We dropped Amber, Drew, and Silas off at the airport in Milwaukee on Sunday morning (Feb. 22nd) at 5:30, and returned home to finish preparing for our Florida trip.  We hit the road at 8am, and drove 500 miles to Bowling Green, Ky., where we stayed the first night.  The second day we journeyed 440 more miles down the pike to the southern part of Alabama (Dothan).  By Tuesday afternoon we were walking around Apalachicola, the town in the panhandle of Florida we enjoyed last year.  There’s a nice neighborhood near our motel that we strolled through to get to Lafayette Park, where we sat and read, and walked down the new pier they built since we were here last year.  Wednesday morning we ventured out to St. George Island for some great beach walking.  We also left footprints (not carbon) in the sand on Carravelle and Mexico Beaches: very beautiful!  We also liked hiking in the Ecofino River State Park, where we crossed a little stream of water quite easily near the start of the trail.  Upon our return an hour or so later, the stream had enough water in it that we had to take our shoes and socks off to cross it.  We didn’t know the level was affected by the tides, and that it would be substantially higher coming back.
We headed for the Ocala National Forest for some fine hiking (what else?), staying in nearby Ocala.  Then we traveled east again toward the Atlantic, and stayed at a very nice place near the beach in Cocoa Beach.  We spent a great day on the beach and at the pool: very relaxing and calming!  A cold front went through the next morning and we moved on to the Merritt Island Wildlife refuge and Canaveral National Seashore, where it was cold and windy, yet gorgeous.  And we had it all to ourselves!  You might recall we talked about this area in our blog last year.  There are more pictures in that Florida posting from 2008.  We’re staying at Titusville, near the Kennedy Space Center.  More on the KSC also in last year’s blog.