Following on from my previous blog "Orlando Baby!" our two fabulous weeks of adrenaline were over. It was time to start our next adventure, driving up the East Coast of America. But first, we had to collect our American RV and drop off our rental car. Fortunately Hertz had a drop off point near to where we were picking up our RV from El Monte RV Rental. After extensive research and speaking with someone who had done the same route, we decided to go with the big coach Class A style RV. The advantages of this type were that it slept 8 (we are only 5 however you want some breathing room), it had fixed beds, automatic hydraulic jacks which levelled the vehicle automatically and one big slide out on the side. When parked up and levelled with the press of a button the slide out would extend outwards making the living space much larger. It was 34 foot long though 😂. You really don't realise the size of it until you see it and then reality hits that you actually have to drive it too! In America, there are no restrictions on your license either, they hand you the keys in full confidence that you are capable of driving this monstrous vehicle 😳. Himself took the wheel first, however I was fully aware that I would have to drive it soon as he tends to snooze a little whilst driving 🙈.
A bit of advice here, take a video of your handover so you know how everything works, this adhd brain literally spent 5 seconds listening before succumbing to the flashing lights on the dashboard ... ooo I wonder what that does? There's generators, auxiliary batteries, slide out, propane, emergency start, hydraulic jacks to work out, so it helped us by taking a video. Once you've used the gadgets a few times, it becomes second nature, but to start with it was rather daunting. A few other tips are to make sure you buy the correct toilet paper for an RV, it dissolves, no blocked bog. Also instead of buying the chemical cleaning blocks to pop down the loo, use white vinegar and some essential oils as those chemical blocks do not smell like pine trees (even though it says so on the box 🙄).
So, onto our first stop. We tentatively drove out of the car park remembering to take a wider turn as there's no need to start off by ramping pavements or taking out lamp posts. We hadn't planned a single stop or booked a single campsite opting rather to wing it. True Sargent style! All we knew was that we had to be in New York by the 1st of December, so we had 22 nights in total to travel up the East Coast of America. Also, we didn't know what we would encounter along the way so not having a rigid schedule meant we had more freedom to explore. We stopped off at a Whole Foods in order to fill the fridge with lots of yummy, healthy food. Fortunately in the States, the car parks are enormous, so even though we did take up about 4 spaces, if you park near the back of the car parks, generally you don't have a problem with getting the vehicle out again and you're not blocking anyone in either. Whole Foods is F-A-B. Lots of organic fruit and veg with a ton of vegan options. The fridge/freezer was surprisingly big in the RV, we even had space for some fruit ice lollies and vegan burgers. Awesome 🎼🇺🇸. Then we drove on to find a spot for the night. Fidget Boy is massively into scootering (it is a word, I checked 😜), so we found a skate park right next to a school. Parked up next to the skate park was a police officer and we asked her what the law was on wild camping (parking up in a spot that is not a designated campsite). As we had everything we needed on board, we didn't need to stay in a campsite every night. Every three nights would be just fine for us to dump the waste water and fill up with clean water. We had a generator that we used when we needed electricity, to charge laptops etc, but with the propane for cooking and running the fridge, we were pretty self sufficient. The police officer kindly explained that there would be a sign saying no overnight parking and generally parking on the beach front was prohibited in most places too. So with that and what with it being a Friday night, we opted to park in the school car park next to the skate park. The next morning though the skate park wasn't open, so Himself and Fidget Boy had to jump over the fence 🤫🙈 had a quick scoot before we headed off to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.
Himself had been to Nasa before as a young boy. In thirty years a lot can change and it most certainly has. You really need an entire day there. We arrived just after lunch, so had to hotfoot it around a bit. It is super educational and appeals to all ages especially as it has been in the Transformer films, so the kids really could relate to it. We took a bus ride to the launch pads, a little tip here - sit on the right hand side of the bus, that's where you will have the best view. It's mind blowing how they build these space ships and rockets, move them onto the launch pads with huge caterpillar type movers and launch them into space 🚀. There is a rocket garden and you can stand within a few feet of the space shuttle Atlantis. It was a fantastic!
We drove for another hour that evening making our way to Daytona Beach. I had been looking at the different RV parks in the guide we were given by El Monte and found Daytona Speedway RV park. As we drove past The Daytona International Speedway circuit, we could hear the cars going around the track. What we then learnt was that there was currently a 24 hour race in progress so we would hear this all night long 🏎 as the RV park was within walking distance from the circuit. The next day we went over to see if we could take a tour of the race track. We had also read that you could be taken out onto the track in a Nascar. If this is something you want to do, I suggest booking it in advance. As there had been a race on the previous night, we could only do a trolley tour, however, it was superb. The entire speedway is colossal. There's a museum with some great cars and a small movie theatre showing a few short films on Daytona Speedway and last year's race.
A wonderful few days spent learning how to RV whilst still seeing some amazing places. Until next time .....