We got back a few days ago from a Spring Break trip to Florida. We had a really good time with the boys and Oma (Jenny’s mom) as we took a short cruise to the Bahamas, caught a Cardinals Spring Training game, spent a day at Kennedy Space Center, and met briefly with the Amazing Randi.
This is actually our third straight Spring Break trip to Florida, and our second straight year taking a cruise from Florida with Oma. We never planned to make a regular pattern of it, but there’s so much to do and see in Florida that we keep going back (and that doesn’t even include Disney).
We started with a 3-night cruise on the Carnival Sensation to Nassau, Bahamas. We went on a 4-night cruise from Tampa to Cozumel last year with the boys and Oma, and we really enjoyed the trip. Carnival has a really nice kids’ camp that the boys love for a much cheaper price than the Disney cruises (we’ve never done a Disney cruise, so maybe it’s worth double the price, but we’re happy not to confirm that for now). Three nights is really too short to get the full cruise experience, but we still had fun with mini golf, the waterslides, the food, the towel animals, and the short stop in Nassau.
After getting off the cruise ship, we drove down to Jupiter, FL, to see the Cardinals take on the Marlins for a Spring Training game. We had gone to a couple of Spring Training games a few years ago, but this was Oma’s first time, and she loved it.
Additionally, Wash U had rented out the party deck for the afternoon, so we got to hear a short speech by Cardinals GM John Mozeliak before the game and then watch the entire game in the shade. Very nice. The Cardinals won on a 3-run blast by David Freese in the 9th, and we got to see some current and past Cardinals greats.
We spent our final full day of the vacation at Kennedy Space Center. We went a couple years ago, but had only a half day and skipped the tours. This time, we took the Up Close & Personal tour, and I was really glad we did.
Because the Space Shuttle program has ended, there’s not currently much use for the Vehicle Assembly Building, the immense building in which Saturn V rockets and Space Shuttles were prepared for launch. That means that, for the first time in 30 years, mere tourists get to go inside them. And even better, the Space Shuttle Discovery orbiter was just sitting there, waiting for a trip to a new permanent display at the Smithsonian! It was amazing to be so close to such an important space craft.
The Amazing Randi
On our way to the airport on the final day, we stopped by the house of James Randi, the famous magician. I’ve been a member of the James Randi Educational Foundation for a couple years, and I’m always inspired by the work that Randi and his team do for science, skepticism, and reason. So, I wanted to get a chance to see him in person and introduce him to my family, and I really wanted the boys to see some of his magic (Douglas is really into magic tricks these days).
So, I was very nervous as we drove closer to his house, because he was opening his house to a near stranger, and because Oma and my wife didn’t know much about him at all. I was afraid it was going to be awkward.
I needn’t have worried at all; Randi is a consummate gentlemen and showman. He invited us right in, offered us coffee, and then sat down to regale us with stories from his interesting a varied career. He showed us the fascinating books and artifacts he has gathered over the years in the Isaac Asimov library, entertained the boys by pulling me into a card trick, signed a couple pictures, and really charmed us all.
It was a short visit, but I’m so happy I got to meet with the Amazing Randi.
We had a lot of fun in our short, but busy trip. If you want to see a lot more pictures please check out the full set on our travel photo site.