Labor of Love

Labor of Love

 

Joe, Tai Tai and Cole Scherer and Stacy Moseley

 

Residents share ideas for September holiday travel – 

By Beth Mixson –
Resident Community News –

For many of us, Labor Day offers one more marvelous chance to squeeze in another summer trip filled with fun and adventure.
The Mosley / Scherer family enjoys exploring Florida on weekend getaways. This San Marco family has explored Florida from coast to coast.“Being a native of Florida, I realized how beautiful Florida is,” explained Stacy Moseley, “When we moved back here, my hope was to do a Florida trip each year.”
A favorite trip when their children, Cole now age 15, and 12-year-old Tai Tai, were in elementary and preschool, was to visit the Wakulla Springs Lodge in the Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park near Tallahassee. (www.WakullaSpringsLodge.com.)
“A great activity is to ride bikes with your kids to St. Marks and back on the rails to trails pathway.  Then too, we saw all kinds of wildlife on the little hiking trails, and in the narrated glass bottom boat tour.” exclaimed Moseley.

 

Kara and Grant Virtue are pleased with the result of their fishing charter off of St. Augustine

For families with preteens and teens, Moseley recommends visiting the Everglades or Ybor City in Tampa. In the Everglades, they stayed at the Rod and Gun Club and took a private tour of the backwaters. (www.evergladesrodandgun.com.) “It was fascinating – you learn about biology, earth science and the social history of the Everglades,” she said.      In Ybor City, the family explored the area with a tour guide, Lonnie Herman.   (lonnie@YborWalkingTours.com.) “His tour had something for everyone,” she said. “For the adults, it was about the dream of building a utopian community and for the kids, it was the tales of gambling and the Mafia.”
Ortega Forest residents Lisa and David Williams also enjoyed the beauty of Wakulla, timing their visit to see the monarch butterfly migration. “It wasn’t the peak weekend but we saw plenty!” Williams said. This nature loving couple have kayaked and hiked in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, camped at Big Cypress National Preserve, and went on a sea turtle walk in Sebastian Inlet State Park. “We find a cheap hotel and use the wonderful park services,” she explains. High on their to-do list is to kayak in the bioluminescence waters found at the waters near Merritt Island.     Avondale resident Vicky Watkins visits state parks in Florida and Georgia to recharge. “Some of my happiest childhood memories include cross county camping trips. I raised my children backpacking, canoeing, hiking, and camping, with favorite destinations being Cohutta and Pisgah Wilderness areas in northeast Georgia and North Carolina. My favorites are Mistletoe State Park in Georgia, Oconee State Park  in South Carolina and Cashiers, Black Rock Mountain State Park  in northeast Georgia,” Watkins said. “There are many other beautiful parks in the southeast, but my favorites are those with fewer visitors. I returned from Oconee State Park where we put in eight hours on various trails and never encountered a single
person!”
Robin and Tom Virtue and their two children, Grant age 17 and Kara age 15 found Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast offers something for everyone.
“It was an oasis. The beach was pristine and not crowded,” said Virtue, an Ortega Forest resident. The resort has several award-winning golf courses, an adult pool and a family pool that is similar to a water park, a spa, a fitness center, a putting course, bikes and several restaurants “We also ate at some of the local restaurants. JT’s Seafood Shack was great,” added Virtue. It was an easy drive to St. Augustine where the family chartered a deep sea fishing boat with great
success.
Avondale couple Jaime and Sonya Hoener love heading up the road to Charleston. Sonya Hoener said, “Charleston is filled with lots of fun, little places to stay. Both the Francis Marion and Mill House are wonderful; even the Hampton Inn is historic. It’s easy to walk around to visit the shops, art galleries and historic sites. We love looking at the great old homes on the Battery. The food is phenomenal!” Favorite restaurants include Slightly North of Broad, Hominy Grill and Fleet Landing, a great outdoor seafood restaurant.
Avondale resident Cheryl Sapora recommends Winter Park “where shopping is an Olympic sport”. She suggests taking the train to Winter Park as a fun, stress-free way to travel.  Another fun and relaxing activity is the one-hour boat tour of the lakes offered by Scenic Boat Tour. (www.scenicboattours.com.) Afterwards, enjoy lunch at Cheryl’s favorite restaurant, the Briarpatch.
Whether you love nature, shopping or history, there’s plenty to do just a short drive away. Pack your bags and get ready to recharge your batteries with one more summer fling this Labor Day!

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