4. Welcome Emma Yvonne!, fun with Claire & a camper-trip with Jill…2.2018

Day 18
Another good beautiful sunny warm morning starting with coffee & talk of another trip together in April.  Today we were going to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, then north to Madiera Beach & Johns Pass.  The museum was really cool & we both enjoyed the crazy art—some which was really cool, some weird, & some beautiful…the way art should be (neither one of us had ever seen so much penis-art in one place).

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Make your own sentence…of course we did!

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After the museum, we drove over to Madiera Beach & Johns Pass & went in & out of all the little shops.  We had a super yummy lunch at Mad Beach Craft Brewing & a flight of ciders to taste.

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We ended up with a spot on the beach & watched the waves, the boats & read.  It was a wonderful way to spend the late afternoon.  Of course we stayed to watch the sunset…love these Florida Gulf evenings!

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We made it back to camp & I had a beer while Jill hitched up the trailer (yay!  first time!), & put away, loaded up, & unplugged in our preparation to begin heading north & both of us towards home.

Day 19
We had lots of driving to do over the next three days, so we’d mapped out our plan a couple of days ago.  We both wanted to avoid early morning rush hour traffic in Tampa, so by 6am, we’d hit the road.  We drove for 6 hours to St. George Island State Park campground & it was a beautiful park!  

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Jill backed into the site easy & didn’t have to unhook the car, so set up was pretty fast.

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The white dunes were so amazing against the blue water….we took a 3.5 mile walk on the secluded beach & just took it all in!

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We had dinner in the trailer, then built a stubborn fire with the full moon overhead.  We pulled out all the makings for s’mores & enjoyed the roasty sweet melty treat.  The fire pit had these two rod iron ‘things’ sticking out on the ground that kept trying to kill us all night…we both must have tripped over them in the dark about 10 times!  We never did figure out what they were, but we survived all the calamity they caused!

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Day 20
Sitting in the trailer, we enjoyed one of our last mornings of trailer-coffee-conversaton.  The sky was gorgeous as we left the campsite & soon would leave the #nowinter state of Florida…sunny warm days, sandals & shorts, beach walks, & those amazing sunsets.  I could so be a snowbird! (But mostly because, Emma, Claire & Sara live here!)

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Day 21
We crossed into Mississippi & landed at the Davis Bayou Campground in the western entrance of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.  I’ve been to the eastern side before, but not here.  There wasn’t much to do here but camp, & campsites were pretty close together.  Jill easily backed into a skinny but long spot that we’d be staying at tonight.  Once settled in, we had our cider/beer for the afternoon, then got in my 4Runner & drove a few miles out to eat.  We split hot boiled shrimp with a view of the bayou…it was yummy!

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This is the only photo from today…we’d driven more than 6 hours, set up, gone out to eat, then headed back to camp.  We’d had some little bugs bite us last night, & it seemed that they were at this site too.  So, we stayed inside the trailer & just visited.  I’d been fighting a cold since I left Sara’s house.  Two days of a nasty sore throat, then runny nose, a deep cough, but the ickiest part was I lost my voice on Tuesday night.  Conversation is a huge part of our travels together…Jill strained to hear my squeaks over & over.  None of these symptoms slowed me down this past week, but by tonight, I was not feeling very well.  I turned in early to my camper & crashed quickly!  Up in the night walking to the bathroom, the moon was full & stars were out.  The night was cool & super lovely!  I had to get up again (I’d been hydrating like crazy) around 4:30 & took another long look at the beautiful night sky!

Day 22
This morning was like yesterday, up early & out on the road.  Below was my view of Jill’s sweet little trailer as I’d been following her for over a week now.  She was learning this new way of travel quickly!

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We headed to Chicot State Park in Louisianna….our last night on the trip together.  Poetic that this was Jill & Greg’s first campsite on this inaugural trailer trip, that she began 3 weeks ago.  They’d only see it in the dark…both coming & going, so it would sort of be like new to Jill & I’d never been to any of the campgrounds we’d been to since I rarely stay at campgrounds.  I’d chosen a restaurant that served cajun food so we stopped there before getting to the park.  As it turned out, Jill had to eat a bland sweet potato & an dull iceberg salad since it seemed everything had either gluten or dairy in it.  I was excited to order fresh BBQ gulf shrimp, some corn pie & sweet tea.  But this is what I got:

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I immediately saw a 2.5” something like a wire poking up from the center of the brown gravy.  When I pulled it out this icky looking thing came out…the end looked like a shrimp tail, but the antenna or whatever it was, was attached to something in between the shrimp tale.  It was a shrimp head…when I pulled it off, something gooey & red came off.  This is where I flunk as a world traveler that could eat anything.  I managed not to gag & even ate the tail.  But as I dove around with my fork, two more tail-less heads appeared & I knew it was over.  When the waitress came back, I asked her what this was.  It was exactly what I ordered, but I had her take it away (I guess growing up in Kansas City, I expect BBQ to be a little bit different).  I ordered a small cup of red beans & rice, which was good.  We had both had about three meals in the past few days with delicious shrimp…today would not be one of those days.  #shrimpfail for sure! 

Jill aced backing in again & celebrated with another cider!  We jumped in my car & toured the park which said they had a big lake.  The water has been everywhere since we crossed into Louisianna…brown muddy looking water I’m sure filled with all kind of gators & snakes & slimy things.  This lake was no different…brown & filled with moss laden trees.  There’s a canoe trail that goes through the lake but we only saw one lonely canoe out there.

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Jill & I spent the evening visiting while she was getting ready to pack up the trailer for it’s trip home.  She went out to the hitch & finished getting ready for an early morning departure.

Day 23
We were on the road early but made our final stop together at the Texas Welcome Center.  It had been such a wonderful trip during our time together.  I’m so happy that her dream of owning this sweet little travel trailer has come true!  And, happy that I got to be part of it’s inaugural adventure.  We have another trip coming up in April, so not too long before we’re on the road together again.

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 Map quest, which sometimes sends me on ‘unwanted adventures’ (I swear I can hear her snickering as I blindly follow her directions.)  I must have followed every tiny two lane highway going a little west, then a little north, then a little west, then a little north, over & over.  Crazy!  I eventually landed in Tulsa & made my way to the Prairie Artisan Brewpub for lunch & a beer & a little break!

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Now back on the road, the final push to end the trip, I couldn’t wait to get back.  I made it back about 8:30pm very happy to see Danny & my sweet little kitties (although one would stay mad at me for several hours!)

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