This is where Autumn will post occasional updates and pictures from our South East US road trip! :-) Hover over the photos to see the descriptions! :-)
DAY 1 (2/20/2022)– After we had the camper packed and ready to go, we were able to embark on our adventure around 8:30 PM on Sunday evening. We drove until 2:55 AM to a Flying J south of Richmond, VA. We got the last spot in the entire parking lot! :-)
DAY 2 (2/21/2022) – We left the Flying J at 10:30 AM and continued South on Route 95. We made a few stops for gas, and the highlight of our traveling adventures was stopping at South of the Border in Hamer, SC. The weather was 70 degrees and beautiful! :-) Our drive ended at 10:30 PM when we arrived at the Murdock’s home (our sister, Ashley, her husband, Chris, and kiddos – Ella, Rhett, & Sutton) in Yulee, Florida.
DAY 3 (2/22/2022) - We started the day with homemade waffles, baby snuggles (with Sutton), and a morning trip the Fernandina beach (we found a small starfish)!! The weather was delightful (78 degrees!) Canyon and Chris left early in the morning for the Georgia Hunting Cabin to go hog hunting! (They didn’t shoot any, but they did see a few wild turkeys). After Autumn’s English class, and once the guys returned, we went fishing at the Murdock’s (Ashley’s in-laws) on their pier and took a tour of their beautiful, new home. Ashley and Autumn prepared a Southern Style dinner – fried chicken, green beans, squash casserole, and apple cobbler. We ended the day with music and a group picture.
DAY 4 – 2/23/2022 – Ashley, Sutton, & Autumn began the day with an early-morning coffee jaunt at the beach. They took Ashley’s jeep and watched the sunrise. Upon returning, we had bagels with honey and butter (or cream cheese). We then departed for Fort Clint State Park in Fernandina, FL. We explored the park and toured the fort with Ashley, Rhett, Sutton, and our crew! From here, we left for St. Augustine. After touring the National Park Visitor Center, we explored the Castillo De San Marcos National Monument (Autumn, Canyon, & Houston completed the Junior Ranger Program). After this, we explored the walking-traffic only road of shops. We stopped at a unique taffy store and a pizza shop to try Italian Aracini (Rice, Ground Beef, Sweet Peas, & Mozzarella Cheese!) Once we finished walking around downtown St. Augustine, we piled back into the RV and head to a Cracker Barrel for dinner (conveniently, this is also where we spent the night). Canyon had a few phone calls to make, Autumn had an Apologetics Conference meeting, Houston ran around outside the camper, and Mom worked on planning out further trip plans for the rest of the week. :-)
DAY 5 – 2/24/2022 – We left the Cracker Barrel around 8:00 AM and drove to the Reformation Bible College campus/Ligonier Ministries headquarters in Sanford, FL. Then, we stopped for gas and to restock on groceries. :) From here, we drove to Sea World in Orlando, Florida. Due to Autumn’s Thursday class schedule, Houston and Debby got dropped off (Canyon didn’t have an interest in going). Autumn and Canyon spent most of the afternoon at a nearby Panera Bread working on school assignments. We then drove to Vero Beach so that Autumn could take her evening Economics class (from 6:00-9:00 PM!) before heading to the Cracker Barrel to spend the night. This was our least active day of traveling/sightseeing.
DAY 6 – 2/25/2022 – Autumn had the opportunity to meet with her UTT (Understanding the Times) Worldviews Teacher, Tricia Powell, at the Cracker Barrell in Vero Beach! After the visit, we headed towards the A1A highway and traveled down to Avalon State Park Beach. Conveniently, we found an RV parking spot. We spent 2.5 hours walking along the beach and Houston played in the sand. :) After this, we headed to a citrus farm and Houston enjoyed the activities in the OJ Corral. Then, we headed for the Eaglebay Airboats. We took an hour long ride around the bay and we saw a few alligators and other wildlife along the way! (This was a fantastic experience!!) We drove around part of Lake Okeechobee and spent the night at Uncle Joe’s campground near Moore Haven, Florida.
DAY 7 – 2/26/2022 – We started Saturday’s adventures with a trip to Gatorama. This is a hidden gem in Palmdale, Florida. Debby and Houston decided to pay the additional fee to hold the baby gators. This has been a highlight of the trip for both of them! From this location, we drove to the Seminole Indian Reservation and toured the AH-TAH-THI-KI Museum/walked the mile-long loop. We spent the afternoon at the Big Cyprus National Preserve and also drove down to the Everglades. It was stunning! Debby and Autumn discussed taking a 4-hour long guided kayaking trip (on Sunday), but Houston and Canyon weren’t interested. So, we travelled North on Route 41 to Naples, Florida. We stopped for dinner and then continued to Port Charlotte where we spent the night with Hank & Tammie Bryner (Chris worked with Hank at Industrial Controls Inc. for 15+ years)! We were greeted by Bella (their lab) and Thor (their cat) along with a lot of Pineapple plants. :-)
DAY 8 – 2/27/2022 – We officially reached the 1 week marker for the trip! We spent the morning with the Bryners and went for brunch at the Fisherman’s Village (Village Fish Market & Restaurant) right along the Bay in Punta Gorda. We did laundry, Houston swam in the pool, and Autumn & Canyon gave a house concert. :-) Then, we packed up, and headed North on I75 to Bradenton, Florida where we met with long-time friends for an early dinner. We parked the camper in their 55+ community center parking lot and spent the evening with Nancy Otstott and Ben Miller at their beautiful winter home. :) We had a laughter-filled day (the Bryners, Nancy, Ben, & the Woglemouths all have a fantastic sense of humor)! :-)