My First Stay at a KOA
Posted by Heliocentrism on July 25, 2010
July 1-2, 2010
Camping in the rain?
We started out on our long trip with a stop in Tallahassee so that Mark could see his old high school friend. They kept in contact through e-mail, phone calls, and Skype. But, they hadn’t seen each other in many years. So when they found out that they were both in Florida, they arranged a meeting in Tallahassee.
Mark and I planned on camping at the KOA in Monticello right outside Tallahassee. But when we got there it was raining the end of the world type of rain for which Floridian summers are known.
Camping in the rain is not so bad. All new tents are water proof. The difficult thing is setting up a tent in the rain. First off, the ground on which you build your tent is not dry. It’s cold and wet. Second, while you set up your tent in monsoon type weather, no matter how hard you try to keep things dry, water will get in. Third, all the stuff you take out of your car to put in your tent will get wet.
When we got to the KOA one of the owners of the campground, or as they say it, “Kampground”, asked us if we would rather a “Kabin” instead. It was only 45USD and completely waterproof with no assembly required. We took it.
The “kabin” came with three beds, one a queen sized bed and a set of bunk beds. The beds have no bedding, but we had our sleeping bags and pillows. We just waited for the rain to stop a bit before taking our stuff out the car.
Sightseeing in the Capital of Florida
I have been a resident of the state of Florida for about 5 years and this was my first time in Tallahassee, the state’s capital. When Mark’s friend arrived I suggested seeing the sights of Tallahassee.
There isn’t much to see. We drove around downtown Tallahassee, but because of the rain and the overall lack of interesting things to do, we didn’t get out of the car.
You see, most state capitals are placed in very uninteresting cities. There are some exceptions, like Atlanta, Georgia or Columbus, Ohio which are both the biggest cities in their respective states. But for the most part, the capital city of many states are in the boonies.
What do Americans Know about Sushi!?
Although we weren’t really hungry we decided to get a bite to eat since there was nothing else to do. We looked up restaurants nearby on our GPS and found a Mr. Roboto.
Maybe I would have enjoyed it if I didn’t know what real sushi tasted like. It was ok, but it was all sushi rolls with very little fish in it. The one I ordered had more cream cheese than salmon.
Don’t get me wrong, not all American sushi places are like this. It’s just that many are. If you want better sushi in this country, you’re going to have to pay more for it. Or you can go to a grocery store. A tray of sushi there costs about 10USD and it’s better than the stuff sold at most low-end restaurants.
It’s Not Just about Cars
The next day, all three of us went to The Tallahassee Automobile Museum. It was good. There were tons of cars. But I felt that they could have done more to make my car viewing experience a little better.
First off, there were too many cars in the building. They were all wedged into their little parking spots and we could not walk around to look at the cars from different angles. They had many repeats with the same make, model, and year, but in different colors. I would get rid of the repeats and try to spread the cars out a bit more.
The museum was not as interactive as I thought it should have been. I understand that many of the cars are old and they wouldn’t want people to dirty or break anything in the cars. But, they weren’t all old. They should have put a few cars on display that guests could climb into and take pictures.
It seemed to me that while buying items for display, someone forgot that they were buying things for a car museum. Okay, I can see adding motorcycles. I can see getting a replica of Lincoln‘s hearse. I can kinda see having the hundreds of bikes. But what was up with the pianos and the vampire slaying kits?
I was so confused walking around in the second room upstairs. Was I in some old guy’s garage?
How to get there:
You can enter my country by land, air, or sea. But I think flight would be your transportation method of choice.
I have no clue how to get a visa to the US or who needs one. Just assume that you need one if you are not American or Canadian and check with your local US embassy.
- Use 911 for the police, fire department, or to get an ambulance
- Use 411 for information (This might cost money.)
- Crash Course:
- CGP Grey:
- Mental Floss:
- American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot
- Area 51
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X
- Dandelion Wine
- Girl in Translation
- The Hemingses of Monticello
- The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
- The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
- Notes from a Big Country
- One Summer: America, 1927
- Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails with America’s Hoboes
- Stealing Buddha’s Dinner
- That’s Not In My American History Book
- A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
- The Water Is Wide
- Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland
- It’s a big country. You’re going to need a car.
- 30°28’36.9″N 83°55’16.6″W
by car –
Take exit 225 off I-10 in Florida.
Tallahassee East / Monticello KOA
346 KOA Road
Monticello, FL 32344
- (850) 997-3890
- (20~50 USD)
The cost of the cabins, or as KOA calls them, kabins, tents, and lodges vary from campsite to campsite. But, both options are a lot cheaper than most motels.
Most KOAs close after 20:00. You can only check-in after 20:00 if you have reservations or can do a self check-in.
- This KOA came with a free waffle breakfast, free cookies, and free OJ.
- Most come with free wi-fi, but not all.
- The kabins do not come with sheets.
- Bring your own towels and toiletries. Only toilet paper and hand soap are provided.
The Tallahassee Automobile Museum
- 30°29’10.1″N 84°09’43.2″W
by car –
- Take exit 209A of I-10
- Then take high way 90
6800 Mahan Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32308
- (850) 942-0137
- 1 Adult $16.00 2+ Adults $13.50
- Students $10.75
- Kids 5-8yrs $7.50
- Kids under 5 $0.00
- M – F 8:00 – 17:00,
- Sa 10:00 – 17:00,
- Su 12:00 – 17:00
You are not allowed to touch most of the cars.