Month 1 & 2: Downtime in Sunny Florida

The last couple of months have been fairly quiet on the blog and social media channels for us. I’d like to stay that we’ve been busy, but really we’ve been quietly enjoying our sun filled days here in Florida with my mom.

It’s funny how we get into routines and then forget how to live without them. That’s exactly what has been happening to us, we haven’t figured out what is it that we should be doing with our time.

Our first few weeks were filled with being busy, alarm clock set for 7am to get a good start on the day. And then we realized that we were being ridiculous. There was no reason for us to be rushing through our days, this isn’t a vacation after all, it’s our life. We needed to figure out how to slow down.

So, we figured that the best way to slow down was to over book our days with gym time, yoga classes, skimboarding and planned daily activities for my visiting niece and nephew. Surely slowing down really means speeding up. No. But, speeding up does give you more incentive to slow down. After 10 fun filled days with the family we were ready for some real downtime.

We’ve since let the days roll by. Filling the hours with yoga, jogging, nature walks and reading. Not all in the same day. I believe we’ve caught up on all the Big Bang Theory reruns as well as watched the last 3 Mad Max movies in anticipation for the upcoming new release. Fingers crossed for better acting and a plausible story line.

I’m really not even sure where to being with an actual recap of all the things we’ve been doing. Aside from a lot of exercising, we haven’t done a lot of things. Skimboards easily fit in the car, so we bought a couple of used boards. It’s a lot harder than we expected. Curtis bought shin guards due to all the abuse our shins were taking.

We took my niece and nephew to Busch Gardens for a spectacular day on roller coasters. They also got to visit Blizzard Beach and enjoy the water slides, it was such a fun day!

We’ve enjoyed stand up paddle-boarding a couple of times since arriving in Florida. We went to Crystal River to SUP while searching for manatees. It was super fun even though we didn’t see any manatees and got major sunburns. The second adventure out on SUP boards was for me (Jill) only. I was thrilled to receive a SUP Yoga Teacher Training certification from Surfit USA.

One of our favorite things to do is visit Turkey Creek Sanctuary in Palm Bay. We go there often. It has nature trails, jogging trails and a boardwalk. We’ve seen manatees, alligators, tortoises (our favorite), white frogs plus an array of butterflies and dragonflies. The atmosphere is extremely peaceful, the trails are mostly tree covered canopies. A truly beautiful place to spend some time.

Another favorite for us is the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands. There is very little shade cover around this marshy swampland. A gravel road makes a number of loops around the area. Walking through the area gets you up close to amazing birds. I believe this area is considered one of Florida’s great birding trails. There are also a significant amount of alligators here, so I would advise caution when walking through. We did walk by a number of small alligators, none of which seemed to bothered by use being there, but we kept our distance.

After all our downtime in Florida, we were ready to hit the road. We left Florida on May 11 and started the drive north to Canada.

That sums our first two months on the road. Stay tuned for more updates!

Jill Patterson
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