2014 Road Trip

by BellaLinaBath

So here’s some pictures from our road trip!

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So this is Angie at our first pit stop in Daytona Beach. She had to take a picture with a “real” snowman. I let that one go and the fact that it was in front of bar because she just looked so cute.

We wanted to stop to have lunch and buy souvenirs. As many times as I’ve been to Daytona I have never done the tourist bit. Almost everything in the souvenir shop had something to do with weed. Either I picked the wrong souvenir shop, or I’ve lived under a rock and marijuana has been legalized.

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I thought this was absolutely gorgeous. I never took the chance to actually enjoy Daytona. For me it always seemed like a dirty tourist trap. Guess I was the dirty tourist that day 🙂

Although as we were walking out of the beach I did happen to read the sign that said the water was contaminated, no swimming. So there’s that.

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Daytona was absolutely beautiful.

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Our next stop was Delray Beach. When I say picturesque… that doesn’t even cover it! My mother lives here, we were on our way to the grocery store. Can you believe this is the view?!!! You know I had to stop!

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This was right off of the sidewalk. It was so beautiful I can’t even explain how full my heart was. The weather was perfect!!

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There was about 10 people on the beach. This was Christmas Day, a crisp 70 something almost 80.

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Best Christmas ever! I may not have been born on the beach but that’s where my heart is always content.

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So I’m not even going to say how many pictures we tried to take together. The pictures were coming out wrong and that’s when mom pointed out we were facing the sun, so we turned around and she took the iPad. Then she kept covering camera with her thumb and we both took a minute to figure that out. I don’t know what happens when were together. But I can guarantee it’s always an adventure!!

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We bitter-sweetly left mom and headed for the west coast. But not before stopping in the Everglades!!

10967961_10203673674230089_300807828_nWe pulled over and this alligator was actually on the pavement! It was probably about 50 feet long! Just kidding maybe 4 or 5. Jeremy was like “DON’T GET OUT OF THE CAR!” Me being the awesome tourist said “I’ll just take a quick pic and jump back in”… Well the sun was shining and I couldn’t see what I was taking pictures of so I finally got a shot after he/she was already in the water, I have about 20 asphalt pics though 🙂

The air was so clean. It smelled different and all of my stress really seemed to just melt away. The Everglades seemed to just swallow up all of my problems and just made everything seem so small and insignificant. The kids had a great time too. I really do have some awesome kids. They sat in the car and enjoyed every minute.

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In this moment I felt just an overwhelming weight of gratitude. This trip was really spiritual for me and helped me mentally set my priorities. In this quiet place on the edge of the Everglades, I thanked God for blessing me with these amazing people to share my life with. I realized that I need to take more time to just tune everything and everyone else out and just spend more undivided quality time with these people.

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We stopped at the last gas station for like 140 miles to make sure that we filled up the tank, checked tires, and fluids. The last thing I wanted to be was gator bait. As we were leaving I happened to actually read an old beat up sign that said Seminole Museum with a beat up looking Native American pointing to the right. The opposite direction of the highway. But what the hey, we were on a road trip right? After 18 miles of two lane road and probably 3000 gators we happen upon this sign. I’m thinking inside that even if we wanted to make a u-turn we’d end up in a gator ditch and you know… I’m pretty delectable. So I kept my mouth shut.

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After passing some houses we ended up at a pretty awesome museum!! They had a video clip that explained how the Seminoles were never really from Florida because all of those Native American’s were wiped out and the Seminoles were actually from Tennessee and surrounding states. It went on for a bit and explained so much and I get super emotional with those kinds of things so I was totally trying to hide my tears. I would totally recommend this museum to anyone passing the Everglades! They also had a 3 mile nature walk that was kind of creepy. The first sign says to keep yourself and limbs on the actual walkway which is a few feet higher than the ground. Then they had different signs of tree species and insects. I come across a sign explaining poisonous spiders… then bobcats… then cougars. I look around and there’s a family behind us but I think that’s it. So after reading the cougar sign I’m yelling at the kids “Mush!!” Thinking OMG were back in a cheesy horror flick.

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By the end I felt glad we were out of there and vaguely like I was in the Bog of eternal Stench in Labyrinth. Without the stench of course.

After that we spent a day with Jeremy’s mom on the West Coast of Florida but by that time I was missing home and ready to sleep in my bed. Taking this road trip was an amazing and spiritual experience. I know I came back a different person. Definitely stronger 🙂 I’m thinking Tennessee or Georgia next year.

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