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Haines City, FL

Haines City does not have an exciting downtown today, but Wendimere and Bill are betting it will have a renaissance. The "historic downtown" features a half dozen hair salons, a few professional offices, a handful of dejected-looking real estate offices, and many empty storefronts. As a result, nobody goes there and parking is usually plentiful.

But they may be getting in on the ground floor. This town is right off a major highway (Route 27), and adjacent to major real estate development along Rt 27 and in nearby Davenport. It could be the next Mt Dora. Someone else thinks so, because most of the downtown real estate has been bought up and is being renovated right now.

Haines City parking.jpg
Our trailer parked in front of their trailer

We discussed the future of Haines City and many other things over dinner last night at Manny's Chop House (not to be confused with the similarly named restaurant in Longwood). Manny's is a great spot for dinner, but the locals know about it and so the wait can be long. They don't take reservations. Still, it's worth it.

We also talked about our plans to do some traveling as a group next year. We're thinking about a possible caravan down to the Yucatan Peninsula, and other ideas. Last summer's group trip with Susan & Adam, Carol, and Rich C from Oregon to Wyoming was a lot of fun. Also, in our travels we've run into a lot of people who want loosely-structured caravans with few rules and obligations, and many of them have looked to us to organize something. So far I've resisted that temptation, because we like traveling without obligations ourselves (and leading a trip would limit our freedom), but perhaps in 2007 we'll take the plunge and lead a small trip.

Last night we broke out some classic games that Wendimere and Bill own, and spent the evening with Scrabble and Clue. Emma needs help with Scrabble, but I see how it helps her learn the spelling of new words, so maybe we'll get this game for ourselves, too. In any case, it was great fun.

Haines City group.jpg
Group pose in the Herb Shoppe

Maintenance item: In the past few weeks we've noted the bottom of the shower door leaking onto the bathroom floor. (We have the roll-up "Shub" door commonly found in late-model Safaris.) This water leak will cause floor rot if not fixed, so on Sunday I removed all the ugly old caulk along the bottom and cleaned the surface thoroughly. There was some trapped water under the door jamb, so I let it dry out overnight.

Yesterday I laid down blue masking tape and put in a fresh bead of GE Silicone II caulk, which is the only product I will use for this job. I've had poor results from the DAP stuff. This morning -- 24 hours later -- it should be fully cured. I'll test the new caulk before we hitch up and head to Tampa.


Don't forget your European tour...
We are waiting you with great impatience.


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