We helped Jim & Lisa Koca with the Escapees RV Club booth at the Florida RV SuperShow, held Jan. 14-18 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. We had 50A full hookups quite a distance from the exhibit hall, but were able to drive our cars and park pretty close to the building.
Setting up the booth was pretty easy. Apologies for this not-so-perfect picture of Lisa and Jim.
We learned quickly just how hard it is to be on our feet for the long hours (usually 9 am – 6 pm), and were so grateful for the stools to perch on to rest our bad backs between chats with current and potential members, plus the rubber pads loaned to us by Larry & Marilyn Forbes.
There were times when we wished we had a vehicle like this for getting around painlessly.
It’s a huge show, with almost 800 RVs of people attending, and over 1,200 RVs on display. After the very busy first couple of days, we traded off with the Kocas in the booth so we could have some time to look around. Check out this 5th wheel with a slide-out room and loading ramp for a motorcycle. Sorry for the bad view – I took the picture as we passed by on the tram.
Some of the Class B+ vans have gotten pretty nice, but they also carry pretty high $$$$ price tags!
I think this Winnebago must be a retro edition. Who would want that paint scheme?
Several vendors were generous with their free shopping bags.
Roving entertainers abounded.
Look closely at this “tree.”
We even spotted a few people we know, like Ann and Roy Brody!
Several other friends came by the booth for chats and hugs, and many renewed their Escapees membership at the low price of $29.99 (normally $60). We also signed up almost 70 new members at that show price, and had lots of great discussions about the club and RVing in general.
Of course, there were lots of food vendors to keep your energy up.
We even met a butterfly!
Jim & Lisa were super to work with, and it was nice to attend an exhibitor appreciation party the first evening of the show.
We also enjoyed several dinners out together during the week. We tasted Japanese, Italian, Columbian and Southern BBQ cuisines. We all agreed the Italian was the best, hands down. Wish we could have gone back for another meal. If you’re ever in Tampa, be sure to go to La Terrazza Ristorante Italiano in Ybor City. The service was wonderful, food so authentic we thought we were in Italy, and what a great atmosphere. And the prices were reasonable, too.
Now we’re in Abbeville, LA at Betty’s RV Park, a few miles south of Lafayette. We took three days for the trip of about 800 miles, and enjoyed good weather and light traffic. We were on a waiting list for quite a while to be able to come to Betty’s for Mardi Gras and are so happy it worked out this year.
If you’ve been here, you know what a great host Betty Bernard is, and how many superb restaurants and attractions there are to experience. Her Florida Room houses a happy hour gathering every day so people can get to know each other and learn more about the Cajun experience in this part of the world. The room is decorated for the season. Robert Knight enjoyed one particular display more than the rest!
I’ll be writing a lot more about Betty’s RV Park and our experiences here, as we’ll be here until Feb. 21. Stay tuned!