Winter World of Beer Tour (Days 24-26)
Jan 28-Jan 30
Thursday Jan 28
Thursday we were back in Gainesville, FL at The World of Beer. We stayed at Paynes Prairie State Park again. We took advantage of the day to get errands done.
We had to rewash our sleeping bags because they hadn’t dried all the way and were starting to stink. The washing bit was short, but the drying bit took FOREVER. We finally left with them *almost* dry and planned to hang dry them for a day and then maybe throw them in a dryer one more round. The down feathers had all matted together in the water and despite us shaking the sleeping bags, couldn’t seem to separate the clumps of feathers so they’d dry all the way.
Finally, we made it out of the the laundromat at headed for a spot with internet. We found a Panera, which worked for a while, but inevitably slowed down. Once again, Starbucks held its title for the best internet.
We took the dogs to a dog park, but didn’t stay long due to the rain. From the park we headed to a friend of Curtiss’s to meet for dinner at her house. It was only 3 miles away, but it took us 30 minutes in traffic. It was so bad it had Denvers horrid traffic beat!
Dinner was delicious and as always, being with people from home was comforting.
It was a quiet show that night, but a girl who had seen Curtiss play twice in Alaska was there! It’s just so awesome seeing the same faces at shows, especially when it’s various shows across the country. It helps to make this all feel like its worth it and we are getting somewhere with spreading his music.
Friday Jan 29-Saturday 30
We woke up, packed up and were headed for “The Villages.” This is a spot we were anticipating seeing because any time we mentioned “The Villages,” people familiar with Florida said, “Oh, interesting. That’s a retirement community.”
On our way there we made plans to stop at a Camping World. This was our first time ever in a RV superstore…and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt, just a little. THEY WERE SO FANCY! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:
This was Curtiss’s favorite:
And then there was this one…IT WAS SO BIG!!!
We had to pull ourselves away, only leaving with portable toilet deodorizer. Ugh. As per the usual, we had to face the dilemma of deciding whether to stay at a cheaper state park, which was further away from the show, or pay a little more to be close to the music venue(s).
Considering the closest state park was 40 minutes away we decided to suck it up and pay for the closer park since our time and gas would inevitably make up the difference in cost. We stayed at The Wildwood KOA. The best part:
But better yet, our story spread to the staff and they want Curtiss to come back and play music! On our way back through in March we will plan to stay a night or two at the KOA and hang out, play some music and relax.
The show both nights went surprisingly well. The set up was nice and the patrons were appreciative of the music and tipped well! (win-win).
Now…let me tell you about these retirement communities. Wowzer! They were similarly set up so that once you drove in you were surrounded by restaurants, taverns, pizza places and a movie theater. In the middle of the roundabout was a stage with an outdoor bar and EVERY NIGHT they have live music. Our favorite part though was the golf cars…EVERYWHERE. So funny.
During both shows I hung out most of the night next store in the Dunkin Donuts so that I could use their internet and work in a little quieter space. I received a brief history of The Villages, talked education with two retired educators and was entertained all night by the continual long lines for coffee and donuts until they closed at 10pm. It was a wild place! But pretty awesome.
If you’re looking for a happening spot to retire, look into The Villages.
Needless to say, it was a fun couple of shows and a great stay in The Villages!