What I did on my Spring Vacation
Before this April, I had never taken a vacation longer than 10 days. We had not yet taken the boys on a camping vacation (though we have camped out several times with them). The boys had not yet been to Florida. All of that changed in April, as we embarked on a 3 week vacation.
Our destination: Florida. We got there via Kentucky (they've been to Kentucky before; that's where Grandma and Grandpa live - albeit on the other side of the state), Tennessee (a new state for them), Georgia (where we camped our first night), and finally, Florida!
We visited O'Leno State Park, where we hiked and saw our first (and second) alligators. It rained in the night, but it was dry in our tent, and by the time we got back from our hike, everything was dry enough to pack up and head on south.
We went to central Florida, where we met up with our friend, Richard Zinck. He's one of our snowbirds - winters in Florida, summers in Ohio (we decided that the snowbirds are the smart ones). We were planning on camping near his house so we could visit him, but he arranged a house for us to stay in! We had a lot of fun in central Florida - we played a lot of mini-golf and shuffleboard, we visited the Tampa Zoo, we went to a really cool park in Lakeland, and we went to church with Richard.
We got to see all kinds of wildlife there - I saw a bobcat (which had unfortunately lost its battle with a vehicle), we saw an armadillo (also roadkill), there was an alligator in the pond in Richard's community, and then there was the little snake (pictured to the right). Don't worry; it had already lost its battle with humans, too.
At the zoo, Andrew was having a good time until he got licked and "bonked" by a giraffe. As far as zoos go, Columbus Zoo is better! At the Tampa zoo, we felt completely inundated by their marketing; everywhere you looked, something was for sale. They even had a "feed the giraffe" booth ($2 for a cracker). We stood in line but did not buy a cracker. And the giraffe paid attention to us anyway. Too much attention, if you were to ask Andrew.
From Lakeland, we headed south to Sanibel Island. This was a good choice of destinations for us. We thought about going to the Keys, but it was going to cost a lot more and we would have had to drive a lot longer, especially to go out to Key West, and, well, honestly we didn't want to be in the van by this time!
In my next post, I'll take you to Sanibel.