Wednesday April 29 to May 3, 2015
This was our first Tin Can Tourist rally. It was organized by Tim Heintz of Heintz Design Vintage Trailer Restoration Shop and was held at St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, Florida. This is a beautiful park situated between the lagoon and the Gulf of Mexico.When Jeanne made reservations, site 150 was the only one available. On a previous trip we found that site very small and unlevel and some distance away from where most of our group would be situated. Checking online Jeanne found site 2 had become available and so we reserved it and sold site 150 to a camper from Arizona who registered late for the rally. So we kept site 2 from Wednesday, April 29 to Sunday, May 3. Site 2 was huge and on the water with a beautiful view. Must reserve this again. May be the best in the park. We then moved to site 37 next to Tim and his parents and Leanne and Tommy Thompson. Leanne works for Tim and Tommy is a fireman in the Seaside area. This also was a nice site. Although not directly on the water it was centrally located for future Tin Can Tourist rallies. Cost = $31.22/night.
Jeanne’s Belle-Rose was the absolute hit of the show. Although it’s not original and the Aljo 1957 model is not rare, the restoration done by John Watkins and Dennis Bracegirdle of D. J. Custom Renovations in Basalt, Colorado was terrific. Everyone who visited our site thought the Aljo was the best camper there.Wednesday, April 29 – We arrived one day early to extend our time away.
Thursday, April 30 – Arrival. Official park check in is 3:00 pm. At 5:30 we had a meet and greet with finger food. Also held a crazy sock contest. Jeanne and I both wore Marvel Woman socks and the marvel women and superman aprons given to us by Amy at Christmas. We were one of two winners and got a free year’s membership in Tin Can Tourist. Nice people. Several had been friends for years attending TCT rallies.Friday, May 1 – 11:00 am. Optional Tour of the Heintz Designs Shop. Many drove the 9 miles for a tour to look at a number of vintage campers of all types in various stages of renovation.
5:30 pm. Pot Luck dinner. Jeanne made her world famous taco soup. Most of the entrees were chilies and soups. We used muffin tins as plates so we could sample several dishes at the same time. Afterwards the new bees in the group, “us” and many others, were called on stage at the outdoor amphitheater and taught the Tin Can Tourist song, secret handshake, the hand sign to signal each other, and the password; “Nit Nac.”
Saturday, May 2 – This was open house day from 10 am to 4 pm for anyone to tour our campers. There were flyers and a small paragraph in the local newspaper advertising the event. A lot of people came to the park and we probably had 60 or so show up at our site although we were some distance away from the majority of the group. The unfortunate part was that we didn’t have a chance to visit all of the other campers ourselves. It was a long day and the last two couples showed up at 5:30.
7:00 pm. The Ukulele Orchestra of St. Andrews entertained us. Loads of fun.Sunday, May 3 – This was check out day and most of the campers were leaving. We said our goodbyes. Later we moved to site 37 next to Leanne and Tommy, Tim Heintz and Tim’s parents Russell and Candy. We all took a trip to Shell Island on Russell’s boat and while the girls took a walk to the Gulf side Russell and I fished but didn’t catch anything. That evening we had a campfire and entertainment by a few remaining members of the Ukulele band.
Monday, May 4 and Tuesday, May 5 – We didn’t do much these two days. Ate breakfast with our neighbors and had a throw together dinner of leftovers. Sat around the campfire each night.
Wednesday, May 6 – We checked out around 10 am to Tim’s shop to have a low profile TV antenna and a water heater installed. Tim also fixed a pane of glass in one of the jalousie windows. Unfortunately, the jobs took a while to do so we drove to Defuniak Springs to Tommy and Leanne’s house to pick up some lawn chairs that needed to be rewoven. Lots of traffic and returned about 8:45 pm to find Tim was finished and had stayed late. Felt bad that we held him up. We stayed plugged into the Shop with a key to the bathroom for the night.
Thursday, May 7 – Departed a little after 8 am but did not arrive home until 4:30. Long day including gas stop, break for lunch.
Great vacation. Beautiful weather, although it was hot on Tuesday and Wednesday. We ate at J. Michael’s near the campground and Uncle Ernie’s and the Captain’s Table in old town St. Andrews. Uncle Ernie’s was our favorite because of location and quality of food. This was also Rolling Thunder week (bike week) in Panama City so the place was crowded and many of the bikers stayed at the park which is why we had trouble getting sites reserved in the same area of the campground.
The next TCT get together at St. Andrew’s is scheduled for April 28th to May 1st, 2016. This should be the week before bike week and we are definitely planning to attend.