Road Trip to St. Augustine!

This week we met Stef Layton, over at Educating Laytons, and Alli, over at Simply St. Augustine, in St. Augustine, Florida for a fun day of exploring! Alli was our guide, of course, and she put together a fabulous itinerary for all of us. We visited the Colonial Quarter, hung out on the green at the Castillo De San Marcos, went miniature golfing at Bayfront and road Ripley’s Red Train for their Night of Lights tour.

The Colonial Quarter was the perfect place to immerse ourselves into Spanish and a bit of British history. Our guide told us all about the 16th Century boat he was building, he showed us how to load and fire a 17th century musket, how a blacksmith worked with metal, what a printing press looked like and so much more. After the tour we were free to roam the grounds. The kids loved digging up artifacts in the archaeological dig area and I really enjoyed the view of the Castillo De San Marcos from the watchtower.

Colonial Quarter

 

MiniatureBayfront Miniature Golfing Click For Video golfing at Bayfront Mini Golf was so fun and relaxing.  Yes, mini golfing with about 14 kids was relaxing.  The course was the perfect size for our crew.  Alli, Stef and I were able to relax while the kiddos golfed.  The course was laid out in a way where you have a perfect view of the bay from every hole.  Here’s a fun fact.  Bayfront Mini Golf was founded in 1949 and is the oldest miniature golf course in Florida! They even have a little spot for you to wash your golf balls.  I think that was my son’s favorite part of the entire course.

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We relaxed a bit in between our excursions.  We had a delicious lunch at the Taberna del Caballo, then hung out on the green in front of the Castillo De San Marcos. The kids ran off some energy while we enjoyed some girl time.  We grabbed a delicious cup of coffee from The Kookaburra and sipped it while relaxing at the Plaza de la Constitucion.  We had a wonderful cuban meal where my husband met his twin.  For real ya’ll, this is the first time these two met and look at them.  They dressed the same, both are programmers, both are homeschool dads and both created homeschool software.  Crazy right? Anyway, it made for a fun story and evening.

After dinner, we visited Ripley’s for their Red Train Nights of Lights Tour.  It was a blast!  We didn’t have to wait in line at at all.  We grabbed our magical glasses and boarded our train.  Christmas lights in St. Augustine are breathtaking! After our tour we enjoyed marshmallows dipped in chocolate, Christmas movies, Polynesian fire dancers and more.  This is a unique Christmas time event that you will not want to miss. We had a blast and created so many fun memories.

Ripley's Nights of Lights

After our day of fun we crashed at the Jaybird Inn. We grabbed an Express Deal on Priceline which means we received a great rate for a decent hotel.  Our room was nicely remodeled.  I loved the contemporary decor.  Our neighbors were a little loud so it was hard for hubs. to get the rest he needed but aside from that I recommend this hotel.

After breakfast we decided to take pictures of the fort and walk around a bit.  We stopped by the St. Augustine Visitors Information Center .  My boys enjoyed walking through the fabulous art collection that was on display. One of the pieces really drew them in.  Interactive, touch screen, table top monitors were available for us to “play” with.  Again, great for the kids.  There were gift stores and discounted tickets available for the attractions.  You will want to stop by the Visitor’s center plan and start your St. Augustine, Florida visit.  For the remainder of the day we just walked around the city.  We stopped by Claude’s Chocolate for a treat and I’m so glad we did. Their cSt. Augustine Visitor Centerhocolate is to die for!  After that we had to head home as the boys had a special date with  grandma and grandpa.

Thank you so much to Simply St. Augustine, Ripley’s and the Colonial Quarter for hosting us.  We had wonderful time and we will definitely be visiting again!

 

 

Check out my reviews of our St. Augustine adventure on Trekaroo.com.

 

 

 

 

Road Trip to SeaWorld!

We love road trips. We need road trips because sometimes we go a little stir crazy and just need to get out.  We purchased SeaWorld tickets for 2012, you know the kind, you buy a day and come back all year.  We weren’t sure if we would actually get our monies worth so I was a little hesitant but I am so glad we took the plunge.  My boys love SeaWorld, they love looking at the animals, they love playing at Shamu’s Happy Harbour and they learn.  Yes, going to SeaWorld is an educational experience for us and since I’m a  homeschool mom that makes me super happy.

We could spend all day at the Manta Aquarium. My kids love looking at all of the different types of fish and plant life in the first aquarium at this exhibit.  They are so unique, so colorful you will be mesmerized. Next, we lookup and watch manta rays as they swim above us.  Once, we saw a ginormous manta ray swim overhead.  My boys were so excited and so was I when we saw it. Once my boy’s necks start hurting they know it’s time to move on to view the giant Pacific octopus, the starfish, the sea dragon and yes, more manta rays.


Each time we get home from our SeaWorld outings my oldest wants me to find information for him about at least one of the animals we saw that day.  So we go to the library, we go to the bookstore or we go to our computers to find the information he is curious about.  I love it which is why we will be renewing our membership for 2013 and look forward to sharing our adventures with you!

 

Hurricane Sandy Sanity

Today has been a pretty dreary, rainy day. Perfect for curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea…….YEAH RIGHT!!  My boys did not and will not let that happen.

We have a hurricane approaching and when the rain squalls started acting up so did my two little super heroes.  So, in an effort to keep my sanity in tact, and them occupied, they became weathermen.  My oldest started keeping a weather journal.  When the weather started to get interesting outside he would describe what he saw in his journal.  It’s been great because it gets his little mind working and teaches him how to put his thoughts on paper.  Then once he wrote everything out I let him make pictures of the things he saw.  He loves to draw so this was one of his favorite parts.  My youngest was playing with his legos so instead of writing he would act everything out with his lego men.  I was very entertained!

Next, we took a field trip the beach, the park and the river.

The boys really enjoyed seeing how Hurricane Sandy, the “Frankenstorm” affected our beach.  They could barely keep their feet on the ground!

The park was also fun to look at.  Tree branches were everywhere and Ethan gave us the weather report! Click on his picture to hear it.  Be careful as the wind kicked up a bit and it is a little noisy.

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The wind was really blowing when we made it to the river.  Even the birds had a hard time staying in the air.

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The storm hasn’t passed us yet so I’m sure we will have some fun weather adventures this weekend!

 

Good Morning!

I took a lovely stroll on the beach early in the morning and ran across a few lovely creatures.  I greeted a family of birds as they meandered along the shoreline.

 I noticed the ground in front of me starting to move and as I tried to figure out what was going on, I was surprised to see two eyes staring back at me!