10 lemons - peal skin only (zest), no white . Use a zester or your grater. (A zester works best.)
1 liter pure spirit (95%) Everclear - You could use vodka but would need to use about 3 pints and cut down on water later.
Put lemon peel in spirit in non-reactive container. Leave for at least three weeks moving occasionally.
After three or more weeks - Take 3 pints of warm water* and dissolve two and a half pounds of sugar until clear. Allow to cool and then mix with lemon peel and spirit. (I used two pints of water.)
Leave for two weeks. Strain out peel and bottle. Put bottle in freezer for a few hours. It should come out like a syrup when pouring. Great after a meal.
It is supposed to settle your stomach after food, but is so easy to drink.
A good use for the lemons if you don't want to make juice. Cut off the ends and cut down middle then half the sides. Carefully put in freezer bags so that it is skin to flesh. Freeze. You now have lemons for your drinks that act like ice cubes, but won't dilute your drink.
* To eliminate any minerals or chemicals, etc., use DISTILLED WATER!
One should keep in mind: "Frosty nights in Florida..." generally refer to areas north of Lake Okeechobee. They are a rarity between Fort Myers and Naples. We had maybe two or three in the last two years -- none this season! And, our strongest wind (one day about a month ago) was hardly more than what RV'ers experience every day in parts of the RGV.
Nor, have we negatively experienced "...the crowds and line ups, higher prices, disgruntled neighbours..." that her&I (above) experienced. Our last crowd and line-up at Mel's Diner proved to be a delightful time with great conversation among a group of snowbirds who were not strangers after the first five minutes; the prices are NOT higher unless you make that choice of eating establishments, and, finally, her&I sound like they fit right in the "disgruntled" category. Lighten up and you might brighten up everything and everyone around you!
I doubt there is a resort with more activities than Imperial Bonita Estates Located in SW Florida five miles from the beach and between Fort Myers and Naples, you will discover that the RGV wind and the middle Florida bugs just aren't here. People are here! And for a reason. If your idea of snowbirding is sitting outside with a book in one hand and a cold one in the other, then Florida is the place to be.
I'm not sure where the 2 gypsies were, but their list of negatives all in one place just isn't accurate. As stated elsewhere, winter is a time of low humidity in Florida; and the rest is hyperbole. Traffic is heavy at times, but intelligent snowbirds do not shop when the locals shop and quickly learn the back roads to avoid most traffic.
One of the best methods for finding a bargain is to find an area you like and even a particular community; and then look at the listings on their bulletin boards. This listing at $75K is in West Palm Beach for a condo....... The lady who owned it went north permanently. She will be 91 this summer and her snowbirding days are over.
Furnished, 2 BR, 2 bath, well-maintained corner unit,
close to pool and clubhouse. Located in Ashley Villas,
Cresthaven, a 55+ community with heated pool, Swedish sauna,
organized activities and entertainment, library, woodworking shop,
fitness room, billiard room, shuffleboard, and bocci courts.
6.5 miles to the beach! Close to golf, minor league baseball, theatre.
Condo is on ground floor, fully furnished. Pets allowed. Pictures available.
As a kid in central Pennsylvania, I was often at one of the valley farms plinking groundhogs out of the farmers' fields. I would then deliver them to my Uncle Charlie who would skin and field dress them, and drop them into a bucket of salt water overnight. The next morning Aunt Gertie would rinse 'em, stuff 'em with a bread stuffing, and roast 'em for Sunday dinner. Now, consider the groundhog's diet of grasses and roots VS the worms, gravel, and feces that chickens peck and eat.
For $500 and another $300 in repairs, we bought a used 1992 Buick Century a few years back and left it in the carport. With 93,000 miles on the odometer, we reasoned that it was good for another 30,000 or so since our 1986 Buick registered 124,000 miles before we finally traded it.
I know of a few parks that will give away your spot if somebody comes along and offers to book a longer stay.
Miami Everglades did that when we were there. That and lousy management caused us to look elsewhere, and glad we did. SW Florida is so much nicer.
We greatly reduced the size of our garden last summer, but still can thanks to the local Amish community. Besides the usual plethora of vegetables, we especially enjoy canned banana peppers stuffed with sauerkraut and country sausage in natural casings.
My Orphan Car is a 1950 Willys Overland Jeepster. With my DW as navigator, we will be leaving St. Augustine, FL, in April, 2014, for an 18-day, 2650 mile Cross Country Jeepster Trip to Imperial Beach, CA. About 20-50 1948, 1949, and 1950 Jeepsters will make the trip. The entire journey will be on two-lane roads. The best part? All expenses paid by a national sponsor.
www.jeepstertrip.com was officially opened as of late yesterday!
I would finish my Jeep
I did; and I'm finishing my 1950 Willys Overland Jeepster! Then, I plan to be part of an 18-day, 2650 mile trip across America -- all expenses paid! Only 1948, 1949, and 1950 Jeepsters are invited.
www.jeepstertrip.com was officially opened late yesterday!
What I miss about the RGV is the interaction of all the parks. You are welcome to visit different parks for entertainment, jam sessions, dances etc. Also all the towns have Winter Texan appreciation events and there is lots of free entertainment.
Florida has none of that. You are an intruder if you visit another park. None of the towns have appreciation events and the welcome is not very evident in the various towns. In Texas you see Welcome Back Winter Texans signs everywhere.
Another misconception! Not only do the various parks around SW Florida get together, they have regular sporting contests usually with picnics following their events: tennis, softball, bocci, horseshoes, bowling, and the ever popular shuffleboard. Last week it was a horseshoe tournament and picnic here at IBE in Bonita Springs. Every week a park somewhere near is sponsoring some type of event. Then there are the Florida Senior Games. I volunteer while the wife competes! Next weekend we are timers at a swim meet. It's fun! And Lee County Parks and Rec shows appreciation for its volunteers with free lunches and/or dinners at several get-together events over the season.
Tonight, many of us are going to the free Dixieland band concert at a local church with presents a different venue each month. Friday, at a local club, we listened to "Southern Express," a group which opened for the Charlie Daniels Band). And then there is live theatre -- dinner theatre at the Broadway Palms which does primarily musicals, along with its sister off-Broadway theatre next door, the Barbara Mann Theatre...Oh, just too many to mention and we haven't even touched on nearby Naples.
And, snowbirds support the many festivals that just seem to occur in Florida during the months from October to April. Florida doesn't have to put up signs everywhere to convince you. The appreciation is there; the sour grapes come from the other side of the Gulf. There are the free Sunday concerts in the park in Bonita Springs, the Strawberry Festival in Plant City (a nice day trip, better if you have relatives nearby), the Swamp Cabbage Festival in LaBelle, and on and on again. Too many to list here. And cars shows every week, everywhere!
Like the park we visited in Harlingen one winter, we too have jam sessions. Ours are held outside in the Tiki Pavilion, not inside the clubhouse where Winter Texans go to escape the wind.
Imperial Bonita Estates located next to the Imperial River, has 85 different weekly activities during the snowbird season with an additional seven special once-a-year activities. One would be bored here only if he worked very, very hard at it. Only boring people get bored!
Yes, RV sites are pricey, but include your electricity here at IBE. You generally get what you pay for. If your idea of an idyllic snowbird season is sitting under your awning with a book in one hand and a cold drink in the other -- then Florida, south of the big lake, is the place to be.
If "cheap" is your thing, then think RGV. But beware the wind. Losing your awning or slide topper can turn cheap into expensive very quickly. Where we stayed in Harlingen, most RVers never put their awnings out except for when they were right there with them. Other parks to the west may have less wind, but they still don't beat SW Florida.
You're looking at a great area. Be sure to consider Imperial Bonita Estates. It's just a few miles farther south than Bonita Lakes and comparatively priced. You'll find that it leaves the other parks in the dust when it comes to activities from which to choose -- plus the manatees visit every February since the Imperial River is our southern boundary. (In case fishing is your thing.)
If softball is your thing, Citrus Park is also nearby, just off E. Terry St., but other than that, they can't touch IBE for activities!
If my memory serves correctly, at our last Rec. Dept. meeting, I believe our activities director reported 46 different activities -- or was it 56. I'll edit this with the exact figure when I see him.
How about 85! -- 92 if you count activities like home state dinner days which occur only once per season.
For seven years, Florida was everything we thought a snowbird paradise should be, but we kept reading about the RGV and one year we gave in to the hype. While an occasional wind above 20 mph happens in Florida, our time in the RGV seemed to have those winds every day. And the first of four 55 mph winds tore away the topper from our slide extension.
There were no picnic tables at our RV resort for good reason. It was just too windy to eat outdoors. On a bike ride one day. the wind pushed me 1/10 of a mile without any pedaling on my part. It would have pushed me farther, but we ran out of road. The return trip was arduous.
With ten days still on our winter lease, and with forecasts of 25 to 35 mph winds for four days straight, we left the RGV and returned to Florida where lounging outside under an umbrella with a beer in one hand and a book in the other is possible almost every day!
Yes, there are many good things to be said about the RGV, but I believe too many first-timers can be convinced it ought to be their first choice simply because they do not know the alternatives.