The week of February 18 we had out longest stay at a single camping area. We had eight nights at Savannahs Recreation Area near Ft. Pierce, Florida. This was Marco’s favorite place to camp and since his birthday was coming up and the price was right we were happy to hang out in one place and not drive from site to site. We checked in and were only three spots away from our site a few weeks earlier. Most of the seasonal campers from the far north remembered our three crazy kids. The entire week we did school and took some extra time to get some housekeeping items completed. Bikes got washed, several small items on the camper got fixed and we had time to take a bunch of family walks. On Feb 23rd Marco had his 9th birthday. After a breakfast of sugary cereal loaded with marshmallows (typically never allowed) we started off with a father/son bike ride to Winn Dixie for some grocery items. It is about a 2.5 mile ride from the site to the store with a good bit of traffic. After that, Marco really wanted to have a game of family tag football. We picked teams and played in the south Florida heat. Marco and Mei ended up beating the parents while Makai kept score since he was still in his casts.
Later in the day we had another family canoe trip. No gators but lots of birds and some large fish were spotted. After Marco’s choice of fish tacos for dinner we watched him play X-box in the evening. This was his birthday wish along with Key Lime Pie for dinner.
After leaving Savannahs we headed to Ft Lauderdale and stayed at Markham Park. This is another county owned park that we stayed at to be closer to our boat. We had a four night stay and worked on our boat two of those days.
We were pretty bummed when we got there and nothing had been done yet. After some unhappy words and discussions with the marina we made the best of things and got our dinghy fixed. Since the hurricane back in September there was water in the tubes. We had to disassemble the valves and then we vacuumed up the water. After that it was a family effort to pump it up. Luckily the engine started after half a dozen pulls! We then headed off for a short trip. The second day on the boat was even better. We got most of the kitchen cleaned up (not quite yet to Eva’s standards yet) and took the dinghy out for lunch.
We knew that we had to get started back to Georgia since Makai was getting his casts off the next week so our next stop was back up to Salt Springs. We had more time for fishing, snorkeling and some school.
Makai casts could be smelled from about fifteen feet away so we were all ready for them to come off but he has been such am amazing champ the entire time he has had them on. Although there have been plenty of complaints he has managed to do almost everything. He has a great time using his scooter and is able to run fairly well with them on. Showers are always a great time for him and we get to chat since I still have to sponge bathe him. He just yaps and laughs the entire time.
The last stop before Georgia was Manatee Springs State Park. We only had two nights here but we packed a lot in. We had a great walk on a boardwalk trail where we saw lots of deer and we even managed to glimpse a mother manatee and her calf. We enjoyed snorkeling in this clear spring.
The most memorable part of the stay at Manatee was the last evening. Marco and Mei had been bugging me to take them mountain biking but I really did not want to leave Makai behind. The solution was to let Mei, Marco and mommy ride while I pushed Makai in the jogging stroller. I felt great after about two miles so I decided it was wise to take the longer loop trail. It got a little rougher and sandier. When we were about three miles from our camper the sky started to darken. I ran about as fast as I could but we were not fast enough. With about two miles to go the sky opened up. We all finished the six miles a little wetter but the bikes and stroller were covered in wet sand. The best part was getting back to camp and have to pack back all of the wet sandy gear into the camper since we were driving back to Georgia at 5am the next morning. By 9am the next day we were back in Georgia.
We got back into Georgia and had four doctor appointments the first day and three the second day. On Friday Makai got his casts off! The picture is from a cell phone and was out of focus but I had to include it since he was so happy they were coming off. We really hope this fixes his foot problems forever. After a 60 hour stay at my parents we headed back on the road again. This time my parents were going to join us for six days in Florida.