A DAD'S JOURNAL
Week 25- Feb 27 - Mar 5 Week: Farewell to Florida
Early Sunday we headed out early to make tracks from the Everglades up the east coast of Florida to Cape Canaveral. Unfortunately our travel deadline meant our church service this week amounted to a worship CD in Harvey as we rumbled along I-95…
We arrived at our campground which is at the base of a jetty extending out into the Atlantic. The jetty leads huge cruise ships into the channel to their docks further inland. We enjoyed seeing these floating cities coming and going. The Disney cruise ship with its mouse ears and “wish upon a star” horn delighted the kids.
After just getting set up in our campsite in Jetty Park, the sky let loose! As most RV parks won’t let you use hoses to wash your RV, I decided to use the torrent to scrub down Harvey. After an hour getting soaked working in the warm rain, I invited Brenda to join me in the tempest. Together, we walked the beach together deserted except for two hard-core surfers. We enjoyed watching the angry ocean, and it coughed up a big whelk shell for our effort. Later the next day we read that the storm that passed through resulted in record rainfall amounts and even a rare tornado south of us.
We reunited one more time with our traveling homeschool family friends the Goldfines. It was to be our final rendezvous and our kids had worked hard on making a special scrapbook of their times together to give to the Goldfine girls. By the time we parted Tuesday, we had finagled a way to meet up yet one more time in Savannah in a couple of weeks! The kids will just have to add another page to the “Friends” scrapbook!
After a few days on Cape Canaveral, we finally got around to visiting the Kennedy Space Center on our way out of town in Harvey. On the way, we visited one of those famous Florida roadside orange tasting booths. We left with a bushel of our favorite juice oranges to extend our taste of Florida for a few more weeks.
As we stood at the KSC admissions booth, we were close to blowing it off altogether in light of the pricey admission. We are so glad we didn’t. We thoroughly enjoyed the bus tour of the shuttle assembly area and launch pads. Our favorite part though, was the Apollo mission history exhibit. It is top notch with interactive shows and the opportunity to view a full Saturn V rocket with its command and lunar modules. Brenda and I were surprised how the exhibit brought back emotional memories of the history we lived as kids!
We planned our visit to Kennedy so that after our tour, we could drive a couple of hours north almost out of Florida yet that evening. We had our best boondock night yet at a Sam’s Club in Jacksonville, before making it to Brunswick Georgia the next day to set us up for a few days experiencing the Golden Isles of Georgia.
Jekyll Island is a beautiful island with interesting 19th century history. It became the exclusive spot where the early millionaire industrialists built winter “cottages” (mansions in my book). Names like Goodyear, Rockefeller, Pulitzer, Crane, and J.P. Morgan, were part of the Club whose membership at one point was estimated to represent one sixth of the world’s wealth! While the history was interesting, we really enjoyed the bike paths and the beaches. This was our first beach experience where the kids could see a lot of live shells.
On Saturday, we visited the next island north, St. Simons. This island has even older history as it was a military garrison before the Revolutionary war.
Georgia was the buffer zone between Spanish interests in the South and British interests in the North. Fort Frederica was a planned military town that was populated with English, Scottish, and German settlers to help protect this zone. One of the battles with Spain there was key in stopping the Spanish from further pursuing northward expansion. Soon after the US gained independence, the garrison was no longer needed, and the site was abandoned.
Two of the settlers at Frederica were John and Charles Wesley. They both were active ministers and their Methodism expanded from this area. There are several memorials and historical sites on the island commemorating the Wesleys.
It was a bit difficult to say goodbye to Florida this week. We had beautiful weather and so many great experiences in the Sunshine State. Amazingly though, we are at the 2/3’s point in our adventure so we now we need to start our meandering journey up the East Coast.