Honeymoon Island State Park

Current Location: Lazydays Campground, Seffler (Tampa), Florida

This morning we got up a bit late and took our time for breakfast. We broke out the yummy cinnamon rolls we bought at Ikea and warmed a couple of those up. Malcolm scrolled around the map on his iPad while he sipped his coffee and looked around for something interesting to do.

Val noted that the Heartland RV company’s Facebook page shared a link to our blog, which was rather exciting. The brand manager for the Big Country line mentioned that he had read all of our blog, so I imagine he was partially responsible for posting it. At any rate, if you are here reading this via the mention on Facebook – Hi! Today has well outstripped our previous site view record, as seen by the following chart.

Lots of visitors.

Lots of visitors.

We ended up driving across town to the coast and over to Honeymoon Island State Park. On the way there, we stopped at a Michael’s store so Val could pick up some yarn for a project. We found a really cool yard sign with a blank 8″ x 12″ area on it, meant for magnetic signs. We bought a roll of magnetic sheet material with sticky back on it and loaded it all in the truck. From there, we drove across the lot to a pizza place and had lunch. Great food.

We drove on to the state park. It was named for the fact that back in the 1930’s, an enterprising gentleman bought the island and put a bunch of thatched roof huts on it and had a contest in which several newlyweds could win a couple weeks honeymoon on the island – thus, Honeymoon Island.

We drove to the furthest point where there are some nature trails. The trail name was Osprey Trail, and it was aptly named. There are lots of osprey that call the island home. We saw many of them flying around, calling to each other, and others just perched on the tops of dead trees.

Osprey in flight

Osprey in flight

Osprey debating on what to have for lunch.

Osprey debating on what to have for lunch.

Random picture of Val, just because.

Random picture of Val, just because.

While we were walking out the trail, a hiker coming the other way told us to be sure and get some pictures of a horned owl that was nesting in a tree. He said there was a photographer there taking pictures. A few minutes later, we found both the owl nest and the photographer. Malcolm’s lens wasn’t quite the best for the distance we were from the nest, but he was able to crop the picture down to a reasonable magnification.

Great Horned Owl in nest.

Great Horned Owl in nest.

We wandered around to the Gulf side of the island and the first beach we found was very rocky.

Rocky beach.

Rocky beach.

We did have a friend follow us for a bit.

Our new gull friend.

Our new gull friend.

And some other water birds catching their lunch.

Waiting for lunch.

Waiting for lunch.

We tried to take the ferry out to Caladesi Island, but it was 3:30 and the next ferry left at 4:00, but the last one back from the island leaves at 4:30, meaning we would just be taking a boat ride (and an expensive one at that) and not have any time out on the island. So we decided to just head on back to the campground. On the way, we stopped at a Staples to pick up a couple items we wanted for our new sign and headed on back to the trailer. We also stopped by a Publix store and bought discount tickets for tomorrow’s planned visit to Busch Gardens.

Busch Gardens tickets.

Busch Gardens tickets.

Dinner was leftovers. Afterwards, we put together our new yard sign. I think it came out pretty nice. The white part is paper, covered on both sides with clear contact paper, then stuck onto the magnetic sheet material then stuck to the metal sign.

Our new yard sign.

Our new yard sign.

After we finished the sign, Val was in the mood for something sweet, so we walked to the diner at the campground and Malcolm had apple pie with ice cream and Val had a slice of Key Lime pie with a glass of wine. While we were in the main building, we noted that the wi-fi was really working well, so Malcolm popped back over to the trailer, grabbed his laptop and the GPS from the truck and updated it with a new map (the original one was 18 months old, as the GPS was often reminding us when we’d plan a route).

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