Wednesday, April 15, 2009
We had such a great time in Florida the summer of 2000 that when 2001 came around we wanted to go back. We called on the condo we had stayed in the previous year and it was available. We were so excited to go back and see the condo and visit our beach. When we arrived it felt like our home away from home.... it was so familiar with all the warm fuzzies of vacation. The candle was still on the table that Nick had stuck his finger in the year prior ( it was one of those gel candles and he didn't know it would leave a finger mark if he jammed his finger in it). We all laughed when we saw it.
We drove to the grocery to load the condo up with food for the week and planned to go out to dinner for our first evening in Florida. As we were backing out of the parking lot of the grocery, our van made a horrible sound and Greg couldn't get reverse to work. We drove to an auto store to purchase some transmission fluid hoping the new fluid would lube (sorry April.. I know Paul hates that word) up the transmission enough that it would then shift into gear. Nope, no such luck. So, we drove to dinner looking for parking spaces where we wouldn't have to reverse.
This is how Greg felt about the van situation:
Greg looked at the van after returning to the condo that evening and he decided we should have it checked since we had a long drive a head of us later that week.
The next morning we woke up early and drove to have the van checked. We didn't have anyone to follow us to drop off the van since "Hello... on VACATION" so we had to walk around and shop at the little shops in the area while the van was being worked on. Now, this wasn't the best area of town.... it is funny how quickly the neighborhood changes when you start to drive away from the beach. We had the option of shopping at a pawn shop or a cheesy pet store. "Hey kids... lets go look at guns at the pawn shop and when we are done we will walk across the street to this lovely pet store where none of the animals are cared for". The kids were hot and tired and we all just wanted this to be over.
We walked back to garage to find our van needed a new transmission. The guy told us our van may or may not make it home and we for sure wouldn't be able to reverse the whole way. So, our options were to continue to look for parking spots where we wouldn't have to reverse the whole week or drop 1800.00 on a new transmission. Neither sounded good to me, this was not vacation paradise.....this was vacation from you know where. We signed the papers and handed over our credit card for a new transmission. THEN lucky us.... we were given another opportunity to entertain ourselves AGAIN with all the lovely shops in the area for another 4 hours with two hot and cranky children.
Now, had we stopped there, had we said "You know what? Let's be smart and chill at the beach for the rest of the vacation ." then maybe this would have been our last trip to Florida. I mean after all of this who would want to go back to that place???
Well, we didn't say that at all. In fact we did the complete opposite, Greg said "Doggone it, we are on vacation.... and we are going to enjoy ourselves. Get out the Florida travel guide and let's do some fun stuff." So that is exactly what we did!
We went back to St. Augustine, but this time we rented little Mosquito moped bikes and drove all around the city all day long.
We not only drove around St. Augustine.... we DID St. Augustine. We went to wax museums, took train rides, saw water shows, walked through Ripley's Believe it or Not, walked through St. Augustine's fort, and shopped at all the little shops along the brick roads.
We ate at a restaurant that had little flap doors at each window that would open up so you could feed the birds and fish under the pier. We bought ice cream, candy and souvenirs. We had a blast!
On our way out of St. Augustine we stopped an visited the Alligator Farm again (one of Greg's favorite places).
The next morning we drove to Daytona Beach and rented quads to drive around on the beach.
The next day we drove to Orlando, went to Sea World and visited another Ripley's Believe it or Not at midnight before heading back to the condo.
Are you starting to see a pattern here?? There were also days at the condo where we saw all kinds of wild life. We saw a real alligator on the golf course just outside our door, we caught several lizards and green tree frogs which were stuck to our patio doors and windows PLUS... we had "crab night" and a few glorious days on our private beach.
We turned a lemon of a vacation into a tall glass of delicious lemonade vacation and it was awesome.
Florida take 3?????
Posted by Rachael