It's Good to Have Friends in Warm Places
As Betsy and I were planning our travels through Florida during the winter of 2017 we had a long list of campgrounds to investigate. We both agreed to plan on spending some time in the Tampa area so we could integrate a visit with our great friends, Jay and Karen. They very graciously offered their quite spacious driveway as a parking spot for Charlie for as long as we wished. We took them up on their offer and actually made their house our initial stop in the Sunshine State.
We rolled into Palm Harbor on January 4th after our overnight stay in Hahira, GA. Jay and Karen met us in front of their house like a welcoming committee and already had their cars cleared from the driveway. After a bit of maneuvering, the Big Tow’er safely stowed Charlie in half of their semi-circular driveway. Ok, it looked a little out of place in this very residential neighborhood, but Charlie had a good neighbor in the yard where their 36 ft. Class A motorhome was resting.
Some of you may be familiar with the term “mooch-docking”, which is defined as parking your RV in the driveway of a friend or family member and plugging into their electric and possibly their water. The “mooch” part accounts for the fact that your stay is in exchange for minimal or NO money! Our staywith Jay and Karen was sort of a hybrid version of “mooch-docking” since we definitely parked in their driveway and plugged into their power, but we stayed in the lovely guest room in the West Wing of their house. As Betsy commented many times, it was sort of like have a big suitcase in the driveway. One night Betsy was even spotted carrying an uncooked pizza into their house to bake in their oven for dinner. Ok, we definitely brought more than a suitcase!
As an added bonus, Charlie even got a bath while we were there. Most campgrounds don’t let you wash your rig during your stay, but the owners of this “mooch-docking” stop even helped with the wash and rinse. In addition to this washing service, they opened the formal gardens in the back of their house for our use and pleasure. Betsy even found a hammock safely tucked in between the bamboo and palm trees. A couple of evenings during our stay, Jay turned into the fire tender and built us a nice fire to sit around and chat. Location is everything when talking about campgrounds, and this location does not disappoint. A less than five minute walk puts you at a sea wall with a spectacular view of the bay. And an even better place to observe one of those great Florida sunsets. You just can’t get these types of amenities at your average campground.
Our stay with Jay and Karen ended up being a day short of two weeks. Hopefully we didn’t overstay our welcome! As always, we had a good time with them and cannot thank them enough for their hospitality! Sorry, I’m not going to share their address and give up our favorite “mooch-docking” spot to date!