After a week on the road we were finally island-bound.
We said goodbye to my parents (who had joined us for the past few days) and headed out on the last driving leg of the journey before our final destination.
There were of course some bumps in the road that brought us here. the requisite minor car woes, one head cold, a dash of credit card fraud, and a few road trip miscalculations.
Like the night we rolled in (a bit later than we wished) to our last car-camping destination before we headed to the island. We were late after having detoured past a couple of second hand stores searching for a new swim suit for Sage who somehow grew out of his between Wisconsin and Georgia. (True story!)
So we arrived just after sunset, hungry, cranky, and road weary, only to discover that it wasn't a car camping location after all. I had skimmed the park description and neglected to read the paragraph where they mention that you have to hike in.
You guys. We had to carry in our gear. In the dark.
It was a laugh or cry moment, and I reluctantly choose laugh when I saw my kids teetering on the edge of despair.
In the settling darkness we hauled in the least amount of gear possible, set up the tent in the dark, and ate chips and salsa for dinner before collapsing into our sleeping bags.
Early the next morning Pete and I crept to the parking lot to dig through our gear for our camp stove and coffee pot so as to have a proper start to the day. We woke the kids unreasonably early and broke camp before our neighbors woke (or even knew we had been there thanks to our late arrival/early departure) and headed to the parking lot to reorganize our gear before we left for the island.
It was a brief stay, but certainly memorable!
And with that we were off.
The island that was our ultimate destination is a non-motorized state park accessible only by ferry. You unload your car and pile gear on the dock, where it is shuttled (along with you) to the campground.
We're rather smitten by this place and planned to spend six days here as we had done a couple of years ago. (One of you told us about this lovely spot, and we're so grateful!)
I'll tell you more about the island in a postcard later this week.
As we waited for the ferry in the mid-day Florida sun, I remembered the last time we came and how Lupine made a friend with the only other child on our boat within minutes of the boat launching.
This time she found a friend before we left the dock.
I couldn't help but laugh as I thought of the questions that every homeschooler faces about "socialization" for their children as the questioner wonders aloud at how homeschoolers will possibly navigate the world without having learned the ropes in school. Spoiler: they'll do fine!
The half-hour ferry took us from civilization to this quiet paradise and we prepared to settle in for the week.
On the 10 minute tram ride from the ferry landing to the campground Lupine was sitting next to her new friend, and the delightful discovery was made that they were both homeschooled. Her friend beamed and clasped her hands under her chin, thrilled at the discovery. It was one of the sweetest moments of the trip.
And just like that we arrived. With a handful of friends already made, we were settling in for six days of sand, sea, and quiet before heading north to the snow once more.
Oh, yes. We were ready.