Today we checked out of our oceanfront campsite at Fort De Soto County Park and had no where to go. We haven’t had an itinerary while in Florida. We just take it day by day. Looking at maps. Looking at recommendations. Looking at Ava for answers.

So we decided to take advantage of what someone proclaimed as the best beach in the US. Good ol’ North Beach… just a hop, skip and away from the campground.

And you know what a beach day means for us? Yup, a windy day too.

So while Dan did his manly duty of emptying the gray and black tanks, I spent a few extra minutes at the waterfront. Admiring birds, of course. Hello there, Little Blue Heron.
little blue heron.

Hello Great Blue Heron and Mr. Egret.
heron and egret.

Oh oh. It’s a showdown. Better get the heck out of here.

Ava loves going to the beach and playing in the sand. She can seriously sit there all day, moving sand. But she doesn’t like the ocean. “Big waves” she says.
hi ocean!

But you’ll never guess what happened today!

Today she fell in love with the ocean. That’s my girl!! HAHA! 3000 miles from the ocean at home.
loving the water.

Because we all of a sudden had a girl that loved the ocean, the bathing suit came out and we actually had to watch her like a hawk near the water. Dan and I took lots of trips to the water with her… even though she tried to convince us that she was a big girl and could go by herself. Oh boy.
water run.

Ava immediately found a friend at the beach. A little boy from Wisconsin who loved the water and sand castle making as much as she did.
with a new friend.

Before we knew it, it was time to pack up the kids and all of our beach crap. Oh, I guess I should say a little something about the beach. It was pretty nice. Ava did fall in love with the ocean here. But labeling it as the best beach in the US? I wouldn’t go that far.
snack time.

It was so nice to have the Airstream in the parking lot after a long beach day. We had our home with us. And you know what that means? Hot showers, clean clothes, cat snuggles and snacks. A great way to end a day at the beach. Can you say Spare-stream? And parking at North Beach is awesome. Plenty of room for our rig.
north beach parking lot.

It was then time to head out of town before the Friday afternoon traffic hit. And it was NOT something I was looking forward to. Not at all. See that thing in the distance? It is a SCARY ASS bridge. Especially for someone like me who has a phobia of bridges. Dan says crossing it would save us 40 miles. Who cares!?!?!
scariest bridge of all!

I was forewarned about this bridge from a fellow road tripping bridge scaredy cat and she was right. Once we got to the top, it did appear that the bridge just dropped off into the ocean.
scariest bridge of all!

Breathe in. Breath out. Breath in. Bre… get me off of this thing Dan!!!!!
scariest bridge of all!

Since I almost pooped my pants on that bridge, it was my choice for dinner tonight. And my random choice of the night was the Steak and Shake. From the outside, we thought it would be the kind of place that would give us stomach aches for sure. But when we went outside, I think all of our ages added together was near the median age of the guests in this place. In addition to getting a coloring book menu, Ava got this awesome car and stickers too. This is her “I’m finally having fun… leave me alone” look.
don't bother me.

And then the burgers came out… and they were surprisingly good. Dan and I both looked at each other with wide eyes. AWESOME. If we ever pass one of these again, we are totally going in. But hopefully not after a scary bridge again!

Ice cream time! This place is called Steak AND shake. Duh.
steaks and shakes.

Alright. Time for boon-docking night at Wal-mart again. Next stop. Fort Myers.

the end,


James Schipper · March 23, 2010 at 6:28 am

We are spoiled living so close to this beach. It’s one of our favorite places to go around here. There is a lot to do on that island too. The fort is neat. Robert E. Lee was the army officer who did the assessment that there needed to be a fort there before the Civil War (or “War of Northern Aggression” as they call it down here…I’m from Agoura 😉 The ferry ride for a day out at Egmont Key is fun to do too. The first manatee I saw was when I was kayaking back through those mangroves by the campgrounds, and there are a lot of geocaches all over that island.

marlene · March 25, 2010 at 8:51 am

Hi James!

If I only knew that you lived so close I would have asked you over for coffee and hit you up for some tips!

Mali Mish - An Airstream Travel Blog. » Blog Archive » Day 53: Miami Metro Zoo. · March 31, 2010 at 10:25 pm

[…] tthem pacing around got us hungry for some steak of our own. Ever since we ate at Steak ‘N Shake in Bradenton near Tampa, we have been craving to have a second crack at their delicious steakburgers just to […]

Mali Mish - An Airstream Travel Blog. » Blog Archive » Day 78: Little Talbot Island State Park. · May 8, 2010 at 11:28 pm

[…] Parking at a parking lot by the beach is probably one of the best things we do on transit days like this. Unlike a store parking lot, we can open up all the windows and loiter inside the trailer without people looking at us funny. In fact, most of the beachcombers are probably envious of us having all of out facilities right at the beach. Last time we did this was just outside of Tampa at the county park called Fort De Soto County Park. […]

Ava & Mila » Blog Archive » Ava: 193 weeks old… · November 2, 2010 at 9:52 pm

[…] since that one day in Florida, she is in love with running away from […]

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