Marking Time at Markham Park and a Long Awaited Visit

Bordering the Everglades, in the city of Sunrise sits Markham County Park, a sprawling oasis where we were fortunate to stay on our trek south.  This was to be our restocking stop before heading to the Keys and we hoped it would be a location where walking and biking trails could be found. Much to our surprise and delight, it far exceeded our expectations, even though at registration we learned the annual Boy Scout Camporee, where thousands of Scouts converge, was to be that weekend at Markham.  Other than a few fireworks on their last night, we heard not a peep from any of them.

Besides camping, this 600+ acre park has something for almost everyone, to include the following:

  • Barkham at Markham (3.5 acre dog park)
  • Radio-controlled airfield (50 acres for model airplanes)
  • Personal watercraft lake (26 acres)
  • Mountain-bike trails (11 miles)
  • Disc golf course
  • Shooting range
  • New River Canal – used by fishermen, boaters and jet-skiers
  • Biking, walking and nature trails throughout the park and along the canal bordering the Everglades
  • Tennis and racquetball courts
  • Swimming pool
  • Fox Observatory (open Saturday nights)

If all of this isn’t enough, you can get your retail fix by visiting Sawgrass Mills, the largest outlet mall in the United Sates, boasting 350+ stores.  I dared to venture into this retail maze to pick up a few items during our stay in Sunrise. Shopper beware – keep directory map close at hand to navigate through and back out to the parking lot or you could be lost for days.  And if you can’t find what you are looking for here, I don’t believe it exists or you are just way too picky!

So, we got our walking and biking fix, a quiet campground to chill in, and some retail therapy to boot.   But the very best part of our stay in Sunrise, hands-down, was finally meeting up with MonaLiza and Steve of The Lowe’s RV Adventures.   After having decided that no restaurants in the area jumped out at either of us, MonaLiza extended an invitation to dine at their lovely home and I whipped up a little dark chocolate treat as  our contribution to their yummy meal.

To say I have looked forward to meeting them is an understatement and with a short window of opportunity to get together, I had my fingers crossed that nothing would prevent our paths from crossing.   Meeting them was everything I knew it would be and more.

Joy is the word that best describes this petite island girl.  MonaLiza exudes it, whether she is speaking of family, their past travels, plans for the future, or even eating.   And although Steve’s personality may be tempered somewhat from that of MonaLiza, we felt that here was someone we could visit with for hours, very warm and engaging.  We can’t thank them enough for taking the time to get together and for writing such a wonderful blog that has been like a virtual tour guide for us as we winter in Florida.  Given the roads we RVers travel, we feel certain there will be other visits with the Lowe’s in our future. 🙂

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48 thoughts on “Marking Time at Markham Park and a Long Awaited Visit

  • The County Park sounds like a wonderful place to spend several days. I don’t think I have ever heard of a park having a shooting range. And mountain-bike trails in Florida sounds like an oxymoron. How cool.

    I would lose Paul in that mall. I am sure he would take his book, find a bench and tell me to go enjoy the day….lol

    MonaLiza does sound like a gal after my own heart. I love the blog she writes. I am not sure I have ever seen a photo of her without a huge smile on her face. So glad it all worked out.

  • Thanks for the great tip on Markham County Park, LuAnn — good thing the Boy Scouts were well behaved! You captured that gorgeous afternoon light in the Everglades so beautifully.

  • You are having such a great time traveling Florida! Thank you so much for sharing, LuAnne! I haven’t visited Florida since 2007. Beautiful photos of you and your friend.

    • As much as we are enjoying the warm weather here, we are missing the west. Wish we were spending time with the two of you and hope to meet up with you both again. We will have to keep in touch and make that happen. 🙂

      • Yes, seems like a great time to be in Florida. We just got a foot of snow and March is expected to remain cold since we have so much snow on the ground. Lucky for me, I’m going to CUBA on Monday! I am so excited. I am doing a Cultural Exchange trip with Insight Cuba and there will be 20 new friends who I have never met on the trip. I am surely going to get a lot of photos and stories to share! 🙂 I am so thankful my hubbie supports my wanderlust and desire to see the world! 🙂

      • I am thrilled to hear you are going to Cuba. We had signed up for a trip to Cuba when we were living in Mexico but it was cancelled due to lack of interest. We were so bummed! I will be looking forward to your posts. 🙂

  • How lovely to be able to meet up with MonaLiza and Steve! I’m sure you had lots in common to chat about. Love the Barkham dog park sign. 🙂 Yes, Sawgrass Mills is a place you could get lost in for days. Haven’t been there for a while, but I’m sure that next time we’re in Florida, we’ll spend a day there. Love your “late afternoon across the Everglades” pic. So beautiful.

    • Thanks so much Sylvia! Sawgrass Mills was amazing. MonaLiza and Steve were such a pleasure to meet. We hope we can get together with them again and perhaps do some hiking.

  • Oh how sweet of you LuAnn. Thank you so much for the kind words. And that is so true, we waited for over a year for this meet up and was not disappointed a bit! It was great to meet you and Terry and we wished the night was longer so we can talk more. But I know someday there will be more visits. And if I have done my homework properly we could have ended up in the same park 🙂

    And yes I did go to the Sawgrass Mill and boy was it huge. I got lost getting back to the car and have to stopped twice to check at the map inside the mall. That was my exercise for the day so was glad I was lost for a while.
    -MonaLiza

    • We loved finally getting to meet the two of you and really hope we can spend more time together in the future.

      Sawgrass Mills was so amazing. I got everything I needed and then some. 😉

  • What a fantastic park! It certainly does have everything anyone could want. I love that there is a huge outlet mall. Hope you bought lots of neat things you couldn’t live without:)

    So glad you had the opportunity to meet Steve and MonaLiza. We had a wonderful afternoon with the them and Sue and Dave. We aren’t sure when our paths will cross again so we were thrilled that we could get in one more get together.

  • That does sound like a wonderful park to visit. Is it only for RVs? Any tent sites there, other than where the Boy Scouts were? I’m glad you were able to meet up with some more bloggers. How fun! Hope you were able to get some much needed rest, while you were there. Anxious to hear about your adventures in the Keys. I, too, am anxious for you to come back west.

    • There is tent camping available as well Joan. I think you would like this park, so much to do. For us the ability to take long walk and ride bikes was a definite plus and we bordered the Everglades, which was pretty cool. We do miss the wide-open spaces and mountains back west. 🙂

  • You’re words describe MonaLiza and Steve perfectly. What a lovely and interesting couple they are. We had such a nice visit in Venice yesterday, it makes me sad that we won’t be able to have a face to face for who knows how long, but it makes me happy that we’ve made good friends and will be able to stay in touch. This life is good.

    • I was so disappointed that we didn’t get to meet the two of you but know that we RVers travel many of the same roads so I am hopeful our paths will still cross. 🙂

  • ‘Lazy canal’, and ‘late afternoon over the Everglades’ are both gorgeous captures. How wonderful that Markham park exceeded your expectations, and that you got to meet fellow bloggers! A 350 store mall sounds exhausting though 🙂

  • I really want my own mobile meth lab adventures now! It sounds great especially a place that has everything you could wish for…I have a very active imagination and would love to put it to the test!

    • One day I plan to meet you and share a few adventures. I am thinking you must have another trip to the states planned for the future. We will be back out to the southwestern part of the country the end of this year and will most likely start heading north from there as the weather warms. Any plans to be back in the Northwest?

      • There are plans in the works for me to come back over, I will be coming over at the latest in October, perhaps before if at all possible. You can’t really keep me away form the US these days, I should have my own parking space or something.

      • You definitely should have your own parking space. I would have someone starting working on that for you! On another subject, I got the email you sent and will be sending back a reply soon but suffice to say, I am very intrigued by what I am reading, rough draft and all. 🙂

  • Terry and LuAnn, Les and I have been following your posts with interest as we will be in Naples, Everglades and Key West starting at the end of this week. Then we will attend the NHS gathering in Clearwater. I assume you will be moving on, but if not, we will be at the Doubletree March 4-6. My cell is 937-477-6308 if you want to give us travel tips or take a walk. Dianne Fisher Niemi

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Hi Dianne! Unfortunately we are heading around to the eastern side of Florida after we leave the Keys later this week, making a stop first in the Everglades in Flamingo.

      We would be happy to give you some travel tips. I am a bit behind on posting but I will be doing a few posts on the Keys, then again on the Everglades when we get there.

      Terry will give you a call tomorrow and hopefully give you and Les some useful travel tips. 🙂

  • It sounds like you found a great spot LuAnn. My experience in south FL this time of year is that finding good camping spots is like searching for the proverbial hen’s teeth. Pretty cool meeting a blogging buddy. ~ James

  • Mona Liza smile is a masterpiece. 😆 it’s great that you get to see in person. 😀 It’s such a cool, neat thing to see RVers get together and see each other. You two have been my blog friends RVers for quite a while so it’s extra cooler to see you two meet. If you get to meet me next time, I demand any homemade food! 😀

    • It was fabulous to meet MonaLiza and Steve. We have been following them for some time and I have wanted to meet them so much. They were everything I knew they would be and more. I hope we do meet again and I would be honored to cook for you. 🙂

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