We woke early, drank coffee and ate Christmas cookies for a while, then decided to make a run over to the beach for our annual Christmas day at the beach.
The weather here in Tampa was pretty warm, but cloudy and muggy. As soon as we got on the road it started to rain. It rained off and on for a while but nothing severe.
We did some tourist things (even though we lived in Tampa 30 years) we now feel like tourists again. We went by the newish Raymond James Stadium, which is home of the Tampa Bay Bucs football team.
We then headed down to Harbour Island and the Tampa Port. The area has really changed in the last few years. It used to be pretty much abandoned but they put in the Aquarium and then went from there. There is now a cruise terminal that is pretty busy.
There were no cruise ships in port today…all gone to the Caribbean for Christmas!
The Tampa skyline.
Next, we headed over to
Fort Desoto Park. It’s on the tip of St Petersburg, Florida. It’s one of the treasures of this area and boasts one of the best beaches in the country. Sugary white sand and beautiful water. The campground is one of the favorites in the area, but very hard to get into.
We were there last year and noticed a LOT of vacant campsites. This surprised us but we thought maybe due to the economy people were choosing to stay home. This year, there were still quite a few vacant sites, but not nearly as many as last year.
Some of the sites are waterfront and very nice. A little small, but we noticed quite a few large motorhomes in them.
There is a very nice boat ramp with a LOT of ramps.
There were a lot of seagulls and I snapped this picture of them lining up on one of the boat ramps.
Beautiful campground. Palm trees and Live Oaks together.
The Sunshine Skyway bridge.
There were 2 guys out in the water with a sail type thing and a board. I guess it was some type of windsurf board. The wind had died down and they weren’t able to get going. We were hoping to see them sailing along on the water.
I was on a mission to see and photograph some white Pelicans. They winter in this area and are very beautiful birds. We walked down a path to the beach and right there in front of us was a flock of white pelicans! What good luck! They were just off the north beach area. That in our opinion is the nicest part of the beach and probably the most overlooked.
The beach was beautiful but cloudy and windy. The surf was up and not a good boating day but beautiful for walking on the beach. There were a lot of Japanese tourists, which is a good thing for the Florida economy.
Al feeding a few Seagulls.
Bike trails at park.
Beautiful fall foliage or Poison Ivy?
I think it is Poison Ivy. Al got some at this park a few years ago and we (Al) learned the hard way that this park is full of it.
After a few hours, we headed back home for some Christmas dinner with the family. It was a beautiful day in Tampa.