When birds of a feather flock together, it can be fun, no matter the weather and our 2023 Spring Rally was no exception. The Florida flock had traveled hundreds of miles (from the Florida Keys or the Florida Panhandle) and were convening together for three days filled with collaboration, education, and inspiration. Almost 80 people and nearly 50 rigs had registered and reserved campsites at the Madison RV and Golf Resort.
During the event, we also had our most significant number of solo LTV travelers (six women and one man). Heck, we even had one of our newest Flamingle members, Lori Rabey leave Alberta, Canada, and roll down to Mexico before she recrossed the border and took a sharp right turn east to Florida to hang out with us for the long weekend (she also won farthest traveled award).
Madison is a quaint little town in the rolling hills of northwest Florida and is only 50 miles east of Tallahassee. Our surroundings were a picturesque, slow-down, back-home countryside. The Madison RV and Golf Resort was well-laid out, with ample space between rigs, and the staff was warm, friendly, and hospitable. Our LTV golfers could also squeeze in a few holes on the course or compete in a lively afternoon putting competition.
The incredible volunteer Flamingles Hospitality Committee ensured food was abundant during the four-catered meals. Those meals included morning coffee and snacks, a luncheon, and evening dinners of a Hawaiian pig roast luau, a chicken and brisket BBQ, and an excellent Italian buffet. The Flamingles not only mingled, but they ate very well too.
What has people flocking to our rallies is the abundance of great food, fun camaraderie, and the convening of like-minded folks who are anxious to learn during our incredible program sessions. This Rally was no exception; here is an overview of our two daytime program sessions:
Now We Are Cooking–A Facilitated Flamingle Panel Discussion. During this session, favorite appliances and dream galley upgrades were talked about. LTV owners also shared about their favorite plug-in countertop appliances and stovetop cookware. Then we moved to talk about outdoor cooking items, including grills, griddles, and other open-fire ironware. Finally, when talking about cooking appliances, we have to talk about food. That topic included favorite travel day meals, whether cooked in your LTV or pre-cooked at home and frozen.
The next session was Customizing My LTV Interior: Form, Function, Style, and Design. This included information about storage and clever tips and tricks to maximize the large amount of storage in your LTV. We also touched on the personalization and customization of the soft side of your LTV and even interior décor design in under 80 square feet.
Rally attendees also had a chance to listen to an interview with LTV Enthusiast Forum Solo Traveler Lori Rabey, who shared her vast travel experiences traversing three countries (U.S., Canada, and Mexico, nearly covering 40,000 ‘solo’ miles in her 2021 Unity Murphy Bed in a little over two years.
Up next in our activities was “My Personalized LTV Tours” in the RV park area. Some call this LTV Open Spaces; call it what you will. This is your opportunity to show off the personalized modifications of your rig and is a great way to get ideas for interior décor, see other owner upgrades or visit the various layouts of all the LTV models.
We also enjoyed a swap meet where those at the Rally could bring camping items they no longer need or use during their LTV travels. Those items included tools, electrical devices, appliances, books, inverters, etc.
Of course, we had a club business meeting to discuss the President’s report and anything related to the future of the Flamingles club, including mini and micro rallies. We also enjoyed an open discussion which is always a highlight. This is a time for everyone to participate in a group discussion on anything that may be of interest to our fellow LTV owners. This is also where some like to share their best practices, favorite RV parks or travel routes, ask mechanical questions, or share about some other modifications they may have done.
Rally attendees could also enjoy an open afternoon to hang out at the resort pool, play golf, or a game of pickleball. Some enjoyed a cold drink, some relaxed, and some even took a nap.
We also partnered with Genzeny’s RV World (Platinum Sponsor) and CTM Customs (Gold Sponsor); they are great friends who assisted us by providing financial and program support for the event.
Yes, it was a jam-packed, fun-filled, flamingle-style, flockin’-rockin’ Rally. Plans are already well underway for our Fall Rally that will take place on the west coast of Florida the first weekend of November. Block off your calendar and stay tuned for details once they become available; we hope you can join the Fall Flamingles flock festivities!
Written by: Gary Oster