We left December 18th.
We stayed with my uncle near Shreveport, LA. It was nice to see him and his wife. I had not seen them since my dad's funeral 5 years ago.
On the 20th, we drove to Biloxi, MS and let the kids look for shells at the beach. They had been asking to see a beach for some time so we had a good time even though it was quite cold. That night we slept at the Moss Point Oaks Bed and Breakfast in Moss Point, MS. We had a nice stay here. The innkeeper even made us sack lunches for the next day for only a few dollars more.
The next day we saw the USS Alabama in Mobile. It was quite fascinating. My husband especially liked it. Beside the ship, there is a collection of airplanes and a submarine on display that you can tour for the cost of admission. We then drove a little farther to Pensacola, FL and visited the Creation Science Evangelism offices. They are the main carriers of my Creation for Little Sprouts DVD and it was nice to put faces with voices I had been talking to on the phone. That night we stayed at the Howard Johnson Express in Tallahassee, FL.
Our next big adventure was snorkeling with the manatees at Crystal River, FL. We got to see and touch lots of manatees on our 6 AM tour. I would recommend requesting a high visibility stop if you had kids. Our first stop was murky and it is a little disconcerting to see a giant manatee suddenly "appear" only a few feet in front of you. It is amazing to be in the water with these gentle giants. The night before we stayed at the lake house rented by the same people that run the tour. It was really nice and came with kayaks. We had a great time paddling up and down the river looking at birds and such.
After the manatee tour, we drove across Florida to my brother- and sister-in-law's house. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day there with my mother- and father-in-law. It was a very pleasant time. We went to the Brevard Zoo and even got to take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean.
We then spent two nights at the Anastasia Inn in St. Augustine, FL with my brother- and sister-in-law and their baby. The first day we went to the Castillo de San Marco. It is a fascinating fortress that was build in the late 1600's. The next day we went to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. They have every species of crocodilian. We even got to have our family picture taken while holding a baby American Alligator. We also went to Anastasia State Park and found star fish and a mermaid's purse.
The next day, the in-laws went back home and we continued north to Cumberland Island, GA. We saw wild horses, armadillos, and turkeys. The animals have few if any predators so they weren't skittish at all. The ferry ride there and back was a new experience for the kids.
After spending the night in the very inexpensive, hideously decorated, clean Star Motel in Folkston, GA we went to the Okefenokee Swamp. We took the boat tour and saw a raccoon, alligator, and quite a few birds. We also walked the board walk to the observation tour. You got a real feel for what the swamp was like overall from up there.
We spent the night in a great little b&b in Tifton, GA called Shalom House. There was a pool table, goats to pet, a friendly family, and a great breakfast. We drove from there to Providence Canyon near the Alabama border. The trail from the visitor center was quite strenuous so we only went the quarter mile down to a little stream and back. We the canyon itself was very beautiful with very colorful layers.
We slept at the Jameson Inn in Selma, Alabama then it was up for a 6-7 hour drive to my uncle's house in Louisiana. That was New Year's Eve so we were glad to be off the road shortly after it got dark. We made it back to Fort Worth New Year's Day.
It was an awesome trip. I am already planning the next one. We are thinking about a tour of the Rocky Mountain states.