Florida Keys (high 81, low 72)
Yesterday sure didn’t turn out like we had planned.
We know that Sunshine Key Rv Resort changes significantly during the summer months. In the winter, it is snowbird city. The residents are for the most part an older crowd. (like us) The vast majority speak English as their first language.
The summer residents are mostly Cuban families that I’m guessing are probably from the Miami area. The problem is that they build large
“compounds” and it appears that 4-5 families share these compounds. We were in an area fairly close to the water and we were pretty much by ourselves…until all of a sudden lots of small trailers started being hauled to various sites all around us.
Yesterday, we started seeing large groups of people arriving with large cargo trailers. Right behind us we saw about 10 adults setting up their compound. We saw a regular size stove, side by side refrigerator, and huge tv, along with lots of “building” materials. They appeared to be making their compound on two sites.
This was going on all over the place and we started to get nervous. Our first concern was that we’d be boxed in and not be able to get out of our site when it was time to move.
Our second concern was that we didn’t want to be surrounded by noisy multi-family compounds. Most of them have 3-4 golf carts, multiple cars and frequently a boat. They party hard all week-end and you’d better like their music, because it’s loud and constant. The golf carts (gas engines and fast) all seem to have loud stereos blaring as they race around the park. No thank you.
For some reason, the Cuban people do notseem to like non Cuban people. Many of them are rude, they don’t speak to you and pretty much treat you like you don’t exist. Sorry, I don’t mean to come off as prejudice, but this is my observation. When we lived in Tampa we also found this to be true. I’d sure like to know why they don’t like us. They appear to like this country, since they fled Cuba to come here.
So we went to the office to see if we could move to another site. The last thing we wanted to do yesterday was move the motorhome and all of our stuff. By this time it was getting pretty hot….not a good time to have to pack up and move.
The park still has lots of areas where there are snowbirds and we decided to move back to the spot where we were in December/January. We are in the middle of a group of very nice, friendly snowbirds. We know our “stuff” will be safe and people will look out for it while we are gone. We know our neighbors, and they will be here until at least after we leave. Then all bets are off.
Sunshine Key is a great winter destination, but during the summer they offer special deals and in our opinion, that’s where the problems begin. I understand they need revenue all year and these specials certainly bring in the revenue. The problem is that it gives the park a bad (deservedly) reputation and people reading about the problems, don’t realize it is a summer problem, not a winter problem.
They offer seasonal sites for a reduced amount. The rv can be left on the site all summer, but you can only be there Friday through Sunday. There doesn’t appear to be any rules about the number of people, vehicles, or golf carts per site. The trailers are small for the number of people, so they build these fortresses that have outdoor living areas. They make outdoor kitchens, and apparently laundry rooms as well. They do a good job of covering them up with bamboo screening, outdoor rooms and the like, but you still have a massive compound with too many people per site, in my opinion.
We had heard there is a new manager here and he was going to address some of these issues. I don’t think he’s having much success.
The summer season is supposed to start April 15, but there were quite a few already setting up yesterday, so that appears to be another rule out the window. We knew up front what was coming this summer, but we didn’t realize it started quite this early. We had already decided against coming back until next fall.
So, we moved, and are now back in “America”. English is spoken again, the music is quiet and our neighbors only have two residents per Rv. We have a pretty pink flowering tree beside us and a beautiful sea grapes tree in front of us. Life is good again!
So we didn’t do anything fun yesterday other than take a long walk while having happy hour.
Stay tuned to see what today brings. It’s been pretty windy so kayaking would have been out anyway. I guess yesterday was a good day to move.