Yesterday was our big sight-seeing day. The whole time that we’ve been out here, we’ve stayed in Sebring, doing fun, “regular” types of things like swimming, eating, shopping and playing.

But Saturday was the day to head out on the road to see Florida. We talked about doing Disney, but we took Anika to Magic Kingdom the last time we were here, and we don’t want her to think that every time we come to visit my parents out here, she gets to go to Disney. Plus, there’s so much to see that costs a whole lot less than Disney does, so Ben planned out our route for the day.

We drove along the east coast, and stopped to see a lighthouse, went to Juno Beach and walked to the end of the pier, toured a 100-year-old mansion in Palm Beach, and ended our full, busy day by having supper at Jill and David’s house in Fort Lauderdale!

So, here are the details on our stops:

We had a two hour drive to get to our first location, and it was fun just to see different scenery. Cows grazing among palm trees is not something we see very often:

Our first stop was a little bit of a disappointment. The lighthouse was supposed to be this really neat, old place to see, and Anika was all excited about climbing to the top, but this is as close as we got:

It was closed for painting, which was really too bad, but it meant more time for the beach!

We drove to Juno Beach, and it was amazing. Last time we were out here, we went to Coco Beach, which also has a pier, but you have to pay to walk to the end of it. And our response was, “What?! As if we’re paying just to walk to the end of a pier!” But as we were heading home, I realized that my one regret for the whole trip was that I hadn’t walked out to the end of the pier. What’s a couple bulks compared to walking out into the middle of blue sky and blue ocean and sunshine, and feeling all surrounded by wonderfulness?

So this time, we had our cash ready, and we made up for last time! And it was beautiful. It kind of stank like fish, but other than that, it was perfect!

I took many, many…many pictures at the beach, so I’ll sort through those, and maybe post the rest of them tomorrow.

After that, we drove to Palm Beach – such a fun drive!

Anika’s really into mansions lately – it comes from all the books she’s been reading. The other day, we drove by a really big house, and she eagerly asked if it was a mansion. She was very disappointed when we said no, not really. She sighed this big, dramatic sigh, and said, “I’m longing to live in a mansion when I’m older. I’ve been searching for one all my life.” 

While we’re somewhat concerned about this materialistic obsession, we thought she’d love to see this old mansion museum – it would help her to picture stuff that she’s reading about. And she did love it.

They say you need two hours for touring it, but with 2 kids, and 2 adults tired out from an afternoon at the beach, we found that cruising through it in half an hour was just about right!

And then we drove to Jill and David’s house. It was so good, and we were so glad we went! Our time together was not nearly long enough, so we’ll just continue it the next time we come out here!

Jill has worked on summer staff at Red Rock for a few years, and she and David just got married in September. We had met him, but hadn’t really spent any time with him. But it took about 2 seconds to feel comfortable and at home at their place. The first thing I heard when I walked into the house was him calling to Jill from the kitchen, “If I was a colinder, where would I be?” And that is exactly the kind of thing that Ben would say to me.

Jill has always been so great with little kids, and Anika was very excited to see her again. David proved himself to be just as good with our girls, and it took a very short time for them to warm up to a new situation, and start zipping around the house.

After supper, we played some Dutch Blitz, and then much too soon, we had to start our 2 1/2 hour drive home.

It was such a good, fun, full day. We could easily have spent much more time at each place we went, but I guess that’s okay, because it’s always best to quit while everyone’s still having fun, right?! And we’re really hoping that there will be a “next time” sometime soon, because now we know what kinds of things we love to do out here!

Looking forward to getting some beach pictures up next!

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