Wednesday, August 20, 2014

FL vacation: Part 3, Daytona Beach

Next up for a visit was Nana. We arrived in time to go for a walk and a swim on the beach followed by ice cream cones!
 Notice the smurf in the picture with Kate? Yeah, she found that on the beach. Her finding skills extend quite a range.
While doing some grocery shopping, Kate found quite a bit more money. She has learned to look near the cash registers and other places where people have their money out. Most of this came from just underneath a movie rental box.
To take a break from the hot sun, we decided to check out the local children's museum but we got sidetracked when we spotted another Krispy Kreme store!

Having been regularly to the Chicago Children's Museum, this one was quite tiny but it held their interest for about 45 minutes.
Kate spent most of her time doing this...I'm frankly amazed at how much money she is able to find.

They were unimpressed with the giant sloth skeleton until I pointed out where Lucy's arm had broken on the giant bones of its forearm.
"I love my Nana!"
On a particularly beautiful day we packed a picnic and our beach gear and headed to Ponce (de Leon) Inlet. This is one of my favorite Old Florida places. It's not nearly as crowded as the Daytona shoreline and because it is protected by a seawall, the inlet is the perfect place for swimming (if you can forget that this is also the shark bite capital of Florida....). It seems only the locals come here most of the time.

Low tide meant we had to go out quite a ways to be deep enough for swimming.
A view towards the seawall.
Smyrna Dunes beach is across the channel.

The famous lighthouse. You can climb to the top but the thought of climbing that many stairs in the August heat with two preschoolers quickly quelled that idea.

They played some kind of dunking game for a while.
I really do miss Florida...

 I found a treasure of my own! This little gem was partially buried in the sand. Someone is very sad that they lost this.
 Unfortunately, it sent Kate into a treasure finding flurry to find another ring.

They loved swimming in the water with their masks so they could see the fish.

With the tide fully in and late afternoon approaching, we packed up our stuff and went for a walk down the boardwalk to the end of the pier.

This is as far as you can go...the rest is all rocks.
Heading back we see that, as usual in the summer, a storm is approaching.
Love seeing the rain and sun coming through the clouds.
We spotted a turtle having some lunch so of course we had to stop.

Also located at Ponce Inlet is the Marine Science Center so we took another day to check that out. Prior to that, though, was lunch at Aunt Catfish's. Lucy loved the frog legs!
Kate stuck with the shrimp.
There was quite a lot to see at the Marine Science Center.
This is an anaconda's skin that was shed. It was almost as wide as Kate is tall.
We were lucky enough to sit in on this summer camp group as they talked about hawks.
The sting ray pool was the main event for my girls.

They had a nice display explaining the life of the sea turtle since they devote a good majority of their work to helping sea turtles that have been injured.
They had several pools in the sea turtle hospital filled with convalescing turtles. There were notes and in some cases, xrays showing hooks or plastic bags, indicating what the turtle was suffering from.
Outside was the bird sanctuary where various sea birds were residing until they could be either returned to the wild or kept safe to live out their lives.
And that concluded our time at Nana's house. The next and last stop was just a few miles down the road at Daytona Beach Shores/Port Orange!

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