Last week we spent most of our time with our friends, Blake and Candace, from Washington who are now living in Georgia to complete their doctorates.
What a week it was! God blessed us in huge ways - a home to stay in, wonderful hosts/company to spend our free hours with, great meals, and conversation. ...AND the girls got a BIG surprise! ...
Blake and Candace took them to Lego Land Discovery Center in Atlanta, Georgia! We, on the other hand, enjoyed being kid-free for a few hours!
The World of Coco Cola.
Josh had gone to The World of Coco Cola when he was 20 years old, so he HAD to show the girls how cool it was...he was the most excited out of all of us - we were all laughing because he RAN to the ticket counter...as if it would be sold out!
Did you know Coke was invented by a gentleman who worked in a pharmacy?! I tell my kids it has chemicals...now I have backing! ;)
Next stop was the Georgia State Capital. A good portion of the halls are set up like a museum with glass cases holding multiple artifacts and information. You can visually see history right before your eyes. Most people say their favorite piece is the 2 headed calf. My girls would strongly disagree. What do you think?
While on the elevator we struck up conversation with a gentlemen and he told us to come to his office (room #...) in 15 min. Turns out he is the Secretary of the Senate AND gave us a personal tour of the Senate and let the girls get on the podium and hit the gavel - Grace was ecstatic...Sarah wasn't so sure what to do with permission to hit something!
We ended our week in Georgia with a visit to Stone Mountain. We were given a money gift by friends before we left and we used most of it this week with so many opportunities in this state. Part of the funds went to taking the tram to the top of the mountain. We are SO thankful that we took it to the top. Worth E V E R Y penny.
There is something about being in nature that brings peace to the soul. No clutter or distractions - just the ground, open air, and beauty of creation. We spent almost 2 hours on top with nothing but rock and a few small plants, just appreciating the beauty and simplicity of this place.
We made it to FLORIDA!!! This state marks our half way point, with the hope of being home by June. Oh, did I mention it's the sunshine state?! SUNSHINE!
Our first stop was the State Capital. It's awful to say, but the Capital is not only the ugliest we have seen as far as capitals go, but in my opinion, even as large buildings go. Plain, tall, ..yuk! However, the view from the top is spectacular and made up for the dull/business looking building.
We toured the Old Capital across the street and that fit more of the look we expected to see. I didn't get a photo, but found one on line so you can see the difference between the old and newer one (It's quite noticeable).
The old building is designed as a museum. Several state capitals seem to do this. We have really enjoyed it because we get to tour the capitals and spend hours learning the history of the state done in ways that keep kids interested.
If you go to state capitals, make sure you ask if there are any free kid museums in the area (or call ahead). They are often built within walking distance and are a great way to learn about the culture as well as the history.
I'm still in shock of how much we are able to do on this trip on such a limited budget. Traveling definitely exposes you to more opportunities than staying in the same town you live and work in and we are thankful for that.
We have been blessed to find housing with friends and people we make a connection with but often stay at hotels as well. Josh is really good at finding deals online ($50 a night) some are pretty meager, while others are quite nice. This weekends location topped the cake.
The Flamingo Resort in Orlando FL is where we stayed this past weekend. It has a miniature waterslide park on the premises for only $8 a person. It was the first time the girls experienced waterslides and they loved it! I enjoyed the "Lazy River", which wraps around the slides with a current of water pushing you in circles, as well as lying in the sun with a good book!
Currently we are staying with a couple in West Palm Beach FL and will go to another home later this week (Wed-Sat). It's awesome to see people's generosity and hospitality. They invite the 4 of us into their homes, welcoming us in and providing a cozy environment, meals, and new friendships. It's times like these we are so thankful we did not get an RV. We would have missed out on these unique people connections that bring us so much comfort while being on the road away from family and friends.
Someday I hope to see all these families again, but next time in my home where I can host and pamper them in return!