Well, our vacation is over. But what a vacation it was. Thanks to my in-laws for a great Christmas gift, many wonderful memories were made. We did so much and were able to see so many interesting things. The weather was perfect (only 1 day of rain off and on). The temperatures were in the 70's and 80's. It was hard to leave the wonderful weather and drive back to where the snow is still on the ground. But I must say that I would definitely miss the four seasons that we see here in Michigan. I don't think that I would like living down there. The traffic was terrible along the east coast, it is warm/hot all year around, and everything gets a good coat of salt all over it if you live on the coast. So, it's nice to be back home.
One of my favorite things that we did in Florida was visiting the Oceanographic Museum in Stewart, Florida. The boys and I are studying Marine mammals this year for science and we got to see some of these little (and a few big) creatures first hand. As you can see from some of the pictures, it was a great hands-on place. The volunteer workers were great about answering my questions and they were very knowledgeable. I think we could have stayed there for hours and hours. We also learned a lot just by walking up and down the beach outside our condo. We say man-o-wars up on the beach (blue, balloon like creatures with tentacles), dead crabs, a dead sand flea, a sand dollar, pelicans, sea gulls, and little sea birds. Marta (sister-in-law) saw 2 dolphins jump up out of the water together, and Sandy (mother-in-law) saw manatees in the Indian River (about a mile walk from the condo). I couldn't believe how much wildlife we saw. It was great.
Robby's favorite thing he did on vacation was going swimming in the pool on the beach. Sandy and Dave rented a condo (where we stayed also) for 1 month on the beach on Jensen Beach which was right on the ocean. They had a big pool for the kids to swim in and yet a beach to walk on. Grandpa spent an afternoon teaching the boys some swimming strokes. Drew is now swimming on his own in the deep end and Robby is doing quite well himself. Thank goodness they are starting to lose their fear of water. They are becoming confident swimmers. Robby also said his second favorite thing was picking up shells on the beach. And boy did he pick up lots of shells, crab claws, and all kinds of other treasures. I am still trying to get the fishy, salt water smell out of our house. I was just as bad as the kids about picking up shells and treasures on the beach. Jason was complaining that he spent more money on gas coming home because of all the shells we had in the back. We were loaded down with an extra 50 pounds (exaggerated) because of sea shells.
Drew's favorite things about Florida were: swimming in the swimming pool and Disney's Animal Kingdom. Like I have said before, Drew did very well swimming with Grandpa. He loved the pool. They played in the ocean, but the waves were too strong to go swimming in. I was glad that they didn't want to go swimming in the ocean. I was so afraid they would be swept out to sea. Drew also loved Animal Kingdom. His favorite thing at Animal Kingdom was the Safari ride through the wild lands. We got to see all kinds of wild animals from the jeep. They have quite a neat set-up of the African safari (with rickety, swaying bridges, weedy landscapes, and washed out roads). We did so much walking at Disney and they were all troopers. I couldn't believe how well the boys did. I sure was tired every night so I know that they were exhausted.
Hannah's favorite things about Florida were: seeing Cinderella's castle and walking along the beach at the condo. She never got a chance to walk under/through Cinderella's castle, but it was cool to see it for real. She (just like the boys) loved to walk along the beach and pick up shells. Although, on our 1st day there, she went running into the ocean to get a sand toy that was picked up by a wave and was knocked down by another wave and cut her knee open on some coral/rock that were near the shore. She had a nice cut on knee. It bruised and swelled up for a couple of days. Uncle Jeff called her "Lady Limps Alot" for the rest of the trip. Because of her soar knee, maybe that's why she didn't name the Tigers baseball game against the New York Mets as one of her favorite things to do (or maybe because Magglio Ordonez wasn't playing that day). It was hard for her to get up and down the steps at the stadium.
Another thing we did was go see Kennedy Space Center. The space shuttle Discovery had just landed the day before in Florida. It was its last mission to space, so I thought that maybe they would have some big fanfare about it, but not at all. I guess that they are so used to rockets blasting off and shuttles being launched and landing there that they don't think too much of it. I thought it was a big deal. We did get to see the building holding the shuttle doors open while we were there. The next shuttle, Endeavour, was going to be pulled out and taken to the launch pad the next day. The Endeavour will blast off on April 19th. You can be sure we will be watching that. While on the log ride at the Magic Kingdom, Drew, Jason and Hannah got to see a rocket go up in space from Kennedy Space Center. They happened to be going up a hill looking to the east and saw the rocket and smoke go up into space. We also say a huge eagle's nest and the eagle perched on a telephone post nearby the nest at Kennedy Space Center. That was awesome! Drew has been wanting to see an eagle for years, his wish came true. We drove right by it, so we got a good, but quick look.
All in all, we had a great time. No problems on the drive down or up (we drove straight through - bad idea, don't ever do it. Drew was the only one that actually slept somewhat throughout the night). God is an amazing Creator. There was so many beautiful thing to see on this trip. That all didn't just happen by chance. God, You are truly amazing.
4 years ago