Last Wednesday we left Orlando and headed down toward Lazy Days in Tampa, Florida to get some service work on the RV. Along the way we stopped off at Cypress Gardens near Haines City. Cypress Gardens was probably the first theme park in the Central Florida area. It started out as just a park that showed off Florida's natural beauty of flowers. Ponce De Leon did name the state Florida which means "Land of Flowers".
Anyhow, even though I grew up nearby in Orlando, it had been a long time since coming here. Even long ago, I used to only come hear when they held a classic Corvette show on the plantation house lawn. Well as you can imagine after Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios, having a theme park in Central Florida WITHOUT any rides is not good for business. Sure enough it closed and was almost ready for development. However there was a growing support to save the park. Then a developer came in and purchased the land with a promise to save the beauty of the park, but also to add rides to attract new visitors. It worked.
Yes I know, Cypress Gardens is not a booming attraction like the previously mentioned Big 3 in Orlando, but it is attracting new business. We were the example wanting to check out the new roller coasters. They were not like the mew Mega Coasters found in today's theme parks, but it was a start. They had a pretty good wooden coaster called Triple Hurricane. You actually go around it three times. Also this time of year is generally slow during the week so there are no lines either. Overall it was a great place to visit. Hopefully the park will continue to attract new visitors and turn a profit. Then in the future maybe invest in a mega coaster!
Just as we were leaving Cypress Gardens, the sun began to set and I was able to snap off a lot of great photos. See even more below.
We arrived at Lazy Days and Rally Park too late to get checked in so we parked at the truck stop across the street to get some sleep. Soon after another RV'er parked next to us. A nice man from New Hampshire heading down to Naples, Florida. He was having a long rough day. Within a span of 10 miles, he had two tires blowout. I remembered seeing him just a few miles back on the side of the road with the service truck. Fortunately all that was now behind him and he can continue on his journey.
The next day we first went over to Camping World to have them look at the Brake Pro system. It just needed to be reset. I also had them service the generator because they're cheaper than Lazy days. It was all done quickly. Then I checked in with Lazy Days for all the warranty work. The boys and I hung out in the customer lounge all day, first doing school work and then going on the internet. The boys like going there because they have free wi-fi. Cricket went over to Hard Rock to play some poker. She didn't loose too much.
At the end of the day they didn't get everything completed, so we slept in the RV right in the service bay. It was rather difficult because they leave the shop lights on all night. This made it seem like it was dusk inside the RV. It was quieter than a WalMart parking lot, just brighter also.
The next day we had to get up early because the mechanic was wanting to get to work. So we quickly got dressed and headed out. Today was going to be another fun day. After stopping for breakfast, we drove over to Busch Gardens. Oh, a hint for those wanting to go to Busch Gardens, stop by Lazy Days first and see the concierge in the service lounge. You can get a 5-day pass there for cheaper than a 1-day at the gate ticket. Anyway, I didn't bring my camera on this trip so there's no photos. But we did have a great time riding all the rides and looking at all the animals.
Then we headed back to Lazy Days, picked up the RV, and drove into Orlando. We're now staying at the Thousand Trails Campground off I-27 in Clermont. We'll be here through the Christmas holiday until the 29th. We're spending this time visiting with family and friends, while trying to relax from our travels. So if you're close by send us an email. We'd love to see ya.