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Manatees, Dolphins and Frenchy’s

While Snowbirding at MacDill AFB FamCamp this past winter, we were able to revisit a few places we love in the Tampa area. The TECO Manatee Viewing Center was a favorite place from our time workamping in Florida 2 years ago. We knew from past experience that first thing in the morning is the best time to see the most manatees in this location. The warm water expelled into the bay from the Tampa Power Plant draws the manatees in from the cooler waters.

We stopped in to see some of these gentle creatures on our way to Casey Key. They were out in large numbers as expected.

After visiting the manatees we drove south to Casey Key where Aunt Karolyn and Uncle Jim were vacationing. Their little beachside cottage was perfect. We ate lunch with them then spent the afternoon on their beach.

It was a lovely beach day- sunny and not too windy – and many others were out enjoying the sun, sand and sea! Mark got in the water even though it was a little cold. Some fishermen down the beach caught a ray and then released it.

After leaving Casey Key we headed back to Tampa but we made one important stop on the way back…

Taco Bus has THE best fish tacos and we stopped to enjoy a couple before going home.

Another favorite place near Tampa is Clearwater Beach. Clearwater is pretty touristy but the beach there is beautiful and we love to eat at Frenchys when we visit. It was a little drive so we watched the weather forecast to choose the best possible beach day. We headed out early one morning and enjoyed a day of browsing touristy gift shops, sitting on Clearwater beach, people watching and reading.

Frenchys still has delicious grouper sandwiches. Another awesome beach day came to an end and we headed back to MacDill. The traffic in and around Tampa is ugly so this beach day was a one time adventure during our snowbird stay. That’s ok though, because MacDill’s FamCamp beach was a short mile trip from Old Glory.

I don’t even know how many days we visited the MacDill beach but we kept our “beach bag” packed and ready. Most days we took a small cooler with our lunch and snacks. The MacDill library kept us supplied with good beach reads.

I did not count the number of dolphins we viewed at our beach either. There were a lot. It was always fun to watch them swim back and forth playing and putting on a show for us.

Our snowbird adventure was coming to an end. Two months was a long time to be away from the Homestead so we were ready to head back. Next blog post will be about our trip home by way of a couple new FamCamps: James E. Johnson Memorial RV park in Starke, Fl and Eagle Hammock RV Park in Kings Bay, GA.

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