Vac Days 3-5: Space Coast + Amelia Island

August 11, 2022

Monday: We drove from Orlando to Cape Canaveral (just about 1 hour) to visit Kennedy Space Center! Josh has been wanting to make this trip for quite some time and I kept resisting because I felt like would be a total pain — but I agreed she had reached a point where she would be tolerable and possibly enjoy it.

G = happy mess

They turned out to enjoy it a lot! There were some parts that were more geared to adults (a really cool simulation of Apollo 8’s launch) but also play areas and exhibits they were into. Would definitely recommend and we will eventually go back when the kids can appreciate it on a different level.

We left around 5pm and drove 3 hours to Amelia Island where we rented a VRBO in the same complex as last year. By the time we stopped at The Loop for pizza and picked up groceries I was so tired I thought I might be getting sick but thankfully recovered overnight.

Tuesday & Wednesday: Basically 2 of the same day, although Wednesday I finally made it out running (took a 3 day hiatus). Beach in the AM / lunch (in our rental) / relax in the afternoon / out to dinner. This is our 3rd trip to the area as a family and Josh and I were actually here in March 2020 (yes 1 week before all hell broke loose!).

This means that I have gone to Island Time Ice Cream every year for the past 4 years.

2019 vs 2022. Ignore G’s evil ice cream eating face and the fact that C looks silly in both pix.
These pix were the source of much hilarity last night!

Dinner Tuesday was at Timoti’s and yesterday was at AIBC Tavern. Both familiar and so good. It really is fun to return to the same place year after year. Plus, the beaches never disappoint:

We also lucked on weather so far, though I think it may storm this afternoon (#cozy).

Things haven’t been easy the whole time, just to be real — we have had to break up quite a few A/C fights and G was acting TERRIBLE at restaurants (last night was better thank goodness). AND I have had to do some work, though I made a lot of progress yesterday afternoon and now I’m almost done with my looming project (annual ACGME reporting that I didn’t get to finish with before I left).

Today’s plans:

  • Go running (it’s 80F and 92% humidity, definitely not any better than home!)
  • Skateboard park + pool perhaps? (a break from our daily beach routine)
  • FINISH or get close to finishing ACGME reporting in the afternoon
  • “Fancy” dinner out (with the kids . . . so not THAT fancy!)


  • Reply Lori C August 11, 2022 at 8:33 am

    Planning question! You’ve probably addressed this before. How detailed are your plans before vacation?

    For longer trips I have a super detailed itinerary with reservation numbers, average daily weather and ridiculous information like sunrise/sunset time. (but it is super helpful when going abroad for example!) Shorter trips I don’t do this, but I end up missing out on things like going out to a nice dinner. How do you plan for your vacations?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 11, 2022 at 9:00 am

      Ooh fun question, I will turn it into a post!

      • Reply Helena Murphy August 11, 2022 at 10:06 am

        I love this question! It could even become a BLP episode!

        Oh, and possibly include an interview with a Travel Agent / Vacation planner?! 🙂

        Despite loving the independence that the Internet has brought to travel planning, one of my favorite vacations was actually planned through an agency that specialized in that specific country (Ireland – amazing!). They booked the flights, car rental, hotels based on our budget and style preferences, suggested the driving itinerary and where to stop for the night (the one modification we requested turned out to be a mistake…), suggested meals in special places, and specific tours. It was perfect and there were no extra fees. I think that, similarly to using a Disney Travel Agent, each individual hotel, etc paid them a commission.

        • Reply Jessica August 11, 2022 at 12:56 pm

          I LOVE the idea of an interview with a vacation planner. Or someone who designs group travel tours. With a portion on how SHU plans trips.

  • Reply Lori C August 11, 2022 at 8:35 am

    Also it sounds like you’re having a really good time! I’m so glad you’re able to get out to dinners. Beach vacations are necessary annual event to my opinion 🙂

  • Reply Grateful Kae August 11, 2022 at 9:08 am

    We go to Florida many years in August (the gulf coast) and I always say I want to add in a detour to the space coast stuff some year! But we haven’t made that happen yet. Or the U.S. Space and Rocket center in Huntsville, Alabama (we drive down through Alabama). But haven’t done that yet either. Definitely would like to- that’s all very cool stuff! I know my boys would love.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 11, 2022 at 9:10 am

    This sounds like a really fun trip. We would love to visit the Space Center when our kids are older. Our oldest son is VERY into space so I think he’d love it. And my husband is very into space, too. I have learned so much about space in the last couple of years since our oldest is interested in it. He still knows more about the planets and such than me! We tend to visit FL in Mar or Apr and I wonder if there is much of a difference in temp between this area and the area we usually go which is a bit further south… I will have to look into that. Although I looked at school calendars for our sons first 2 years of school and his spring break falls on a week my husband can’t take time off since it’s his busiest time of the month. So maybe we will have to do our spring break trips at a different time? The planner in me is thinking about this!

    Vacations are kind of more “type 2” fun in my stage of parenting. Our kids are younger than yours so I know it will only get better. But my appreciating self enjoys them more than my experiencing self. It’s still worth going, especially since we desperately need to get out of the cold! But we basically plan nothing with our kids at the stages they are. But we love going to the beach so FL trips are a hit for us. Although our last trip as in Feb 2020 and it was not very warm so I think going in Feb isn’t a great idea so we’ll stick to Mar/Apr going forward. We went to Long Boat Key in April 2019 for our first family trip and it was wonderful!

  • Reply Jessica August 11, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    Speaking of trips, and advice on places to eat/ etc in Vero beach? I’m going soon.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 11, 2022 at 2:00 pm

      I love the hotel Costa D’Este and their restaurant is good! Spa was great too 🙂 (I had a massage there!)

  • Reply Mommy Attorney August 11, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    You should consider Space Camp (in Huntsville) for the kids when they’re older.

    Would you consider a post on Monkeypox and whether you’re concerned and whether you’re thinking of doing anything different (from work or kid perspective)?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 11, 2022 at 1:59 pm

      At this juncture definitely not doing anything different . . . probably will not do a post but happy to link to a post from an expert if I find a good one!

  • Reply Elisabeth August 11, 2022 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks for keeping it real – it can be easy to see a highlight reel and assume siblings are happy with each other all the time (our kids fight regularly, but I blogged about this once and several people chimed in that their kids NEVER fight. I cannot relate to that reality).

    My husband and I went to the Kennedy Space Centre back in 2010 and LOVED it. I actually got sick doing the g-force simulator, but we liked it so much we went twice. We met an astronaut, saw the shuttle on the launchpad before what was the final launch. Very, very cool!

    • Reply Amy August 12, 2022 at 10:11 am

      I think that depends on how people define “fight” — do my kids get into brawls, hit each other, say really mean things, act hateful? No, never. But do they bicker and have conflict? Constantly. If I wanted to be smug and sanctimonious I could define “fight” very narrowly, assume that people talking about their kids fighting literally mean physical fights or whatnot, and then sit back feeling like a superior mom whose kids are well-behaved all the time — or I could recognize that my kids are just like everyone else’s, and they bicker and argue and sometimes (often) need parental intervention. So don’t take it to heart — everyone’s kids experience conflict.

      • Reply Hilary August 17, 2022 at 5:02 pm

        My oldest and middle hardly ever fight so until recently I was one of those people who said my kids didn’t fight (or, *could* have said… I like to think that I don’t advertise it, since I know it’s lucky and I prefer to have friends haha). But now my youngest is 2.5 and she and my middle have started to fight/bicker all of the time and it’s such a gnawing annoyance that I have newfound sympathy for.

  • Reply Carol Glaros August 12, 2022 at 4:08 pm

    Any time you are thinking about going to Kennedy Space center, be sure to look into the schedule for any launches including SpaceX. If you can, it’s amazing to be a part of that.

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