Getting to Florida was a hoot. Our taxi arrived ten minutes late. The bus broke down. But we made it to the airport on time. Thank goodness we're worriers and decided to leave early.
Kelsey was enchanted by everything at the airport: security, cheesecake, a dinosaur, planes taking off and landing. Kayleigh had just been through the same terminal only last month, so she gave us the lowdown on where to get good food. Kelsey said the plane taking off was the most fun ever.
Blooming, tropical plants; palm trees; warm breezes that bathe you in heat and humidity – it was a dramatically welcome change of setting.
We spent the evening eating expensive food at our hotel, buying groceries at Wal-Mart (gack) and making plans for our vacation.
Day One was spent at the Kennedy Space Center. I had always wanted to go there, Eric had always wanted to go there, and it was the only place Kayleigh wanted to go at all. We did an up close tour, which took us around launch pads and loads of buildings. It was interesting, but to me, the most interesting part was the animals.
We saw dolphins, alligators, huge turtles, ospreys, eagles, pelicans, storks, scads of other birds we couldn't identify and definitely don't have at home, and – this made me cry – manatees. The Kennedy Space Center is located on a wildlife refuge, believe it or not. Our up close tour also afforded us the pleasure of a motorcoach with an operator and tour guide who stopped to point out a bald eagle's nest with babies poking their heads up and all the other animals we saw.
Another plus – it was Saturday, so the place had a skeleton crew and the roads were clear.
Kayleigh was feeling a little ill, so we left before seeing everything we wanted to, but that was OK. You can never see everything, anyway.
So we went up the Atlantic shore to Playalinda Beach, part of the Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The sand was very clean and loaded with small shells. There weren't many people. Families, mostly, spread up and down the beach. I was surprised at how clear the ocean was. Kelsey went body surfing under Eric's tutelage, Kayleigh cazhed on the sand, and I traipsed up and down the shore, finding shells and one jellyfish.
We headed home at sunset, tired after a full day of fun and sun in Florida.