Thursday – 03/14/13
We departed the Wright Lake Campground in the Apalachicola National Forest at 8:05 a.m. Our destination is the St. Andrews State Park Campground in Panama City Beach, Florida. We took FL-65 south to US-98 west.
Route US-98 takes the traveler past the Tyndall Air Force Base, home to the awesome F-22 Raptor fighter jet. The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation super maneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles. To see these jets take off, soar through the sky above and land was a wonderful display of the powerful technology these jets possess.
We arrived at St. Andrews State Park at 10:35 a.m. We had made reservations for a two-night stay, one week prior to our arrival. This is a very scenic campground overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. However, as we have seen in our many visits to other Florida State Parks, the campsites are densely populated throughout the campground, offering very little privacy between campsites. We generally avoid these types of campgrounds, but we are meeting with family members who live in Panama City Beach, and this area provides a convenient meeting location.
Checkout time is 1:00 p.m. and our campsite was still occupied. To kill time, we dropped our trailer in the Visitor Center parking lot and drove six miles to a Walmart to get a prescription filled for Sharon. The Walmart was adjacent to a Strip Mall that contained a Five Guys Hamburger retail outlet. It was 12:30 p.m. Time for lunch! This was our first visit. Sharon ordered the cheeseburger and I ordered the bacon cheeseburger with one order of french fries. OMG! The hamburgers were outrageously large, but oh so good. The french fries were very tasty and enough to actually fill two orders of fries at any other hamburger chain.
We returned to St. Andrews State Park at 2:10 p.m. Our campsite was now empty and available for us to occupy. We settled into our campsite and just relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.
We met my son, his wife and our 13-year old grandson for dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Boatyard Restaurant in Panama City Beach, Florida. It had been a few years since we had seen them, so we had a wonderful time reestablishing our relationship. We enjoyed a delightful dinner consisting of french fried shrimp, fish tacos and a shrimp bow-tie pasta dish. During dinner my son informed us we were visiting Panama City during Spring Break for the college students and it would probably be noisy at our campground that night.
After dinner, we invited my son and his family to visit us at our campsite on Friday afternoon.
We returned to our campsite at 9:00 p.m. True to my son’s predictions, several college students had settled into the campground. There were three boys and two girls pitching their tents in the campsite next to ours on one side and four girls had already settled into the campsite on the other side of us. Our campsite was now sandwiched in between two groups of college students on Spring Break. Both groups were respectful of the other campers and kept the noise to a tolerable level. We retired for the evening at 11:00 p.m. hoping to spend a quiet restful evening.
Camping Fee: $28.00 per night.
Total miles traveled: 106
Tomorrow another adventure begins.