Day 61: John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Since yesterday was a beach day bust due to Ava being sick and super crazy winds, today we were determined to venture outdoors more than ever… just as soon as I can get poor Mila out from under the dinette. Hehe. One of these days she will learn how to scoot herself forwards instead of just backwards.
crawling backwards.

Ava spent the morning ready to go to the beach but also yearning for a play date. You see, our next door neighbors had about 10 kids total with them and she really really wanted to go play. So we sent her over to say hello and she immediately made friends with one of the older girls and had a blast for over an hour. The good thing about our road trip so far is that Ava is becoming a lot less shy. She has to initiate friendships if she wants interaction with other kids.
staring at kids next door.

And then it was finally time to hit the beach at our campground, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. And as the name implies, there is a coral reef out there somewhere for all you snorkelers and scuba divers. And even this underwater statue that is supposed to be pretty cool. But we didn’t get a chance to go out there. Way too windy. Windiest day on our road trip so far. I had a hard time opening the van door just to check out this beautiful gem.
john pennekamp.

We were about to give up when we noticed a little protected cove just around the corner from beach we hoped to spend the day at. Sure it wasn’t as pretty. Sure it was full of seaweed. But it was wind free for the most part and that was our only criteria.
sheltered cove.

The day before while checking out the aquariums at the Visitor’s Center, Ava overheard some lady freak out a bit when she thought that there was a sea snake in one of the tanks. And ever since that moment, Ava started to get weary of all of the other fish tanks we were studying. That fear continued in the water today. It took some convincing to prove that all the sea grass in water was not going to bite her. Hence, the hand holding.
holding hands.

Another thing Ava has been weary of is how dark she is getting. It never bothered her before. But a lot of people have been mentioning lately that she looks a lot like Dan. A boy!!!! And she doesn’t like it one bit. Poor kid. So she keeps mentioning that she doesn’t want to be as dark as Dada. Sorry Dada. Mila loves telling Ava that she better not forget to put on her sunscreen.
baby pointing.

And Ava obeys.
"i don't want to be dark like dada"

When packing for this type of trip, I had a hard time figuring out what to bring for Ava. And as usual, I over packed. I keep a large bin of toys in the van so I can rotate out the toys we keep in a smaller bin the Airstream. And just like at home, toys are pretty boring after no time at all. Grrrr. She prefers using household or outdoor objects to occupy herself and her favorite “friends”. I’m not sure who had more fun with the 6-pack we bought. Hehe.
animal beer carrier.

It was our last night at Pennekamp and we wanted to enjoy every last bit of it. So as the sun was starting to set, we headed out for a little stroll.
evening walk.

Our journey took us through little paths that led us to small ponds and hiking trail entrances.

I got bit up pretty good as we walked through a “spooky forest”. No one else. Just me. Those little no see-ums just love my feet.
spooky forest.

Or maybe it’s because I just don’t run fast enough.
run ava run.

Good night, John Pennekamp.

the end,

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