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Cedar Key, St. Petersburg
Lunch was at Tony's Clam Chowder in the town of Cedar Key. It was so good we bought a 51 oz can of it that will feed 12. We will save it for a busy day on the boat and when we can get 51 more ounces of heavy cream to mix with the chowder. The campsite was a few miles from town and a vast improvement from the decrepit place we stayed in on our March 2011 trip. Cedar Key RV Park has paved full service sites and caters to short term RVers. Permanent residents are not allowed. It would be great place for a rally but you can only book multiple sites from April to October. There is one fire pit that serves the entire park. This is a great feature as it avoids the clouds of smoke from multiple fires often found in RV parks.
I set up the GPS thinking we would stop at Tarpon Springs and have lunch. The GPS took us down a beautiful new toll road, FL-589 that takes you to Tampa Airport. The traffic on the old coast road, FL-19 is very heavy. We got off at the Port Ritchie exit which should have been close to Tarpon Springs. However, the toll road is so far inland at the point we couldn't find Tarpon Springs. When we found a place to stop and get our bearings we would have to go 20 miles out of our way and decided to skip lunch at our favorite Greek Restaurant.
Our boating friends, Ellie & Bart, formerly from Nashville have lived for 5 years on a 49 ft Defever trawler at several other area marinas but are now at the Pasadena Golf and Yacht Club. It is so nice it changed my feelings about Florida living. It has also changed our friends' feelings as they purchased a condo there and put the Defever up for sale. We had an excellent dinner at the club.
This morning we left early and drove a short distance to the 1924 Vinoy Hotel, a St. Petersburg landmark. Vebbie and Roger from Kenlake Marina were staying on their Hatteras LRC at the hotel marina. Marina slip renters get full privileges at the hotel. We had fabulous breakfasts (see photo of Mavis breakfast) and then took Vebbie's guided tour of the hotel. The yellow disks are made in Germany, are solar powered, and the rims are lit up brilliantly. They are very expensive. But can be obtained here. Mavis and I walked around the downtown area and set a new record on my step counter. We took the Skyway Bridge across Tampa Bay and are now at a dumpy RV park in Palmetto as all the good parks are booked solid in February & March.