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Cypress Cove - A First Time Visitor's View
By Ed Weaverling
Let me start with a little background on my wife, Linda & I. We live near Kansas City, Missouri and have been naturists for less than a year. Until last June, we occasionally practiced nudity but only in the privacy of our own home. Last June, after much web-surfing for info, we decided to visit our first landed facility to experience nudity in the presence of like-minded people. We visited Lake Edun in Topeka, Kansas and immediately fell head-over-heels in love with the naturist lifestyle. We became members of The Lake Edun Foundation 3 weeks later.
This April we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and decided we needed to do something special to commemorate the event. Just going out to dinner as we had on prior anniversaries wouldn't do. I managed to get some time off from work and we hastily started our planning. We considered a Caribbean trip but found it to be too expensive unless you plan well in advance. We had to travel NOW! We decided our destination would be Florida.
I had been to Florida before but this was to be my wife's first trip to the "Sunshine State". We selected Cypress Cove. We wanted to go to a major, world renowned nudist resort. We searched the internet and narrowed our decision to either Paradise Lakes or Cypress Cove. Our assumption might be wrong but Paradise Lakes looked too large & too commercial. Cypress Cove appeared to be large enough to have the amenities we wanted without being so large as to be impersonal. We think we made the right choice. (In addition, this would put us in a good location for visiting the attractions of central Florida (our cover story for those in the family that don't know we are naturists).)
We flew into Orlando on Monday, May 3rd and rented a car. The airport was not nearly as confusing as some of the reports I had read said it would be. Upon arrival, follow the signs and ride the tran to the main terminal. You enter the terminal on level 3 and the signs will direct you to level 2 for baggage claim. Once you get your baggage, signs will direct you to level 1 for the car rental counters. From the time we landed until we were headed out of the parking garage in our rental car was about 30 minutes. Not bad as airports go!
Following the signs for Kissimmee lead us out the south airport gate to the Central Florida Greenway west. The greenway is a toll-road but it only cost us $1.50 to travel to the U.S.17-92 south exit. We traveled south on U.S. 17-92 through Kissimmee to Pleasant Hill Road (about 3 miles south of town). From here we turned south and traveled approximately 8 miles to the Cypress Cove entrance. The AANR website says to look for the 8 foot metal fence surrounding the park. This fence is not visible from the road. The well landscaped vegetation outside the fence hides it from view. However, this is not a problem. Pleasant Hill Road is a 4-lane divided highway and the cove has its own turn lane. Prior to reaching the entrance, the state has placed signs on the side of the road stating "Cypress Cove Entrance 1000 Feet Ahead". The trip from the airport to the cove was less than 30 miles and took about 40 minutes.
We pulled up to the guard house which is manned 24 hours a day. The guard on duty greeted us and directed us to the office for check-in. Check in time is 4pm and we were arriving at noon. We checked in at the office anyway to see if the villa apartment we had reserved was ready yet. It was. We were issued a parking/gate pass and given our key.
The villa apartment exceeded our expectations. We were paying $94 per day, tax included. This cost included the grounds fees for me and my wife. For what you get, this is a great price. The bedroom was sizable with 2 queen size beds, a table with 2 chairs, a large closet, night stand, radio-alarm clock, color tv (with cable) and a dresser. The bathroom was large enough for two people to use it simultaneously without continuously bumping into each other. The living room area contained a hide-a-bed sofa, arm chair, end table, coffee table, telephone, and entertainment center with another color tv (also with cable). To hold down on our vacation expenses we wanted to be able to prepare our own meals. The kitchen was well equipped for this purpose. It had a refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave, toaster, and a coffeemaker. It was stocked with dishes, pots, pans, paper towels, dish towels, dish rack, dish soap, and just about anything else you would possibly need. After a small grocery trip to stock our temporary home, it was time to shed our clothes and explore our new surroundings.
Using the grounds map we received from the office, we walked around locating the various items. Petanque courts (6). Tennis courts (6). Horseshoe pits. Miniten court. Playground. Volleyball courts (2). Swimming beach. Paddleboats. Sunning lawn. "Lakeside Restaurant & Lounge". The Terrace. Clubhouse (with ping-pong, pool tables, & video machines). "Cheeks" bar & grill (drinks, food, darts, & pool). Shuffleboard courts (2). Swimming pool. Hot tub. Bike shop. The American Nudist Research Library. The grounds themselves were beautifully maintained. I'm an early riser and every morning, long before most guests would be out and about, I could see the Cypress Cove staff was already hard at work keeping it that way.
All week the temperature was great. Daytime highs were between 88°-90° F. No rain occurred the first 2 days. The other 5 days, clouds would build up after 5 pm and it would rain around 7 pm for an hour or two and then stop.
We left the park once to visit Universal Studios but spent the rest of our time in the park. We spent most of our time sunning, swimming, & soaking in the hot tub. People gathered for play at the Petanque courts every morning at 9:30. This became part of my daily ritual. Linda played only once and decided she preferred to watch instead of playing. Me, I was hooked! I haven't bought my own equipment yet, but I did come away with all the information needed to built a court and purchase equipment later. A lot of activities went on during the week that we decided not to participate in. Bridge, cribbage, & 8-ball tournaments. Live music on Friday night and a dance on Saturday night.
The last full day we were there was Mother's Day. We started this special day by taking advantage of the Sunday buffet they have every week at the Lakeside Restaurant. That evening, they had a special Mother's day buffet at the restaurant where each mother got a free glass of wine & a carnation with their dinner.
We departed early on Monday morning and were back home by noon that same day. It's cold and rainy here and we miss Florida already. We're definitely planning to return to Florida and Cypress Cove (if not next year then the year after).
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