Monday, August 16, 2010

Pancakes and Astronauts

We had an amazing vacation....3 weeks ago!! I can't believe it has taken me this long to update from our week in Florida, but here we go!

We ended up leaving at midnight on a Friday so that we could drive while the kids slept, but more importantly so that we could arrive in time for PANCAKES at the Old Sugarmill Restaurant in DeLeon Springs. We read about this place in the Florida magazine and it sounded like a fun family place and we were not disappointed. Well, maybe a little bit because they don't have A/C, but I can also be high maintenance that way. The Old Sugarmill is an old cabin looking restaurant inside the Ponce DeLeon State Park, we paid our parking fee and proceeded to find the restaurant. It was right next to a giant cement pond (channelling the Beverly Hillbillies....) which was actually a pool created by the spring. It was really cool and the kids swam in it later - they said it was really cold. According to the literature it maintains 68 degrees. There were tons of people in the pool and even some Scuba divers - this was because the pool ranges up to 30 feet deep!! There is a drop off (according to my daughter with a mask) that is like an abyss - the literature calls it a chimney and it leads to the spring inside a deeper down cavern. COOOOOOOL!

At any rate, I was there for the pancakes. The restaurant has tables that are similar to mini hibachis - each table has it's own built in griddle for making your own pancakes. It's $4.50 per person for ENDLESS pancake batter!! That's right....FOUR DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS. For reals. They have regular batter and a whole grain batter. Both were phenomenal. You can purchase things to mix in to your pancakes like bananas, chocolate chips, etc. My daughter also ordered a scrambled egg and they brought her an uncracked egg and a bowl and told her to get to work!! She made her own scrambled egg right on our table - it was definately a very unique experience and we are very glad we made the trip! I was thinking our bill would be incredibly cheap, but once we got Diet Coke (comes in a can, no refills), milk, sides of bacon, an egg and some toppings our breakfast was nearly $50. TOTALLY worth it. It was so much fun. Even though it was sweltering with no A/C and about 20 pancake griddles heating the place up. We got there at opening time and on our way out the wait for a table was close to one hour, a few minutes later it was 1.5 hours. If you go, GO EARLY. But the bonus is that if you are waiting the kids can swim in the spring pool because it is literally at the steps of the restaurant.

After breakfast we finished our drive into New Smyrna Beach and piddled around on the beach watching surfing lessons until our beach house was ready for occupancy. We rented a fabulous condo with a beachfront pool. Our living room window overlooked the pool and the ocean. It was great!

The next day was spent at Kennedy Space Center - we had planned this vacation around a Shuttle Launch (which was cancelled AFTER we had already paid for the house), but we had fun doing the extended tour of the facility and getting the closest as any tour goes to the launch pad. Hunk was totally geeking out all day long. We met an astronaut who did not look at all like Kevin Bacon :( and we got Icee drinks in giant space shuttle shaped bottles. What could be better?

We spent the following three days laying around on the beach and then at the end of the week we went to Islands of Adventure to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!! So.Much.Fun!! In fact, it will be another post because it deserves all the attention! Plus, this one is getting long winded....

Can't believe I've been away so long that I almost forgot my blog password. Eeeeeeek! How've you all been?