hope we get to stop by on our way to Betty's. love the beach.

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

We have been by Foley and Gulf Shores too. What a pretty place! And so un-crowded compared to some of the Florida beaches. Love your campground reviews too... and all the good information on the park system and how it works!


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Janna and Mike said...

We made today count Ellie. You look great standing on that beach!

Jim and Dee said...

You're in a great place. The beach is gorgeous! Have fun this winter!

luvglass said...

Love the new blog layout and colors.
Ragards