Worst Golf Course, Sanlan RV & Golf

Possibly the worst golf course I have ever played, Sanlan RV and Golf Resort in Lakeland, FL offers a relatively nice RV park with two swimming pools, one large enough to swim real laps. The bathrooms and showers are also large and clean, and the toilets are commercial grade. The laundry room has big washers and dryers and lots of machines, like a mini-laundromat.  The Staff, especially the park rangers, are very helpful.   However, coming and going after hours can be a problem, because they don’t give short-term visitors after-hours key cards.

I thought it would be great to stay and play golf, NAUGHT.  The golf course is absolutely dreadful. Sanlan was/is part of a working cattle ranch, cattle graze along the perimeter.  The golf course has been converted from a cattle pasture to fairways, and not well.  I doubt they moved any dirt to smooth the course out.  The fairways are dry and hard, which gives you 20 extra yards on good drives.  But riding in a cart is like bouncing across ski moguls. I hope you back is in better shape than mine?

No marshals, so 6 guys playing together, and 3 guys playing from one bag of clubs, are what I experienced on 3/18/18. At least they let me play through, but it didn’t make-up for the condition of the course. Sanlan charged $32 for 18 holes and a cart. But having just played Palm Cove in Palm City for $25, made Sanlan a total rip-off.

Also, Lakeland, FL is nothing special. I tried to find a local micro-brew (non-chain restaurant) to meet my pal Rich, who was driving home to Maryland from Tampa. Rich is a beer aficionado, but we ended up at Smokey Bones, a FL chain.

Sanlan RV & Golf Resort proves my inclination, when visiting FL stay on the coast, either east or west.  Florida is about the beach, and there are so many nice golf courses to choose from with great rates.  

Santee, SC and Cypress Point Campground

Camping in the winter is the very best.  NO Kids!  The farther south you go campgrounds aren’t full of kids, but senior citizens are a problem.   Snow-birds flying south for the winter – understandably.  I am now one of them,  Who knew?  I have enjoyed my first 2017-18 winter foray into state and national campgrounds at the Santee State Park, South Carolina is a treasure.  Virtually uninhabited, because it isn’t summer. 

Cypress Point has had recent improvements, new gravel pads and asphalt roads.   As the volunteer campground host Rick pointed out, the kids with skateboards and bikes will love it.  Thankfully, I won’t be here for summer vacation.  The beauty of camping in the winter, is the ‘little darlings’ are in school.  And, all of 5+ campers and myself have the place to ourselves, it is practically deserted.  

In addition to a lovely campground, there are 30 cabins both on land and water.  Again, summer would not be the optimum season, heat and kids – an awful full combination.  But fall and spring — Brilliant!

Maggie and I had a lovely 2 mile walk, but I am still “organizing” Scout.  We leave tomorrow for St. Augustine, FL for 2 days, and then on to meet pals Michelle and Duane, on 12/18.  I am a month behind, and now rushing to catch-up for holiday boating and RVing.  2 if by sea, and 1 by land.  

I will say this place is absolutely beautiful and peaceful.  I hope to return, in the fall, the golf courses look amazing.  And the kids will again be in school.  

On the Road Again

Scout II has finally been repaired from my very stupid mishap with a yellow cement post, and we spent 2 rainy cold days in a campground along I-95 (the worst highway in America).  RV Vacation is a nice campground with the sound of trucks, as Emmy Lou sings in Boulder to Birmingham “I came to listen for the sound of the trucks as they roll down out on 95″.  I admit to singing this song while walking Maggie in the rain.

I was so glad to wake to sunshine this morning, if but for temperatures in the 30s.  

Now in Santee, South Carolina and camped on the shores of Lake Marion, at a beautiful state campground.  I am looking forward to a campfire tomorrow night.  According to Wikipedia, the Santee River was dammed in the 1940s to supply hydroelectric power, as part of the rural electrification efforts initiated under President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s New Deal during the Great Depression. It is one of the fifty largest lakes in the United States.  There is also a beautiful golf course less than a mile away.  But tomorrow I finish will organizing and storage, which I wasn’t able to do in the rain.  Golf will have to wait for another visit, and a bit warmer temperatures – above 55 degrees.

Pictures to follow! Stay tuned.



Camping in a Parking Lot

My last Alaska camping trip with my sister Kerry, brother-in-law Buzz and nephew Connor was years ago.  We were in tents, the last time I ever was in a tent — thankfully. We packed-up and traveled 50+ miles to the Kenai Peninsula.  Kerry and Buzz lived in a beautiful house on the outskirts of Anchorage.  They have wilderness area out their backdoor.  So on our 2nd night in the campground Buzz commented on how we were camping in a parking lot with boom-boxes and the ability to hear every neighbor’s conversation.  Buzz said something to the effect, “Gee isn’t it great to be out in the wilderness”.   We should have camped in their backyard.  It would have been quieter and as much of a wilderness experience.

There are campgrounds, RV Resorts, and parking lots.  The Coastal Dunes RV Park in Oceano, CA is a parking lot, with concrete facilities.  Might as well be outhouses.  Again, reservations are very difficult.  If you don’t make a reservation you may in up in a Wal-Mart parking lot.  Something, I have pledged never to do.  

Coastal Dunes, is not on “the coast”.  It is lodged between a busy street and the Amtrak train tracks.  I stayed one night.  The family “camping” next to me had a large 5th wheeler, 3 or 4 tents for the children/teenagers, and several small barking dogs.

So when I hitched-up to escape I heard a strange noise when driving away.  OMG it was one of the tents!  I wish I could have taken a picture, but suffice it to say, I was dragging one of the tents behind the Airstream.  Scout’s bumper had caught a tent cable.  Thankfully, I had my window down and no radio playing, or I would have made it to the road.  Yikes!  

I stopped, un-hooded the tent in front of the small pool where the kids/teenagers where frolicking.  Yo!  Is this your tent?  Yes.  Okay, sorry about that, glad no one was inside.  Have a great day!  I drove away.  Not my best moment, or great escape.

The world-wide web can make anything or anywhere look appealing.  So I am re-thinking my reservations.  Making a reservation for one-night and hoping to extend.  Pismo Beach is the RV Capital of the world, I have never seen so many RVs both on the road, in campgrounds and storage lots.  For those looking to buy a used RV, I would suggest visiting Oceano, CA.

I am now camping in a KOA with nicer facilities and the gift store has a nice selection of local wines.  I am re-evaluating my “camping” requirements, and thinking very fondly of my dear brother-in-law Buzz.

Reservation Required

Was it ever possible to pack-up the car and head to the great outdoors without prior planning?  Certainly, that was my memory, but I was not in charge.  Mom would say we are going camping this weekend, and we all piled into the car.

As a full-time RVer planning is essential.  Unless you want to end up in a Walmart parking lot, which I refuse to do.

AllStays is a wonderful smart phone app, which lists all campgrounds, dumping stations, and Walmarts, in additional useful RV resources.  There are numerous apps and websites that have replaced paper maps.  But an old-fashion paper map is essential.  Without a map it is difficult to see where campgrounds are in relation to your route or where you are trying to go.  My old Garmin GPS tells nothing about elevation, which is important when you are dragging 4,500 lbs behind you.

I have made too many reservations only to cancel them, costing cancellation fees.

Things I have learned:

  1. Staying a week in a campground saves you money, because there might be a weekly rate.
  2. Have a map in front of you when making reservations.
  3. Try to restrict your daily driving to less than 300 miles, planning to arrive at least an hour before dark – preferably more.
  4. Not all RV parks or campgrounds are created equal (kids and parking lots can make your experience more of a nightmare than a dream).

    Two Springs in North Palm Springs is an exceptional place, with huge lots, a beautiful pool and clean shower, toilets and laundry.

  5. Do grocery shopping before arriving, by the time you check-in and get hooked-up — you won’t want to go anywhere.

Cocktail time!