Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Madeira Beach - a Deja vu

America - the land of contradictions. So many layers I feel it sometimes is impossible to say what is America, and what is an American?

And so it was time for us to leave New York and all our friends behind. A feeling of mixed emotions, sadness and excitement. The knowledge that we had barely scratched the surface and yet that urge to go explore something completely new. A passion we have shared together since that very first trip to the states, to seek and find the real America. So we said our goodbyes to Mikael with that strange feeling, that even if we are seing each other back in Sweden, we will never be able to re-create what we shared anywhere but here.

A rooftop brunch in Brooklyn seemed a fitting end to the N.Y-adventure. A couple of blueberry sangrias and a perfectly executed Eggs Benedicte later, we soon enough were flying into a setting sun against the Manhattan skyline. We arrived in Tampa, Florida, close to midnight and we had just about time to pick up our rental and take off. We picked the closest motel, a La Quinta Inn since we were knackered and just wanted to get some sleep. Before bed we ventured cross the street to a night open IHOP. An old time favorite that I should stay clear off since I'm trying to quit carbs, but hey it's vacation.
So as the subtitle hints you about, we were in for a deja vu. Two of them as a matter of fact. Last year we met this great couple in Key West on a sunset cruise, Rob & Maureen. We spent one night chatting away in a bar and immediately hit it off like we'd known each others for year. They live in Tampa so we made plans to meet up with them before we had to go north. When looking at places to meet up we suddenly realized we were right by the coast and the same beach we stayed on last year, Madeira Beach. We gave Rob and Maureen a call and they were game for meeting up for dinner by the beach. Last summer we found a great little motel sitting right at the beach front so we crossed our fingers and drove out there. Much to our luck we found that the Surfs Inn Motel was vacant.

The Surfs Inn is a fantastic spot. The beach is beautiful and right outside your door. You wake up and you get right into the ocean. The inn itself is a rather rundown place and the staff have their ups and downs as far as service goes. That's not why you stay there though. Its strength is the people who stay there. People that have walked the walk of life and always have a story they are willing to share. At night by the pool they gather, they drink and they talk. Since it's on the west coast you can watch the sun set into the ocean and then talk the night away before the sunrise chases away the last diehards, for a few hours of rest. Last year we met awesome friends there and I was hoping by some chance they might also be there still. Never gone. Before dinner we walked down to John's pass, a gathering of surf shops, bars and other beach related shops. Crossing one of the bridges we caught a glimpse of our first ever free living dolphins. Super cool! While shopping around for useless knick knacks we got the call that Rob and Maureen was on the way so we hurdled back home.

We met up with them at the hotel and right away we were catching up. We shared some drinks by the pool before getting dinner at nearby Screwi Louie's. A typical beach shack with an outdoor patio and cocktails served in plastic mugs. Right up my alley. It was a great dinner with great conversations. Such a fantastic way for us to learn about the american culture from the people living in it. The night continued pool side as is custom at the Surfs Inn until they eventually had to make the drive back. A warm welcome to the south with good food, good stories and great friends. Hope to see y'all soon,



  1. Härligt att ni har kommit fram till Florida nu.Kul att ni fick chansen att träffa på era vänner sedan tidigare. Detta att man kan prata med vem som helst och få träffa många trevliga personer då man befinner sig på resande fot i USA är något jag gillar mycket. Precis som du säger är bästa sättet att uppleva en stor del av den Amerikanska kulturen genom att snacka med folk man träffar på. Ha det fortsatt bra.

  2. David är ni tillbaka nu antar jag? Vill gärna hör mer om din road trip och få resten av berättelsen.