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Boats on the ocean at sunset

Pasco County Bound

A couple explores an RV community and finds a warm Florida welcome

It was a gray winter morning. The snow was piled high beneath bare overhanging trees as we slowly backed out of our driveway. Our grown children and grandkids had gathered to bid us farewell and we were heartened knowing that we would all meet soon in Florida for their Spring Break trip.

My husband, Tim, and I had worked diligently for this moment, our first official retirement trip, and we were ready to make the most of it. Our GPS was set and we were Florida bound in our new RV.

Yes, we were now free to aimlessly explore new places, visit old friends and spend more quality time together.

There is something appealing about the idea of changing our perspective through the RV windshield—now our living room window. With every highway mile, it seemed that years of hard work melted away, making way for new beginnings.

Through the recommendations of close friends who had spent time there, we chose Winter Quarters Resort in Florida’s Pasco County. Pasco is a popular central Florida destination for many RVers, with more than 3,000 RV pads.

As we approached eastern Pasco under clear blue skies, we knew this was the right place for us. We admired the natural surroundings of beautiful green pastures, rolling hills, ranches, pine-tree forests and giant old oak trees.

When we arrived at Winter Quarters,we enjoyed the warm welcome from the staff.The resort is situated lakeside, with a heated pool, shuffleboard courts and a clubhouse.

It didn’t take long to acclimate. Our first task was to change out of our northern attire. I chuckled when Tim emerged in his Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sandals.

We then set up the outdoor canopy, pulled out the chairs and barbecue grill, and hung some twinkle lights and colorful flower baskets to make us feel at home.

Later, we walked around the park to introduce ourselves to neighbors. We encountered a community of friendly folks who were eager to share information about the area.

One evening we joined the pot luck at the Club House and made more new friends over dinner, including a few from our home state. The event included live entertainment and we enjoyed meeting families, some with kids—they had plenty to share about Pasco County, and things to see and do here.

Tim met a fellow golfer who wanted to introduce him to the nearby golf course— Quail Hollow Golf & Country Club. I met some ladies who were planning a trip to nearby Dade City for lunch and shopping.

Settled in, we phoned the kids and shared stories of our new acquaintances and discoveries. I emailed photos of our adventures to them to give them some ideas for their spring visit. I found that once I started talking about our experiences, from the great company to the gorgeous weather to the stunning pink and tangerine sunsets, I could hardly stop.

The next day I joined some of the ladies for a girls’ trip to Dade City while Tim grabbed his clubs and went golfing with his new friend. I was charmed by the small town of Dade City, anchored by a historic courthouse and surrounded by cute antique shops, but our meal was truly memorable. Lunch on Limoges, a classic Southern restaurant with chalkboard menu and homemade dishes, was a delight. The pecan chicken salad, followed by a slice of fresh Florida strawberry cake was a gourmet treat.

When Tim returned from golfing, he told me his friend recommended a great place to hike. Cypress Creek Preserve has miles of beautiful hiking trails surrounded by cypress and hardwood forests. We spent many sunny days in their shade.

Time passed quickly and before we knew it, spring break was here and the family arrived. The grandkids immediately headed to the pool and happily spent most of the week there. We scheduled a few family outings, one in which we biked the scenic Suncoast Trail. We followed that with dinner at Ukulele’s, a local “old Florida” restaurant on Lake Marjorie where we sat on the deck and enjoyed another spectacular Florida evening.

Pasco County launched us into a whole new realm of amazing discoveries, friendships and adventures, just as we had hoped as we pulled out of our driveway a couple weeks ago. We thought we might like it here—turns out we love it!

Discover more things to do in Pasco County and start planning your getaway.
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