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IMG_9726We decided to stay in Florida a bit longer since it was still very cold everywhere else. We headed to the east coast staying where it was relatively warm then made our way up to the Jacksonville beach area to see our friends that recently moved there.

First stop was Vero Beach. Not my favorite campground, so we spent a lot of time away from camp! We had a great experience at an authentic Cuban restaurant, Las Palmas. The kids decided to try Cuban sandwiches and loved them! The plantain chips were delicious and who doesn’t love a mid-day margarita?!

2015-02-21 13.28.21The biggest highlight for us was a visit to the Navy Seal Museum. It was very moving, extremely interesting, and a fantastic experience. Yay Yay did a scavenger hunt through the museum that really helped him to focus and learn a lot. Dooder was fascinated by a movie on the rigorous training of the Seals. Cake mostly liked the physical stuff – trying to do pull ups and trying out the outdoor skills equipment. Across the parking lot there was a beach where the little kids ran into the ocean and promptly fell over and were covered in sand! I highly recommend the Navy Seal Museum to anyone visiting the area.

Two other cool places were the McLarty Treasure Museum and the McKee Botanical Gardens. McLarty Treasure Museum is a quaint seaside museum filled with treasure from a Spanish fleet that sank in 1715. To this day, people continue to find treasure from these ships on the beach!

At McKee Botanical Gardens, amongst the beautiful plants and flowers, they had enormous Lego creations – insects, flowers, animals. The kids were given adventure backpacks to borrow for their visit, filled with things to assist in their exploration – binoculars, notebooks, magnifying glasses, etc. And there were fairy houses! It was a lovely, relaxing place to enjoy a walk.

We moved on to Titusville to a much nicer RV park, but one clearly not geared towards kids. That didn’t stop us from enjoying it. We made good use of our bicycles, swam in the pools, and visited their on-site nature center. We, of course, visited Kennedy Space Center which you can read about here. We also visited the Astronaut Hall of Fame that had some really cool interactive exhibits, a movie on the planets that is projected onto a large rotating globe that appears to float in the middle of the room-so cool!, and lots of actual artifacts from various missions on display. The coolest thing was waking up our oldest at 11pm to go outside the bus and watch a rocket launch. It wasn’t a big one and it was a bit overcast, but still totally amazing! We saw a streak of red moving through the sky, but more remarkable was feeling and hearing the rumble from the rocket thirty miles away. What an incredible experience!!

It was finally warm enough to head north to the Jacksonville beach area!!! We were excited to see our friends that had moved from up north in the fall. We all agreed, it was a great winter to not be in New York! We stayed at Kathryn Abbey Hannah Park. This place is beautiful!! Large, wooded, fairly private spots; great biking; gorgeous beach!! Despite the fact that there is no on-site laundry, no wifi, a little tight to get the bus through, and it could use some TLC, this was my favorite place to camp. The majority of our time here was spent biking, playing on the beach collecting seashells and jumping in the waves, and hanging out with our friends. We LOVED it here and can not wait to visit again!

Random day pictures: