Monday, January 20, 2014

Christmas in Florida

Monday, December 23rd - DeSoto Beach (Gulf of Mexico)

SongSong didn't go out much further than shown in the picture above (he and I were the only ones with enough sense to stay out of that cold water).  The rest of the family decided to join the Florida Chapter of the Polar Bear Club.  The house we rented had a pool and the girls swam almost every night... the pool wasn't heated and Tim said it was slightly warmer than the ocean was - hmmm.
Tuesday, December 24th - Showcase of Citrus in Clermont, FL (morning)

We did a "monster truck" (converted school buses with giant tires) tour of a citrus farm. We bought some oranges there too (best oranges I've ever eaten - no joke).
December 24th - Wild Florida Airboats, Kenansville, FL (afternoon)

Diana and Oscar held the little alligator in the above picture - no one else wanted to.  At this park there are airboat rides and a little zoological area.  Good for killing an afternoon.  We saw gators up close and mangrove trees and a bald eagle too.  There are cows everywhere in Florida... including the swamp.  Who knew?
December 25th - Christmas at my sister's house


The girls jumping on the trampoline with their cousin Alec (who is 12-1/2 years old and now almost a head taller than me).

December 26th - St. Augustine, FL

There's an old fort and a bunch of expensive touristy gift shops and restaurants here... I was a little disappointed. Oh, and it was COLD that day too!  I did get to eat some Cuban food there, so it wasn't a complete bust :).
December 27th - Visit and Heading Home
While in Florida we swung by to visit the Johnsons (whose blog is linked in my sidebar to the right).  They were very gracious in feeding us and hosting us so close after Christmas.  We had a nice couple of hours visit, and their younger girls hit it off with our girls.  I felt bad for eating and running, but I think they understood.  And here is a picture of the ride home - just outside St. Louis, MO early in the morning on the 28th of December.  Tim took this one because I was driving.