Thursday, August 15, 2013

Last days in Florida and Homeward Bound

Today's the day! I am finally going to share the last stretch of our trip to Florida with you.  After all, it's only been TWO months since we got back!  I feel terrible that I've neglected my blog for so long (nearly one month since my last post).  My excuse is that it's summer break, my girls are home, and I just haven't made time for it.  Today, I am making the time!

I ended my last post with a picture of a tired little girl, fast asleep, after a fun, full day in Magic Kingdom.  We all had a good night's sleep after all the magic and excitement of that day.  The following afternoon, we drove approximately one hour north of where we were staying to the historic city of...

St. Augustine

St. Augustine is famous for being the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States.  It was founded in 1565 by a Spanish admiral and served as the capital of Spanish Florida for 200 years. Today, it is a very popular tourist destination known for its historic homes, buildings, and architecture.

Approaching the Bridge of Lions (on the left side of the picture )

Here we are at the entrance of the bridge, standing by one of two replicas of the Medici Lions, from Florence, Italy.

St. Augustine Marina and Bridge of Lions

What a charming, historic city!  I was enchanted and so thankful that we decided to come here (after a bit of coaxing from me)!  We enjoyed walking along St. George Street and browsing the unique little shops.  We stopped for some refreshing homemade lemonade, too!

Pedestrian-only St. George St.

The Old Grist Mill on St.George St.  The lower level of the building is a gift shop and upstairs is a tavern.

The oldest wood school house in the USA!  Unfortunately, it was closed when we got there.

We stopped for dinner at a Greek restaurant called Athena.  The food was delicious.  But, the most memorable part of my day was a stop at this place...

O-M-G!  This is where I undoubtedly ate THE BEST ice cream I ever tasted in my ENTIRE life!  I chose the toasted coconut ice cream on a waffle cone.  I tried to make it last as long as I could.  I knew I wouldn't be having another one of these for quite some time (who knows how long)!  I had never heard of Kilwin's before...have you?

I felt so thankful for having visited this historic, romantic city.  We walked along the pedestrian street, enjoying our ice cream under the starry skies.  What a magical night, one I won't soon forget!

The next day was our last full day in Florida. We wanted to take advantage of the sunshine, so we declared it a beach day.  Only fifteen minutes from our bungalow, we spent most of our day at...

Daytona Beach

The girls and I walked along the shore for what seemed like forever, while 

Nuno did some fishing off the Sunglow Pier.

We rented this umbrella and chairs for the day, but spent most of our time in the water!

Fun in the sun with daddy!

We headed back to our bungalow late in the afternoon to shower and rest before our last dinner in Ormond Beach.

We went for dinner at BoneFish restaurant.  I had the grilled grouper fillet with rice and green beans (my friend Nancy said I couldn't go to Florida and not eat grouper). It was delicious. I love fish, especially grilled fish!  And for dessert...

this hot and yummy coconut pie with rum sauce!  Mmm!

And to top it all off,  we were treated to this amazing view...
of the sunset, right in the middle of the restaurant parking lot!  How lucky is that?

Good night Florida...I will miss you!  I hope to see you again real soon!  

The next morning, (June 13) we packed our suitcases and memories into the car and said goodbye to our bungalow, the place we had called home for an entire week.  By 8 am, we were out the door, heading back towards home.

Do you remember my first post about our road trip to Florida (The Joy is in the Journey)?  Do you remember how much I loved our stop in Savannah, Georgia and hoped we would return again on our way back?  Well...we did!!  

 We parked the car and walked along River Street, browsed inside the gift shops, and bought some of their famous pecans to take back home.  It was so incredibly hot and humid!  We went into every little shop we could, just to feel the cold air from the air conditioning! 

And I couldn't leave Savannah without stopping to take a picture by the Waving Girl Statue!
If you don't know the story of Florence Martus, you can learn about it here:

We stopped for lunch here, at The Cotton Exchange, along River St. and we had the most delicious meal.  It was recommended by our waitress - shrimp and grits!  It was my first time eating grits. I loved it!
 A customer sitting next to us mentioned to the waitress that his shrimp and grits were the best he's ever tasted.  He was from the South and told her that he had tried shrimp and grits at many restaurants, but these were the best by far.  I considered myself pretty lucky!

Home again, home again, jiggity jig!

After our scrumptious lunch, we headed back to our car and continued on our way back home; driving through South Carolina, North Carolina, and finally stopping for the night at a hotel in Fancy Gap, Virginia.  We were on the road again early the next morning; driving through West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. We crossed the border into Ontario, Canada and arrived at home, safe and sound, by bedtime.  

We had a fabulous vacation, filled with happy memories and so many firsts!  I'm so glad you could come along with me.  I hope you enjoyed the ride!  


  1. Oh I love this part of your trip. It all looks so otherworldly. St Augustine looks to me more like pics of Bermuda than Fl. And you look so thin!! Bikini princess!! I eat grits all the time but to me it's more like hot cereal, with butter and sugar. I've never had shrimp and grits but could make it one day. Maybe next time you go to FL, go in winter. And visit Panama City, where my cousins live. The beaches are even more beautiful with white sand like Cuba's. So glad you had such a wonderful adventure. ♥

  2. Oh it all looks wonderful, sweetie!! You look gorgeous! And I love grits too...even though we have to import them here! What a fabulous trip you all had, full of love & happiness oxo

  3. Such a great trip Rosinda!!!! We have a Kilwin's here in town and they are just wonderful!!! What a delicious treat!!! All the foods you chose sound wonderful; glad you enjoyed the grouper! I worked in the yard ALL DAY LONG---got home at 6:45 PM....and seeing you in the chair on the beach makes me yearn for a vacation!!!! LOVE THE BEACH!!!

    Fun trip!!!

  4. oh, Shrimp & delicious...being a Southern gal, I know them well ;-)...
    Our holidays include garlic & cheese grits as a side...I'll send a recipe if you want...what a fun summer adventure for your family...thank you for taking us along! Love the pictures of the great times you had together!
    xo Laura J.

  5. Rosinda,
    Loved to find out all about you well deserved vacation!
    Pictures of you guys...The Ice cream...The beautiful beach and the Sunset :)
    I felt like I was there with you all the way!!!Thanks for sharing your happy and safe adventure. Love you 4 so much!!!


  6. What wonderful memories! And the best stories are always the surprises, aren't they? Surprise sunsets in parking lots are gifts--like ice cream! So glad you were able to get away together. You're making wonderful memories that the girls (and you!) will keep forever! xo

  7. Rosinda,
    Your pictures and comments made me feel like I was right there with you! You made some great memories! Thank you sharing your wonderful trip with us. xoxo

  8. You guys are such an adorable family! I love seeing you wherever you are, and it's especially fun to see pictures of your trips. It feels like I just went on a little vacation with you :) We're going to Florida next month and I've been thinking about spending some time in St. Augustine, so I was really glad to read about your visit there. I'll be sure to look for Kilwin's!

    This is such a wonderful post, Rosinda, and a wonderful memory for you to treasure.

    Love you,