#FloridaForty Day 5 Mt. Dora to Howey-in-the-Hills

What kind of name is Howey-in-the-Hills for a city?  That’s what we thought and it’s why we decided to visit it  🙂


This quaint little city is located about midway between Orlando and Ocala.  It literally took us about 4 minutes to drive through the entire city, even after driving to their post office.


After driving through the city, we headed a little north to get some coffee, run to Aldi, and grab some Panda Express.  In doing so, we passed through the town of The Villages.


Interesting fact about this city: you are not allowed to live here if you have children 18 years old or younger unless there was a hardship.  Only .3% of the 4,500 households in the city have children that age living with them (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Villages,_Florida).

The sun was out all day and if felt great.  The kids were finally able to ride their bikes (and skateboard).  So much so, that the only time they really stopped was for the pictures.

#FloridaForty Day 4 St. Augustine to Mt. Dora

Finally headed a bit inland and into to Central Florida.

Mount Dora, though it’s no mountain, is one of the highest cities in Florida (at 185 ft above sea level).

It is a cute little town with some really friendly people, who can cook, by the way!


We arrived here fairly early in the morning and stopped for breakfast: the food was great!!

The town still had its large Christmas tree, in the center of town, up; so naturally Kelly had to get a picture!


And we even got a chance to sneak away for a picture with just us!


#FloridaForty Day 3 Ponta Verde Beach to St. Augustine

We didn’t have a long drive south to St Augustine, so we decided to stop and see some of the downtown area.

In almost every town, there is a part of our culture and history that has left its mark.  We were able to walk the steps Andrew Young took before being violently beaten unconscious.  Once again, Macey struggled to grapple with how people could be so evil.

Continuing across the street were some awesome shops, a Harley Dealership of course, and a few places to grab a bite to eat.

Leave it up to Mackenzie to smell out the pizza!

Madison and Mackenzie had been dying to try a macaroon…needless to say, as Madison’s picture shows, they were not fans of it.

And Kelly found her treat for the day: a caramel apple with nuts at Kilwin’s!  Score!


I don’t know what it is with us but we have some kind of infatuation with lighthouses…

…and tiny spaces (we are spending 40 days in an RV)!


#FloridaForty Day 2 Jacksonville to Ponte Vedra Beach

Before leaving Jacksonville we decided to stop by the Kingsley Plantation.  Macey had a hard time understanding what kind of people would allow for the inhumane treatment of other people.

From there, we continued our journey south.


As always,  we’ve made a game out of seeing who can find the city sign first…and of course daddy is winning so far.

Though it was windy, we decided to take a photo on the beach and stop by this cute little ice cream shop!

While we aren’t complaining about the cool weather, we are looking forward to seeing some sun soon.

#FloridaForty Day 1-Home to Jacksonville, FL


We have been looking forward to this trip for a while now!  Our three other trips this year were just after William’s father passed, we spent time with Grandma Shonen (William’s second mother) and our cruises in August and October. So, it was time for a long RV road trip.

Monday afternoon we arrived in Jacksonville, FL where we lived for three years.


We love that every time we come back here, we see stuff in the city we that we haven’t seen before.  It is amazing how big the city is!


Went by the Harley Davidson dealership…

Stopped by Sweet Pete’s candy store (www.sweetpetescandy.com)…



William tried to eat the biggest sucker he could find.  Too bad he wasn’t tall enough! 🙂

And while we had a lot of fun, and we got to see a lot of neat things, we want our children to know that we travel with a purpose.  We desire that our children are cultured and educated by experiences in life and not simply by what has been told to them.

We want to them to know the “how, what, and why” by SEEING the “where” it took place.  We want our children to be proud–proud of their faith, their culture, and the strength of their ancestors.