Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Florida..... take one.

Ok, so why do we KEEP going back to Florida??? Well, for starters there is a beach and we love beaches; nothing says vacation/relaxation better than a beach.

We decided to go to Florida in 2000 with the kids for the first time. Greg's mom worked with a friend of ours who had parents who owned a condo on Flagler Beach and they rented it out to us for a very reasonable price. We loaded up the van and drove straight through to sunny Florida.

The kids had never been to a beach in Florida and it was so fun riding the waves with them. Nick was dumped off his raft by one of the waves on his first trip out to the ocean so he was a little timid for a while until he got used to the surf. The waves our first year at Flagler were REALLY rough. We lost our sunglasses a few times (as well as bathing suits) on a few waves, but it was a lot of fun.

We found a lot of fun things to do as a family near our condo on the beach. For starters we found a really neat place to eat called Crabby Joe's on Daytona Beach. The restaurant had a pier where you could eat out over the ocean, smell the salty air, feel an incredible breeze and enjoy great food.

Our beach, outside our condo, was very private so on days where we felt like seeing people we would drive down the beach to Daytona and hang out there for the day. We could drive on the beach with the van door open and the kids thought that was pretty cool. We also found the Pirate Cove miniature golf course which Nick absolutely loved.

We also visited the one of the oldest cities in the United States, St. Augustine. We visited their alligator farm and learned a lot about alligators and crocodiles. It was a fun afternoon.

I would have to say the most memorable experience on our first trip to Florida would have to be what we call "crab night". On the Atlantic side of Florida we had crabs who dug little holes in the sand and lived in them. They would run in and out of their home to eat all sorts of sand bugs from the sand as well as the ocean. They were very entertaining and we had fun watching and catching them all day long at the beach.

Well, one evening we decided to take a walk on the beach at night. It is always so peaceful to hear the waves crashing and feel the gentle breeze on your face while walking the beach at night.

We all grabbed our flashlights and headed out for a wonderful evening walk on the beach. As the sun set and it started to get dark we turned on our flashlights. We then noticed these little crabs, which we played with all day long, coming out of their little holes and they would run down to the water to eat. Greg would shine his flashlight on a crab and follow it with the light as we watched it run around and then disappear into the water. We also noticed that if the crab came anywhere near the kids feet they would scream and yell and run away. Greg caught on to this rather quickly and had a blast..... he would pretend he was following a crab and would chase the kids all around the beach with his flashlight. The kids of course thought a crab was chasing them the whole time so they continued to scream and run. Our home video resembles the Blare Witch Project....

While on this trip we also visited Ron Jon's surf shop.... we wanted to buy a sticker for our van. We drove 2 stinkin hours to find a Ron Jon's shop. We bought a sticker... put it on the van and then later sold the van and now we don't have the sticker anymore.... go figure. It was a nice drive however and we did visit Coco Beach while we were there so it made the trip worth it.

Soon to come.... Florida take 2

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