Florida! - Amy's Amazing Adventures
Amy's Amazing Adventures


by on May.26, 2015, under Uncategorized

Last winter we escaped to Jamaica. This winter we decided on Florida.

(May 2014 vs. March 2015)
backyard 2014 sm backyard early 2015 sm

Mom, Dad, Steve and I left on Saturday April 25th around 11am, by car, heading for St. Pete Beach, Florida.

ready to go sm

We stayed over night near Danbury, Massachusetts, then again in Roanoak, Virginia before finally getting to St. Pete Beach.

st pete beach 2 sm

It rained the first day we were there, but the weather was great after that.

We rented a house instead of staying at a hotel.

house sm

It was great! It was fully furnished and stocked with everything we needed… including beach chairs, beach towels, and treats :) We used the VRBO website. Steve and I have decided that we are going to check there for a vacation rental before looking into hotel options when we travel. It’s just so nice to have a whole house or apartment instead of just one small room.

After the rain stopped on our first evening in Florida, Dad and I went to check out the beach.

st pete beach sm

It was pretty empty because it was a Tuesday evening, and had just rained all day. I sat on the beach and enjoyed examining the sand (made of crushed shells)

shell sand sm

while dad went swimming

dad in water sm

Everywhere we looked we saw interesting plants and animals.


cactus sm

I can’t find the name of this plant. Is it a Rubber Plant? A fig?

ficus or rubber sm

This is a Plumeria. It’s the flower they use most often for Hawaiian Leis.

Plumeria sm

These birds are appropriately called Laughing Gulls.

Terns sm

Brown Pelicans

birds 2 sm


birds sm

Black-hooded Parakeet

(These birds are actually native to South America, but caged birds have been released in some areas and the birds have established self-sustaining populations in Los Angeles, California, San Antonio, Texas, and several areas of Florida including St. Petersburg.)

florida birds sm

We had supper at Yoders Amish Restaurant. It was excellent food, but the pie was unbelievable! Steve and I bought a Raspberry Cream Pie.

raspberry cream yoders sm

I’ve never eaten any better pie in my life!

We went to the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida, which also has a Planetarium and an Aquarium.

We watched two manatees being fed. Snooty is the famous manatee. He lives at the Museum permanently. He is the oldest known manatee at 67 years old! He shares his tank with other manatees that need temporary rehabilitation.

museum manatees sm

museum sm

Dad and Steve inspect a Shark’s jaw

shark mouth sm

Dad warned us that this is what happens to fish when you don’t put water in the tank.museum fish sm

Steve found Nemo!

found nemo sm

While we were in Bradenton, we also visited the Red Barn Flea Market.

It’s a 145,000 square foot flea market, farmer’s market, and food court. We found lots of interesting things and ate some really yummy Polish Sausages.

flea market sm

We went on a Sunset Cruise

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The boat left the Dolphin Village Dock

cruise 2 sm

We went under the big bridge

st pete beach bridge sm

And out to open water at Pass-A-Grille beach for a great view of the sunset.

sunset sm

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We went to The Pink Hotel (Don Cesar) quite a few times for supper and ice cream.

pink hotel sm

Dad, Steve, and I took another cruise to Shell Key.

Shell Key is an uninhabited barrier island. It is a nature preserve that has white sand beaches…

shell key sm

lots of nice shells…

shells sm

(this is the smallest intact shell we found)

smallest shell sm

and interesting birds and animals. We even watched a manatee swim by!

We went to John’s Pass which is a touristy boardwalk area and had lunch at the Friendly Fisherman. Then Steve got a milkshake and I got a frozen, chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick!

cheesecake sm

We also ate at a restaurant called Sea Critters. We ate outside on the dock

food view sm

I got the Sea Boil (delicious!)

florida food sm

While we ate, we watched a dolphin play and we watched the cat fish being fed

cat fish view sm

We spent 11 days in St. Pete Beach and loved it! I can’t wait to go back again!

We decided to take our time going home, so after we left St. Pete Beach, we stopped at Epcot for the day.

epcot sm

We went on a few rides, walked around the World showcase a bit, then laid on a cot in the First Aid area for 3 hours while I was dealing with some kind of heat induced headache.

I took some pain medication and felt a bit better, so we stayed for supper and the fireworks show, Illuminations.

epcot at night sm

That night we stayed at a hotel in Daytona Beach.

I ate my breakfast by the pool, which was right on the beach.

daytona breakfast sm

Dad spent the day body surfing, while Mom and Steve read or slept in the beach tent. I split my time between wading in the water and relaxing in the shade of the tent.

daytona beach sm

We left Daytons Beach at about supper time (we ate at Golden Corral. Yum!) and drove to Florence, South Carolina where we stayed for the night.

The next morning, we woke up to find that we had a cracked rim, resulting in a flat tire.

tire trouble sm

We took the car to a tire place, and found out that it wasn’t fixable, and we would either have to order the rim and wait the couple of days until it got there, or we could drive on it, and stop every so often to put air in it. We had a vacation rental booked in New York for the next day, so we didn’t want to wait for the rim. We tried driving on it to see how far we could go before it would need air, and it turned out to be about 5 mins. We definitely couldn’t stop every 5 minutes to pump up the tire. So we decided to risk driving on the spare until we could get to New York, and find someone who would weld the crack. This was a temporary fix, that would hopefully get us home.

We had to unload the very full trunk to get at the spare tire. It also happened to be Mother’s Day, and started raining as soon as we started changing the tire. I checked the weather, to see if the rain was going to stop soon (the last thing you want when you’re driving for hours on the highway with a spare tire, is bad weather) and found out that a hurricane was heading our way!

hurricane sm

Thankfully, we were driving faster than the hurricane was moving, and we eventually drove out of the rain.

We ended up safely in New York!

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