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On the Coast Magazine

Adventures of Skylar & Kobe

01/07/2013 09:17AM ● Published by Nancy Babin

My family wanted to go on a quick vacation so instead of traveling the world or flying hundreds of miles to get to another state, we decided to travel in our own huge “backyard”… our own state. 

We begin our adventurous story with four people in a car full of maps, binoculars, and notebooks as we head down the roads of Florida to visit places all the way to the tip – a true trip to the tip.

DESTINATION 1: St. Petersburg

The Dali Museum! This stop was truly magical for me because I have completely fallen in love with the arts. I was able to witness the true imagination of a creative genius in a place that actually looked like one of Dali’s creations complete with a “never-ending” staircase, hundreds of glass triangles, almost all of his paintings, and meander¬ing gardens highlighted with recycled wrist bands that all worked together to make a real work of art. Honestly, I was so intrigued by Dali’s wonders, which were sometimes taller than a one-story floor, but my little brother Kobe… well, not so much. Instead, he found joy in the hotel breakfast bar where a chef would literally put anything you wanted into a pancake. 

DESTINATION 2: The Everglades

This was probably the most adventurous pit stop of the entire trip. It was also sort of last minute. One second we were driving down the road through a bunch of tall grass and the next thing I knew we were on one of those everglade boats with a bearded man named Captain Dan. He was the most informational and outgoing airboat driver there, and it was really amazing because he could talk to the alligators in the everglades. Believe it or not, the animals would listen, and all the little ones and the ginormous 11-footers would come right up to our boat. Even though we weren’t exactly allowed to, Captian Dan let everyone in the boat get in the water, and he drove where there wasn’t even a path! Don’t worry, we survived… I think.

DESTINATION 3: The Keys

“Here we are everybody. We are finally at the hotel,” my dad pro¬claimed as he drove up to a blackened, dusty hotel with a sign that was literally hanging by a thread. “Home Sweet Home.” Luckily, my dad was just joking around, and soon we were twisting through a tropical jungle that ended at an oasis of a hotel featuring every¬thing from a beautiful ocean view with coconut trees and a lagoon filled with fish, shaded by a roof of trees, to an outdoor hot tub/bathtub for every room complete with bouncy beds. With that hotel, called the Chika Lodge, came accessibility to canoes, kayaks, and bikes! My favorite part was a bike ride we all took as a family. Kobe rode right into a barricade pole at the entry gate and didn’t even notice running into a tube of metal! We also climbed to the top of a famous palm tree while collecting coconuts. Yum. Best of all, we drove to the most southern part of the USA to watch a green flash sunset while street performers acted away. One guy even jumped on my dad’s shoulders and began to juggle fire.

DESTINATION 4: Miami College 

Actually, this was really the only reason we made this trip to the tip. It was my dad’s 25th reunion at his college! Although it was crowded, my mom, brother, dad, and I enjoyed the sight of a monstrous parade, fireworks, and lighting a mighty boat on fire in honor of the alumni of the school.

Wow. After our amazing family trip, I realized how much I never knew about my own state. This was a true adventure of Skylar and Kobe.

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