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  • dougschnabel

Fort Myers 2021

Our last major trip was quite a bit different for us. Instead of visiting national parks and other fun places, our emphasis was on creating our own little slice of paradise at Cypress Trail RV Resort in Fort Myers, FL. The park is beautifully maintained with lush landscaping, a salt water swimming pool, tennis and pickleball courts, pool tables, etc. We purchased our lot in the spring of 2020 and with activities limited due to Covid, we decided it was an ideal time to focus our attention on a development project. Cindy ended up working quite a bit as an Accounting Specialist focussed on onboarding new clients and Doug kept quite busy playing general contractor, doing some work himself, bringing in most of the building materials for the shed and lots of stuff to pick out! Towards the end of our stay we realized as much as we liked our Itasca Navion, it wasn’t as well suited to our planned longer stays at our new “home away from home”, so we traded for a 2019 Newmar Ventana Class A Diesel Pusher. More about that later.

Our development consisted of expanding the pavers, completing the landscaping, having a shed installed and putting up a Tiki Hut. The Tiki is absolutely fantastic and we use it all the time. With the overhead cover, fans and side shades as needed, it lowers the temperature up to 15 degrees, making it an amazing hangout. It also became Cindy’s office! We have a big screen installed for Netflix and movies and we eat several of our meals there. It is perfect for outdoor entertaining and we were able to have several friends over. There sure are a lot of Securian people we know in the area! We will look to host a “Securian night” next year! Our cats also love being outside there! They don’t get to roam at all, but we have a “Catio” in the Tiki and they are on leash sometimes. Kiara learned to leash walk pretty well this season!

The shed is not your Grandfather’s shed! It is built to Hurricane standards with metal strapping and anchors that go 5’ into the ground. It stores our pellet grill, big screen TV and all our furniture when we leave for the season, so that part is a shed, but to us it’s a Casita (small -- actually really small -- house). There was an “engineering thought effort” behind the design and furniture purchased that allowed all of our belongings to fit when we leave! As for the finishings, it contains a bathroom with shower, washer/dryer, refrigerator, cabinets, and sink with a good amount of counter space. With the grill located right off the Casita, it makes for a perfect prep/clean-up area. We were so fortunate to have someone with building experience right in our development to complete the inside finish work on the Casita and they did an amazing job.

The new rig really completed our winter get-a-way! Our lot is very spacious and easily accommodates our 40’ ”Bus”. We returned home early May and have since taken it on a couple small trips. Cindy hasn’t ventured into driving yet, but she will! Doug loves driving it and can now look eye to eye with the truckers! The ride is smooth and relatively quiet as a diesel pusher (engine in the rear). We instantly started sleeping better in the king size bed and we have both woken up at home thinking “Are we home or in our rig?,” so it really does have the comforts of home! We have much more room with 4 slide outs and ample counter space. Doug is still working on his tighter quarter navigating skills but it is coming along nicely!

We did squeeze in some entertainment in addition to having friends over, by visiting the beach, bike rides on Sanibel Island, tennis and swimming. There will be more room for fun next year!


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