The Tampa Bay Run-Down

After some logistical mishaps (are we ever really without them?) and a planned stop to do some car and RV service, we found ourself spending a few days in the big city running errands in the Tampa area only to be followed by an idyllic extended week closer to the St. Petersburg area in an unforgettable campground.

  • We stayed: EG Simmons Campground (a random, unplanned, really pleasant surprise) and Fort DeSoto Campground (five stars!)
  • We explored: Although lots to explore in the area, we stayed close – staying at Fort DeSoto Park for most everything – beaches on the bay, beaches on the Gulf, a fishing pier, running and biking throughout the park, and a lovely ferry to Egmont Key State Park.
  • We fished (and cast netted): the pier, the beach, and the mangrovey inlets all around our waterfront campground.
  • Our relished more nature: We continued falling in love with bird watching; osprey, egrets, and herons being in great abundance. We caught and named more lizards than I can even count. Bess ran an infirmary for all those hurt or wounded in the process. We saw dolphins dart about teasing us and our continued lack of fishing luck. We saw gopher tortoises on Egmont Key. And we found close to 100 sand dollars not to mention other urchins, starfish, fighting whelks, and countless other shells. We love Seek by iNaturalist to capture and confirm our nature identification.
  • We ate: Wicked Oak BBQ (might I recommend the Cuban!), Pizza Box, Casita Taqueria
  • We drank: I visited the most wonderful store for libations, Jug and Bottle. I got some great recommendations for local beers which always seems to make them taste amazing. I love a reliable recommendation. These include: Green Bench (Postcard Pils), King State (their IPA), Hidden Springs Aleworks (ZFG Pale Ale), and Coppertail Brewing (Free Dive IPA)
  • We read: Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen (hilarious Florida-based mystery with not-so-subtle political undertones perfect for this otherwise heavy political atmosphere), alongside Townes reading (and loving) Carl Hiaasen’s Chomp; we also read Amanda Gorman’s poem The Hill We Climb over and over after inauguration.

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