While we were in Tennessee we ended up right along the storm path that was going around the Texas heat dome, so to escape severe storms every day, we decided to drive down to Daytona Beach, Florida to visit family for a while.
Spontaneous Decision to Drive Down to Florida
This was kind of a spontaneous decision, but a much needed break! We were being hit by all these severe storms day after day as they followed a jet stream around the Texas heat dome. The path we planned to travel through Illinois and into Wisconsin and Minnesota was also getting hit with storms. And with storms up there come the chance of tornados.
With all this bad weather and an RV that can’t handle severe winds and hail, we decided to escape it all and head south. It turned out to be the best decision we could have made. We were able to stay with family for a month and spend so much time with them that we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
The drive itself was about 700 miles. We drove the whole weekend through Tennessee and Georgia and made it to my Uncle and Aunt’s house Sunday afternoon. They were so generous and let us park our RV under their large carport so we would be out of the sun and rain. They have such a beautiful home to with a large yard for their horses in a quiet neighborhood.
Florida Activities: Family Things
Of course during the week we were working (me on my blog and Claudio has his 9-5). In the evenings we would have dinner with my aunt and uncle and their cute poochie, Thor.
There were some days where we had dinner had another aunt’s house and we visited my grandparents. One my aunts owns a spa and she was kind enough to give me a facial!
There was one day too where my aunts and grandma and I went to Marshalls for a little shopping day. We spent hours going through all the racks, then trying everything on and showing each other in the fittings rooms.
There was some time spent exploring too. We got to do a lot of kayaking with my aunt and uncle. They had four kayaks so it was perfect for group excursions! My favorite was King’s Landing which had crystal clear spring waters that we were paddling through. We saw fish and even otters in the water. It was beautiful.
There was one weekend where just me and Claudio went up to St.Augustine. It’s this adorable coastal town with a lot of history. The downtown area has beautiful Spanish architecture and there is the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument to visit. We of course had to get some baked goodies, so we found Cutie Pies Bake Shop munched on some sweets before we walked downtown.
On the way back to Daytona after St.Augustine, we stopped in Palm Coast and ate at the Portugal Wine Bar & Grill. Their cod fish croquettes and bitoque were delicious! It tasted just like what we get at home on Long Island and the delicious food Claudio’s parents make.
Of course, we also went to the beach! We spent a couple of mornings at the Ponce Inlet. There was an abundance of wildlife with sea turtle nests, crabs, and land turtles. After spending some time in the water, we read under our umbrella and enjoyed hearing the waves.
This would not be a finished post if I didn’t talk about the best food we ate. We got to eat out at quite a few delicious restaurants since my family knows where all the good food is at!
First up is the Mason Bar in New Smyrna Beach. It’s a juice shop that also has the most delicious smoothies and stuffed avocadoes! We got juice, smoothies, coffee and food there a few times during our Florida stay.
Next up is the Wake Up Cafe, also in New Smyrna Beach. It’s a cute little breakfast place that serves American and Argentinian cuisine. My Aunt and Uncle brought us here a couple of times for breakfast and it did not disappoint! If you’re ever in the area, this is the place to go to for breakfast.
The first week we were in Florida, my whole family got together for dinner at So Napa Grille also in New Smyrna Beach (clearly this is the area to go to for good food!). The vibe was definitely fancier with the most delicious food you’ll ever eat. We all tasted each other’s food and split all the desserts. Mine was a Thai Coconut Curry and I practically licked the plate clean!
Being able to stay with family was so comfortable we extended our original two-week stay to four weeks. We never wanted to leave! If anything this has proved to us that we definitely want to have family close by wherever we decide to move to.
At the end of our Florida stay, we got back on to our original plans — so now we move north! Follow along to see where we end up next.
Make sure to check out past posts in my RV Life Diaries Series.
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