Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

We had an unusually quiet Halloween since the kids were not here. It was so strange to not be celebrating and having fun with them. It gave us a taste of what the empty nest will feel like someday.

We headed over to Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground to try and spend some time with our travel buddies before they head out tomorrow but couldn't find parking for the great beast. We are feeling sad over them heading back home because we don't know when our next trip will be with them. They are planning for January, but I'm secretly hoping it's sometime before then. Hoping everyone out there had a great Halloween.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jacksonville FL to Orlando FL

Today we headed over to the Orlando Thousand Trails resort. It is technically in Clermont, Florida. We had a lazy morning so we didn't leave until almost noon. It was a short driving day so we didn't really need to leave early. This is a huge resort and we found a great spot, complete with a shade tree. Austin and Nathan headed down for a game of pickle ball tonight. Nathan was so excited when he got back because he met another family on the road (7ontheroad). I can't wait to meet them also.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

2008 Jacksonville Air Show

Today the guys took the kids and went to the NAS Jax Air Show. Nathan was excited because he normally does the Air and Sea show in Fort Lauderdale for his birthday and they didn't have it this year. The Blue Angels are always a favorite:
Anything that flies and has fire is apparently great too:
But this is what I couldn't wait to see pictures of. Austin informed me upon arriving back to the campground that he found his dream woman. I just had to see what person captured his young heart. Here she is:
I wasn't impressed until I saw this:I get it. What thirteen year old guy wouldn't be in love?

Sadly, I missed all of this because my girl and I got to spend time aimlessly wandering around a bookstore and then did lunch at Panera Bread. I'm not sure how we managed it, because out of three months traveling together we only did lunch one other time when we snuck out of the laundrymat to do it. This time we didn't even have to drag laundry with us so we were super excited. We all had a blast today.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yet another day at the Beach

It rained this morning so the kids and I worked on a project together. My niece, Lauren, is raising money to aid in the preservation of the right whale so we made some colorful notebooks for her to sell.
In between the rain, we played pickleball. We don't have a court here, so we drew one with chalk on the end of the road. No net and not an actual court, but it will do for now. When we thought it had cleared up enough, we headed over to the beach. Austin took his cast net:We were the only ones on the whole beach and the reason was, it was soooooo windy that you could barely stand up in it. The waves were really high. He was stubborn though and insisted on trying. You can see his chair has blown over:Ace didn't seem to mind the wind either. He really loves the beach, wind or not.
Tonight we went out to eat at Whattaburger. We discovered this restaurant when in Port Richie and haven't found another one until here. We really like their burgers and their onion rings.

We've had a few near misses with my family this past week that have been disappointing for me. First, Ambir called and said my sister Sarah was there in South Florida and could we make it down. We were a good eight hours drive away at that point and she was leaving the next day. Then our niece Audri called yesterday and told us she was in Orlando to see the mouse. We were so bummed to be so close, yet not close enough to warrant a drive over there just to see her for a day. I hope she had a great time while here, and hoping next time we get to see her.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another round of Puppy Shots

Today we got out and did running around business almost all day. The two highlights were looking for a new guitar for Austin and taking Ace for his shots. Ace did great, as I suspected he would. He is the calmest and most friendly dog I have ever met. He just takes everything in stride, no matter what we are doing. He has been limping lately and the vet checked that out too. He didn't see anything of major concern, but gave him some pain pills and recommended complete rest for the next two weeks. We will see a vet again after the two weeks to see if is has healed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sand, Sun and Shhhhh....more KK

More beach fun today. Not much to say except the weather was perfect for it.

Ace will never be the same now that he knows about the beach. He LOVES it here.And the kids seem to like it too.
At some point Austin brought me a gift. Gee, thanks....I think.And back at the camp site before we headed out for shopping and dinner.We also headed over to KK tonight. We *had* to go, because they gave me a coupon yesterday and we are leaving on Wednesday. I mean, what else could we do? We waited this time for the HOT donuts. It ended up being a bit of a wait. Sorry to my fellow board members that I showed up late to our board meeting tonight. My secret's out now. You would have done the same, right?

I can't say any more about it because we made a sweet, sticky, sugary glaze stuck to our lips and shirt vow never to reveal what exactly happened here tonight. Let's just say, I hope they do not have hidden cameras there. We'd be really embarrassed if they did.

In my best Homer Simpson voice: "MMMMMMMM.......Doughnuts".

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Krispy Kreme Live

 Today was one of those days that was just funky. You know, those days that you began to wonder if the universe could please just do one thing to indicate that it is not in fact against you? Nothing major, just overslept, tried to play pickle ball but too windy, tried to go to Kingsley Plantation but didn't know we'd have to take a ferry to get there so we bailed on it kinds of things. So my dear friend sees the grumpiness and in an attempt to be kind to us or the kids, offers to take the kids so we can go and "spend some alone time together". Key word being alone. So like all lame parents, we used that time to attend to our to do list and hit Lowe's.

All of that is to lead up to this: While leaving Lowe's, I see a Krispy Kreme donut store. And I see a sign lit up in the window, letting us know that HOT donuts were there. I think I shrieked. I'm not sure though because my brain wasn't fully engaged at that point.

When I lived in Boca, women always asked me if I had one (one being the divine donuts) HOT. You gotta eat them HOT. Once you try them HOT, you'll never go back. I'd roll my eyes and think to myself that surely there couldn't be that much difference between the HOT ones and the cold ones that I bought at the local gas station. "Sheesh, get a life," I'd think. Which is what I like to say to myself when I don't want to admit that someone has one-uppped me in some area.

So fast forward to today, when I could admit to my husband that the real truth in this area is that every time I hit the Krispy Kreme store, I missed them coming off the line HOT. In other words, I had no donut acquisition skills at all. That's ok though, because I got it right today. I begged, he consented and 10 minutes later I was in KK heaven. Oh my. For once, the experience exceeded the hype. I'm in love. Thank you universe for letting me know that you do indeed love me.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

After visiting the MOSH, we went to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

I didn't take tons of pictures because Nathan had his camera too. I'll have to snag some from him and add them.

Jacksonville Museum of Science and History

Today we visited the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History. They had some cool hands on exhibits:
The kids really liked the voting booth since we've been discussing the upcoming election.
Lauren loved the whale display because it was a right whale. She is really into the right whale and is going to raise money to aid in the conservation because they are endangered. She knows tons about them so I'm not sure she learned any new facts, but she seemed to like seeing a life sized model of one.
We saw a science show that had experiments where the kids participated. This one used nitrogen and balloons:
This one used "Sparky", and they had one where we opened a door using an exploding balloon filled with hydrogen.

The real reason we came here today though was because they had a music display with Beatles items. Austin's number one love in life is the Beatles. He seemed to enjoy it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jacksonville Beach

I wasn't necessarily all that excited about being back in Florida, or at least not any more excited than all of the other places we've been recently. However, when we got to the beach I remembered why I love Florida. Beyond the glorious amount of sunshine, the beaches are just fabulous to me. This is how Josh felt about it, and I agree with him:

We had fun doing all kinds of nature studies and other things like:

Eating Sand (the dog-not the girl)
Justice System using sand
Architecture using sand
Meditation using sand

and good ole skimboarding
And for those who are wondering whether the kids have a well rounded education, we also played tag at the playground. Yup, moms included. It's just part of the job. Or at least that's what we tell each other when we are running and squealing. To quote Josh, "it was a good one".

Thursday, October 16, 2008

NC/SC to Jacksonville FL

We made it to Jacksonville today. I could feel the difference in humidity as soon as we hit Georgia and it is in true Florida full force here. Our camping buddies were here about an hour before us and we were so excited to see them again. We are staying at Hanna Park Campground. It is an awesome campground with nicely shaded lots which makes the lots very private. Auburn climbed up one of the Live Oaks as soon as she could. The beach is right here, so I'm guessing we'll spend some time there over the next few days. Tonight we'll do dinner and grocery shopping so I guess it is business first. I can't complain too much though since they have a Super Target here which is my favorite place to do grocery shopping.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

South of the Border

We made it to South Carolina today and stopped at South of the Border for an overnighter. There just aren't words. If Aric had been there, this would have given him years and years of comedic material. I had Auburn take pictures with her phone so I could capture some of the sights that our eyes were trying to make sense of. I'll post them later. The campground was really great, especially for one night. The rest you just have to see yourself to understand.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Last Day at Chesapeake

Today was our last day at Chesapeake before we head down to Florida, and we are feeling sad over leaving. We have so enjoyed getting to know the people that we've been playing pickle ball with and have been touched at how good they have been to Austin. I didn't know if we would make friendships very often while living on the road, but we see clearly now that we can. Tonight we went out to dinner with a whole bunch of them and again, just enjoyed talking with them and getting to know them a bit better. Thank you Faye for emailing some pictures to me. We hope to meet up with you and the others again.
The leaves are just changing colors here, and again, we are sorry to not see them at their peak.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just Enjoying Life

From the time we've been here, the kids have begged me just to stay around and mostly spend time at the campground. That's very rare for Austin especially. I took that as a very good sign that they are loving it here. We have had some great family time and seem to have hit a wonderful, relaxing groove this past few weeks. I'm grateful that we enjoy spending time together so much or it would be really hard to do this. I'm also grateful that we seem to meet the most interesting and kind people everywhere we go in addition to us hanging out together.

A picture Nathan snapped today that pretty much sums up why we love it here:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Williamsburg VA

We spent another day at Williamsburg, where they were doing a re-enactment. Very interesting to talk to the people and listen to their knowledge on the subject.
I especially loved this:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Auburn

Today was Aubi's Sweet Sixteen. She'll have her formal party when we get back to Florida.
And somebody trying to sneak some of her Ruby Tuesday's dinner:

Dragon Run Day and Seafood Festival

The resort had a Dragon Run Day and Seafood Festival today. We had fun.