Saturday, March 4, 2017

Our Week Of Florida-ing

If the term Florida-ing was a thing, I'm pretty sure we did it last week! Some how, some way we managed to see the whole state in 7 days. By car, while sick, so yes, that makes us champs!

What started as a post-deployment Disney vacation turned into a North-East-Middle-South-West adventure in true Semper Fi Family style. Did I mention with everyone dealing with illness at some point during this adventure? This is the story of our lives. We cannot go anywhere without at least one person getting sick. You should see the medicine bag I travel with.

We came into Florida on the northeast side through good ole Jacksonville, Florida. Navy town through and through. We were wowed by the big bridges over the waterways and ports along the waterways. Always love seeing America and how things work.

If you know your way to Disney from the east coast, then you know you travel the beach towns a little longer before cutting into the middle of the state. Orlando is the middle and it is a busy metro area. Home to Disney World and lots of other theme park-ish outlets. Traffic was oh-so reminiscent of California. And Florida drivers are mean! (I got the bird more than a couple times!)

We spent 4 days doing the Disney thing. DisneyWorld is so much bigger than Disneyland. (Remember that is what we are used to.) We were overwhelmed in a good way. Not that it mattered much because 2 days in the kids started going down...with the cold virus/influenza going around. By Day 4, I was the last man standing and I took advantage of extra magic hours at Magic Kingdom in the pouring rain by myself. Yes, I'm lame.

Zac really wanted to see Harry Potter World at Universal. I made a deal with the kids a few months ago, the reward for reading all the HP books was a trip to Universal. Ky tried with all her might but only got to book 5. Derrick could care less, he has the movies. Zac has read the series enough for all of us, three times over. He loves the books, movies, and now Harry Potter World! It was so awesome to see him (through pictures) enjoy the park with dad.

Next stop, the Florida Keys. My husband and I were super excited to get down to the Keys because it was something new. My husband was ready to move down there pronto. Water, fishing, sunshine. I think it's a nice place to visit :) A really nice place to visit. I would love to go there when it warms up a bit. I think we will be back.

It was lovely. More than lovely. We were actually down there to help my grandmother move from one vacation spot to another. We are so happy to be able to spend time with family outside of Iowa. It gives us a little more quality time when that happens. After a couple days in Marathon, we drove up to Tampa area on the west side of the state.

We weren't expecting the Gulf of Mexico to be warmer and more beach friendly but it's true. The Florida Keys aren't really built for beaching, more boating/fishing/drinking/Iguana dodging/hammocking. Yes, I'm going to continue make up new words for this entire post :)

And may I say, I love hammock-ing! It's my favorite. Take me back!

Opps, I almost forget about the overabundance of dirt cheap Cuban coffee 
in the Keys!
How could I forget the best?!?
Reunited and it feels so so soo good!
North Carolina needs to get on the Cuban coffee and Pho trend ASAP!

Last stop, Tampa/ St.Petes Beach on the west side of the state. This was a little too fast paced for us. We were reminded us of places like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Gatlinburg, Tennessee with all the touristy attractions. But, the beach, now that is a different story! The beach was wonderful.

We walked a good length watching the sun slowly fall into the water. 
The sunset was wonderful. It was such a nice trip. 
I'm sure we will be repeating this one again...and again.
The East Coast does have its perks!


  1. I hope to visit myself one day

  2. I am so glad you guys were able to take this trip! I am off to Florida next weekend and I can't wait. :)

  3. We want to make it to the Keys at some point. It's just pretty inconvenient from where we are now.

    Glad you had a blast! (despite the sickness)

  4. Growing up on the East coast we vacationed in Florida a lot. This brought back so many memories! I had such fun reading the post. It looks like you had some awesome family time despite the illnesses.

  5. So much fun! We stayed in one of the family suites in Art of Animation this past summer. My parents came down from Swansboro and met us. The keys are on a "Jake and Lori" trip schedule someday!

  6. That Florida Keys water is so gorgeous. What a trip y'all had!!! Well done, even with all the sickness. I was warm just looking at your pictures...and cold looking at the one of Disney day in the rain😩. Looks like so much fun!

  7. What a FANTASTIC trip!!!!! We love WDW and good for you doing extra hours by yourself - awesome! Yes, I agree-hammock, water, book - perfection.
    Thanks for sharing your adventures.