June 3, 2021 –
The bus was loaded with everything we think we’ll need. And of course probably more than we really need. Having the luxury of having our motorhome in an RV port right outside our car garage door helps tremendously during trip preparation. Food, clothing, bicycles, tool and all the necessary accessories we think we need have been transferred to our our rolling home. All the departure checklists were checked and rechecked. We moved in 3-days prior to departure so we can make sure we have what we need and to check for problems.
The locals call this place Mad Beach
Our first stop is Madeira Beach on Florida’s west coast. It is a short 70 miles from Polk City but we thought it would be a nice place to begin our travels. Although close to home we have never camped near the Gulf of Mexico so we decided it was time. The locals call this place Mad Beach. According to Visit Florida, legend holds that a pirate named John LeVique was the first European to “settle” the Madeira Beach area. Today, Madeira Beach, a Gulf of Mexico beach city just west of St. Petersburg, is best known for the sea-themed John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk, which serves up shops and eateries and a 1,100-foot boardwalk along the Intracoastal. Madeira Beach’s 2.5-mile beach attracts devotees of sun and sea, and fishing in the primary sport activity. More grouper is brought into John’s Pass than any other place in the state.
In addition, each October, Madeira Beach hosts the Seafood Festival at John’s Pass, which attracts as many as 130,000 visitors to its celebration of food, music, and arts and crafts.
We departed Polk City at 1:30PM, June 3rd, and had a pleasant 1-1/2 hour drive arriving around 3:00pm. We chose the St. Petersburg / Madeira Beach KOA for our 4-night stay.
This KOA’s website says “Camp minutes from the
Gulf Coast’s sugar white beaches, bordered by the lush mangrove-lined bayou and Pinellas Trail.” This KOA is gigantic and access was easy with plenty of room for our rig, about 60’ total with our toad (slang for a towable vehicle). As with most KOA’s a helper leads us to our site.
Our site is a little narrow for our Tiffin Bus, but Marcy maneuvered it nicely between the beautiful oak trees and we were able to find room to set
We settled in for a little relaxation after which we had a supermarket sushi dinner. We decided to have showers to wash off the grime of setting up the coach and campsite. Now if you have done any RVing at all you are aware that things go can go wrong with the RV. After all if you consider that an RV endures hurricane force winds and earthquakes every time it rambles down the road, it’s held together extremely well. After our showers we noticed a little trickle of water running underneath the wall of the bedroom. We sopped it up with towels and resolved to investigate the situation in the morning.
Day 2 – June 4
Called Tiffin Support and got the skinny on possible fixes for the shower. Ran to the closest hardware store and stocked up on products to do our repair. Added silicone to possible “leak” areas and so far so good!
Marcy made a fantastic tofu and stir fry veggies with a secret sauce recipe that Bella provided for diner! Our first experience cooking with tofu. We will be doing this much more.
Day 3 – June 5
Went on a Dolphin QuestTour with friends and family and spotted lots of dolphins. Weather was great and It was a pleasant boat trip followed by lunch at John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk, a rustic waterfront complex with over 100 shops, restaurants and water recreation businesses. Went back to the coach to rest a bit and visit. We decided that we would go to the Conch Republic Grill and have Joe’s birthday cake after.
Day 4 – June 6
We celebrated Joe’s actual birth this morning and he got to play with some of his new toys!
We got on our bikes and road on the Pinellas Trail which has easy access from this KOA. It is right outside of the entry and you cross it when entering or leaving the campground. Stopped at Ryan’s Meat and Deli for the best ice cream in “these parts.”
Once back at the coach, we packed up for our departure tomorrow. After a doctor’s appointment, we’ll be heading north to Georgia.
Upcoming Trip Schedule
Tue, June 7, 2021
Our stay here is an overnight stop. We have used this KOA in the past as a stopover to north Georgia destinations
Miles from last stop: 301
Tue, June 8, 2021
Bald Ridge Creek
This is a beautiful campground on Lake Sidney Lanier, popular for its aqua-blue waters and spectacular scenery.
Miles from last stop: 229
Tue, June 10, 2021
Statesville / I-77 KOA
Easy I-77 Exit 45 access. Explore the verdant Blue Ridge Mountains that roll off to the west. Take to the waters of nearby Lake Norman for a little boating.
Miles from last stop: 261