When Walt built Disneyworld he bought acres and acres of empty land in the middle of Florida for bargain basement prices. The Magic Kingdom used to be surrounded by miles and miles of empty scrub. Over the years metropolitan Orlando has spread out further and further. As we drove from Tampa on the gulf coast to Titusville on the Atlantic, it felt like one huge urban area almost all the way across the state. We didn't get going very early and as soon as the good Christian folks were done with church, traffic was heavy. In many parts of greater Orlando there are expressways very close to tollways going in a similar direction. Inevitably the tollways are quite empty, a good indicator of how expensive they are. But when you are 65 feet long, sometimes it's worth it.
Campgrounds often call themselves resorts; often that's a delusion of grandeur. But the Great Outdoors RV-Nature & Golf Resort appears to live up to its billing. That's a good thing since it will be our longest stop. We wanted to be here until the end of February, but it was full at the end of the month. As we arrived we saw rigs boondocked in the parking lot waiting for a space to open up, so we feel lucky to have five weeks here. I made the reservation last July and the clerk said she has already taken many reservations for 2016. We are camped on the 15th hole of the golf course, a hole we will probably never play since we lose interest after the first nine. But afternoon greens fees are reasonable and golf will surely be a regular on the agenda here.
The resort is huge with 3,000 acres and has a variety of accommodations. There are rental camp sites such as the one we are on and retail ones that owners can rent out when they aren't here. There are what they call park homes and I would call mobile homes. Many of these have tall breezeway additions that protect the RV parked in front from the Florida sun. If you want to make a bigger financial commitment you can buy a villa, which is a small home about the size of the one waiting for us in Chicagoland. And if you have money to burn you can build a custom resort home for something just under a million dollars. Many of the sites have nice views of the golf course, lake or natural woodlands. Much of the land we drove through after we turned into the park I would call swamp, but when you are in a resort it is natural woodland and protected natural habitat.
Of course, the resort offers a huge assortment of athletic activities - pickle ball, tennis, zumba shuffleboard, bocce, aquasize to name a few. There are also hobby groups such as quilting, wood carving, painting, photography. There are two restaurants on the grounds, so cooking is optional. My first impression is that there are not as many activities as we enjoyed in Tucson, but on a brief bike ride I hardly had a chance to see half of what's here. This is a campground bubble that could be easy to stay inside.