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The dictionary definition of reconnoiter is as follows: rec-con-noi-ter --- to make a preliminary inspection of, especially to gather military information. 

Well we are not in the military, but we set out to reconnoiter each new area we move into. It is a term we use all the time. Usually we begin armed with the map that the campground gives us. If, in the rare case, when we don't get one of those maps, I print off a few maps from my Streets98 software program. 

We start out by driving the streets near the campground. While Ron drives I look on both sides of the street for businesses we might need. It is nice when we find a grocery store, Wal-Mart, pharmacy and hospital nearby; sometimes we have to do quite a bit of searching. We also look for a Lutheran church, libraries, barber/beauty shops, post office, and eating places. Sometimes we have other specific places to look for like a Kinkos. 

As we see stores/services we might need, I mark them on the map so we won't forget.  Often we park the car and walk the downtown or shopping area. It is amazing but while walking we even notice more stores that might be helpful. 

When we pulled into the John Prince Campground in Lake Worth, Florida a little over a week ago, we set out on our reconnoiter mission, but it wasn't easy. Here they hide their shops in big shopping areas which are hidden from view as one drives by. Although they put a large sign in front of the shopping area, it is hard to read all 30-40 listed in the time we are driving by. We had to pull into each one and drive the perimeter. I was looking for a beauty shop because it is time for another permanent. Ron needed a haircut too. 

Usually it only takes a day to really know the area, but here and in Savannah, we found it very difficult. In Savannah we started out on the wrong foot because we didn't have a good map. Once we got one we did a little better. 

Did I find a beauty shop? Well, yes and no. I was looking for one that carried Redkin products as that is the kind of perm I have been getting for 13 plus years. I did find one, went in and talked with the hairdressers and decided that that wasn't the kind of shop I wanted. I just didn't want to drive through another shopping center looking further so I have decided to go to a shop that uses a different product. If you see me crying after my perm on Friday, you will know I made a bad decision. 

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