We took a trip to Jacksonville, Florida and stayed with a friend who was kind enough to share his condo with the three of us. On the way down, we stopped in Huntsville, AL at the Space and Rocket Center and had an enjoyable, leisurely afternoon. The boys did flight simulators and hands-on exploration, I read and followed them around, then jumped on the space shot so Luke could watch. Since he wasn't tall enough for that, we found a kid-sized version of the space shot and a play area that was his favorite part of that stop.
Naturally, it rained the next day. We made the best of it - relaxing indoors, then going out to Latitude 30, a swanky bowling alley with game room and restaurant. The skies had cleared enough by the time we were done for us to head on down to St. Augustine, where we viewed local architecture and toured the Fountain of Youth. The tour wasn't unreasonably priced, and included a planetarium and a 3-D globe presentation (much cooler than it sounds!) as well as a taste of water from the fabled fountain. DS enjoyed the peacocks, planetarium, and the ancient tree that he could climb.
Wednesday was beach day, and we stayed outside ALL day. I packed a lunch, slathered on sunscreen and enjoyed reading an e-book on my iPhone while Luke played in the sand and got his feet wet in the frigid Atlantic waters. Not only was the water colder than I expected, but the temperature didn't break 65 that day, plus it was windy. No matter, it was a really enjoyable day for us all.
Thursday we were all hurting from sunburn so stayed in until after lunch, playing computer games and reading. Then we went across the street to Tinseltown and watched Hop, which was a fun movie. Our friend didn't have to work that night, and invited us to a minor league baseball game, so off we went again. It was fun as well, and perfect weather!
Friday we went to Hanna Park to enjoy the beach again, and this was a truly beautiful location. Not too many people, clean, and lots of natural areas - dunes, lakes, swampy area with turtles and crocodiles (although we didn't see a croc ourselves) and best of all...a playground! After an hour on the beach, DS was done and wanted to go to the water park by the lake, but it wasn't open. Luckily, the playground was, so after a picnic on one of the many tables, some other children arrived and off he went, playing hard for a couple hours more. That evening we went to the Wasabi Steak House, and watched the Japanese guy cook our food. Delicious!
Saturday morning we began the journey back home, stopping in Marietta, GA that night and arriving home Sunday afternoon. The grass was quite tall, as it had rained and stormed during out absence, so I mowed that evening while we all settled back in.