Friends, Food, Hugs and Tears | Back In St Pete Finally

In this episode we visit the St Petersburg area of Florida and reconnect with old, dear friends. After leaving Myakka River State Park we head over to the St Petersburg KOA not to spend the night but to spend the day with old, dear friends. You may remember the part of our story where we spent the last 6 winters in Florida. Well that home away from our NC home was at the St Pete KOA and the folks from all over the north and Canada who make it their homes during the winter have become more than just friends over the years. Maggie’s God-parents, John and Sharon Rudolph of Ancaster, Ontario call it their home and since the first day when Sharon invited us over for chocolate wine (disgusting actually but that’s another story) we have been like family. Each year we have not only spent the winter together but have made it a point to visit each other’s homes once per year and last year we took a 6-week trip up the east coast to Acadia in our vans. So a day for us to spend with them sharing old and new tales of adventures was just the ticket for us. They were all particularly interested in how our life in out tiny little van was going and pleasantly surprised to find that we are loving each and every day as we explore the different parts of Florida.

There’s something great about being in your second home again. You know where everything is and you know what you like and what you don’t like so you don’t waste time. After a great day with our friends we retired to sleep at our favorite of free places, Cracker Barrel. We awoke to the smells of breakfast and set out to grab some souvenirs for family at John’s Pass. Then it was off to Tarpon Springs to have dinner with two locals who we adore, Burton and Lucille Cobb. My favorite dessert of all time is their specialty cake “Orange Pineapple Cake” and even though we’ve been on a low-carb diet I had to engulfed in this awesome slice of heaven. We wore out our welcome sitting beside the water talking and eventually said goodbye and headed further north up the coast… destination a Walmart. But at the last minute we changed our minds and chose instead to try out Mary’s Fish Camp. It was a quant, pretty cool little fishing campground and lodge right on the river with some pretty cool stuff all around. Our site was tricky to get in after dark, in fact anything other than a small van would have been down right dangerous, but we awoke to the sounds of nature rested and relaxed, knowing we’d made the right choice. Total cost? $30.

We also learned that fish camps in Florida mean something totally different than they do back in NC. You see in NC they have evolved, or devolved, into a seafood restaurant, primarily a deep fried seafood restaurant. But in Florida they still mean the same thing it did when they popped up many years ago… a campground based around a fishing location. Wow! Who knew! See when you get out and travel around and see what’s out here in this great big world you learn things. And, that my friends, is the best part of life in our van!

Area: St Petersburg, Florida

Campground: Mary’s Fish Camp

Lessons Learned: A fish camp in Florida means something totally different than in NC

Fun Fact: Friends made while spending time in a place in your RV or van remain lifetime close friends. There’s a bond that is never broken.

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