Welcome to our Adventure...

We packed up the kids, dog and the trailer and headed out for adventure, learning and helping others. During our adventure we will try to update this site as often as possible to keep everyone interested involved in our travels and to keep a journal for ourselves. The plan is to be working, schooling, helping and sharing on the road for a year.
Please feel free to post comments and questions! Thanks for following!

Thursday, January 31, 2013


After yesterday, it was such a pleasure to wake up to beautiful blue skies this morning. It was very brisk outside, still mildly windy, but so peaceful. Brock and Heidi got a run in and I made pancakes for breakfast. While I was at the griddle, there was a trailer shaking boom and a few smaller ones followed, which I learned later in the day were bomb testing since we are near a couple of bases. Weird!

After breakfast, schooling and work continued through the day. I used the laundry room here to catch up. We hadn't done any laundry while at the state park, so it was fairly taking over the bunk room. ;o) It was a nice clean laundry room and not too expensive so it didn't feel like TOO much a chore and it always feels good when it is done (at least until that first item goes into the bottom of the basket again).

Towards the end of the day, we headed out to grab a burger at a chain called Whataburger! It was about the same price as a McD's, but the food was much tastier in our opinion. The food was all cooked fresh and the toppings were made to order (kind of) since half of ours weren't exactly as we'd specified. The burgers were good though and the fries were salty and crisp.

We went from there to the Winn Dixie and picked up a few items that were on our list, especially milk and ice cream, our staples. Brock had worked a very long day and felt ready for some relaxation so he decided to grab a man movie from the Redbox there.

We came back to the trailer and everyone sampled the Caramel Crave ice cream (yum!) and the kids went to bed and we got to watch the Bourne movie just the two of us. It wasn't exactly the movie I'd pick, but it was nice to sit with Brock and get lost in a story. Can't say it was too relaxing as it made me a little tensed up, but it was entertaining.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stormy Day

We had been following the forecasts for today which showed high winds and possible thunderstorms peaking in the early afternoon so we called our next campground to see if there'd be any possibility that we could check in early. We could and so we planned to pull out of St. Andrews by 8:30 so that we'd arrive at Geronimo RV Resort in Miramar Beach between 9 and 10 before the winds got too strong and/or sustained. Everything went according to plans!! Brock successfully navigated our beast of a trailer down the road, it was pretty much just one highway all the way. There were some pretty strong gusts of wind that pushed us around a little bit, but we drove during what was definitely the calm before the storm

Once we got all checked in at the campground, we got all setup in our site, and Brock went to work and the kids and I worked on school. Spencer had completed most of his independent work very early this morning, he was up at 6!, and so he and I worked together for a little bit and he was done for the day and ready for his freetime. Heidi barked at the door and it was Brynna's turn to take her so they stepped out of the trailer and in the time it took Brynna to take about 10 steps it started pouring down rain. She and Heidi turned right around and came back in. The nice thing is this storm seems to be bursts and breaks so that isn't too bad. As hard as the rain was falling though, I think it will be a good test for those newly sealed bunk room windows.

Brock was feeling a little burned out, so he suggested we all take a break midday and head to the outlet mall that is only about 1 mile away. (Insert sheets of rain falling for about 10 minutes) He had a window of about 2hours before his next appointment time on his schedule, so we headed out. We walked the mall and into whichever stores interested any of us and a few of us found a couple treasures. The walking area is mostly covered so we missed most of the rain and the little boys especially, had fun overdramatizing the effects the high winds were having on our ability to walk. ;o) At one point, the skies opened up again and it looked like this...
and this wasn't even the hardest rain we saw today...

Brock made one phone call for about 5 minutes and we hit a gelato store with a ton of different flavors. That was fun and yummy. They served it in cute little plastic cups which I guess you are supposed to throw away, but we decided to take them back to the trailer to become our new tiny ice cream serving bowls.

Spence and Sky goofing off.
Spencer as an awarding winning hot dog.

We headed back to the trailer and finished up our school and Brock worked the rest of the evening.

He just headed outside to close our little stove vent thingy that flaps if its windy outside and he came in and reported clear skies. It is still windy, but I think the rain is done. We never saw any lightning or heard any thunder. Tomorrow's high is only supposed to be in the mid-50's which is a pretty big change from 73 today. But cool and sunny is ok with me!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Back at the Bay County Public Library

This morning I went outside to fill Heidi's food dish (we keep her food in the garage compartment) and saw the rising sun shimmering on the water and felt grateful for the spot we are parked at right now.

The kids and I made it our goal to get packed up and headed out as early as we could, back to the library to work on our school day and leave Brock at the trailer to enjoy peace and quiet while he worked. Turns out "as early as we could" is not that early, but that's ok.

I think it was around 10:00 am when we left the trailer and we planned to stop at the store because I noticed Spencer's toe was sticking out of the end of his tennis shoe and so I wanted to get him a new pair. It seems like in the 5 and half months that we have been gone, we have purchased him 3 pairs of cheap tennis shoes. I don't know if that is normal or not, it has seemed excessive, but he pretty much wears one pair of shoes almost every single day and he's growing and he is definitely not gentle on his shoes, so I guess it's just the way it will be.

We were driving down the road and we see this building with a huge shark for a doorway and the kids read signs about live sharks and they start begging me to stop. I'm thinking we need to get to the library, but then I think, stopping won't take too long so I went around a block and went back to the store.

Turns out you enter the souvenir shop through the shark's mouth. The kids thought it was pretty cool. The sign said Live Shark feeding at such and such time and the little boys so wanted to see the sharks, but as we were standing just inside the shark's mouth, Bri noticed that not all the merchandise was very appropriate so we didn't end up going in after all. Don't know why they'd have to hang up shirts with really inappropriate language on their wall. Oh well. It was fun to take the pic. I did remind the boys they'd seen sharks at the Oregon Aquarium. They were ok with passing by these ones, but not too happy. The funny thing is that we saw two more stores that were almost identical to the style of building as this one, one had a whale's mouth entrance, but they had different names, so I don't know if they're related or not.

A little further down the road and we passed by Wonderworks. It is a cool science museum/fun attraction that the kids had seen advertised in tourist literature so it was fun to actually see the building. The kids again wanted to stop, but we all agreed we'd rather do stuff like that when all of us can go.

I think we finally got the library around 11:30. The library here in Panama City is a really nice library. The kids and I were able to get all our work done and use some free wifi and read some fun books. Again, it was our stomachs that drove us from the library today. We decided to grab a little bit of grub and find a beachy place to sit and eat it and then head back to the trailer to see how Brock was doing. The whole time we had been at the library, I was looking out these huge floor to ceiling windows in the childrens' area and seeing this gorgeous day, blue sky, 73 degrees and I wanted to be out there.

We decided to go to Sonic because it was happy hour and we could get cheap fancy drinks and I was just going to have the kids get tots or something, but they all wanted to get a cheeseburger so I ordered 6 drinks (one to take back to Brock), 4 cheeseburgers, one tot and one apple slice to share. I think I had a trainee because he kept asking me to hold on while he was inputting the items on the order. He finally brought out our stuff and knocked over one of the drinks. Thankfully the lid was on tight and it only had a few drips on the sides so I just had to wipe it off before putting it in the cup holder. He hadn't marked any of the lids so we were guess on the flavors. We were about to drive away when I thought, I better just check to make sure we have everything. We didn't have the tots or the apples. I pulled back into the order stall and pushed the button and explained that I was missing two items. A different guy said they'd be right out and about 10 minutes later they were. I didn't know where to go to sit with our food so I thought I'd just head back toward our campground. There were some covered picnic areas at the beach access there.

As we were driving towards the campground though, the sky kept getting grayer and grayer. The wind was picking up. We arrived at the picnic area and we all hopped out and immediately noticed cooler temperatures. When Spencer and Brighton set their cups on the picnic table, the wind blew them over. We decided we'd better just head back and eat inside the trailer. The whole time I was just thinking, if Sonic had been faster, we could've enjoyed beach more. But I'm not bitter...;o)

The forecasted storm is definitely blowing in. It feels hot and muggy.

Brock and I realized that we really needed to do some bookkeeping work that we'd not made time for and so I worked on the data entry part and got it done. Woohoo!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Castles in the Sand

Today was a rough Monday with getting going on our school work. All the kids were easily aggravated with each other and the bickering really got to me. About mid-morning we finally got into a groove and finished up all our work about normal time, around 3:30.

Brock got up early and cleared the board and took the Yukon in for a check up at a local repair shop. He has been feeling a hesitation in the engine at random times and wanted to have it looked at. Their code reader didn't pick up any error codes so that is good. They couldn't find anything wrong, but given the symptoms suggested a cleaning of the throttle body unit which they did. It's good to have confirmation that our vehicle is healthy. It has been performing very well on our adventure.

When Brock got back to the trailer, he needed quiet for some calls, so Bri, Bryn and I did our history reading together outside at our picnic table which is literally about 5 feet from the waters of Grand Lagoon here at St. Andrews State Park. So beautiful! Skylar has been fascinated by the little hermit-type crabs that are everywhere along our stretch of beach so he was playing quietly "catching" those and Spencer did his independent work in the bunk room of the trailer. When school was done, all the kids were into crab catching and when I went out to check on them, they had about 6 or 7 crabs apiece corraled in these little circular cages they'd made with palm fronds. They had to set the shell down in the center of the corral and then leave it and quietly watch it until the crab came out to explore. They had given the crabs names like Gargantua, Giganta, Intestines (his shell had something that looked like hard guts all piled up) and Killer Croc.

I interrupted the crab play to tell the kids to pack up so we could go down to the beach area. Once there, I just tried to relax. I picked up a few cool shells. I walked along the surf and got my toes wet. I watched a couple of stand up paddle boarders ride the surf in the sunset. I took pictures of the sunset. Honestly, this place is so beautiful, I feel like I'm in another country.

Brynna built a huge sand castle.

The boys rolled down and slid down the sand dune edge and threw sand at each other and generally tried to get sand into every orifice again. (I do NOT understand why they think this is fun, but I guess that doesn't matter.)

Once the sun was completely down and the castle was finished, we hurried back to the trailer to get some dinner going. When we got back, Brock was still going at it. On a call with Weston's newest employee, Jim, who started today. Brock is excited to have Jim be a part of the team and thinks he's going to do well. Jim will be taking over the morning server checks that Brock does, so that will be a big relief for Brock.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

St. Andrews State Park

This morning we made it our goal to get to a church service that was literally one block from our trailer by 10 am. Before leaving for church, we also needed to have the trailer ready to go except for hooking up to the Yukon so that we could pull out right after church. We couldn't find a check-out time anywhere at the campground, so we assumed it was noon ;o) and we made it just in time.

We made it to the church with time to spare. The service at First Baptist Church of Mexico Beach was really sweet. The people were very welcoming and friendly. It was fun to see a couple who were our next-trailer neighbors from the campground sitting one pew behind us across the aisle.

We pulled out of Rustic Sands and headed down the highway. We stopped at the same Walmart that the kids and I had hit on the library day and picked up some groceries and then we drove another 15 minutes or so to St. Andrews State Park.

Our campsite, #15, is right on the water of Grand Lagoon. It is a little sloped and the water spigot is placed a little forward so we had a bit of a hard time getting parked just right. We have the least amount of clearance for the jacks that we've ever had. As in, I couldn't turn the handle of the crank because it hit the ground. But we got it, and right as we were getting settled in, the kids started excitedly yelling about seeing hermit crabs at the water's edge. A few moments later, we saw a great blue heron standing in the shallows and Sky and I watched as he snatched up a fish(?) or a little crustacean(?) in his beak and because we were making him nervous, watched as he glided a little further away to eat his meal in private.

We were all really hungry because we hadn't eaten lunch yet, I had the Walmart stuff to finish putting away and so when that was done, we ate a quick meal of french dips. We cleaned up from our meal and Brock took Sky to see how far away the bathrooms are. We do not have sewer hookups here so we will need to use the campground bathrooms as much as possible during the day and do all our showering there also. Thankfully, they are nice bathrooms and they aren't too far from us. Also, the dump station is fairly close, so I might be able to make some trips to dump out dish water to save space in our gray tank and make it last the three days.

Brock took the foldable bike and the little boys on their scooters and went exploring and found that there is a playground here near the boat launch. I took Heidi and started out for a walk, thinking I would find the beach because the sun was starting to get low. Soon, those three explorers caught up to me and we all made our way towards the beach. (Bri and Bryn stayed at the trailer with their own quiet activities.) We explorers came up on a little family of deer that were grazing along the road and they showed no fear of us or of the cars on the road that were stopping to take their pictures. One deer saw Heidi and stopped and looked at us, but didn't seem too concerned. We continued our trek down the road. We saw a sign for Gator Lake and walked on the boardwalk for a little closer look, but we saw no gators tonight. We might have heard one move loudly in the water, but we're not sure. The big birds were all coming in to roost in a bushy tree across the water and they were noisy.
Posing on scooters with the deer
"Gator Lake" - gorgeous even when we don't spot a gator
We kept on toward the beach since I was really wanting to see it and catch the sunset. We did and it was awesome! Same white super soft sand and the water was so pretty and clear. More so than the beaches we've seen so far. We didn't walk on the beach since dogs are not allowed, but we stood on the boardwalk which goes to the top of the dunes and looked down. The sunset was gorgeous and it's hard to believe, but I think the beach was even more beautiful than the ones we've seen before. I can't wait to check it out some more. We are only here until Wednesday so I'm motivated to lighten our school schedule a bit. ;o)

On the way back to the trailer, we saw more deer. This family had a little one that seemed like it might've just lost it's spots and a buck traveling with it. Very cool!
Blurry because the one looking at me right now got spooked by Heidi and bounded off.
The buck looking regal - and cautious.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Port St. Joe

Hooray for Saturday! Brock had a little bit of work to do this morning, but it was the kind that he just sort of had to babysit while still being engaged with us so that was ok and we had a leisurely morning. Spence and Sky were playing outside this morning almost as soon as they were up...still in their pjs. While they were outside, I was making breakfast. We are still trying to use up the grits we bought so this morning was round 2. I made the grits and some bacon crumbles and one scrambled egg apiece for us. We put finely grated cheese on top and hot sauce. It was pretty good. I think everyone feels like grits are not our favorite food and we probably won't buy it again. Problem is...one container goes a LONG way and we are only about two-thirds of the way through it so I think we'll have one more grits meal to eat.
The PJ Boys - I think Spence is Sky's puppet :O)

The kids all enjoyed more outside play time. They were playing with some other children that came out. Once we were all showered and dressed, we hopped in the Yukon with plans to find someplace to eat out for lunch. We drove along the coastline toward Port St. Joe, a direction we hadn't gone yet. It's a little town about 10 miles from here. I say little, but it did have Piggly Wiggly and Dollar General stores for groceries, unlike Mexico Beach. We found that just outside of the Mexico Beach city limits, dogs are allowed on the beach. :O) Heidi would be so glad.

We used Google local search to find restaurants in the area and I'd hoped to try a wood fired pizza place that had really great reviews, but when we drove by it, it was only open for dinner. We saw a place called Beachcombers III and I looked up its reviews on google and there were only three, but they were all excellent so we decided to give it a try. Brock and I hoped to have some local seafood and they had seafood-ish specials like shrimp baskets and fish baskets. Brock tried the fish basket which turned out to be a fried filet of Alaskan pollock sandwich (not too local) and I decided to be really daring for me and try a crabcake sandwich basket. I don't think I've ever had a crabcake before and it wasn't really what I was expecting. Two kids had burgers, one a BLT, and one grilled cheese (guess who! LOL) and they all thought their food was good. Brock and my baskets came with hush puppies, but these didn't have the same flavor as the ones we tried before; they tasted very fishy. Brock and I were both fairly disappointed in our meals and thought them pretty mediocre for the price. Bummer. Oh well. At least now we could go beach exploring with full bellies.

We drove around looking for a nice beach access, but ended up heading back towards Mexico Beach and found the access point right where the city limits are that allows dogs on the beach. It is so amazing to me how uncrowded the beaches are during this winter season at least. There were a few people fishing in the surf in both directions from where we set up our beach blanket, but we definitely had our own space for building sand castles, looking at shells, dolphin watching, walking, and running around.
Bri worked on a pit fort which everyone leaped into at some point.

We saw several dolphins that seemed to be playing, but I couldn't really get a good picture.
We saw a lot of tail thrashing.
Spence needed a little space this time. He enjoyed the feel of sand getting everywhere possible on him. 
Brynna walked and ran Heidi the most, but Brock and I took her for a little walk too. 
Just chillin' in the sunshine.
This depressed dog has such a rough life. ;o)
Spencer did some impressive jumping too.
Sky saw me trying to take pics of the dolphins and came barreling towards me making this face.
What a goof!
When we were done playing, and we needed to find a restroom, we headed in to Mexico Beach proper to find someplace for ice cream. We could only find a place called Beach Pizza that had a sign that said ice cream. We pulled into the driveway, but I just couldn't see going into a restaurant and paying those prices for the cones. We decided to go to the expensive little market that we went to earlier in the week, to just buy ice cream there and take it back to the trailer. Bryn and I went in and she chose the flavor of the same brand of ice cream we would've gotten at the pizza place and we found sugar cones there too. The total for a half gallon of ice cream and the cones was under $10. It probably would've cost us $25 at least at the pizza place so I was happy. AND we can all have ice cream tomorrow too! I made the kids complete their shower routines to rinse the sand out of their orifices before they could have their ice cream cones and it worked like a charm...fastest clean up in history.

We check out of Rustic Sands tomorrow. It has been a nice place to stay. Brock and I are working on our next couple of weeks' reservations so that feels good.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Friday!

Today was a quiet day. School went well and we were done fairly early in the day leaving time for more playground time for the kids. It was another gorgeous day. Brighton worked on editing the beach video that the kids shot yesterday. I worked on two more loads of laundry and a little bookkeeping. It was just a laid back day.

Some good news...after putting the trailer slightly out of level and scraping all the silicone off the shower wall/tub surround...after two days of showers...NO LEAKS. so far so good. :O)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Oh Yeah! This is Why We Came on this Trip

Today's forecast called for a warmer afternoon so we decided we definitely wanted to spend some time on the beach this afternoon. We agreed to try wrap up stuff as best we could to take a break around 1 pm and head to a beach we'd heard was dog friendly at the edge of Mexico Beach city limits.

Spence was able to get completely done with his school work and Brighton and Brynna were mostly done when Brock was able to break from work for a time. We headed down one gravel road that was right on the edge of Fort Tyndall Air Base. We gathered all our stuff together...beach blanket, toys, dog leash, dog. We hopped out of the car. We saw the long boardwalk leading through the tufts of beach grass to the dunes. We saw the sign that said "Enter at your own risk" with little pictures of alligators and sharks and something about algae and also "No dogs". What!? We all hopped back in the car and Brock googled dog-friendly beaches in Mexico Beach and found that we were just a little ways off from where we were supposed to be so we headed back towards town and found the little beach access where dogs are allowed. Florida sure doesn't like dogs on their beaches. (After spending time on the beach today, we could see why. There sure are a lot of people who don't clean up after their dogs.)

Anyways, we walked down to a little spot and the kids immediately set up their sand play area.

Brock and Heidi took off for a little run.

I did some beachcombing for shells.

Random little patch of shells

I did some soaking up the sun. It wasn't especially warm, but it was very comfortable in shorts and my sweatshirt.

Heidi loved her run. Just flopped in the sand and got a mouthful.
We enjoyed watching and hearing the fighter jets coming in to the base's airfield nearby. At least one did several touch and gos.

The kids even filmed a short with Brighton as Director.

It was SO enjoyable to sit with my honey on the beach and just enjoy the sunshine. The kids pretty much all played together for the couple of hours that we were there with no bickering. The routine and the bickering lately had robbed us of our joy and made us forget temporarily why we made the effort to make this trip. We will try to remind each other more often. :o)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Library Day

Today we found that our newly repaired shower still leaks. Booo. We think we may just not have had the trailer positioned exactly right. It seems to need to be a little nose down and a little to the back wall of the shower so that water doesn't run down over the side. It seemed worse since the service guys at Camping World caulked all around where the walls meet the tub. We don't think that is the right way to handle it. The walls are so flexible and so already the wall that has the faucet on it has broken free of the caulk, so the water has a perfect channel behind the caulk to run out onto the floor. We will be attempting to remove the caulk since what we hypothesize was leaking before was the faucet because it had gotten loose from jiggling over all our miles. That part seems to be fixed so we should be good as long as we are leveled properly, just how "it" likes.

Our space has felt especially small the last few days, so the kids and I drove in to Panama City about 20 miles away, to spend some time at the library there.

The kids played on the "playground" here at Rustic Sands while I double-checked that I had everything we needed for the school day.

It was a great library. Really huge with a big kids' section. We set up on a couple of study tables and everyone finished up all their school. I got the chance to work with Spencer, listen to Skylar read, and then do history stuff with Brighton and Brynna. The kids all really enjoyed browsing all the different books available. It was a well-stocked library. We realized we had forgotten one of our history books back at the trailer and lo and behold, they had a copy at the library so we didn't fall behind on today's assignments. It was great.

We left the library fairly soon after school got out. It seems that there is a middle and/or high school right in the vicinity and a TON of kids come to that library to work on their homework. That is a great resource for them, but it got a little loud for us and we were pretty hungry since we hadn't brought anything for lunch.

We headed in the direction of the campground and hit a Walmart on our way out of Panama City to get the items on our shopping list. I let each kid choose one snack food and one Propel to drink to tide them over until dinner when we got back to the trailer. We put some gas in the Yukon, didn't fill though because the pump shut off at $75, and headed back to the Mexico Beach area.

Back at the trailer, I figured I couldn't make the roast I'd planned for dinner because it was already dinner time so we had some pizza and some of the veggie tray type veggies we'd just picked up at Walmart.

The other big news for today: We did hear from our renter in Bend today that she won't be moving after all, so that is a relief for now.

I got to talk to my mom on the phone tonight. Happy Birthday, Mom! I really miss you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday at Rustic Sands Resort Campground

Today was just another Tuesday. I took a short walk with Heidi this morning. It was nice, but very chilly. The sun was beginning to peek out of the clouds. Today's high got to be around 60. We got our school work done. Did some more laundry.

Spence and Sky spent a little more time on the playground. They were both a little disappointed that a young man they'd met yesterday had left the park to head back to his home in Georgia. I think he gave them a few pointers on their kickball game because they seemed to have some new skills.

It was one of those days that felt pretty much routine. Brighton is fighting a little cold, so far he's the only one. Keeping our fingers crossed...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Normal Monday

Today was a fairly normal Monday without most of the usual Monday drama. We accomplished our school work. We did a single load of laundry at the campground laundry room. It was pleasantly inexpensive. Brock worked a very LONG day.

Spencer and Skylar spent a lot of time on the playground just outside of our trailer. It was good to see them outside. They spent a long time sweeping off the basketball/shuffleboard court and sweeping out and beating the rug in the "playhouse". Then they played a lot actively running around and playing a kickball type game. They were joined at different times by a few different kids from the around the campground since they were out of school for Martin Luther King Day. Everyone seemed to play peacefully and for the most part we just heard laughing and squealing and happy sounds. So nice.

We finished off the evening with a big lasagna and garlic bread which was an easy, tasty dinner. Tonight I'm looking at maps of the panhandle and trying to figure out where/what we most want to see over the next few weeks.

This new time zone is messing with us. We finished up dinner and I surely thought it was time for the little boys to get into bed and it was only 6:45! It's like another daylight savings time to adjust to.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A New Time Zone

This morning we got up early and got ready for church. The service at Sherwood Baptist Church was at 9:30 am. We got there in plenty of time to get a seat. They had a pretty sanctuary. I was sitting next to Sky and he asked me if they were going to show "Courageous" this morning. I said no that this was their church service. He said, "Then why do they have movie theater seats?" He had a hard time sitting still since the chair kept wanting to fold up on him. The music for the worship service was very full with a full band including lots of horns and a full vocal team in addition to a robed choir of about 60 voices. We enjoyed the guest speaker, Chuck Lowery, speaking on the topic of families. He was very funny and in between making us laugh, he really challenged us at several points. We picked out at least two of the actors from the Courageous movie among the congregants, one being the main pastor. :o) We didn't see either of the Kendrick brothers, but it was fun and the church seemed very friendly, though very big.

We got back to our campground, Brock immediately started getting the trailer ready on the outside, while I made a really quick lunch. We wanted to try to get out of our site by noon. We accomplished that or at least very close.

We pulled out of the camping area and parked over by the park's playground which Spence and Sky would've been very disappointed to have missed. We gave them 10 minutes since the drive to Mexico Beach was right around four hours and we wanted to arrive before dark. The boys had a great time exploring the play equipment. It was huge and there were several different play zones.

It was a pretty drive and only about 30 miles of interstate. Brock thought that was just about right. Gorgeous weather, nearly 70 degrees, and smooth pavement and lots of pine trees. A nice drive. We had fueled up at a Pilot on the outskirts of Albany and we allowed the kids to each pick a snack and a water. Would you believe we made it the WHOLE way with no bathroom stops? Everyone was quite eager once we arrived, but we made it.

When we pulled into Rustic Sands RV Park, the first impression was not extremely positive. The "playground" here, I thought, was kind of a joke, but that shows what I know, because Spencer said, "That looks like a good playground!" right as I was cringing. The lady Brock had talked to on the phone, Donna, a host for the park, met us as we came in and was very friendly and helpful giving us all kinds of tips on the area. We are only a few blocks from Mexico Beach and as soon as we got the trailer set up, we all headed down on foot to the water's edge. We only spent a couple of minutes walking the beach since the sun was pretty much down and we still needed to grab a gallon of milk and walk back.

We are looking forward to exploring the area over the next week. It is good to be back on Florida's gorgeous beaches.