St. Augustine was so cute that it deserved a second day so we returned in the morning and I took Olivia to the Colonial Quarter, a historical area with re-created colonial Spanish era buildings and tours. We arrived just as they opened so we were the only ones on the first tour of the day. Our guide, who was the spitting image of Bryan Cranston from the TV show Breaking Bad, took us around, talked a lot about the history of St. Augustine and even showed a little bit of blacksmithing. Olivia had a good time asking questions and generally chatting with our guide with no need to hold herself back since we were the only ones on the tour.
After the tour we returned to Rover for lunch before hitting the Pirate Museum. This was also a pretty cool experience with loads of information about real life pirates and they even had the only authentic pirate’s chest on display. They had a little treasure hunt where you had to find hidden drawers that made going through the museum a little bit more interesting for kids too. Going through the two museums took our whole day and by the time we got back to Rover it was time to head back to the Walmart for the night to make dinner and do some homeschooling.
The next day we drove down to Orlando. The holidays were coming up and we had been traveled pretty far in the last few months so we planned spend a month or two in Florida. We wanted to go to Disney but going during a holiday was a terrible idea so after much research we found out that the first and second week of December is one of the best times to visit Disney, it being the ebb time between the Thanksgiving and Christmas crowds.
Olivia’s kindergarten classmate had moved to Orlando we made arrangements to meet them for dinner the next day. In the mean time for our first day in Orlando we did…. Nothing. We parked at a Starbucks and spent most of the day there, just going out for dinner at a cheap Chinese buffet. We rested, did homeschooling and generally chilled out. One of the great things about long term travel is that we can sometimes do nothing. We are not on vacation, we don’t have limited days in Orlando before we have to go home and back to work. Sometimes we can just chill and do nothing.
The day after that we returned to park outside the same Starbucks and spent another day just hanging out again before meeting Olivia’s friend Coralee and her mom Carin at Cici’s Pizza for dinner. The girls had not seen each other for over two years but were happy to meet again. It was Carin’s birthday the next day so we arranged to take them out for lunch.
Carin picked us up the next day and we went to a Brazilian BBQ restaurant in Orlando. This was their second time at a Brazilian BBQ and they liked the food a lot. Afterwards we all went to the Disney Springs shopping area. The shopping area was completely packed, lines everywhere and it was frankly exhausting. A visit to the huge Disney Store, a bath products store and a bakery took all afternoon. It was a long drive back so it was nice when we were able to get back to the Cracker Barrel.