Thursday, July 23, 2015

Time to get wet...

There are plenty of options in Orlando to get wet other than the typical afternoon rainstorms. We have an annual tradition of hitting Coco Key Waterpark & Resort every summer with the kids. Sadly we didn't pick a great day to do that this year with a few too many lightning strikes that closed the park periodically.

Coco Key is both a water park and hotel but they do offer day passes to just the water park and there are often deals on Living Social or Groupon so be sure to check ahead of your visit.

There are 3 taller slides you can see off the side of I-4 and then the splash area with more slides pictured above. Oh yeah, and that big bucket up top... see it... it dumps all over the place every so often. Super fun!

Step inside the covered area and there is a nice pool with a few more slides where you can escape the sun and cool down. They also have a poolside bar along with an arcade and cafe. Check it out and see for yourself!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Need more ideas for your adventures? Check out the 10Best from USA Today. There are often Orlando and Florida specific lists for your adventure planning! Check it out on Facebook at 10Best and on Twitter at 10Best.

If you get any great ideas, be sure to share them with me! Look at this great list provided by A.D. Thompson for a day in Gainesville.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Orlando Adventures & Edibles

Since I'm in the Adventure business it is fun to meet others that do something similar. If you're looking for some Orlando specific ideas check out Orlando Adventures & Edibles on Facebook. You can also find her on Instagram with the same name and soon on Twitter as well.

Go ahead. Give her a follow!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sea Turtle Walk

About a month ago I made our reservations for the Sea Turtle Walk through the Sea Turtle Preservation Society near Melbourne and last night it was our turn to go. Yahoo! We headed out late in the afternoon with the thought to get dinner first. Our first attempt for dinner was a bust. It had closed and was taken over by some other restaurant. Nah. Not what we were after. So the search continued.

We landed at Coasters Pub & Biergarten in Melbourne and we were all pleased at the selection. Now, you may think by the name it's just a bar but it really was so much more. They have a huge menu with a variety of different foods. With 6 in our party absolutely everyone was pleased. They do have a great list of beer on tap from all over the world, just not much local or small craft brewery stuff.

On to turtle time! We finally found the location with a little turning and counting addresses - which was actually pretty funny but you had to be there to appreciate it. The STPS rotates through 3 or 4 different sites in the area for their walks. Unfortunately this week they haven't had any luck because of the cooler temps in the water. Well, that's possibly the reason. I'm told they usually have multiple sightings each night. There is a great presentation while scouts are out looking for nesting turtles on the beach. During the presentation you learn about 5 different sea turtles and the 3 that nest on the Florida beaches. The Loggerhead Sea Turtle is the only one of the 5 that you can actually watch nest because they are threatened but not endangered.

They told us that they have so many nests in the area that the group from UCF actually only mark every 5th nest. 

But sadly no turtles for us tonight. But we did have a wonderful view of the stars and planets. It was a beautiful evening for shooting stars. In fact, I saw 4 of them myself but would say the group saw many more than that. Several of us pulled out our sky apps to see what we could identify.

Overall, the STPS does a fabulous job with their turtle crawls but we just weren't lucky tonight but not for their lack of trying. We will just have to try again. Gladly!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Oyster Happy Hour at Eddy Teach's

We've been planning on hitting Eddy Teach's this week and today was the day. My daughter was up for it as well. Neither of us are big oyster eaters but wanted to try them with our friends. So we did at Oyster Happy Hour!

We had a great time vandalizing some tables and windows. (It's encouraged, don't worry!) We got some fish dip as well. CB did well with her half dozen but ended up doctoring the hell out of them with ranch and fish dip. Lol. The kid is strange sometimes but I love her. And I have no idea where she gets it. 

Would we do it again? Yep. But I still want to try chargrilled! 

Sea Turtle Nests

I was just a few minutes too late to see the sea turtle eggs that were laid last night. I came out and the conservationist guy was covering them and marking the nest. You know me, I had to run over and find out more.

Turns outfit was a loggerhead sea turtle nest and you can tell by the alternating tracks. I also learned that invests one of three nests from last night and there have been 191 nests laid this season on St. George Island. They check to make sure there are eggs so that they don't put a post through them when protecting them. In 2010 they added the wire covering because of coyotes in the area well. The sea turtles can still get out, just harder for other animals to get in to the nests. 

Very cool to speak with this gentleman and to thank him for his work. Maybe one day I'll get to do that, too! 

St. George Island Trip

While this certainly isn't an AbJ trip it is a fun one. Some dear friends have a family beach house on the island and we were fortunate enough to come out and join them for the week. St. George is one of those beautiful, natural places that you just can't easily find anymore. The sand is like powder and the beaches are pristine. Ahhh, St. George.

I should just let the pictures do the explaining for me...

The sky changes often giving you beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

The walk down to the Gulf.

The St. George Lighthouse has some interesting history. Oddly enough I was able to see it in the original location before the collapse.  

We made an early morning trip down to the state park and it was amazing. We did a few Geocaches while we were there too and spotted tons of ghost crabs.

Oyster City Brewing is not too far away in Apalachicola and that makes for a fun day trip as well. Who can resist a nice flight of beers by the bay? Not us! There are plenty of things for everyone as well... shops, ice cream, t-shirts, book store, sponges and more. Even great places to eat! Yum. 

Once upon a time when the kids were younger we would come to St. George as well. This made a great chance to recreate the photos from 12 years ago!

And more than amazing have been the sightings of dolphins every single day that we have been here. Did I mention EVERY SINGLE DAY?????  Several of us have chased the dolphins out there and been successful this week. The girls had dolphins in between the kayak and the paddle board. They jumped right in front of them as well. I was out there and had one dance right by me a paddle length away. Absolutely amazing! I'll take that view any day! 

Well enough for the update for now. I'm going back to vacation. Stay tuned. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

John's Pass and Madeira Beach

Today was a family friend's birthday and she asked for an AbJ day for her birthday. They're from New Jersey and are often talking about the boardwalk and how much they miss that area from home. So then John's Pass it is! This area is completely board walk and touristy all wrapped up in one! And it's in Florida! Even better. You can find John's Pass actually out in Madeira Beach near St. Petersburg.

There are a ton of restaurants to choose from, many different water sports, fishing opportunities and charters, gift shops, surf shops, ice cream choices and more as you walk around the boardwalk and surrounding areas. Seriously, you want it, they have it! You can go out on a dolphin cruise, rest jet skis, parasail, and take out a charter boat for fishing. If you're looking for some shopping there are souvenirs, bathing suits, jewelry stores, sunglasses, and more to keep everyone happy. 

We opted for The Boardwalk Grill for lunch and it was tasty! I loved the view sitting at the bar in front of the glass window looking out. It's a small place and they make everything from scratch so it took a bit to get our food but we were in no hurry. I had the fish tacos and my daughter has the shrimp poboy. All was yummy as were the fries. Yummmmm. 

While you are there you have to stick your toes in the Gulf. I mean, it's right there!!!  Just go down below the boardwalk and walk under the bridge. How often do you get that opportunity! 

So if you're looking for a day away to explore, go for it! Have fun, explore, get some yummy food and snacks and get your toes wet.