When we first landed in the Florida Keys, things looked pretty grim when it came to finding a camping spot for our little family. But after a ‘word of mouth’ tip from another campground, we were led to Lazy Lakes on Sugarloaf Key. The lady had told us that her camp was all booked and the spots were running about $60 to $70 a night; way too much for our thrifty budget. “However”, she divulged ” there is another campground running a summer special for $20 bucks a night.” We were sold!
Finding our way down to Lazy Lakes a little while and a few dozen miles later, we had gotten there just in time for the very last spot…right on a fresh-water lake…in the middle of the mangrove swamps…surrounded by Key Deer habitat. Who could ask for more than a cheap spot on the water, with nature all around us? To us, we felt blessed; like our landing at LL was no accident at all, but rather our pre-destined calling.
Even though it was rather late in the day when we arrived at LL and set about constructing a full camp rig, we’d already seemed to attract passersby from all around us. I guess it’s not everyday that an old VW Campervan, complete with a drive away tent and two-and-a-half Hippies at heart, pulls into the place. But…I could be wrong. Nah! We were just too Kewl, with our vintage Volkswagen Westy rig. As always, it was the ice-breaking topic of conversation to most-everyone who passed. A small handful of folks only stared a lot. One thing we’ve come to discover: People either love our old van or they…don’t.
But the one significant person who stopped to comment on our rig was someone we would soon call a life-long friend. Come to find out, T.J. was occupying a full-time rental a few doors down from us and had secured his spot there at LL for a 6 month stay. One could only be so lucky. I thought to myself when he told us. And even though he had only intended to stop and chat with us about our set up for, I’m guessing, just a short while, we all ended up talking about anything…everything, way into the night or early morning.
With interruptions in conversation only when we excused ourselves for a potty break, to refresh our refreshments, or to get Baby to sleep, a bond of friendship was formed that night out by our little camper van. Lazy Lakes had been waiting for us to arrive all along, we simply had to follow our hearts and keep our faith that we were doing the right thing for us. It had been a very good first night on Sugarloaf Key.