After a long drive last October I was stepping up into our RV, The Toaster, when I felt something slap against my naked butt. It was a small, whitish glob. A frog.
The frog clung to me for a moment, then leaped onto the doorway like he was ready to party. I caught him and let him go outside in the humid night.
“Not tonight buddy,” I told him. “As much as I’m into inter-species partying, I’m tired. And besides, what will the neighbors say?”
Let’s see: I’m naked, it’s humid and there’s frog on my ass who wants to party. We must be in Florida.
Anchoring at Riverboat.
Our 2018 nomadic journey started almost five months earlier in Arizona. All summer we meandered northeast, up to Maine, and then down the east coast. We were exploring and killing time because ultimately we wanted to winter over in Florida, just like good little snowbirds.
We had reservations at two nudist resorts: Eden RV Park in Hudson, and Sunnier Palms Nudist Park in Fort Pierce. But we were ahead of schedule so we first stopped at Riverboat Nudist Club, home of the partying frog.
Riverboat is a small property with a pond that includes two moored boats and a little alligator. It appeared that someone was living in one of the boats.
The buildings and landscaping look like individual projects inspired by some long-forgotten idea. The owner, Hyker, was busy with his latest project transforming the club into a museum called the Land of Id, including a new building with its own unique design.
The place was quiet with only handful of people staying there. We had expected Riverboat to be a thriving community of our tribe: naturists and artists. That’s what they advertise on their sign. It wasn’t but that was OK because we used the time to chill naked after all those weeks on the road, and reconnect with people and places from our last visit in 2015.
First we headed over to nearby Caliente Club to meet up with Jack Gipson and Kathy Randolph from the NUSA Sun magazine.
Reconnecting at Caliente Resort.
In stark contrast to Riverboat, Caliente is all about the resort experience, with a spa, restaurants, a nightclub, a gorgeous pool area and upscale homes and condos. They also have a few RV sites sprinkled among a neighborhood of park model homes. Two of our good friends from Arizona were soon going to be coming in to park their RV there. Caliente is like no other U.S. nudist resort we’ve visited.
When you enter the towering main lobby, you’re bags are searched by guards. They don’t want you sneaking in food or drink. A few weeks after this visit, they also installed a metal detector. Because they don’t want you sneaking in any metal.
I was wondering if they would eventually install a derelict detector to stop people like me. Just kidding. Everyone was very friendly.
We had lunch with Jack and Kathy then went down to the giant lagoon-like pool and walked around in circles with drinks in hand. That’s what you do in Caliente’s giant pool. Actually, that’s pretty much what nudists do in any pool.
Going back to Paradise Lakes.
Back in 2015, we spent many hours in the pool with Jack and Kathy — and drinks — at Paradise Lakes Resort. Out of those hours, besides a few hangovers and a big bar bill, came the idea for the Nomadic Nudists column. It was hard to believe how fast time had passed.
A few days later we drove the five miles to Paradise Lakes in Lutz for their Wednesday evening Karaoke. The first time we came here, we drove right by it in spite of the fact that there’s a huge wall that says “Paradise Lakes Clothing Optional Resort” facing the road. We had to find a place in the busy Lutz area to turn our RV around.
This time we drove right to it. Which is good because we had spent a month here previously and my only excuse for missing it this time would be dementia-related.
Paradise Lakes is a cluster of condos, homes and a mobile home/RV park orbiting the main resort. The resort has a couple of pools surrounded by motel rooms, a dance club, a restaurant and a tiki bar. You have to check in before you can get to any of those and, like Caliente, you can’t bring in any food or drink.
After checking in we went straight to the pool, stopping to get a refreshing adult beverage at their poolside bar, Key West.
“I’ll just start a tab,” I told the bartender.
“We don’t do tabs, and besides we’re closing in a half hour,” she replied. It was 4:30 p.m.
When we were here in 2015, Key West stayed open later — it’s where they held karaoke — and, to the detriment of our retirement plan, we always had a tab going. We liked that because we could behave like proper nudists, meaning we could stand around for hours in the pool with drinks in hand.
We thought this new policy was odd and unfortunate, but oh well. At least we wouldn’t spend as much money as we did last time. In fact, we’d spend a lot less because the bar in Club Reveal where karaoke was held, wouldn’t run tabs or take cash either. I didn’t want to pull out my credit card (from wherever I hide it while naked … I’m not telling you) every time we ordered a drink, so we stuck to water after that.
But karaoke was fun, run by KJ Hunt, the same guy who ran it in 2015. When we went up to sing Man of Constant Sorrow, he announced that the Nomadic Nudists are here. People cheered and filled the dance floor. Of course, that was after we stopped singing.
Anyway, we did get a little ego boost when people recognized us from the column.
Ready to move on.
We stayed three weeks at Riverboat, making more trips to Caliente and Paradise Lakes, plus eating breakfast at Lake Como Nudist Resort.
Halloween was during our last week. We love Halloween at nudist resorts; Some of the best costumes we’ve ever seen were worn by nudists. But Hyker told me they couldn’t compete with the parties at Caliente and Paradise Lakes, so they weren’t doing anything for the holiday.
Caliente’s party was too pricey for us, so Halloween night we stayed in the Toaster and got ready to relocate to Eden. We had enjoyed these past weeks getting back into the Florida nudist vibe, but were glad to slow down on the partying and settle in for the winter at Eden.
At one point that evening, I swear I heard a knock on the door and wondered if we had trick-or-treaters. But then I remembered the frog. “Shh,” I said. “If we’re quiet maybe he’ll go away.”