It's January, the Christmas season is finished for another year. The family has headed back to their busy routines. Snow is piling up and the thermometer is frequently dropping into the single digits.
For us retired folks this is a time of reflection and maybe a little melancholy feeling creeps in. For many, however, it is a time of preparation and anticipation for the flight of the snowbirds.
Time to clear the snow off the RV and head to warmer climates. Time for a respite from the cold and the dark drery skies of the north. Maybe rekindle relationships of friends waiting under warmer skies. Time to join the snowbird migration.
Which is the real "Snow bird"?
Both are snow birds………… Snowbirds the grounded type……….. usually retired folks from Canada and the northern states head south sometime in the fall, winter, or early spring. This migratory species seems to have an affliction for cold weather and especially snow, hence the name.
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Thousands flock south….
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Snowbirds chose many destinations from Florida to California, the warm belt of the southern states. Some leave their northern homes in the fall and don't return until the spring, while others head south for a few months after Christmas to enjoy a break from winter .
RV lifestyle is perfect for a "snowbird"
Some Rving Snowbirds travel clear across the south from one coast to the other, enjoying near perfect weather along the way. Stopping where they please to relax and enjoy. One stretch of highway we have found tedious is from Texas to Tucson, Arizona. Not much but barren desert with the odd barren mountain….. Sorry N.M.
Circle the wagons…
Southern Florida, Texas, Arizona and California are probably the most attractive to the snowbirds, the coastal areas can be cold in the middle of winter and east can be humid with some rain while the southwest desert is drier with less humidity.
While the south has a vast area to explore most retirees prefer to gravitate to the same area or even the same RV resort for the entire winter. Lynda and I have stayed in a few of these parks, they are similar in most respect, although the larger the resort the more amenities to enjoy. Some are the size of small towns with more than a 2000 RV spots.
Snowbirds do not consider themselves on vacation they are simply living in a different location, with regular routines living life in a different place.
The day usually starts with some sort of exercise, whether it be in the pool, gym, group sessions in the entertainment hall, walking or riding their bicycles through the park, or playing some strange game on a court.
Spending all Winter doing…….
These RV Resorts resemble retirement communities catering a mature crowd and often with age restrictions, although most resorts allow younger visitors for a week or two.
These resorts are overflowing with things to do, everything one could imagine. Most have similar amenities; swimming pools, courts for boccie, pickle ball, tennis, horseshoes, shuffle board etc.
Some resorts have a golf course on the property, if not there is always one nearby. On the odd cool day, you may move indoors, billiards, dancing classes and yoga or more hobbies and games than one can imagine, including woodworking & carving.
The larger parks have activity directors that arrange for a bus tour to local attractions such as casinos and group shopping.There are also arranged ocean & river cruises, motor cycle tours, hiking excursions, 4 wheel drive desert tours, and more.
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Many Snowbirds enjoy golf and with perfect weather every day there is plenty of opportunities. Check out this website for free RV camping for golfers and RVers. click here to find out more.
Snowbirds do slow down in the afternoon with gatherings at many random locations in an RV resort or maybe by a campfire in the desert.
Happy hour or happy evening. This most popular activity can carry on long after dark, as long as dark is not too late because snowbirds need to have dinner, relax for a while and get to bed so we can start all over again tomorrow.
Let there be Music
Many of these wonderful little villages have restaurants, a convenience store and of course a bar, usually outside. One can spend a warm winter evening enjoying the sounds of the 'over the hill gang" singing and playing the oldies.
By the way, most of the activities are free, or a small membership fee. Many of the larger resorts have indoor theaters where live performances or movie presentations happen often through the winter months. Most cost a few dollars but some are free.
One year in Oct., the start of the southern migration, Lynda and I traveled south earlier than usual. The day after we arrived at our favorite RV resort, in Surprise, Arizona, yes there is a town called Surprise, was the annual Oktoberfest welcome back celebration.
We spent the afternoon at the pool relaxing and enjoying the winter Arizona sun, a nice break after the 3-day drive from the north.The resort seemed deserted so we were not concerned about finding a seat for the celebration.
At 3 pm we wandered into the entertainment hall wet bathing suits and all……… wow….. the place was packed, 600 plus people. We guessed that most of them arrived that day for the free brats and beer. Just mention free and the snowbirds will flock.
In our travels, we've met many new friends, other retired couples enjoying the RV retirement life style.
Someone's gotta do it.
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