Our AlumaFlamingo departure day was upon us. Tuesday morning (Feb. 18, 2014), we both had meetings, so we knew we’d get a late start. We wanted to be on the road by 11 a.m. but it ended up being after noon before we finally got out of the driveway. The hope was to make it to Sarasota in time for the Yappy Hour at 3 p.m. so the pups could play. We knew we’d be pushing it.
It took a little longer to get Riva packed up and I had an unexpected but much appreciated visitor. Justin's mom Polly dropped by with a special delivery: an Airstream quilt, an early birthday present (Happy Birthday to ME!) It's made of various Airstream-themed T-shirts, perfect for the futon bed. We LOVE it, thank you Polly!
We took Martin Highway to Highway 70 across the state just north of Lake Okeechobee. Justin started out driving, but he was dog-tired, so I took the wheel about half way. It’s a nice, scenic drive through the farmland, across the Kissimmee River, then through Myakka River State Park before getting to I-75 and jogging a few miles north to Fruitville Road in Sarasota.
The Riveted Roost pulled into the Sarasota County Fairgrounds right before 4 p.m. but it took some time before the parking staff could escort us to our spot. We had requested vintage parking, which was 5 amp. We weren’t too excited about that, but 30 amp was sold out at the time we registered.
Due to our late arrival, our parking spot wasn't exactly in the vintage area. We asked if there were any 30 amp spots available and lo and behold, there were! A/C is a beautiful thing in Florida, even in February. We were looking at 80 degree + highs for the duration of our stay. Despite the $107 up charge, it turned out to be a blessing because we were parked at the very back of the field on the end, which is a great location for the youngsters with two chatty hound dogs. We were thrilled to meet our neighbors, a couple of young Airstreamers from Cape Canaveral. We hit it off right away.
We decided to crate the dogs for our first excursion away from the camper: Happy Hour. Unfortunately, the crates wouldn’t lock into place. I told Justin not to worry, the weight of the dogs in the crate would hold everything in place.
We headed to Happy Hour and met our neighbors and another young Airstreaming couple full-timing it across the country. We missed the orientation and ukulele jam band, but arrived in time for some complimentary beer. Bud Light has never tasted so good!
We got quite the chuckle when we got back to Riva less than an hour later. The dogs had partially collapsed their crates and rolled them upside down toward the door, spilling their kibble all over their crates. They were wild eyed and relieved to see us. We promptly threw the crates in the dumpster. That’s what you get for buying dog crates at Big Lots! Guess the pups will be crate-free for the duration of the rally. I’m a little nervous about that… I’m having visions of Jackson chewing the corner of the vintage kitchen cabinets right before our open house. Mercy!
It was pretty late by the time we got done and we still needed to eat (I hadn’t had time to shop for our food). We found a place called Marina Jack on the water near downtown that allowed dogs on their outdoor patio. Unfortunately, we arrived after 9 p.m. and their kitchen was closed. We had a drink by the harbor, took the dogs for a stroll, then called for takeout from PF Changs. We chowed down on lo mein and lettuce wraps in the Airstream. It was lovely. Home sweet trailer home!