Family Fun and Free near Clearwater Beach

The April issue of Jack & Niki’s Suncoast Snowbird Visitors’ Guide is now live on the ‘Net.

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In this issue we suggest ten local nature parks to visit. All are within a ten mile radius both in and surrounding Clearwater and all offer something special for visitors.

All are FREE to visit. Most have picnic areas, children’s play areas and trails to visit Nature’s flora and fauna. They are also a great source to find “Art Rocks”.

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So get out and enjoy Spring and the beautiful paradise that surrounds us.

You can find it here: http://www.tampabaysnowbirder.com/

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What can’t an artist do with a pile of sand?

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Pier 60’s SUGAR SAND FESTIVAL on Clearwater Beach

The best Sand Sculpture Artists from around the World are invited to the Suncoast to spend a week doing their thing in the white sugar sand of Clearwater Beach creating masterpieces for the World to see. I – being part of said World – spent a wonderful morning, this past Friday, perusing their artwork. It’s difficult to believe it’s just sand, water and talent! The following photos are a few of my favorites and you can see more on our Pinterest page at This is Tampa Bay USA!

It’s the Annual Pier 60 SUGAR SAND FESTIVAL
This year’s theme – “FantaSea – a magical journey above and below the sea”
presented by St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Florida.

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More on our Pinterest page at This is Tampa Bay USA!

Things to do in the Tampa Bay, St. Pete and Clearwater Beach Areas

As our friends know – Niki and I like to see, to do and to explore wherever we go. The Tampa Bay Area has been our Winter Snowbird destination for the past several years. While here we continue to explore and have developed our own version of a Visitor’s Guide to this area. If you are planning a trip to the Tampa vicinity then we hope that it might be of some help to you. We’ve a map to some popular tourist destinations, dozens of suggestions for places to visit all around the area, dining reviews (we love to eat out!) including where to dine on a budget (Cheap Eats for Spring Breakers!). We’ve also listed tons of places to shop and many of the Parks in the two County (Hillsborough and Pinellas) area. There are photos, a list of area webcams and much more. Visit Niki and Jack’s Visitor Guide to Tampa Bay728x146welcometotampabay

Blue Skies, Sunny and 88

Clearwater Beach Beautiful yesterday - today - and probably tomorrow
Clearwater Beach Beautiful yesterday - today - and probably tomorrow
Clearwater Beach was Beautiful yesterday – it  is today – and odds are great it will be tomorrow!

Did we mention that today is all sunshine, blue skies and 80 degrees? It’s a beautiful area for any RVing Snowbird to spend the Winter. This is our 7th Winter here and we love it. We are close to Busch Gardens, the FL RV Super Show and State Fair, and the Florida Strawberry Festival is just down the road in Plant City. So much to see and do. -Jack and Niki

Our New RV Journey Begins May 1st

Planning thed best RV route FL to Canada
2014 Snowbird RV Route Florida to New England

We’ve had a great Winter stay near Tampa in the Sunshine State and now it’s time to pack up and head back up North to begin our Summer Season of Workamping in the Adirondack Mountains of Northern NY State.

We have previously outlined on our website (snowbirdrvtrails.com) how we go about preparing a new route and what stops we have planned. This trip there will be stopovers at 10 campgrounds in 7 States (including Myrtle Beach and Mayberry) and we plan for about 22 days to reach our destination. We are retired and have entered the “no rush” mode of travel.

Each trip we try new routes, visit new campgrounds, find great local restaurants, interesting sights, and meet new people. Always looking for the best routes and discovering America along the way. We will post the facts, figures, photos, and findings right as we go. Just click “Follow” to hop aboard and travel with us

Have you ever wondered what Workamping is really like and whether you might enjoy it? We will be posting about it all Summer long with photos of the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly on occasion which really keeps our life interesting.

Stop by and pull up a lawn chair. We’ll have the campfire going and the coffee pot on. Your comments are always invited.

Day Trip to the Show Palace Dinner Theatre

On a recent day trip
SHOW PALACE DINNER THEATRE
16128 U.S. 19, Hudson, FL 34667
727-863-7949

We attended an afternoon dinner show presentation of “La Cage Aux Folles” at the Show Palace in Hudson, Florida. The theater is located less than an hour’s easy drive North of Tampa and Clearwater on Hwy 19.

The Show Palace has table seating for 400 guests. They serve a well-prepared buffet-style meal, with a salad bar, hot buffet with carving station, and a limited dessert table.They also have a cash bar. The wait staff is cheerful, friendly, very attentive, and work primarily for tips.

SHOW PALACE DINNER THEATRE
SHOW PALACE DINNER THEATRE

It was our second visit to the theater and we totally enjoyed both visits. The food is quite good with a nice selection to choose from.

The stage productions are professional with talented performers who really can act, sing, and dance. The costumes are top-notch as well. At the end of the show the entire cast will line up at the exit to thank you for attending, shake your hand and hopefully receive your approval as well.

Show Palace Dinner Theatre Buffet
Show Palace Dinner Theatre Buffet

The Show Palace has matinee performances on select Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Evening performances on select Fridays and Saturdays and brunch shows on Sundays. Phone for information or visit them online.

The doors open approximately 2 hours before showtime and serving begins maybe an hour and a half before the show.

Ticket prices
Dinner and show: Adults $49.50+ tax, Children $24.95+
Show only: Adults $38.45+, Children $19.95+

Upcoming productions include “The Wizard of Oz”, “Forever Plaid”, “Kiss Me Kate”, and “A Christmas Carol”.

 "La Cage Aux Folles" at the Show Palace in Hudson, Florida
“La Cage Aux Folles” at the Show Palace in Hudson, Florida

Now about
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES
March 13th thru April 20th, 2014

The setting is La Cage Aux Folles, the most notorious nightspot in St. Tropez and home to the most extravagant array of performers ever assembled! Open your eyes and prepare to enter a world of rhinestones and glitter, where illusion and reality mix freely.

Based on the famous 1978 French film and 1984 Broadway Best Musical hit, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES is pure entertainment from start to finish, filled with humor, dazzling choreography and warmth.

Things are not always what they seem in this show, and as the show’s lyrics state “just who i
s who and what is what is quite the question” at LA CAGE AUX FOLLES.

A Visit with WINTER – the World’s Most Famous Dolphin

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On a recent weekday we decided to visit “Winter, The World’s Most Famous Dolphin”. (Photos below) It was and is a two-part experience, first with a visit to “Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure” located in downtown Clearwater, Florida. This is all about the movie “Dolphin’s Tale”, with props, sets and background info about the movie and all the scientists went through and accomplished to create a working prosthetic tail for the dolphin. Not an easy task as a dolphin’s skin is very sensitive. The “museum” also has a large gift shop with everything “Winter”, a small snack shop, and even a “hurricane room” where a visitor can experience some of the wind effects of a hurricane.

Then we made the trip to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium located a short distance away in Clearwater Beach. The choice of transportation (included) was by “Jolly Trolley” or water taxi.

At the Aquarium we watched Winter with her handlers and other shows featuring dolphins, sea turtles, otters and other fish.

It proved to be a fun and interesting day that was also highlighted by lunch at Palm Pavilion directly on Clearwater Beach (not included).

“Winter’s Story
In December 2006, the CMA team was unknowingly about to encounter the most amazing animal – one that would catapult their mission of marine life rescue, rehabilitation and release into the public eye around the world. Winter is likely the most famous dolphin in the world. You may have seen her featured on the NBC Today Show, CNN, BBC, or hundreds of newspapers around the world.

Dolphin Tale (the movie) is produced by Warner Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment and was released nationwide on September 23, 2011. Winter plays herself in Dolphin Tale, together with Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick, Jr., Kris Kristofferson and Nathan Gamble.”Image

Transportation to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater Beach

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Visit our website at http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/