Our first long cross country… was to be Sun-N-Fun 2011. We had “Caddie”, our RV-9A, packed to max gross with tent, sleeping bags and clothes for the six day trip. As we were following the weather before we left M16 (now KJVW) for the 3 1/2 hour flight to KLAL, we heard about some really bad weather there. I pulled out my iPhone and went to twitter and searched #SNF – WOW, a tornado on the ground, planes destroyed, a few folks hurt – hmmm, I think we’ll go a different direction – Arkansas, to tent camp on the white river… we’ll cover more about our love of Arkansas later.
Fast forward to 2012… the weather looks good, “Caddie” is packed to max gross again and we are finally off to SNF 2012. We leave Raymond, MS (KJVW) on Wednesday afternoon enroute to the Perry-Foley Airport (40J) in the Florida panhandle to stop for the night. “Why are we stopping there?”, Beth asked. “Well gas is cheap and they have a crew car we can use overnight and it will only be an hour or so into Lakeland on Thursday morning”, I replied. “Great, where are we staying?” she asked… “ahhmm, the American Best Value Inn”, I said. “It was $49 a night for a queen bed, but I splurged for the $52 king room”. The room ended up not being too bad and was a good value for the money. When we got checked in, I checked my Trip Advisor app for a local restaurant. I was in the mood for seafood and we were in Florida. We ended up at a small seafood place called Deal’s Famous Oyster House. The parking lot was packed, that was a good sign. Well, we decided this is where the locals eat since it was packed and the food was great.
Thursday morning we woke up to a little fog but it seamed to be burning off fast. We filled up the crew car and headed back to the airport. Once there, we met Jimmy, the airport manager and Lulu the airport dog. Lulu was a cool but somewhat “high strung” and wonderfully friendly Boston Terrier. We proceeded to pack the plane and pull it over to the fuel pump and tried three times to get it to work. I went back inside and got Jimmy to come out and help. He said it took a little “witchcraft” to make it work, he must have been right since it worked on the first try for him. So now we are full of fuel and on our way to Sun-N-Fun…