Update from the road:
A lot has happened since our last post. We spent a month in Florida, first traveling down the west coast, hitting some great beach towns and National Parks. I wanted to take it as far south as possible, so we went all the way to Key West and then crawled up the east coast with stops in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Orlando and Kennedy Space Center. I’ll share the highlights from each location below.
Clearwater has been on our list of top priority stops since day one. It is home to some incredible beaches, and the location of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. CMA is a fantastic marine rehabilitation center and where Disney’s Dolphin Tale was filmed. Winter, the dolphin who lost its tail and rehabs with a prosthetic, lives there with a few of the other dolphins from the films. For our girls, it was like meeting movie stars.
We made a quick 2-day stop on Marco Island, where we had the chance to meet up with my Aunt and Uncle who we don’t see very often, as well as my grandparents who happened to be in the area on vacation. The beach was covered with shells and we had some fun meals together.
Everglades National Park
Our journey then took us east across Alligator Alley, where we took an incredible tram tour at Shark Valley. We saw numerous rare birds and tons of alligators. The girls worked hard on their Everglades workbooks and picked up a couple more Jr Ranger badges. We also had the chance to meet up with Karyn and Ari Harper and their kids, for some hiking and pool time at the campsite.
After an incredible drive across gorgeous bridges and crystal clear oceans, we arrived at Key West. Little did we know, the entire island is covered with wild roosters, who like to make noise from about 4:15am to sundown, sometimes from directly under the RV. We took the girls for their first snorkeling experience and they got to see 2 wild Manatees! We went on a long bike ride into town with some new friends, did a lot of swimming, saw a couple street shows at Mallory Square and got to work from some pretty spectacular make-shift offices.
Tracy’s sister Carlie, and Uncle Ron live in Fort Lauderdale, and her Dad and Step-Mom flew in to visit while we were there. It was great getting to see Carlie and hang out with Uncle Ron for a bit – both people we don’t see very often. Our strawberry-obsessed 6 year old, also got to hit a u-pick strawberry farm. I think she ate about 20lbs of berries over the next 3 days.
Universal Studios and Disney World
You can’t spend weeks in Florida without getting to Universal and Disney. My parents met us in Orlando for the week, and we got to park the RV and live in a real house for 6 days. How quickly we all forgot what it was like to have separate rooms, a real kitchen, and space to move around! Our girls love Harry Potter, so learning spells with their wands and going to Hogwarts was fantastic. I loved the new Jimmy Fallon ride, which opens next month and was allowing people in during technical testing. We also went to the Magical Kingdom and Epcot – both new attractions for us. After 4 days of theme parks, the adults had walked 60,000 steps. We clocked Lainey in at about 90k.
Fort Pierce and Kennedy Space Center
Our last stop for this leg of the journey was in Fort Pierce. A city with our last name! … Of course we had to go. We did a bit more snorkeling, finally learned to play shuffle board, and took pictures in front of every sign that said Pierce. On our last day, we made a stop at Kennedy Space center and did some learning about astronauts and space missions. I think spending a few days on the International Space Station would be incredible. Maybe next summer. We also surprised the girls and met up with two families from home, who were in Florida during spring break.
Next, we start the trek up the east coast. We’ll be stopping in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Williamsburg, D.C., Baltimore, NYC, Philly, Boston and more.
For a lot more pictures visit: www.WhatRVup2.com/photos