Saturday, September 12, 2015

Florida Fun!

Last weekend we made our way down to Florida for Labor Day Weekend.  Our first stop was Gigi and Papa's house.  We got there around bedtime on Friday so after everyone stretched their legs from being in the car all afternoon we all hit the sack.

The next morning we woke up feeling refreshed and ready to explore.  The first order of business was breakfast.  And in their community the only way to travel in style is by golf cart!  These are not just any golf carts...they are custom, personalized and the snazziest things on the road.  Literally everyone down there rides around in golf carts and it there are special golf cart lanes and paths to get all over.  The kids just adore this whole concept and think it is so much fun!

They were dressed in their UGA red and black for game day and Gigi and Papa's golf cart is none other than red and black!

I couldn't resist taking a picture of all of the golf carts parked in the town center area at breakfast.

After a quick donut breakfast we gave hugs and kisses to the kids and then Robby and I made our way east to the coast.  We were meeting up with our friends Kathy and Corey for Kathy's 40th birthday party!  We spent the day on the beach relaxing with them and then that evening we had fun at the big luau party.

The next day we went back to Gigi and Papa's house to meet up with everyone for a fun adventure to Silver Springs.

Silver Springs is located between Orlando and Gainesville in central Florida and it hosts an array of wildlife from monkeys to alligators.  The Silver Springs is made up of a group of springs that occur in the headwaters, coves and edges of the Silver River, which leads to the Ocklawaha River.  An interesting little tit-bit of info for you is that the water coming from the Silver Springs amounts to over 550 million gallons per day!

The original plan was for us to rent canoes and explore the Silver River up to the springs, but a Boy Scout troop took most of the canoes so we had to change our plans.  Instead we entered through the main state park entrance and it felt like we were stepping back in time.

Right away we popped in the museum and educational center.  The kids were fascinated by the wildlife displays of all of the types of animals found around the Silver Springs and Silver River area. There were also real live snakes and reptiles on display for everyone to see.

We ate a quick lunch in the cafe and then walked on one of the nature paths to observe the springs close up.

We were going to try out one of the famous glass bottom boats, but there was about an hour wait and we knew the kids probably wouldn't last that long.  Walking the nature path was just as fun and we got to go at our own pace and stop and see all of the sights we wanted to.

When we got back we saw this giant turtle in the yard across the street.  The kids saw all kinds of wildlife while we were there and thought that was one of the most exciting things about our visit.  Handley's favorite animal is a sea turtle, with regular turtles coming in a close second.  SO, you can imagine her excitement when they found a big turtle while she was wearing her turtle t-shirt.  It doesn't get much better than that!

We enjoyed our last evening together by getting dolled up for dinner.  The girls always want to take selfies with me when they feel all fancy and this night was no exception.

The kids took another golf card ride to the town center for dinner with the guys and Gigi and I drove together in the car.  We went a different way than they did, so we were excited to run into them along the way!

 We ate dinner and then enjoyed the live music and dancing.  It was a fun evening for us all, but especially for the kids who have no problem getting up in front of a crowd and breaking it down.

The next morning after sleeping in we packed up and made our way back to Atlanta.  It was a lot of driving for a quick long weekend, but so nice to get out of town and have a few days with a change of scenery.

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