Tomoka State Park

statue of chief tomokie
tomoka state park
Remember when we went to Bulow Plantation Ruins looking for this park?  Well, we finally found it, and it's still pretty awesome.  We took a walk along the gorgeous banks of the river, and then stood in awe at the huge statue of Chief Tomokie.  Even though we know the statue isn't that old, we like to pretend that it's from ancient times (it just makes it a little more magical). 

Here's what the Florida State Parks' website says about Tomoka State Park:

"Native Americans once dwelled here, living off fish-filled lagoons. Today, these waters are popular for canoeing, boating, and fishing. The park protects a variety of wildlife habitats and endangered species, such as the West Indian manatee. Tomoka is a bird-watcher's paradise, with over 160 species sighted, especially during the spring and fall migrations. Visitors can stroll a one-half mile nature trail through a hardwood hammock that was once an indigo field for an 18th century British landowner. A boat ramp gives boaters and canoeists access to the river. The Park Store offers snacks, camping supplies, and canoe rentals. Contact 386-673-0022 for more information. For overnight stays, the park has full-facility campsites and youth camping. Located three miles north of Ormond Beach on North Beach Street."

Lots of trails, tons of picnic worthy spots, and serious fishing availability.  At $5 per car load, it's definitely worth checking out if you're passing through.

Tomoka State Park
2099 N Beach St.
Ormond Beach, FL 32174


School Pictures. Thanks, but no thanks.

Today is picture day for our Little Guy.  The second school picture day of the year (third if you count the class picture), and we're not buying any.


We bought one sheet - the smallest amount you could buy, which was like, $15 for the first school picture this year, and to tell the truth I didn't even really want to buy that. Then we bought the class photo ($12, I think), and now we're completely skipping over today's pics.

But!  They get to wear their own clothes!


You'll look like you don't care about your kid.


In my opinion, we were foolish to buy the first picture because we've preordered our yearbook ($20) and his photo is going to be in that.

Let me make my case:

It's 2014.

BOOM!  There it is.

Why on earth would I buy cheesy, school photos, that will most likely contain the head and shoulders of my adorable boy who's face will probably be grimacing (because that's what they do at this age instead of smiling), when I could take a ton of shots with my own camera - heck, even my phone for that matter!

You can buy the school photos and snail mail them to your family members so that they can stick them in a drawer or box to pull out one day 40 years from now when they're feeling nostalgic. OR you could just take a great photo yourself, upload it to facebook, and let everyone who wants a hard copy (does anyone really want a hard copy?) right click and save it.

Yes, there is an option to buy the digital image of the photo (the cheesy, not pre-approved photo) but it's an add on to a picture package for like $40!!  Umm... thanks, but no thanks.

For now, I think I'll just take my own pictures of this kid and his hilarious personality.


After School

The gorgeous weather we had the other day told me it was time to smell the salty air, feel the crunch of the shelly sand under our feet, and listen to the crashing of the waves.  
After School.
In Winter.
Have I mentioned how truly blessed I feel that I get to live here?  Because I do.
The water was still a bit too cold for swimming, so we took a nice, long walk, savoring the warmth of the sun on our skin after this strangely cold winter.
As we left, we stopped for a treat at our favorite ice cream joint, where Bent asked, "Can I just wear my nipples?"  
Oh, that boy.  I love him so.
And the baby was so in awe of it all (I think he was feeling pretty cool in his new shades).

While it's been lovely to see pictures posted of the beautiful snowfalls around the country, I have no doubt that there's nowhere I'd rather be than right here. 


Bulow Plantation

Since giving birth to our new little bundle, and feeling a little nervous about taking the new baby anywhere, we hadn't really gotten out into nature for a while - which is something we love to do.  Now that I've gotten past my crazies about the baby, and the weather has decided to give us some warmer days, we decided to go for a picnic lunch at Bulow Plantation.

We'd been there before, years ago, and honestly, we were looking for a park we had been to that has an amazing Native American monument, but couldn't remember where it was, and craving some history, we ended up at Bulow Plantation.  

There is an area with quite a few picnic tables in the first parking area right next to the water, and a screened in building with more tables in case you don't want to brave the elements (read: mosquito swarms) that can ruin a good picnic in Florida  - especially during the rainy season.
After our picnic, we headed to the ruins.  Here's what the Florida State Parks website says about them:

"The 150 acres of Bulow Plantation Ruins stand as a monument to the rise and fall of sugar plantations in East Florida. In 1836, the Second Seminole War swept away the prosperous Bulow Plantation where the Bulow family grew sugar cane, cotton, rice and indigo. Ruins of the former plantation, a sugar mill, a unique spring house, several wells and the crumbling foundations of the plantation house and slave cabins show how volatile the Florida frontier was in the early 19th century. Today, a scenic walking trail leads visitors to the sugar mill ruins, listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The park has picnic facilities and an interpretive center that tells the plantation's history. A boat ramp provides access for canoes and small powerboats to scenic Bulow Creek, a designated state canoe trail. Anglers can fish from the dock or a boat."

bulow plantation ruins
bulow plantation ruins
Really interesting, and the walking trail is not too long for younger children.  At only $4 per vehicle, if you're ever in Flagler Beach, you should check it out. 

Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park
3501 Old Kings Road
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

This Moment

A single photo - no words, capturing a single moment from the week.  A moment I want to pause, savour, and remember.  Inspired by Soule Mama.

Feel free to link to your moment in the comments.

4 Months

This month brought with it some serious teething.  Constant drooling, gnawing on anything you could maneuver into your mouth, and major fussies.
You still love to keep your toes curled, only now you have a habit of touching your little feet together in the sweetest way so that they form a little heart.
There's also been a lot of this:
Going on, and your favorite way to sleep now is on your side.  I put you down on your back, but you immediately roll over.
This month started out really rough for both of us.  You started refusing to nurse during the daytime.  I went through my freezer stash and couldn't keep up with pumping, so I introduced supplemental formula which became our nursing death sentence.  You are now completely on formula, and strangely, much less fussy. You are sleeping longer stretches at night now, and cry so much less during the days.  By far, the transition was much more upsetting to me than it was to you, but we are all happy now, and that's what counts.

You are rocking tummy time now, and have discovered that toys are awesome and should all be put in your mouth.  Which infuriates you when come across a toy that's too big.
The motor died on our swing, which we took as a sign that you don't need one anymore.
Best milestone this month - you totally giggle now if I tickle you!! 

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