January 30 to February 5, 2006 - FMCA rally and Tallahassee

On January 30 we drove 66 miles to Brooksville, FL for the FMCA SEA area rally.  This rally gets about 2,000 motorhomes and is held in the same location every year, an airport.  It rained on the trip so both the motorhome and car were covered in road grime.  Since the rally was dry camping and all our water was in our tanks, we only cleaned the car up.  Here is our "campsite" when the ground was still wet and our neighbor had a raincoat on:

On the 31st it dried out a bit so Bill got up on the roof and took some pictures.  We were very close the end of the runway, and about a mile from the action:

From the ground it is a mass of motorhomes:

Our neighbor had a National RV Tradewinds LTC, Founders Edition:

We asked what the "Founders Edition" means and got an interesting story.  National RV also owns Country Coach, which makes high end motorhomes.  In 2003 Country Coach decided to make a "cheaper" RV, for them that meant under $200,000.  They didn't use their own chassis, using a Freightliner, and called it the "Mystique".  The dealers didn't want the Mystique, it didn't have the ride quality of the other Country Coaches.  They made about 40 Mystiques and no one wanted them, so off they went to National RV for some cosmetic changes into a Tradewinds LTC, Founders Edition and then they were shipped out to National RV dealers who did sell them.

There were all kinds of motorhomes.  Here are a couple examples, the second one is owned by someone Bill knows from the Internet:

We visited friends, especially Carolle and Ken from Jacksonville, who we spent a lot of time with in Jacksonville.  We visited the vendors and bought just one item.  We toured the for sale motorhomes and are happy with what we have.  We did find one restaurant worth noting, the China One Super Buffet in Spring Hill was quite good.

On February 2nd they had a parade, much like the Western Area rally in Indio in January 2005.  Here is our vantage point and the start of the parade was horses:

They had fun with the horse clean up crew.  Most of the "floats" were golf carts:

We were close to the turnaround spot for the parade, which is the first picture.  The second is the marching band.

The red hat group dressed up a red CRV and put gloves on the windshield wipers:

There were also individuals walking.  The second guy had a great costume that made him look like a woman was carrying him:

There were also some real floats:

On the 3rd we had lots of thunderstorms starting about 6AM and we were very glad to be on the runway, Tampa had 8.29" of rain and we estimate it was about 5" where we were, so all grass became mud after cars drove on it.

We did go to the entertainment some of the nights, mostly oriented to folks older than us. 

By the 5th most of the place was dried out, so we drove a long day of 252 miles to Tallahassee where we had full hookups.  It was our longest one day drive since August.  Here is our one night campsite in Tallahassee:

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