27 July 2014

Learning While Vacationing on Amelia Island

Summer Beach on Amelia Island

After a long winter, a full academic year, a job search for my husband, and my many travels for work, our family finally took our much anticipated summer beach vacation.  My father-in-law and his wife rented a beach house for all of us to enjoy time together on Amelia Island in Florida. One of the best things about the place he rented? A screened in private pool. Between midnight swims and afternoon pool games, we certainly enjoyed maximum family time in this pool.
My brother-in-law who flew in from Colorado captured this awesome pic of the pool.

While the beach house included a full kitchen and a grill outside, we did dine out three times during the week. Once because we had just made it to the beach and still needed to shop for groceries, another time because I had a craving for fish tacos, and a third time when we feasted on local seafood at The Crab Trap, a family owned and operated restaurant.
My youngest son tried crab legs for the first time.

Florida is one of the nine states in which I have lived in my life, so I'm well aware of the weather there. Though it is the sunshine state and we did have sunshine everyday, there was also a typical rainy afternoon and evening. This allowed plenty of time for reading, watching movies, and playing board games together. My father-in-law's wife, Connie, is a master at Scrabble, and it's rare that anyone can beat her. We all tried though. Monopoly was another favorite, and there was certainly time to enjoy a long game of it.

Thankfully, we didn't see any large and dangerous creatures (sharks or alligators) on this trip, but we did enjoy seeing a graceful praying mantis, a turtle, a few crabs, a couple of  armadillos, and plenty of seagulls. These creatures along with the ocean were all perfect reminders of this amazingly beautiful world in which we live.

Since the house where we stayed included a fully outfitted kitchen, we had no trouble making meals as a family. Something about being away from home made even my son want to help prepare dinner. One night my brother-in-law and husband grilled salmon and made a delicious kale salad for the family to enjoy.


When you have two parents who are educators like my sons do, you know and expect that your family trips will include educational experiences.  While the bulk of our week on Amelia Island was spent swimming in the ocean, collecting unique seashells, lounging by the pool, diving for pool torpedoes, devouring seafood, playing board games on rainy Florida evenings, capturing photos of various live creatures, and chatting with family over grilled feasts, we also made time for an afternoon visit to a Civil War Era fort at Fort Clinch State Park. 
View from the top of the fort

Now we are all rested and relaxed and ready for another academic year!