WHAT TO SEE AND DO WHILE RVING IN FORT MYERS & SANIBEL FLORIDA

 

How do you know an RV destination is a success with your family? We know a destination is a hit when we make reservations to return before we’ve even left. 

Over the Christmas break, our family spent time in the Fort Myers & Sanibel area in our RV. When it came time to go, no one was ready to leave, least of all me. I felt like we’d only skimmed the surface of all there is to see and do in this little piece of paradise.

 

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RVING IN THE LOVE MACHINE

Twenty-four: The exact number of hours from the front door of our family home to Orlando.

Eleven: The amount years our family has made the journey from Ottawa to the Sunshine State in our RV.

One: The number of times we’ve made the trip without children, and dare I say, one of the best RV experiences yet.

Our annual journey south has always been a family affair, which is why we jumped into RVing in the first place. It’s the perfect way to spend time with children and my hope is to create vaults of memories for ours. Still, sometimes I envied RVers whose children had grown and left the nest. What would it be like to RV alone, I’d wonder. Is there more freedom? More care-free wandering? Less fighting and fewer bathroom breaks? Or are child-free travelers missing out? Perhaps adult-only vacations bring new challenges which balance any benefit. I wanted to find out.

So, with these questions in mind, my husband and I decided this year we’d dip our toes into the unknown waters of “kid-free RVing.” My parents – who cannot get enough of my children – accepted the “offer” to watch them for a week with the glee only grandparents can muster. And so it came that my husband and I would get a sans-children trip while delivering our RV south for the winter. With arrangements in place for our children to be spoiled rotten, err…be wrapped in loved for ten days, we hit the road. In case you’re wondering, a Type A Motorhome can indeed burn rubber in a suburban driveway. What can I say? We were excited.

In years past, the trip south has been – in a word – loud. I’d estimate that in the distance between Ottawa and Florida I hear “Mom!” over 16,000 times. I can also confirm that sibling rivalry packs light and makes an excellent traveler, because it always seems to find a seat in our family RV. Also, a One Direction CD can withstand the piercing glare of a pair of 40-something Eagles fans and when two pre-teen girls play it on loop they possess the collective power to cause temporary insanity. Yes; “loud” is exactly what best describes our family journey each year.

The first thing my husband and I noticed this time was the sound of silence. Sweet, sweet, silence. I was even able to drift off a few times without being startled awake with cries of “MOM! She touched me! And can you hit replay on that CD?” Hours would go by and not a word was uttered. It was heavenly.

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ROAD TRIPPIN’ FROM OTTAWA TO ORLANDO

Editor’s note: Candace Derickx has been RVing now for 11 years with her outdoorsman husband and their three children. Candace’s life now revolves around when and where she can escape to next with her family. 

When I tell people my husband and I often drive our RV from Ottawa to Florida, we get a lot blank stares. We know what they’re thinking.  Yes, we understand that a plane could have us there in three hours but still we choose to take three days to get there. But those who stare and wonder if we’re crazy? They don’t know what they’re missing.

Many Canadians move their RVs south in the winter, and we’re no exception. Snow squalls and sub-zero temperatures aren’t favorable RVing conditions and can take a toll on your RV if you don’t have proper storage facilities. And you’d also miss out on the chance for one last drive south – something not to be missed when the opportunity arises. After eleven years making this journey south we continue to be amazed by the beauty of America and the boundless hospitality its people possess.

Every time we leave the house in our RV we set out with a general idea of where we’d like to end up. From there on, it’s a connect-the-dots adventure to our final destination. We are free to roam for as long as we’d like on the trip to Florida. Adopting this nomadic lifestyle on our journey is easy because we know no matter what route we choose, we’ll feel safe and welcome in America. We are not bound by a schedule, nor are we hostage to hotel reservations. Airline cancellations have no effect on us, and our vacation starts as soon as we leave the house – not after standing in countless boarding lines and custom booths.

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GO RVING AT FORT WILDERNESS IN WALT DISNEY WORLD

Editor’s note: Candace Derickx has been RVing now for 11 years with her outdoorsman husband and their three children. Candace’s life now revolves around when and where she can escape to next with her family. 

Our family has visited Walt Disney World in Orlando fifteen times, so it is possible to say we may have a slight addiction to the place. When you’ve been somewhere like Disney as often as we have, people consider you an expert, and, since being referred to as an expert is good for my ego, I happily share tips with friends and family planning their first visit. And time and time again – no matter who’s going or how long they’re staying – my number one recommendation is always a visit to Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

Fort Wilderness sits on 750 acres of in the heart of Walt Disney World and offers what no other Disney resort can— serenity. Yes, it is possible to find some calm and quiet while visiting a Disney park. It’s the reason I recommend it time and time again. While resort hotels are all quite lovely, they are still hotels. That means children running up and down halls, blaring television sets, and long line-ups for morning coffee at the continental breakfast in the lobby. After a full day maneuvering through crowded parks, I want peace, not more chaos.

Fort Wilderness gives it to me.

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