Monday, October 12, 2009

Florida Fun

Noah Mackenzie & Lexie Dad & Noah Mae

St. George Island beach at sunset on our first night

a handful of shells, snails & hermit crabs!
The St George Island lighthouse...also pictured above is the view of the
from the lighthouse's lantern room.

(notice the wrong date on all my photos-haven't figured out how to change it on my camera!)

We headed to Florida a week ago Monday at 6:30 in the morning, loaded down with borrowed roof top and pull behind carriers, 2 tents, 6 sleeping bags, 12 towels, two coolers, 1 basket of beach toys,4 camp chairs, 3 bottles of bug spray, 2 tubes of sunscreen, 3 backpacks, 4 pacifiers and a partridge in a pear tree...oh and so much looked like we were moving....
We were off to visit my mom and step-dad on the east coast of Florida-but decided we would take a little detour for a few days before we arrived on Oct 8. We made camping reservations at St. George Island State Park, a barrier Island in the gulf of Mexico, 75 miles SW of Tallahassee. We had never been there, but the kids were asking to camp on the beach, and this island with an adjacent campground seemed like the perfect place. We arrived about 5pm Monday evening, after MANY potty stops, especially since Lexie is potty training..... The kids were thrilled with the 4 mile bridge that we had to drive over to get to the island from the mainland-except Mackenzie-she HATES bridges...The Island was beautiful, and we ooohed and aaaahed over all the cute beach houses up on "stilts". It was a 4 mile drive to the state park, and once the kids saw the water and the sand dunes, their was no containing their excitement.
After setting up camp, which took a little longer than expected, we roasted hot dogs over a campfire and then headed to the beach for a stroll at about 8pm. How peaceful!!!! The kids were supposed to just dip their feet in the water, but everyone was soaked from head to toe by the time we left. We headed back to the campsite to stoke the campfire, and read a little before turning in.... Mike and I didn't get much sleep, as it was pretty hot, and Lexie tossed and turned on top of us most of the night....We awoke to a very buggy campsite, and immediately had to cover ourselves with bug spray...pretty much from that point on, if we were at the campsite, we were covered with we quickly left the campsite to spend our second day at the beach. The water was pretty murky, but the kids didn't care... they spent the day finding shells, snails and hermit crabs and trying to figure out how to use our new skim board.

Lexie was not fond of the water. We kept asking if she wanted to go in, and she would continually shake her head and say "no!" So she spent most of the morning walking around with a shovel and eating sand. By afternoon, she was a little more adventurous, and would go in the water if we held her.
While jumping waves with the kids we noticed a few fins in the distance...several dolphins passed by...the kids were amazed! One little boy on the beach saw a fin and ran from the water, screaming, "SHARK!!!" Very funny! The beach was all but deserted-just a handful of people-it was great. We left the Island mid afternoon in search of ice cream that didn't cost a fortune (the island shop's prices were outrageous!) We ended up driving 30 minutes away, finding nothing along the we stopped at a grocery store and picked up a box of ice cream bars to eat in the car, then made a stop at the Crooked River lighthouse,The lighthouse was closed to visitors that day, but the kids enjoyed climbing on the huge play structure shaped like a pirate ship. We returned to the island and had a cookout at the beach pavillion, but ate in a hurry since we were overcome by mosquitos. We headed back to camp for showers and marshmallows, and added Noah to our tent for our second night, since he said the "night noises" (birds and frogs?") scared him.
The next morning after pouring the bug spray on, we decided to do some exploring the island and mainland of Appalachicola during the day, and head to the beach in the late afternoon.
We visited the St George Island Lighthouse and climbed the 98 steps to the top, and then climbed the ladder into the lantern room-what an awesome view!!! The kids absolutely loved this, and the docent's talk on the history of the lighthouse was very interesting. We headed to the mainland for a walk around historic Appalachicola, enjoying all the little shops and a free tour of the Rainey House museum. We found an old timey soda fountain for some ice cream (we love ice cream) and souvenirs and then picnicked on a wharf overlooking the appalachicola bay. While we ate, Mike walked to a nearby fishmarket and bought some fresh steamed shrimp to enjoy with our lunch. They were steamed with the heads on! Lexie was scared to death of the little critters, but the rest of us popped the heads off, dipped them in melted butter and thought they were great!!! Back to the beach that afternoon, Lexie still was eating sand....our cookout on the beach that night was less buggy, and the sunset over the water was beautiful. We began to pack up camp that evening, and in the morning headed out towards the east coast....but first made a stop at a local restaurant for breakfast to celebrate Noah's 7th bithday!

1 comment:

Anita said...

You are one amazing woman!!!! Sounds like you are having a good trip. Hope you have a pleasant visit with your mom and a safe trip home. We missed you Monday night at Keepers.