Day 2: Tampa, the beach, the hunt

Friday morning we actually packed up and left fairly early.

No, that's not right at all. We were worried that we would have to pack up and leave, because online it said all spots were booked for the night. However, in a miraculous turn of events (meaning that I was right and not Brandon), when we asked, they said there were some spots available! In fact, the one right next to our first night was free. So we literally dragged the tent about 100 ft and began again. Someone saw us in-the-act and sang out circus music. We know we look like circus clowns most of the time; thanks for pointing it out, dude.

Here is what camping in Florida looks like:

And here's what little boys do while their campsite is getting re-set up:

A note here. I don't know what I was expecting, but so far every state park campsite in Florida looks exactly the same. We have been to three, and I guess I was expecting this one to be a little more "gulf-y." Go figure. (Go figure what "gulf-y" means too, I haven't a clue.)

Anyway, there are palm trees, and swamp vines, and bathrooms.

B actually had a meeting at USF Friday morning (believe it, he walked right out of camping and into a professional meeting...I'm telling you, the boy is like Clark Kent. Also, I may have been lying a bit about the "not been showering" part of my first post. that was only about the blog author, you see) so after we got resettled, we took across the St. Pete/Tampa freeway again.

45 minutes later, we dropped B off and headed to the mall. And let me tell you, it was awesome explaining ourselves. "We've just been camping, yes. And now my husband's at a meeting over on campus, yes. No we are not permanently camping, I promise." etc.

Z's favorite part of the mall was a store called "BOYZ 2 MEN BARBERSHOP." Picture a dozen luxury barber chairs full of homeboys ready to get the latest design scripted into their almost shaved heads, while their honeys waited in even more luxurious couches in the center of the store. LIKE NOTHING WE'VE EVER SEEN. The rest of the time we were in the mall, whenever we'd pass a woman with magenta hair, Zane would point right at her and say, "That girl's lucky! She must have just gotten her hair done at that PLACE!" (He must have not noticed that it was the MEN gettin' the -dos.) Sigh. People rule #552, don't point at people with magenta hair.

After B's meeting, we snuck BACK down to Fort Desoto for some BEACH time.

Let's face it, it was still cold (low low 60's) and windy (LARAMIE windy). But the kids didn't seem to mind, so we stayed as long as we could. Zane chased seagulls ("There goes more EAGLES! I'LL BE BACK!" he would shout, and Annie would echo "more eagles mom!") and Annie built sandcastles and I read and froze and Brandon snacked and snored. And played frisbee.

At one point Z came running back with a feather: "Is THIS GOOD ENOUGH, PLEASE?!"

Just to show you how I love you dear readers, I'm including this next shot of myself. Oh, that hair. So embarrassing.

Here's a shot of the beautiful Sunshine Skyway Bridge. B had come down a few years ago and looked at some retro-fits that his research had worked on (I needed his help on that sentence). I couldn't believe how ginormous it was:

I'm not going to take you through the next couple hours of our life that day. Just know that we need a GPS. Remember we need a GPS? We still need a GPS.

Okay I'll tell you. Basically, we asked someone at the gas station to send us in the direction of a Target store (we needed a new queen air mattress, remember) and he sent us on an hour long circle of the entire city, of which we traveled 270 degrees (of the 360 degree city circle) before actually finding the crazy store. Using our trusty map, we found the remaining 90 degrees that would take us home (once you've circled the entire city, the map is all the sudden familiar), and wouldn't you know it, 5 minutes from that beginning gas station, we saw a Walmart. DUDE.

So, we got "home" just in time to grab some quick Subway sandwiches and truck it to another beach for sunset. I actually left my camera in the car on purpose that night. Be proud of me.

After that, we headed to our tent and collapsed. More wool socks and a mattress that worked! Beauty night (even amidst the upper-30's low)!

Are you as exhausted as I am? CAMPERS ARE SUPER-HEROES. I can't see how they do it with such ease.

Best part of camping, though? You are sleeping by 8:30pm. Up around 7:30am. FANtastic.


Tina said…
I've never been swampy, beachy camping, you make it look fun.
And I agree about the best part about camping being the early to bed aspect. I really sometimes wish I could do that every night.
Fun and fantastic camping posts! I'll have to look into getting me some Alpaca Wool socks! Sounds heavenly for cold camping nights. I loved all the pictures Michelle, even your beautifully wind-blown curly haired one! thank you for that! :)
Astyn said…
Yes, your site looks just like ours did. Funny isn't it? Nice work leaving the camera behind. Sometimes you have to actually remind yourself to participate instead of just document...why is that?
Looks like a fun time.