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Kissimmee, FL

As scheduled, the Tour is back on the road ... but not far. This morning, we rolled up the awning, hitched the trailer, cleaned, and prepped to head to Kissimmee, 80 miles east on I-4.

Amazingly, my eBay seller finally came through, so our first stop with trailer in tow was Pak Mail, where I picked up the missing bike mount. We tossed it in the trailer with the second bike and kept on going. I installed it 40 miles down the road when we stopped for lunch. Now our bike rack is complete, and no longer a worry.

There's a Roadtrek (B-van) rally going on at this "RV resort". There must be at least 40 Roadtreks parked around us. Our 30 foot trailer looks like gigantic compared to the little B-vans. I took a tour of two of them this afternoon. They are cute but it would be hard for 2 of us to have more than a long weekend in them. With all 3 of us, I can't even imagine it. And at $65-85k, I'm not rushing out to buy one.

Since we lived for a chunk of two winters not far from here, being in Kissimmee feels like going home. We know where things are, and have a list of things we want to re-visit. We talk about local restaurants and shops like we've lived here all our lives. This actually feels strange, because normally we have no idea where anything is. For a few days, we'll embrace this sensation and try to hit at least a couple of our favorite spots.

Winter Haven Amtrak.jpg
Meeting the train in Winter Haven FL, March 2005

One of my favorite spots was Winter Haven, a town with a wonderful center. What I love about Winter Haven is that Amtrak still comes right through the middle of town and stops to disembark passengers on the town green. It's the kind of place you want to get off the train after a long voyage from some snowy spot up north. I took the picture above in March 2005 when we were in Winter Haven for their annual art show.

Tomorrow is slated for Sea World. We have decided to call this Emma's birthday present, since she will be turning SIX on Saturday. It looks like we might be on the road on Saturday, depending on how things work out with campgrounds in South Carolina. So, we are planning to have birthday presents and cake earlier in the week, starting with our Sea World day. Emma is happy with this arrangement, since it effectively means she gets a birthday week instead of just a day!


Great shot of the conductor with the train in the background Rich. I love the defocussed background, it really makes the conductor pop out of the picture.

I am happily following your blog and look forward to reading your experiences and seeing your great photography.

Hi Rich -

I agree that most B-vans (Campervans to those that love them . . .) are mighty tight inside. But seeing as this is the Airstream Life Tour of America I want to put in a plug for the best Campervan ever: the Airstream Sprinter Westfalia or Mercedes James Cook (as it has been known in Europe for 30+ years). The Westfalia manages to fit sleeping for 4, a well-designed kitchen and dining area, and a truly useful wet bath in a shorter wheelbase than most B-vans are based on.

As you know, my wife and I, sometimes along with 3 dogs and a 13 year old, have spent weeks in our Westy enjoying our travels.

All this at nearly 22 miles per gallon!

Anyone who appreciates superior design should check out the Westfalia!


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