Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Traveling down the southern Coast and New Year's Eve

The next day we packed up the house and cleaned up as we all were heading out to our different destinations.

 Angela and Robert were doing a road trip towards Lousiana and our family and Joel's were heading south. We left at 10:00 am for what was supposed to be a 4 hour drive. It ended up taking 8 hours with lots of traffic, delays, using Waze to reroute. It was was stressful but we finally made it. 

We found this interesting sign on the way. 

We were happy to make it to Savannah Georgia by about 6:00 pm

We checked into our hotel, which was near the docks, and set out to start exploring the town. 

One of the local favorite we tried was pralines. That was a first for me. They were yummy

We had a hard time finding a dinner place that we didn't have to wait forever at but we finally found one and enjoyed walking around the docks and checking things out. 

Here are the docks during the day

Today was the day to explore Savannah. We took the hop-on-hop off trolley with the narration guide.  They had actors get on the trolley at places to tell us more about it. 

There were also ghost tours, a riverboat cruise and more we could've gone on. Houses to explore and a pirate house to check out. We didn't have time to do much other than an overview but we all liked it. 

One of the places we stopped off at was this church that was still decorated for Christmas. 

They had a giant nativity scene.

Here are some of the houses we saw in town.

We had to head to Jacksonville that day so on our way out of town we visited an old cemetery to check it out. 

Time to head to Jacksonville

We hit more traffic and got there by evening. Our hotel was nicer but there wasn't a lot around it. We did find a good BBQ place that we all enjoyed for dinner. 

The next day it was raining hard.  We went to sacrament meeting for church and then thought we would see some of Jacksonville...then realized there really wasn't much to see. 

We ended up stopping at a basilica that was pretty on the inside and watched about 20 minutes of a mass. 

We drove to Orlando after that and the kids started complaining because they weren't excited to be in Orlando and felt like they had already been there. Every suggestion we made they weren't excited about.  For dinner Jacob stayed in the room and Joel and Virginia were happy to realize that their reservation wasn't anywhere near ours. 

On the upside on the way into town Joel found a manatee park that we stopped at. It was pretty cool and we could see manatees in the water (just look like dark blobs) and it was pretty cool. 

The next day was more kid complaining so long story short we ended up booking Jacob a flight home a day earlier. Trying to make the most of our last day together we decided on doing an airboat tour to see some nature. The kids were ready to be on their way back home but it was nice to do one more activity. 

Pretending like we are riding on the air-boat. 

The air-boat activity ended up taking most of the day because they told us to come early because there was tons to do....there wasn't. We left at one point, ate lunch and then came back for the air-boat ride. 

We saw some alligators and a lot of birds. We liked it. 

After dropping off Jacob at the airport we spent our last dinner with the kids going to the Pirate dinner show. 

Super cheesy and cringy and too long but otherwise a point (we left before the end of the show)  ha ha.

Jeff and I dropped off the other two kids at the airport and then went straight to Universal Studios to spend New Year's Even with Joel, Virginia and Dean. 

It was fun to see the Harry Potter World. 

Tried butter beer and it was yummy!

Watched a performance that Jeff thought would be boring at first and ended up being good!

As it started getting dark we enjoyed some parades the lights starting coming on. 

For dinner we left the park and found a nice little Italian restaurant outside of the park to eat at. 

Welcoming in 2020!

We stayed for the fireworks and then headed back to our hotel. It was a great way to spend New Years Eve.

The next day we slept in and then met Joel and Virginia's family at Cracker Barrel for a final meal together. We wapped pictures and gave hugs and were on our way. 

They were heading to Daytona and we were killing time before our flight which we realized was later than we thought. 

We drove to the beach...

and then Cape Canaveral. It cost a LOT to get in (like 75 a person) so we were just going to see what we could without actually going in. 

Jeff got them to give him a discount of only $35 a person so we could see some of it. Pretty cool stuff. I'm glad we at least got to see some of it. 

We drove to the airport in time for our flight and talked to the kids who had all made it safely home. 

It was a nice trip and now it was time to get back home. 

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