My second assignment was a blast! My job was in Daytona Beach at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center, and we took up residence in Flagler Beach at an Encore/Thousand Trails campground, Buloh RV Resort. We met another RV family there who also homeschools, and our kids had plenty of play time with them. Heather and the kids made a weekly trip across I-4 to Clearwater, FL to babysit my sister’s youngest and pick up my sister’s older kids from school so that my sister could attend a college course that was only offered once a week and in-person. We spent many hours at Flagler beach and in the warm ocean water of Florida. I also made good use of my motorcycle to commute to and from the hospital. The advantage of spending the winter in Florida: even on Christmas day I rode my motorcycle in short-sleeved scrubs and was perfectly comfortable. I could not have done that in Ohio.
We discovered Publix grocery stores and the great people that work there. Everyone is so friendly and will accommodate your needs if at all possible. The baggers even offer to push your cart to your vehicle for you. We also discovered that Publix deli makes sub sandwiches that, in my opinion, are better than Subway or other sandwich chain stores. We also found that nobody at Publix knows what Skyline Chili is, most likely because it is an Ohio thing, and they do not stock it. We did find that Wal-Mart still stocks it in Florida.
Our campground was near a state park with plenty of hiking trails, some old sugar mill ruins, and a wildlife area. We toured the ruins and hiked a few of the trails. We could have made more use of the state park, but there were so many other things to do that we simply ran out of time.
Along the endless beach there were plenty of cool places to visit, including this place, Crabby Joe’s, which is a restaurant perched on a pier along route A1A in southern Daytona Beach. They serve great food at a good price. They also have a full open bar at 7am, which night nurses can appreciate as they are getting off work in the morning and want to hang out and de-stress with their coworkers. My fellow night shift nurses and I visited Crabby Joe’s a few times as the sun was coming up. We did occasionally get odd looks as the waitress delivered shots to the table with our breakfast.
I did take the family to Crabby Joe’s a few times and the kids really loved eating over top of the waves. The floor of the restaurant is the pier and you can actually look down through the cracks between the boards and see the glimmer of the waves and water beneath your feet. Just be careful not to drop anything small on the floor, as retrieval may become a significant challenge if it slips through the cracks.
While in Daytona Beach we were also visited by some friends from Ohio who were on Christmas vacation and decided that the Florida (snowless) climate was a pleasant change. We met them at a restaurant in St. Augustine and enjoyed a lengthy discussion over delicious Mexican fare.
Shortly after Christmas we hosted a family Christmas get-together at our campground which my parents (who live in Ohio), one of my older sisters, and my younger sister and her family attended. Buloh RV Resort has cabins in addition to RV sites, so my family was able to stay in a few of the cabins so we did not have to squeeze everyone into our RV. We ate a “Christmas Dinner” together and went swimming in the outdoor pool. It was an event enjoyed by all who attended, and decided we should do something similar in the coming years.