#FloridaForty We’ve Made It Home

2 parents…4 children…40 cities…40 days…27 Harley Davidson dealerships stopped at…14 RV parks…4,152.6 miles driven…71 hours and 2 minutes driving…418.1 gallons of gas…35 new Christmas ornaments for our travel tree…way too many Walmart stops…

=1 grand trip!

Thanks again for joining us on our 40 day journey through the state of Florida.

(and to think that it rained for that many days straight while Noah was on the ark and Jesus fasted for that long while in the wilderness)

Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Along the way, we made some great memories, had a lot of fun, tasted new food, talked with some fantastic people, and grew closer together as a family.  It is these times that we hope have the greatest impact on our children.

So that we can keep a record of our trip, as well as to share with those who are wanting to know, we decided to share our itinerary as well as the names of the RV/Campgrounds/State Parks/National Parks we camped in.

Feature City                            RV Park

Day 1           Jacksonville                           Little Talbot State Park Jacksonville, FL

Day 2           Ponte Vedra Beach               Faver-Dykes State Park St. Augustine, FL

Day 3           St. Augustine                         Faver-Dykes State Park

Day 4           Mt. Dora                                 Bee’s RV Resort Clermont, FL

Day 5           Howey-in-the-Hills              Bee’s RV Resort

Day 6           Eatonville                              Bee’s RV Resort

Day 7           Lady Lake                              Bee’s RV Resort

Day 8           Clermont                                Bee’s RV Resort

Day 9           Groveland                              Bee’s RV Resort

Day 10         Frostproof                              Kissimmee Prairie Preserve S.P. Okeechobee, FL

Day 11         Okeechobee                           Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

Day 12         Taylor Creek                          Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

Day 13         Dania Beach                          Fiesta Key Rv and Marina Layton, FL

Day 14         Key West                                Fiesta Key Rv and Marina

Day 15          Marathon                              Fiesta Key Rv and Marina

Day 16         Islamorada                             C.B. Smith Park Pembroke Pines, FL

Day 17         Miami Beach                          C.B. Smith Park

Day 18         Pembroke Pines                    C.B. Smith Park

Day 19         Davie                                       C.B. Smith Park

Day 20         Miramar                                 C.B. Smith Park

Day 21         Everglades City                     Collier Seminole State Park Naples, FL

Day 22          Naples                                    Collier Seminole State Park

Day 23          Fort Myers Beach                 Little Manatee River State Park Wimauma, FL

Day 24          Winter Haven                       Little Manatee River State Park

Day 25         Clearwater                              Mary’s Fish Camp Weeki Wachee, FL

Day 26          Weeki Wachee                      Mary’s Fish Camp

Day 27          Alachua                                   Suwanee River State Park Live Oak, FL

Day 28          Live Oak                                  Suwanee River State Park

Day 29          Madison                                  Suwanee River State Park

Day 30          Lee                                           Suwanee River State Park

Day 31          Carrabelle                              St. George Island State Park, St. George Island, FL

Day 32          St. George Island                  St. Andrews State Rec Area Panama City Beach, FL

Day 33          Panama City Beach              St. Andrews State Recreation Area

Day 34         Niceville                                  Fred Gannon State Park Niceville, FL

Day 35          Destin                                     Fred Gannon State Park

Day 36          Valparaiso                             Fred Gannon State Park

Day 37          Gulf Breeze                           Fort Pickens Recreation Area-  Gulf Islands National Seashore Pensacola, FL

Day 38          Pensacola Beach                  Fort Pickens Recreation Area

Day 39          Molino                                   Fort Pickens Recreation Area

Day 40          Century                                   N/A Home

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#FloridaForty Day 38 Gulf Breeze to Pensacola Beach

We started off the morning with possibly our last walk on the beach on this trip, watching that waves crash on the beach and collecting seashells.

 

Though we have visited Fort Pickens before, this was our first time participating in the guided tour.

 

The two little kids were able to be sworn in as official Junior Rangers…

 

We learned about how and why Fort Pickens was built, as well as who built it.  It’s amazing to see our children light up when they learn about the enormity of what our ancestors were a part of and how they were a critical part of the birth of this country and its sustainability.

 

We love that they are learning so much!

We picked up another Harley poker chip!

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And finished the evening with a Mardi Gras King cake!

Gig-up got the baby!

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#FloridaForty Day 37 Valparaiso to Gulf Breeze

Kelly has been needing to get to Kohl’s to use $5 Kohl’s Cash that was going to expire on January 31. She kept putting it off until the last day but now has a new pair of leggings.  And there was a Harley right next door, so we knocked out two birds with one stone.

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We made it back to one of our favorite campgrounds…

…with one of the most beautiful beaches!

Ran into this little guy on the way to the beach.

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#FloridaForty Day 36 Destin to Valparaiso


As a former military family, we always look forward to getting on base and/or learning about the Armed Services history.

Right off of Elgin Air Force Base, is the Department of the Air Force Armament Museum, which has a whole lot of history.

The kids, especially the two little ones, were impressed with all the ammunition and the size of all the planes.

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The kids were dying to touch something, so we were glad to see that they could play in a cockpit simulator.

We learned a ton and were grateful that the kids were so in to it too!

And the kicker to all of this is that it is open to the general public and admission is free!

#FloridaForty Day 35 Niceville to Destin

Before starting this post, can we just tell you we love this picture!!!

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We have been to Destin before, but this was over 8 years.  It was so long ago that our now beautiful teenage girls…

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were two beautiful toddlers!

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One of the perks of camping in Florida State Parks, as well as having a State Park Pass, is that it gets you on some of the most beautiful, clean, and secluded beaches.  Once again, we had a beach basically to ourselves, save a few joggers and a few seagulls.

Because the wind was pretty low, we were able to spend a few hours on the beach, allowing the kids to build a “sand pool”… (they were very proud of their work and we were very proud at how they worked together, i.e. Madison and Mackenzie shaped the structure and got water, while Macey and Gig-up were in charge of getting wet sand and dry sand respectively)

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…and for Daddy to bury Gig-up…

…and Mommy made sure to get all the good photos!

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This is what a Florida vacation is all about!

Sorta by accident, we stumbled upon a taffy shop.  So of course, we made sure to stop in.

And, on down to a souvenir shop to pick up a few stickers and a Christmas ornament for our Christmas Travel Tree.

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#FloridaForty Day 30 Madison to Lee

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Drove a few miles from the campground to the little, but proud town of Lee.

If you haven’t figured out by now through our blog, we are more about enjoying the limited time left we have with our children. We desire to make the most of it.

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While we take advantage of our free time, we still make sure to get our work/school done.

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Though we didn’t do much more than relax,  we did end the night, like many nights, around the campfire.

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#FloridaForty Day 28 Alachua to Live Oak

Though there is not much to do around here, we are loving it.  It is quiet and our schedule isn’t as full.

The highlight of our trip to the city was yet another visit to Walmart!

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We stayed up watching “The Foreigner” and “The Mountain Between Us” on Redbox.

After a hot cup of coffee, around 2am, we called it a night!

#FloridaForty Day 27 Weeki Wachee to Alachua

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There was not much to see here in the city, but we liked it because every time we said it, Mackenzie would say, “Bless You.”  I guess it sounds like a sneeze!

We did stop at a pretty large Harley on the way.

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And enjoyed a picnic lunch on a park bench!

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#FloridaForty Day 26 Clearwater to Weeki Wachee

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The fun keeps coming!  Even the city we visited had a funny name…pronounced, ‘We-key Watch-ee.’ Weeki Wachee means “Little Spring” or “Winding River”.

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We started the day at the home of the world famous Underwater Mermaid Show. Kelly had been wanting to take the kids and see the mermaids for years!!

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Before the show began, we got to learn about and touch some native animals.

After seeing the animals, we wanted to get good seats for the show, so we arrived about 30 minutes early.

The show did not disappoint!

How they are able to stay calm and still perform while that far underwater is amazing!

Then we took a boat ride down Weeki Wachee Springs.

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The fun didn’t stop when we got back to our campground.  Probably the best campground we have been too.  The campground hosts, workers, and staff were awesome.  So were all the people who were camping or fishing there.

Mackenzie went fishing again and caught a whopping 33 fish!

One of the fisherman gave William a few fish that he cleaned and then Kelly added some spices to it and put it on the grill.

It was supposed to be for dinner, but they didn’t make it that far!

This is what we had envisioned when we started RVing; enjoying our campground, meeting some great people, and making some memories.

#FloridaForty Day 25 Winter Haven to Clearwater

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The kids had a blast at Legoland so now it was time for us to go to our “theme park.”

That “theme” was RVs!

 

We looked at Class Cs, Class A Motorhomes, Fifth Wheels, ToyHaulers, and some pretty cool custom Prevost and Super Ds.

 

 

 

 

Gig-up even got to test fake drive one!

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Looks like Mackenzie got really comfy.

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We saw some sights while we were there, including a talking plant…

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…a giant old man…

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…and a giant funnel cake!

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I think William has narrowed it down to two options for our next RV.

If we decide to keep a towable, it will be the 42′ Forest River Sandpiper 383RBLOK, with two full baths, a four bunk back room, a fireplace, central vac system, washer and dryer hookup, and a good price.

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Or if we decide to go to a driveable, then a 38′ Thor Miramar with two full baths, mid bunks, over cabin bunk, residential fridge, fireplace, captains seats, a central vac system, and a fair price also.

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We also found the time to swing by the world’s friendliest Harley Davidson! They definitely live up to their nickname!