We went to Florida on Sunday, originally to be able to see the Space Shuttle launch on Monday, however, the launch has been delayed, so we just kept with our other plans of visiting the Alligator Farm, camping, visiting the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame and visiting Showcase of Citrus.
The Alligator Farm was much better this time. I am not 8 months pregnant, it wasn’t 95 degrees and it was not that crowded. I wasn’t in the park for long before Benedict needed to eat, so I sat in the van and nursed the sweet little guy while Joshua walked around with the kids. We met back up, had a treat, watched a crocodile eat dinner then headed out to our campsite, down the shore.
Most campgrounds in Florida are geared toward RV campers, so the spots are usually treeless and only big enough to park the RV and extend an awning. Our site barely held our tent and mini-van. If we were to have a fire, the van would have had to have been moved. We didn’t have a fire as the blazing hot sun made the idea of a fire sound just awful. We set up camp, made/ate dinner and put the girls to bed. Karol stayed up with us to eat s’more that we cooked over the campstove. I was preparing to eat my second yummy treat, when I saw something moving on the table. A cockroach. Nice. That was the end of that. We packed up our stuff and headed to bed.
The next morning, we made breakfast then headed to the beach (we were pretty much on the ocean). We set up the little beach shelter and Benedict slept there while we went to play in the waves. They were pretty awesome and my fearless kids wanted to go deeper and deeper. Joshua carried Karol out for a bit and they were hit by a wave that must have been 4 feet tall! That was awesome.
We headed back to the campsite for showers and lunch. During lunch, Margaret started SCREAMING. SCREAMING like I had never heard her scream before. I was in the tent changing and Joshua was holding Benedict, so I threw on my clothes and ran out to see what was going on. She just kept crying and scratching her leg, I didn’t see anything and figured she was just being over dramatic (not unusual for her at all) and went back to changing. She was also calming down a bit. I was in the middle of changing when she screamed again. This time, Joshua got up to investigate and made a noise I had never heard out of him. It was part fear, part what the heck and part oh my. Then I heard him say:
I think Margaret just got bit by a scorpion.
Enter frightened parents. Frantic parents. Are they poisonous? Will she die?Â Do we need to get her to a hospital. Picture both parents on their cell phones calling their parents to find out the 411 on scorpions. From stage left entered the wonderful woman who would be our guardian angel for the day. She said she was a homeopathic doctor (or something like that) and asked if Margaret was stung by a bee and offered some lavender oil.Â We said, “No, A SCORPION!!!!!!!!” (picture running around with our hands waving in the air, panicked!)
This wonderful woman told us that in Florida there are two kinds of scorpions, harmful and not harmful. Well, ones that look like scorpions, but aren’t and ones that look like scorpions and are. She thought the one that got M was the former, praise God. She even prayed over Margaret. We calmed down a bit and this wonderful woman walked with Joshua and Margaret up to the camp host to get his opinion.
When they got back, Joshua and I had one of those moments where we didn’t have to say anything and just said “we are leaving”. So we started packing up and left. No more Florida camping for us.
We drove south to Orlando for dinner and to find a hotel. We were not sure if we were able to use our tickets for the Hall of Fame or not, but we certainly wanted to go to the Showcase of Citrus, so we figured if we stayed on the East side of Orlando, we would be able to do both without too much trouble. Turns out the East side of Orlando is 30 miles from Titusville, where the Hall of Fame is, so we ended up in Titusville for the night. It was very wonderful to shower (as I hadn’t gotten one earlier) and relax in our room. The kids were great, Margaret was fully recovered and we settled in to watch the “Cooking Man Show” aka “Good Eats”. (We all love Alton Brown).
Our trip to the Hall of Fame was pretty neat. It is certainly for older kids, as there is a lot of boring reading and things that kids four and under find just awful. They had fun looking at the pictures of the Earth and climbing in one of the space capsules. Karol found a room with interactive video games and was set. Caecilia had fun playing on the Mars-scape and Margaret ran between the two. It was pretty neat to see the capsules that were used at the beginning of the space program.
After we left, we drove past the Kennedy Space Center to take a peak. From the outside, you can see real rocket busters and external tank as well as one of the space shuttles! It was awesome. Maybe next time we will go there, but for this time it was a bit out of our price range.
The next leg of our journey took us back to Orlando and beyond. We headed to Clermont, Fl and the Showcase of Citrus. This place will get its very own blog post, but let’s just say that it was awesome. We picked oranges, tangerines and pomelo in the rain (well, I did for a bit then headed for shelter).
Our trip home was uneventful and we arrived back safe and sound. So, what started out as a boondoggle of a weekend (no space shuttle launch, bad camping) turned out to be pretty nice after all.
Oh, and about that scorpion bug that really isn’t a scorpion, horse pucky. We looked things up when we got home, if it looks like a scorpion, it is a scorpion. However, they aren’t always poisonous, praise God.
Yikes! My husband and I camped before kids, but never have since kids (21 years!). The bugs are just too much (and other critters) and we live in Ohio with no scorpions and little bugs in comparison! Glad everything worked out in the end.