Florida-Flagler, Canaveral, St Augustine

We stayed in Orlando for a few extra nights to wait for a tropical storm to pass and then headed north east to the Atlantic.

Another one bites the dust.
Another one bites the dust.

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We camped at Bulow Plantation RV park. It is a nice place with large spots and enormous trees hung liberally with Spanish moss. Across from us two families with small kids play under the trees with their pet pig. It is a nice place to stop for a while.
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We drove south to Canaveral National Seashore. The Apollo visitor center is on the north side of the park. It is situated on a strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and Mosquito Lagoon. It's a small visitor center but the docents were very nice and showed us many nice displays. The kids earned badge number 40 (!) here.
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We then headed to the beach for the afternoon. My friend from college came to visit us and brought us fun gifts of boogie boards. It was wonderful to see Sea again and a special pleasure to watch the kids take such delight in asking him a million questions about every shell or hole in the sand. They were amazed he had an answer for every question. "He's like a Wild Kratt!" Matilda whispered.

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It was a beautiful afternoon digging a big hole in the sand, searching for shells, playing in the water and catching up. Thank you so much for driving up to visit us, Sea. So nice to see you.

The sand here is pink/orange wit crushed shells. Very different from The gulf.
The sand here is pink/orange wit crushed shells. Very different from The gulf.

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A rocket launch was scheduled for Kennedy Space Center and we had hoped to watch it from the beach. The weather was uncooperative, though, and the launch was scrubbed. Bummer.

We visited St Augustine, the oldest city in America. It was established in 1565 (!). In St Augustine the parking is pretty tricky and expensive, be warned. (There is no free parking at the fort. There is a parking garage for the visitor center and next to a huge park. It is flat fee of $12 which seemed standard for the town. It is an easy walk from there to the fort and to old town.)
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We visited Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. It is an old old fort that was first built by the Spanish. It was built to protect the city from pirates and then to defend against the English. The English did take over the fort eventually and then the Americans.
The fort is quite incredible. It is a square structure with bastion on each corner. The entire fort is rimmed with a large moat and there are two drawbridges to get into the fort. The walls are 9 feet thick and made of coquina, a unique sedimentary rock made of crushed seashells. You can see the shells in the walls.

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You can walk around the bottom floor into some of the rooms with displays and also along the top with the cannons. The roof is domed which makes the roof thicker and allows heavier cannons on the top. They still shoot off the cannons a few times a day. From the top Bob and Milo saw a manatee and small sea turtles.
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The kids got badge number 41 and a beautiful patch.

We then walked around the Old Town. It is full of old buildings housing cute shops and (pricey) restaurants. It's a nice place to walk around. We drank from a fountain (of youth?) just as Ponce de Leon did.

Old town St Augustine
Old town St Augustine

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We went to the nice park behind the parking structure to burn off the end of the day energy. A nice ending full of new friends.
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There are many other fun things to do in town. Quirky museums such as pirate museum and mystery museum. There are history museums and art museums as well. There are tours around town in a red train. You could spend a lot of time in town.

Summer has arrived and we've been enjoying it.
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We spent a few days at the beach in Flagler Beach. It is a great beach. The parking is free and access to the beach is very easy. There were even lifeguards.
We went boogie boarding and swimming and played. There are tons of Moon Crabs in the sand and it's fun to watch them scurry about and tend their houses.

We went one morning for the sunRISE over the ocean at the pier. It was a wonderful way to spend a day.
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