Ok, maybe its not quite remodeling. But I had my power tools out and was making some changes to our house while we had some down time in Manatee Hammock. There are several small and trivial things that we have to do on moving day….twice (once when we pack up and once when we unpack). But several small and trivial things add up to a bigger thing. So we tried to see if there were some quick solutions. Quick being the operative word. This trip is too short to spend too much time on home improvement.
Cocoa beach and blast off
Our 5 days in Manatee Hammock were mostly spent at the campground but we did take one day to go check out Cocoa beach. Our neighbors, Mike and Pat, recommended the Lori Wilson beach and suggested the southernmost parking lot as it had good parking spaces for big trucks. Their directions were spot on and the beach was really nice. I needed to get some work done and I scored a phenomenal office site in the shade with a table!
Back in the hammock again
We were unable to line up a campground in Georgia so we moved back down to Manatee Hammock for several days after leaving St. Augustine. It really does seem like moving day is getting easier. We’ve all got our jobs and the boys especially are getting so they don’t need supervision for theirs. Having a full hookup site helps as I can dump tanks in parallel with other travel preparations going on.
When we took the garbage to the dumpster before we left the Pepper Tree “resort” I noticed a whole big pile of couches, chairs and carpet rolls piled by the dumpsters. We had a piece of carpet (free carpet remnant) we used on the vinyl floor at the beginning of the trip to help keep our feet warm in the cold temps. But for more than a month it has just been taking up room in the basement. I inquired if we could leave it with the other stuff and permission was granted….wooohooo, got rid of some stuff!
Our manatee sanctuary
When we first got to Manatee Hammock we had one of the worst spots there. We were in the back corner by some junky schoolbusses and the dumpster. I had a lot of fun at KSC but I was glad when we moved to another much nicer spot surrounded by grass and trees and saw palmetto bushes. It was a little sad when we left but onward and upward as some people say. Little did I know we would be back in five days. When we got back we set up and immediately went to the pool. Let me tell you something. That pool is COLD! The last time we got in I could’ve sworn they’d dumped ice in it because it was colder than the middle of the arctic! Okay, more like the middle of the Pacific. I didn’t love that pool at all. Another thing we liked to do was hang out in our back/side yard and a field that was a walk away. At one point we got a rondo or passing circle with some other people. I should clarify that we were playing soccer. We also had bratwurst a couple nights. The coolest part was easily the spacex Falcon 9 rocketlaunch. When it first blasted off I couldn’t hear it at all and it just looked like an Estes rocket trailing fire. Then about when it also started trailing smoke I heard the sound. It was a quiet rumble like distant thunder. I felt the vibrations like a far off earthquake. Woah! I’m going all philosophery on myself! Yikes! Yikes yikes yikes! When it got out of view we tried giving lemonade away but only gave away five to other people. This was the first place where we didn’t visit any places or anything. We just got to relax. I guess we did go to Cocoa beach but that was also relaxing I think. We played in superhot sand and bodysurfed in the waves. At one point mom had to drag us out because we were shivering so bad. I liked Manatee Hammock and hanging at the pool and our “yard” and the field. When we left it was sad :’-(. Manatee Hammock is definitely one of my favorite campgrounds we stayed at. Really the only campgrounds I didn’t like were the first place we stayed and that Ross’s place in the keys. Sonora was nice except we didn’t have water, otherwise I liked it.
Yours Truly, (I’m telling the truth! Its me writing this!)
Fort Matanzas (not Mantanzas, Mom just called it that.) was a 17th century Spanish fort near St.Augustine. It is pretty basic, It is square with 3 levels including the ground. It had a white flag with St.Andrews cross ( a red cross with the branches unevenly lopped off) flying over the fort.
Matanzas redoux and Anastasia
Since the ferry was not running when we were at Matanzas a couple days ago we decided to go back to see the fort…and to get the kids’ Jr Ranger badges. When we left the trailer I noticed water on the ground and I decided to stay back to find the cause and fix it. So Steph and the kids went on to the fort without me. They got their ferry ride and were able to visit the fort.
Forts and Castles
On our Florida trip 12 years ago we visited St. Augustine and the Castillo de San Marcos. I remember being really impressed with the castillo and so I was excited to share this with our kids. We had a short drive day from Manatee Hammock up to the Pepper Tree Resort just south of St Augustine. Despite the name, I didn’t really think there was anything that warranted being called a resort other than the price. It wasn’t even an RV park but a mobile home park with a few transient sites. It was a tight turn to get Ava situated on the pad but after a few attempts we got set up. AND we still had time to explore a little bit. So we headed to Fort Matanzas just a ways south of where we were staying.
Birthday in the hammock
All my life I thought there was only one definition of the word hammock. But I’ve come to find out there are two:
1: a swinging couch or bed usually made of netting or canvas and slung by cords from supports at each end
2: a fertile area in the southern United States and especially Florida that is usually higher than its surroundings and that is characterized by hardwood vegetation and deep humus-rich soil
We learned about hardwood hammocks back in the Everglades and we were now staying at the Manatee Hammock campground in Titusville FL.
Almost 12 years ago exactly I had business in Florida and brought Steph and baby Caden with me. We stopped by the Kennedy Space Center but given Caden’s age at the time and the high price of tickets we decided to wait until another visit to explore the facility completely. So here we are 12 years and 2 additional kids later. Back at the beginning of our adventure we did some space stuff as we gazed out into the heavens at a star party at McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis Texas. And now we are going to do more space stuff here at Kennedy Space Center. Ha…I bet you thought I was going to write about how we need more space in our house!
Shuttles and Rockets and Space Men Oh My!
The Kennedy Space Center was awesome! I had an amazing time! We saw a few people dressed up as astronauts but that wasn’t the cool part. There were at least ten rockets, one of which was huge and there was the shuttle Atlantis. We got to experience one of the best launch simulators which was really cool. After the simulator, to get back to the main building, you’d walk down a ramp and it had all of the shuttle missions, and their crew. We saw our friend Joe Tanner. He was on four shuttle missions and the funny thing was, on two signs it said Joe, and on the other two it said Joseph. There was a rocket garden with a bunch of the rockets from Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. The enormous Saturn V was in another rocket hanging from the ceiling and man it was huge! We saw an IMAX movie about exploration and mostly the new SLS, Space Launch System, and the capsule, Orion. Its a brilliant design and idea, and the coolest thing is, I am the perfect age to ride that rocket to Mars in the future! In the Atlantis building of course there was the Atlantis, and the launch simulator with the spiral ramp, but there was a second level where it showed what Atlantis’ reentry was like. You would start running and go up on a little tilted ramp, and if you didn’t try hard enough, which the Atlantis couldn’t, you’d go back down onto another then do it again and again and again. Here’s a picture I drew: After that little bit we waited in a little line to go down a steep slide that leveled out at the end. When it was my turn I raced Dacen. that wasn’t the fun part though. It was so fast and it felt like one of the huge waterslides at Water World without the water. Easily one of my favorite parts was, well the entire Saturn V building. I loved seeing the size of The rocket, the little astronaut van, the vault with some moon stuff and a journal thing that looks a lot like my math notebook. As I told you, I liked the whole building. I also liked the huge Rockets that carried the shuttle to space. They weren’t as big as the Saturn V but they were still huge.
Here are some existing rockets. Saturn V is the tallest one with the Shuttle next to it. As you can see, there is a huge difference.
Here’s me and the SRBs (solid rocket boosters) and ET (external tank) of Atlantis…I’m there at the base of the left booster.
I must go, the future awaits me,
P.S. If you haven’t watched the movie The Martian, Its in redbox right now and its really cool and has a lot of the things that they’re working on right now, like Orion.