Friday, December 21, 2018

Time in St. Pete - Dec 2018

The St. Pete area was a good choice because Jon and Kelly and the boys were on vacation there for a few days.  We snagged a campground site at Fort Desoto/Pinellas County Park

The campsite was very level and we had room for all the slides.  The palm tree canopy prevented us from getting satellite TV but we were forewarned.  We were able to pick up a few Over the Air (OTA) channels.
We had a free evening and looked up friends Joe and Cindie and met them for dinner at PJ's Oyster Bar in St. Pete.  It was a nice evening to catch up and enjoy each others company.

The next day we met everyone at the Tampa International Airport.  The terminal was very impressive.  It was big and roomy and had all kinds of places to sit and relax and had plenty of charging stations for everyone's electronics.  I haven't used airports in a while but it was noteworthy.
They arrived on time and took the train from the airplane to the gate.  It was exciting to see them after 4 weeks.  You'd have thought it was years.  Harry was in his happy place, Grandma's arms.

The boys were on their first plane trip and it was fun for them.  They did pretty well.  Brooks was a little upset when we left the terminal to pick up a rental car because he didn't want to leave "Florida."  Mommy explained he thought the airport was Florida...

Things got a lot better when we stopped at Chic-Fil-A for lunch.  The boys were out for the drive to St. Pete and their rental house on Pass A Grill Beach.  It was perfect and everyone adjusted after a couple of nights.

We wasted little time hitting the beach.  It was a little cool but it we walked down to it and played with the boys for a while.
The rental house was in pretty good shape and had everything they needed except food and drink.
Jon and I made a quick trip to the grocery and filled the cupboards.

Jon cooked on the grill and after dinner Pam and made the 15-minute drive back to the Roadrunner.
Our campground location could not have been any more convenient and turned out to be a great choice.

The next day we met up and all drove over to the Great Explorations Children's Museum in Tampa.
It had a kids Publix grocery store,
 and a pizza place they could make cloth pizza's which were not nearly as messy as the real thing.
Another favorite for Brooks was this big netted climbing contraption.  He went all the way to the top and returned.
After the museum we went to a local pizza place for lunch and it was delicious.  We made it back to the beach house in time for naps

Another day we went to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  It is a run by a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of some animals.  We got to see some dolphins that were made famous in the Dolphin Tale movies.
An attendant explained what was going on with five resident pelicans living there.
It was a real joy to spend time with the grandkids again and to see Kelly and Jon.

While at their beach house one afternoon, I went for a walk along the beautiful Pass A Grill Beach to the famous Don CeSar Hotel.  What an iconic relic of the past!  I told Pam it reminded me of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki.  Sure enough -- it was modeled after it.

In 1928 when it opened it was known as Florida's "Pink Palace."  It struggled during the Depression Years.  During World War II it served as a hospital for soldiers, sailors and airmen struggling from the effects of war (Sounds like PTSD, but back then it was politely called something else.)
After the war, it regained some prominence with famous people staying their including baseball greats Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig.  Joe Dimaggio honeymooned there with new wife Marilyn Monroe.  FDR and F. Scott Fitzgerald were also guests. 
I walked about a mile along the beach to the hotel, walked through it and took some pictures.  I love this kind of history.
Our stay with the kids was great.  It did our hearts good to see Brooks and Harrison again and we reminded ourselves that we'll see them again in a couple months. 

Before we left the area, we were able to connect with good RV friends Marj and George.  We had seen then in Virginia Beach in the summer, but we always jump at the chance to see them when we can.
We went out to lunch at Billy's Stone Crabs and went back to our place for a little while.
We left for the Keys the next day and loved our time with everyone in St. Pete.

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles today!


  1. Looks like fun time with family. Wishing you guys a Merry Christmas in Key West.

    I am taking a break from blogging, but will still follow you guys.

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