Upon realizing we were leaving Walt Disney World for good, there were many tears shed. Despite our discussion earlier in the day (the one were I repeatedly said “hey guys, let’s get moving, this is our last day here, we want to make the most of our time here.”) the kids honestly thought we had more time in the magical place. Sigh, if only that were the case.
At 10pm we drove away from Fort Wilderness campground and headed towards our friend’s house. We met Becky and Howard when we were stationed at Fort Lewis WA in 2006. I met Becky at a crafting party. We had been searching for a church since moving to the area, however in the 5 months we had lived there, we had not found one we could call home. Becky suggested we try her church, Discovery Community Church. We did and we loved it. We became members of the church and served in the church until we moved away in 2010.
Thanks to Facebook and email, Becky and I continued our friendship over the years. Through deployments, twin pregnancy (she also has twins), Army moves, etc, we have grown together. When she and Howard heard we were going to be in the Orlando area, their current hometown, she suggested we meet up.
We stayed the night in their home, then packed up and we all headed out to Jetty Park, an RV park on Cocoa Beach. We were a little slow moving that morning. We all hit that “low” that comes after leaving an amazing vacation spot. The lure of fun with friends was there, but the sadness of leaving Disney was also present.
After settling our camp spot, we headed into town to visit Ron Jon surf shop. When we decided to visit Florida I knew I wanted to go to Ron Jon. My dad was a surfer in his younger days. He loved Ron Jon. It was fun to walk around and check out the awesome beach goods. The store has exploded in size since the days my dad visited, but it was still full of great finds.
The next morning we all drove to the Indian River Lagoon where Howard’s parents taught the kids a lesson about the lagoon. We all got to explore the land and water. After taking water samples, testing the water temperature and salinity we used a net to gather and explore sea life.
After a lesson on Manatees we all headed to lunch to celebrate the Salter twins birthday. Emily and Kimberley are 9! Even though they don’t remember much from their younger years, Kenniston, Ruby, Emily, Kimberley, and Madison all had a great time together.
After a delicious lunch of rock shrimp, fish, and scallops at a fabulous local restaurant, Dixie Crossroads, we spent a little time on Cocoa Beach. It was getting late, but we still had a few minutes to play.
We ended our evening with a campfire and music. It was a fabulous relaxing ending to a fun day. It has been years since we have been able to spend this much time with our friends, but it was a great time.