Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Break 2013- Florida, part 3

This is the last post about our spring break.  On our last day in Orlando, we went to the Orlando Science Center.  This is one of those great all-day activities for kids that leave them completely exhausted.  Jackson had a blast and the rest of us had fun watching him explore and play.  Unfortunately, Beth's husband had to work and missed out on all the fun :(  We probably could have made this into a 2-day activity if we allowed Jackson to play at each station as long as he wanted.  If you need a non-Disney activity for kids in Orlando, I highly recommend the OSC. 

Something about playing in water is so fascinating.
Boats and waterfalls
Gators and turtles lounging under the warming lamps
For $1 you could make this dinosaur skeleton move for a couple of minutes.  It was worth every penny :)
Dinosaur dig
Picnic lunch in a park with lots of fun art.  I was particularly fond of these guys.
Such a cool and simple idea.  PVC pipes with magnets on them and a huge sheet metal wall.  We could have stayed here all day rolling balls through pipes.  This would be fun to do on a garage wall.
Car races.  I stood at the bottom of the track and delivered cars back to the racers.
It was quite a long track!  It also had bleachers for fans and a scoreboard with times and rankings.  Too fun!
This space shuttle had lots of buttons and a countdown to lift off.  Jackson loved it!
He even had his Star Wars shirt on- how appropriate :)
You could make a tornado with the touch of a button.  I can't tell you how many tornadoes we made that day.
This look of wonder never got old.
This orchard area was awesome.  You picked oranges and put them in crates.  Then you could deliver them to 2 different areas.  Eventually the "oranges" appeared back in the trees and you could start all over again (and again and again...)
Operating the tractor that got the oranges up the ladder system
Delivering the oranges

On our way back to Texas, we spent a night camping near Fort Pickens in the Gulf Islands National Seashore area.  It was almost warm enough to snorkel, but it was a little windy and too late in the day to get geared up.  Maybe next time.  We did have fun exploring the old fort ruins.

That wraps up our Florida trip.  We look forward to visiting again, but it might be better in May when it's a little warmer but not too hot.  Thanks Beth, David and Jackson for a great week!

Spring Break 2013- Florida, part 2

These pictures are from days 4-6.

Walking around Honeymoon Island State Park (off of Florida's west coast)
We found a horseshoe crab and had to take some pictures.  Obviously, this guy is not alive.
We found a second, smaller horseshoe crab nearby.  We left them posed like this by the trail :)
Osprey bringing a twig to its nest.
Pair of osprey in their nest- probably has eggs in it this time of year.
You could see nests like this all over the island.  There were bald eagles too.
Can you spot the owlets in this picture?  There are 2 of them huddled together near the center.
We enjoyed walking along the white sand shores.
Fishing with Jackson in the neighborhood pond.  This picture cracks me up.
Jackson hadn't used a real hook before, so he was pretty interested in Uncle Josh's assortment of lures.
Sadly, all we caught was a turtle.
Josh and his sister, Beth, along with silly Jackson.
Next up, Orlando Science Center and Pensacola...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Break 2013- Florida, part 1

For spring break this year we headed to Orlando to visit Josh's only sibling that doesn't live in Abilene.  On the way, we stopped in the Galveston area for a quick visit with our friends, Derek and Charriss.  We got to explore both the west and east coasts of Florida, did a few things in the Orlando area, and camped at a national seashore in Pensacola.  We put about 3500 miles on our car and had a great time!  I've got a ton of pics to share, so this is just the first batch.  Enjoy!
Galveston area- Josh with his saltwater trout
Galveston area- Derek with a speckled trout
Josh with speckled trout
Captain D with another speckled trout
Well, hello there!
The day's catch- 9 trout and a flounder (in the middle)
Brown pelican
The pelicans and seagulls got the fish scraps that were leftover after cleaning the fish.
"We're still hungry- got any more fish?"
"Yeah, I'm looking at you.  Give me more fish!"
Another car hits 100,000!
Josh on Florida's west coast near New Smyrna Beach
Our only picture together on the whole trip.  Why does this always happen?
Draw bridge letting a boat through
This was probably the most exciting part of the trip for me.
They just sat and let us take lots of pictures.
Kisses anyone?
Just hanging out- soooo cool to see these amazing animals in the wild!
Spoonbill- again, never seen these in the wild
Florida gator!
I was missing my pup about this point :)
Chicken at the gas station?  Sure, why not?
Josh and our nephew, Jackson, racing cars.

That gets us through the first 3 days of our trip.  More to come!