March 2017

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What better way to round-out a perfect weekend than to take a boat to dinner…

Going to Clarke's Going to Clarke's

This is Clarke’s Fish Camp on Julington Creek. It’s one of our favorite places to go for seafood.

Going to Clarke's

And judging from the number of boats here already, we’re not the only one’s who enjoy this secluded hideaway…

Going to Clarke's

Inside the restaurant, there’s stuffed animals EVERYWHERE! Lions, Tigers, Bears, Zebras, Apes, and this Giraffe right over our table…

Going to Clarke's

As always, the dinner was great! Adam commented that he was “so heavy” because he ate so much (that kid can put away some shrimp!). So, now we leave Clarke’s and head back up Julington Creek…

Leaving Clarke's

It’s still early in the evening, we have a pretty good amount of daylight left and the boys aren’t quite ready to go home…

Leaving Clarke's

So, …

Leaving Clarke's

It just doesn’t get any better than this!

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Tomorrow is the last day of Spring Break for the boys, but it’s back-to-work for me. So, we’re going to make the most of this glorious Sunday afternoon with a family bike ride to Veteran’s Park…

Family Bikers

It’s a nice ride to the park.

Family Bikers Family Bikers

But the ride is only half the fun because…Sno-Cones! and whatever those twirlie-spinnie things are…

Family Bikers Family Bikers

As we head back home, we stop for a moment for one last picture by the pond.

Family Bikers

We got a boat to catch for dinner!

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So, Mom is off to do some scrap-booking, so the boys and I decide to take the boat to the zoo.

Boys in the Boat Boys in the Boat Boys in the Boat

Heading into Jax, FEC Strauss Trunnion Bascule Bridge was down as a train crossed, so we decide to use the small boat span rather than wait for the bridge to be raised…

We docked at the pier and entered the zoo, and no sooner do we cross into the park than Alex makes a friend. In this case, it’s Salsa the Jaguar…

Alex and Salsa

Adam took a particular interest in these flamingos and insisted they were doing yoga…

Flamingos

So, after we saw the lions and tigers and bears (oh, my), we kicked-back and took a slow boat home…

Boys in the Boat

What a great day!

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Mom and Charlie

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Well, the boys’ Spring Break is in full swing. This year, we decided to do a “staycation”, which means, essentially, a vacation in our own backyard. We’ve spent so much time traveling recently, it’s nice to just relax and take it easy.

Today, the boys and I took a quick trip to the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, just outside of Starke.

Camp Blanding

Camp Blanding is the primary military reservation and training base for the Florida National Guard, and covers about 73,000 acres. It’s named after Lt Gen Albert H Blanding, who is among the most distinguished military figures in Florida’s history. He commanded the 31st Infantry Division and was appointed by FDR to serve as the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. During WWII, he was the military adviser to the Florida Governor.

Not that the boys were too interested in any of that. They wanted to see the heavy equipment on static display, like…

The C-47, which the 101st jumped out of in “Band of Brothers”…

C-47

C-47

A Sherman Tank…

Sherman Tank

and a Howitzer…

Howitzer

An amphibious vehicle, the DUKW, otherwise known as the “duck”…

DUKW

A field ambulance…

ield Ambulance

and a “Huey” Medivac Helicopter…

Huey

These static displays are part of the Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park. Located in one of Camp Blanding’s restored World War II buildings, the museum catalogs the history of both Camp Blanding and the Florida National Guard. The boys thought it was interesting, especially the Army uniforms and the weapons on display. Of course, I would’ve liked to have spent a little more time reading the history behind some of the displays, but the boys (being 8-years-old) were more into the “stuff” than the “substance”.

We’ll need to come back when they’re a little older. There’s a lot of military (and Florida) history on these grounds and within these walls…

Flag

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wherein we learn it isn’t done with a computer video game…

Adam: I just learned that I’m terrible at being a police officer.

Me: So, what are you now?

Adam: I’m a criminal.

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Boogity Boogity Boogity, as Darrell Waltrip would say! Today was the Cub Scout North Florida Council District Pinewood Derby Race! If you’ll remember, Alex was among the scouts that placed in the Pack 280 Race, so he moved on to the district competition with another 24 Tiger Scouts. So, after we checked-in, Alex sat down and put his game face on…

Game Face

Each car ran in 3 ‘heats’, so it had the opportunity to travel down each lane, then the finish times were averaged to determine the overall winner. Trophies were awarded for the top 3 finishers. Alex was a little disappointed he didn’t win a trophy this time around and I tried to explain that it meant something just to be racing today. After all, there were many Tiger Scouts in the district that didn’t even advance to this race (his brother included), but alas, there’s just something about that trophy. Anyway, we all had a great time watching the races and cheering on the scouts.

Here’s one of Alex’s races (his car is the one on the left)…

Alex’s car was competitive, taking 2nd in this race by a hair…

Finish

So, with the Pinewood Derby over for this year, we’ll place the “Little Green Dragon Machine” on the shelf to remember the fun we had.

Dragon Car

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Adam and Alex are ready to hit the track for the school’s Boosterthon Fun Run! You’d never guess they were twins 😉

Fun Run Fun Run

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