HOWEVER, after having spent the last week with them at one in central Florida, I found the entire thing to be such a fascinating sociological study that I simply had to share my observations...
First, I must say that if you've never been to one, and if you have young children, I encourage you to do so. RV parks are wonderful for toddlers - especially toddlers like mine who are unaccustomed to big doses of nature and who have a postage-stamp sized area of grass that is expected to pass for a "yard" back home in Arlington, VA.
And yes, these places are also full of unique and memorable highlights for parents of said toddlers.
Here are some of the hallmarks that I found most noteworthy:
1. Bingo playing every Friday night (I attended my first game, surrounded by some of the most die hard grandmas I've ever seen, surprised that I actually sort of liked it after the first few rounds)
2. Lots, and lots, of yard kitsch (gnomes aren't even the half of it!)
3. Golf carts used as transportational (is that a word?) vehicles*
4. Dogs in strollers
5. Very rare sightings of people under the age of 60
It's funny because, although I spent much of the time musing about how different the environment seemed than the one I am used to, it got me also thinking about how often people's varying versions of "recreation" perplex others. I mean, who's to say one is better, or more interesting, than the other?
Some people choose to go to museum-hopping in the city for a weekend, others choose to set up camp in an RV resort. Hobbies differ from group to group. Some people think tanning booths are the best thing since sliced bread; others think they are horribly tacky. Some read books for fun; others enjoy scrapbooking. Some wouldn't be caught dead watching junky TV shows, while others relish reality TV. (I'm somewhere in the middle, for those of you who are curious.) Some choose to spend their free time shopping in a mall, while others drink up the fresh air at any chance they can get.
There are a lot of hobbies and pastimes out there, but one thing is certain. No matter who we are or what we choose to do, we're all part of a big, colorful, unapologetic mass of Americans having a good time when the workin' time is done. And I wouldn't have it any other way!
[*However, this may not be exclusive to RV parks as my brother, a Florida resident, says that this is a "Florida thing" in general.]