In this winter-season series, we’re asking snowbirds (people from the US and Canada who spend a large portion of winter in warmer locales) what they love about the lifestyle and how KOA fits snugly into it. Bill and Jean Unger tell us why they’ve decided to make Naples-Marco Island KOA their wonderful winter home.
Q: Tell us about yourselves, how long have you been official “snowbirds?”
A: We have been official snowbirds for 8 years now. Prior to that, we travelled on our vacation time from our jobs, first by motorhome and then downsizing to a slide-on pickup camper. We have been to most of the United States, including Alaska, and have visited most of the Canadian Provinces including our favorite — Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. Now, our camper stays home on Cape Cod all winter, while we enjoy our park model trailer at the Naples-Marco Island KOA.
Q: Where do you live during the rest of the year?
A: We live on Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the town of Sandwich Village of Forestdale — so we have the best of both worlds!
Q: What type of RV do you have?
A: We started with a motorhome, switched to a pickup camper — which we use in the summer months for travelling — and have a 40×12 Franklin Park model trailer for the winter season.
Q: How do you start planning your annual journey south?
A: We start in early October putting our gardens and yards “to bed” for the winter. We start using up what we have in the refrigerator and cupboards so we are pretty much empty of food by mid-October and deep clean the kitchen and the rest of the house to leave it nice and clean for returning in the spring. We leave our heat on at 45 degrees, turn off the hot water heater, and drain the outside faucets and the water to our washer. We are fortunate to have family next door to keep an eye on the property for us.
Q: What is your favorite thing about KOA?
A: Favorite thing about the Naples-Marco KOA? That’s a difficult question to answer. We love the people, we love the area and we love the weather. What’s not to like??
Q: Can you tell us about the snowbird lifestyle at KOA?
A: The snowbird lifestyle is anything you want it to be. There are activities to be enjoyed (shuffleboard, water aerobics, Bingo, potluck suppers, dances, opportunities to volunteer) — or if you just want to relax on your patio, that’s okay too. The campground Managers and staff make every effort to provide something for everyone!
Q: When creating your home away from home, what do you like about KOA?
A: Our “home away from home” at the Naples-Marco KOA is truly just that — a real home with friends who have become family to us. We love all of our friends here, and that includes a terrific staff and Managers. We love the activities that are here for us to enjoy however we desire.
Q: What advice do you have for people thinking about heading out on their own snowbird journeys?
A: For those thinking about becoming “snowbirds,” we say do it! We honestly never thought we would like leaving our Cape Cod home for 5 to 6 months of the year, but coming to the Naples-Marco KOA and having such wonderful friends here has changed our minds. We love the life here in the winter season!