Florida is a beautiful place full of magic and mystery and natural wonder. Our theme of oceans and everglades could be traced through lots of our activities from sampling Cuban food, learning about shipwrecks and hurricanes, searching for shells on the beach, and even exploring the everglades in a fan boat. The most meaningful message that I wanted my kids to take away from our adventure was the importance of acting responsibly and respecting nature.
We had intended to spend a fair amount of time in the Sunshine state at the beaches, doing lots of water based activities like swimming, surfing and snorkeling, but as luck would have it a 30 degree cold front swept through putting a damper on about half of our plans. The important thing is that we didn't let the weather bring our adventure to a halt, but rather regrouped, and sought out new adventures on the fly. Traveling with your guidebooks might make your bags a little heavier but it does have it's rewards.
The explorer Ponce De Leon landed on the shores of Florida searching for the fountain of youth in 1513 naming it "The place of flowers". Indeed it is a lush and tropical paradise. From the crazy party scene that is Miami, to the quaint and sleepy Keyes to the Gulf side with it's gorgeous beaches and endless shells, Florida is spectacularly beautiful. It's beaches are clean and the water warm (just not when we were there!) and though Ponce de leon to did not find the fountain of youth,I suspect he didn't look hard enough because it was right in front of him. The tropical beauty and laid back lifestyle are enough to rejuvenate your soul.
I love Florida, and I am sure we'll be back as we have plenty left to explore as we only traveled through the southern portion. We still have yet to explore Jacksonville, Tampa, and Tallahassee. Though the vibe up north will probably feel more southern like it's neighbors Georgia and South Carolina, I am sure it will be equally as fun and interesting and we look forward to exploring it.