Thursday, June 25, 2015

Find me on Yelp!

Do you Yelp? Well, I do! You can find me on Yelp! as well and follow my reviews. Go ahead, do it. Send me a friend request so I can see where you are spending your time as well.

Got a suggestion on a place for me to review? Bring it on! I'd love to!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Adventure in O-Town

Yep, you read that right! An adventure right here in Orlando. I don't report on those often since an adventure really feels like I need to drive just a little ways to get some exploring in and to experience something new.

What motivated me to stay close? $5 admission to the Orlando Science Center did the trick! Generally admission is a bit more than that but they had an evening sponsored by Walmart where you could get in for just $5 from 6-10. My hope was that it wouldn't be too crowded but I was wrong there. Word must have spread far and wide. It was packed. We stood in line for a good 30 minutes or more to get in and it even got to the point where it was hard to walk inside the museum. But, we didn't let that spoil our night. We hit every exhibit and saw everything we could. We even managed to see a movie in the dome about the stars and the universe. I really wanted to see the Galapagos movie but we missed that.

I haven't actually been to the Orlando Science Center in a few years or so but some of the same stuff was there along with some new exhibits. The Human Body exhibit was there but closed off for this event. The dinosaur exhibit is one of my favorites along with the live animals at the bottom of the museum. $5 made it more than worthwhile, even with the crowds!

By the time we left everyone was a little bit STARVING!!! But where to eat at 9:15 with kids??? I know. Pig Floyds! I've had them bookmarked on my Yelp account for a while and they were open. Let's go!

We were there pretty late and on a Tuesday of all days so they were out of brisket and pulled pork at that time. Didn't matter to me since I wanted a butter chicken taco and the yucca. My daughter got that and then added grilled veggies (a perfect assortment of many veggies) and plantains. Everything we got was delicious. The plantains were amazing. Cooked just right to be sweet and a little caramelized. Mmmmm. They even had a good beer selection but I bypassed that for some yummy sweet tea. Others in our party got tacos, ribs and fries and everyone was pleased and happy. The seasoning for the fries was perfect! I'd go back in a heartbeat! I'm sure the pulled pork and brisket would have been a hit as well.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Adventure to Jetty Park & The Space Coast

Yay! Summer vacation is here and we are off to Jetty Park for a week of RV camping! This should be fun and interesting to say the least.

Well, it was. We camped at Jetty Park Campground which really is a lovely campground, but whoa... all sites are not created equal. There are some wonderfully shaded spots and some that just sit in the blaring sun. One day we were there was a record temp day with a "feels like" temp of 103 degrees. Yes. 103 degrees in the full sun without a bit of shade and a breeze to be found no where. In case you go, make sure you don't get set up at site 350.

That actually leads me to a bit of a side topic... knowing how to pick an RV site is pretty tough. Do you homework! You could end up with no shade and on the end like we did or you could have a beautiful site in the shade just 1 row over. If anyone has any great sites to tell me about finding out this information please share!

Okay, back to the adventure part. We set up camp and were so hot we needed to cool off. Time for the beach. It's a short walk through the camp, across the parking lot and then down the boardwalk. But when we got there we almost went back and packed up to go home. So depressing. The beach was FULL of seaweed. And I mean FULL. You couldn't see a break in the seaweed as far as the eye could see. I hear that it was a strange phenomenon that was as far north as St. Augustine and as far south as Delray Beach. On top of that they couldn't rake it up or clean up the beaches because it was sea turtle nesting season as well.

We ended up buying a small kiddie pool just to get some relief from the heat and since the beach wasn't usable. I saw someone else at the campground with the same idea so we ran with it... only to be told a day later that wasn't allowed. Ugh. At least the beach was clearing up so we could use the ocean to cool off in some.

There's also a great fishing pier or the actually jetty that you can walk down and see quite a lot of different things. Over the course of the week I ventured out there several times. I saw dolphins, sea turtles, lots of people fishing, boats and cruise ships go in and out and some beautiful scenery. Don't miss the cruise ships going out. You can find a schedule to see what is heading out when that the port puts out right here. The big ships going right past you are hard to watch since I'd rather climb aboard!

For dinner we mostly grilled or cooked outside which was a lot of fun. We ventured to Rusty's one night but it just isn't as good as it once was. The view is great and they have lot of menu choices but apparently you shouldn't trust the website since they are fighting with the webmaster and it's not accurate. Expect tiny portions for a 4 or 5 year old on the kid's menu. The other menu items tend to run on the small to average side of things. I've done Yelp reviews for Rusty's as well so be sure to check there. There are a few other choices like Grills, Milliken's Reef and Fish Lips. All seem to be about the same. Go with Grills if you want the freshest seafood in my opinion. 

For dessert we tried The Fat Donkey. Yum!!!  What a cool little place. It's counter service but everyone liked their treats. 

Look!!  The beach finally cleared up!! Time to swim! The water was really nice and surf school was out many mornings. It's cute to watch the little ones stand up and ride a wave in to the shore. 

Exploring all the seaweed finally grew on me a bit and there was some interesting finds in there. I found this puffy sand dollar. It was so fragile it didn't even make it home. Among the mess were tons of horseshoe crabs, dead fish, ropes, goggles and more. It had a bit of a stinky smell but not overly awful out there. 

Overall Jetty Park is a nice place to visit and I'd be happy going again. I'll definitely check the site location before the adventure begins. Thanks for following our Adventures!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fun on the Palm Coast

Palm Coast sits about 2 hours away from Orlando, just south of St. Augustine on the East Coast of Florida. Originally this area was built as a retirement area but then more and more development came through and there are many upscale resorts. The tree canopy that covers the streets is just beautiful as you drive through the Hammock area where all the resorts are... but that's not where we are headed.

Nope, we're going to Washington Oaks Garden State Park. I know, I know. You're thinking "a garden". What kind of AbJ day is that?!?! Well, the name tells you only half the story of what this state park offers. You see, on one side of A1A (Beachfront Avenue!!!) you have the beautiful gardens, a walkway on the bay, a small, educational house, gift shop, rose garden, and ponds with beautiful koi fish.

Across the road is my favorite part though... the beach! And not just any beach. This beach has coquina rock formations that line the beach. You can climb these rocks, look in the tide pools for starfish and other sea life. It's absolutely beautiful out here but be warned it really isn't a beach for swimming because of all the rock formations. You can still get plenty wet though! Be sure to check the tide schedule before you head out. You want to hit at low tide so that you can truly explore.

The next part of the adventure is to head over to Fort Matanzas National Park. About 6 miles away you can visit the Fort via a short boat ride from the mainland. The boats depart on the half-hour and the trip takes about an hour. The views from the top of the Fort are beautiful and when you are done you can take the nature trail back on the mainland as well.

We also stopped to grab an early dinner at Matanzas Inlet. It was okay, maybe 3 star at best. The view and location was great but the food was just meh. I had the blackened mahi sandwich and it was good, but a little plain. The rest of our party's food was just okay. The hamburgers, the fries, the coconut shrimp, the fried shrimp, the cole slaw... all just meh.

Time to head out but we needed one more stop back at Washington Oaks to see the tide come in and splash up on the rocks. Breath taking. Please, go check it out and see for yourself.