Thursday, July 31, 2008

Florida Road Trip

From July 4-19, we took an awesome road trip around the coast of Florida. We flew into Panama City Beach and drove down the west coast all the way to Naples. The beaches and the water on the gulf coast were amazing! I discovered on this trip that I don't hate the ocean ... I just hate the Pacific Ocean!! Serously! As much as we love living close to the beach in San Diego, we never go swimming in the ocean here. The water is always freezing cold and murky, and there's monster-sized seaweed everywhere! In contrast, the water in Florida was warm and clear, the beaches have gorgeous white sand, and if there's anything floating around you in the water you can see what it is! This was awesome for me, because I always think that anything touching me in the ocean is JAWS!!

From Naples, we drove over to the east coast and spent several days in the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Keys area. We loved driving down to Key West - it was gorgeous on the long bridges in the middle of such beautiful colorful water! Key West was a fun town, too. They have a Sunset Celebration every night where they put on a street fair with performers and vendors and live music and everyone gathers by the piers to watch the sun set. We also went snorkeling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, which was amazing! It felt like we were in the middle of an aquarium, swimming with the most gorgeous colorful fish and coral! They have a statue of Jesus in the water called "Christ of the Abyss," and you could swim down and touch his hands.

After we left the Miami area, we spent a day touring the Kennedy Space Center. And of course we had to have our DisneyWorld fix! We spent our last couple of days at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom before driving back up to Panama City Beach to fly home. We were fortunate to find a condo to rent just 5 minutes from DisneyWorld, because it POURED both days we were there! So we could go back to the condo and throw all our clothes in the dryer before getting back out there again.

We had a blast, and we still love spending every day together for two weeks straight - especially when it involves a road trip in a beautiful place! Here are a few of our favorite pics.

At Panama City Beach

Our rental car and the fireworks on the 4th of July
Dan remembered how to get to his grandparent's old house in Port Richie! His memory & sense of direction never cease to amaze me, since I am perpetually lost!
Collecting seashells on Sanibel Island
Eating frozen chocolate-covered key lime pie on a stick in Key West. MMMMMM!!

Dan got his first taste of Waffle House on this trip. He will never eat there again.
Making a serious fashion statement while snorkeling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Dan is wowed by a Moon Rock at Kennedy Space Center
In front of "Mt. Everest" at DisneyWorld's Animal Kingdom
A beautiful sunset in Pensicola