Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spontaneous Florida trip - Part 2: Beach & Fort

Post-launch breakfast was at a Chick-Fil-A in Daytona Beach. Katie got almost her usual breakfast, but then she ate half of my bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit, so I found myself eating half of her breakfast, too. It worked out pretty well. She played on the playground, and we had an all-around good time for breakfast.
Though it can be said that the Atlantic laps at I-95, it was 11 miles to the water from the highway at Daytona Beach, so we went for something a bit closer.
The road to Flagler Beach (from I-95) is beautiful with oak canopies and Spanish moss hanging from nearly every tree. I would have taken a picture from outside the window, but a truck came by and I didn't want to lose my arm!

Katie took some time to warm to the idea of getting her feet wet, but when she did she had a blast.  When a wave came along and lapped at her calves, she darted to shore. She loved it.

For reasons only a young child can understand, Katie thought it would be fun to throw sand into the ocean. She got a shovel full of sand from the dry area, ran to the wet part and waited for a wave to approach. When it did, she cast the sand to sea. It was a rather small shovel, so I was not especially concerned about beach erosion.

We could not go so near Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine, Florida, without stopping since there are some stories of me when I was Katie's age from there. (Click for a bigger picture.)

It was at this site where the tour guide asked, "Does anyone know why this place was made of rocks?" I said, "I do!" They put me up on a table (being 4 I wasn't tall enough to see folks), and I proclaimed, "Because rocks don't burn."

On the way out, there was a little girl about my age crying. I walked up to her and explained, "I'm the boy with the magic kisses." I gave her a kiss, and she stopped crying.  (I wish it worked so well on Katie!)
Katie did not have the opportunity to go in to el castillo because it was nap time, so we hurried back to the car and got underway.

Admission has gone up since 1977. The above picture shows 50¢ for adults. Now it's $6.

I did not recall the architecture and other aspects of the city. It is a lovely old city and reminded me of Charleston, SC but with a distinctly Floridian (and Spanish) flare.

We had lunch at the White Lion Restaurant and Pub across the street. It took about three times longer than I'd hoped, but it was delicious. We then ventured over to the historic landmark and got a few pictures but did not linger because it was nap time.

We continued our drive up the coast; Katie napped through Jacksonville while I wished I could take a nap. We had dinner in Hardeeville, South Carolina at a McDonald's. I prefer Chick-Fil-A, but at least we got some fun toys out of the deal. Katie did have a good time on their playground. I think they ought to set up treadmills at such places for the adults to get some energy out, that or make hybrid cars that collect energy and get their "go" command by pedaling like a bicycle.

We stopped at a rest stop in South Carolina where Katie and I ran to the last trash can on the walkway alongside the (then empty) parking spaces. She didn't want to go back to the car. I told her we needed to go back to the car so we could get home. She wanted to go somewhere else besides home. I explained that I was very glad she'd had a good time on the trip, but that we needed to go home and get some real sleep. We did head home, but it took us two more stops. On one, we bought gas and stopped at Wal-Mart to get a cable I hoped would let me play sound from my phone on the car stereo (no such luck), and one more stop on a ramp so I could catch a 20 minute nap and refresh my attention. After all, we got home at 2:30. It took a bit longer for the return trip because we were tired.

Katie was an excellent sport for the trip. When we were tired, I explained to her that we would both have to work extra hard to be nice to each other. She certainly kept up her side of the bargain. She went to the potty without complaining time and again as we pulled off the road for a break. She watched her DVDs in the car and was polite when she asked me to put on another one. She sang songs and told stories when she wasn't watching a show. It was a magnificent trip.


  1. Great recap part 2 with some wonderful pics.

    I am still in awe that you took off on a whim. I would have had 20 to do lists. Nice to know it can be achieved.

    BTW- I will likely stop by today to get ben's two stuffed animals. Eliz left a message last night I am keep forgeting to get them.

  2. Liz was a big help getting ready - she packed the car with snacks, clothes, and all the other comforts of highway. In the end, it was purely a road trip - no hotel, no other posh stuff, but it worked out just fine. We had plenty to eat, plenty to do. (Brad Paisley is right about TV in the car being a good thing - The main trick was making sure I was okay to drive the last hundred miles - the 20 minute nap at midnight made all the difference in the world in my alertness.