Mostly Florida - Winter 2015 travel blog

When tourists come to our beloved Chicago, the first thing they often have to battle after they've survived what has been known as the world's busiest airport, is our tollways. Although there are some freeways, nearly everywhere you want to go involves paying a toll. In addition to being a drain on the pocket, they used to cause a huge clog as car after car waited in line to deposit 35ยข in the machine. Fees have doubled since then, but the lines have lessened greatly since we have been bribed to purchase I-PASS machines. After they are linked to our credit cards, we can zoom through the I-PASS lanes paying what we think is half the price the poor schleps from out of town waiting in line to pay cash are charged. We could go online and check what the charges are, but there are some things you'd just as soon not know.

We liked our I-PASS transponder much more the year we drove to Maine and found we could use it on every tollway between us and them - IN, OH, PN, NY, MA and NH all wanted to charge us for the pleasure of passing through their state, but they honored our I-PASS and we could avoid thinking about what it cost to drive all those axles plus a tow car down their tollways.

Florida has lots of tollways, too. We remember stopping what seemed like every ten minutes to shovel a small fortune into the grasping hands of the collector. If you don't want to pay cash and want to pay less, Florida drivers use the SUNPASS. We checked around and learned that the I-PASS just won't do. So we purchased a SUNPASS sticker that is glued to the motor home windshield, created an online account and drove through the Orlando area where many of the tollways are located without stopping. Supposedly the machines could detect our axles and the jeep towed behind us and charge us appropriately. If the troopers show up and pound on our door we'll know that we made a bad assumption, but it made today's drive a breeze. We'll be in Florida for two months, so the SUNPASS surely will come in handy once again.

We'll be camped in Ft. Pierce for two weeks in what appears to be a traditional Florida campground - nicely kept but a bit old, with too many trees which made aiming the satellite dish far more challenging than it needed to be. The temperature is ideal, but a steady drizzle have prevented us from looking around. We'll say good by to 20014 hunkered down in our new home and explore tomorrow.

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