Florida, Where We've Been

St. Augustine

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As cooler weather started to move south, we followed suit, settling on the warmest state in the winter, Florida. 

Taking a quote from Home Alone 2:

– Kevin: Why do we have to go to Florida? There’s no Christmas trees in Florida.
– Kate: Kevin, what is it with you and Christmas trees?
– Kevin: How could you have Christmas without a Christmas tree, Mom?
– Kate: Well… find a nice, fake silver one. Or decorate a palm tree.

We hung our lights on the wall of the RV in the outline of a tree, put our presents under it and hung the stockings on the opposite wall… all with command strips of course! 

The respite in Florida was a needed one as we tend to move a lot during the year, it’s hard to keep up with all the daily tasks that comes with life. The month we spent in Mayport gave me the opportunity to finally catch up on a lot of tasks that I had put off, including finalizing the next year’s budget, working on next year’s itinerary, making reservations at campgrounds, working on the second semester homeschool schedule, catching up with picture editing, washing the truck and RV (it’s a full day’s job when it’s done right!), and a bunch of other tasks including keeping up to date with this blog. It was a months well spent. Now on to 2024!

St. Augustine

As our last trip of 2023, we visited the city of St. Augustine. The city is rich in history with its architecture resembling that of Spain. After all, its founder was the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon. The first known European to set foot on the peninsula, he gave the state its name of Florida (meaning “flowery”) and set up a colony in St. Augustine.


Florida was not part of the original 13 colonies, taking an additional 69 years to eventually be incorporated into the Union in 1845. Until that time, the Spanish maintained control over the colony and the influence of its citizens helped shape the city into what it is today.

Palm trees and Spanish columns decorate the city’s municipal building.

Part of the motivating factor for Ponce de Leon’s expedition was the discovery of the fabled fountain of youth. Though no such fountain was ever found, a statue stands in the city’s center in dedication to its founder.

Boats line the Matanzas River that spills out into the Atlantic Ocean.

The city came alive at night with New Year’s Eve celebrations. One man handed me his phone asking me to document his proposal to his fiancee in front of the snowman in the center square. Another was getting married in the neighboring square. What made it such a special night was the unusual date that New Year’s Eve this year of 12/31/23 or simply read 123123. I suspect Las Vegas saw a rash of weddings on this night as well.

Late into the night, I took a picture of the Lion Bridge – the same bridge I had captured earlier in the night (first picture). The drawbridge was now closed, and traffic had died down. The reflections in the river were magnificent.

During the holiday season, practically the whole downtown area was beaming with Christmas lights.

Now on to (prayerfully) a great 2024!




Pelican Roost FamCamp

Pelican Roost is one of the better FamCamps we have stayed at. When we pulled in, it was suggested that we walk around the campground and choose the site we liked best out of about 5 different open sites. We chose site 23 as it had a view of the water, in the second row. Our site was full hookup with a concrete pad for the rig and dirt for the truck with plenty of space for both to park there.

The laundry machines are free (4 washers, 4 dryers) and open during the day – opened with a code at night. 

They do allow washing of the RV and truck in your site, which is not common in most parks or FamCamps.

The office sponsored a Christmas potluck the day after we arrived, with them providing the meat and everyone else bringing a dish to share. There is a community room in the Roost building where everyone gathered. This building also has an air hockey table, tv, games, and movies. There’s also a kitchen and fridge for guests to use. 

Outside there is a large connect 4 and corn hole for the kids.

About 1/4 mile walk down the road, you have access to the beach and 1/4 mile to the south is the fitness center with indoor pool. 

If you’re wishing to have close access to the Teen/Youth center, there is another RV park on base that is next to it, but it is covered in trees if that is an issue for you.

Starlink was coming in at 66/5. We had 4 bars on Verizon on the phone with speeds of 100/10. With AT&T and Verizon through the cell antenna on the roof, we were able to get 5 bars. AT&T came in at 26/21 and Verizon had speeds of 90/39.