Over Veterans Day weekend, we decided to visit our favorite veteran – Anthony’s grandfather – in Florida. Papa enlisted at age 17 in the Navy and was a pilot during the Pacific Campaign of WWII. He has some amazing stories from his time serving, and loves to share them with us, so it was only fitting that we spent most of the weekend with him.
His home in south Florida is about a twelve hour drive from us, so we set out after work on Friday. We drove through and arrived exhausted in the middle of the night, but it was in the 70’s so I was especially delighted. We also have friends in south Florida so we spent time with them and with Papa throughout our visit – eating at favorites like Darbster, which I know I have written about before on this blog! We also made sure to indulge ourselves on some authentic Cuban food.
We snuck in two park sites while visiting. The first was Biscayne National Park. Most of the park is actually underwater, so we weren’t able to fully appreciate it. I would love to go back sometime and snorkel. There are so many shipwrecks that you can take a boat out to and then snorkel around the reefs and such. We were only able to walk along the paved trail and appreciate the warm weather and sea breeze from land. You can also camp out on the keys, but again, you need a boat to get out to them. Still beautiful, we enjoyed the sun and calm waters of the bay.
On our way north, we stopped at Canaveral National Seashore. We spent a few minutes wandering around Playalinda Beach. Whenever we are near the ocean, I feel the need to spend as much time as possible there, since I no longer live nearby. I spent years on the East Coast, always within a few miles of the ocean, and then was on the West Coast – in San Diego – so again, not far from the ocean. It feels good to be back! We also went to a manatee overlock, and spotted a few of them diving in the water. I was especially excited to see a even a couple.
Then our quick trip was over – back home!