The Spring Break Shuffle

Well, we did have our spring break mapped out and planned! That was until Sunday night when my three-year-old threw up all over me at dinner, at a restaurant, as we were dining with two other couples. Awesome! The thought immediately crossed my mind that we would spend spring break infected, and our plans would be ruined. People that had read my Spring Break blog post asked me, “Are you really going to do all that stuff?” I really, really was! I really, really hoped we still could!

My kids were so excited about our Marineland Adventure we had booked for Monday; it was our “big thing” for the week. I was so disappointed to tell them we had to cancel our Touch and Feed experience. Kids are adaptable, though. As excited as they were, they went with the flow. We spent Monday morning watching TV and hanging in our pajamas instead, which ended up being a nice treat for everyone.

Biking with friends on Jacksonville's beautiful Riverwalk
Biking with friends on Jacksonville’s beautiful Riverwalk with the St Johns Railroad Bridge and the Acosta Bridge in the background

By lunch time, we just needed to get out, so we took a drive to visit daddy at work. His office is on Riverside Avenue, so it’s always nice to meet him on the Riverwalk during his lunch hour. He gets a break from the office and some fresh air, and the kids get to run around and play.

We visit the Riverwalk often because it’s a fun, free activity for my kids. Sometimes, I pack up the bikes for the big kids to ride along the river. We usually park at the Riverside YMCA where parking is free and plentiful, and there is easy access to the Northbank Riverwalk.

When we don’t bring bikes, we just walk. We typically walk to the Acosta Bridge where there is a ramp up to the bridge and a spiral down. There is also an awesome, bouncy pedestrian suspension bridge that spans the little railroad track that crosses the St. Johns River. This was especially exciting when my kids were younger and obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. They still are not fans of loud noises but always braved the loud train noises with their hands over their ears so that they could see the trains cross and watch the dynamics of the drawbridge that lowered and raised as trains crossed.

When we were done hanging with daddy, my three-year-old was feeling much better, so we drove across the Acosta Bridge and packed in our Skyway adventure. The kids begged to go to the library, and I couldn’t argue because I usually like to go at the beginning of Spring Break, so the kids are stocked up on books. They are pros now, walked right in, found all their favorite books, and even asked the librarian for some help on their own. It makes me happy that they can navigate this all on their own, especially since I am seven months pregnant and was happy to sit and reserve some energy for the trip back!

LEGOLAND Florida

Happy to have done something fun despite missing Marineland, I knew I still needed to come up with a “big thing” as a replacement. The colder weather this week had me itching to drive south, so I began thinking of a destination. I knew that right now our budget would not allow us to do anything Disney (in addition to being seven months pregnant, we are also in the process of selling our home and buying a new one to make room for Baby #4). At school, my first graders must have had some conversations with their friends about what they were doing for Spring Break. They came home on Friday, begging to go to Legoland.

We decided to give it a shot. With tickets purchased in advance, for the four of us to go is about $150 (Tip: We are using an adult ticket for one of my kids, so we still get two free tickets for the other two kids. I called to confirm that this is allowable!). We are heading down to Winter Haven on Wednesday to check out the park!  In an effort to stay within our budget, we will make it a day-trip to avoid hotel fees. The kids still don’t know, and I am not sure I will tell them until we can see the Legoland signs!

We also have planned a last-minute trip with some friends to visit The Alligator Farm in St. Augustine on Thursday. I always rave about our trips and the deals we get by going with a group, so when a friend asked if I was interested in coordinating, I couldn’t say no. All you need is ten kids to qualify for the educational rate. It’s easily a 30% savings for kids and even more for adults. We are going for $9 each. Regular admission is close to $12 for kids and $23 for adults! With that admission, we will enjoy some really amazing wildlife shows, the alligator feeding, and all of the animal exhibits! It’s also a nice place to bring a bagged lunch and enjoy the Kids Park!IMG_0452

When planning Spring Break, I forgot about the tradition we have of going to a community egg hunt on Good Friday at a local park. A good friend reminded me of this tradition, and a few days later my husband also decided to take Friday off from work. I knew he would enjoy spending the day a little closer to home over driving to the strawberry farm in St. Augustine so we changed our plans. Luckily we have next Monday and Friday off from school so we’ll reschedule our strawberry adventure for next week! Check out our calendar for some fun egg hunts and other activities this weekend.

Although I am bummed that we did not make Marineland, I am pretty pumped about the adjustments we have made to our plans! Today, we are heading to the Jacksonville Zoo in the afternoon after another pajama morning. Let’s face it; I’m pretty happy about having a lazy morning, and not having to wake up early to get anyone anywhere on time. And when mom is happy, everyone is happy!  Cheers to the Spring Break Shuffle!

Kathy is a Georgia girl who followed her surfer husband Chuck to the beaches of Jacksonville where she became mom to elementary-aged twins Sophie and Will, preschooler Lainey, and baby Henry! Stay at home mom and avid volunteer, Kathy truly believes in teaching her children to embrace the community, to depend on each other, and to serve one another. Kathy served for a decade in the Junior League of Jax and is in her third year serving on the executive board of the PTA where her children attend school. She is very active in her church, Neptune Baptist and has been involved in the MOMS Club of Jax Beach for over eight years. Kathy has learned so much in her career as a software consultant for Oracle, but is always amazed at the skills she has acquired as a mom and community volunteer. Kathy also enjoys running and completed her last marathon (#9) in 2011, but always wonders if she shouldn't just do another to have a good even 10 under her belt!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Legoland was worth every penny, mile, and minute. Phew it has been a long day, but boy was it fun!!!! I reflected on the day with this thought even before my kids spent the entire walk through the parking lot thanking me and telling me what a wonderful day they had. Gosh it makes me want to cry…their sincere gratitude! Awesome day! Spring Break could be end on this note! 🙂 But we have a few more days…

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