Summer 2006 to South East
Link to video :
The Train Trip

Waiting just outside our train car.

"What's taking them so long? I'd better go ahead. Bye! I'll see you guys in Florida!"

Inside our sleeper car, with Tita Mariette.

At the Dining Car.

We had fun swaying and balancing ourselves through 3 cars to get to the dining car. We were served with salad and soup, and a choice of steak or salmon, and wine (juice for the kids), and dessert, with a nice view of the outside and the setting sun.

Ready. Say, "Key Lime Pie!"

The Incredibles, getting ready for bed.


Day 1: Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, FL

Straight from the Sanford station, we went straight to our first destination to see Space shuttles and rocket ships. 

Rocket Garden.

Yes, that is what they grow at the Kennedy Space Center, ROCKETS.

Command Module.

Commander Jacob, mission specialist.

Our budding Astronaut.

Says he'd like to visit his home planet Mars... Uh, wait a minute, I thought it was Krypton?

Atlantis, preparing to launch.

Light-sensitive electronic equipment.

Flash photography is prohibited inside this facility. These modules will be shuttled up to the International Space Station. When finished, the Space Station will weigh 1 million pounds.


Days 2 and 3: Magic Kingdom

We stayed in Tita Mariette's house in Orlando, close to where the "happiest place on earth" is.

With our host in the living room of her beautiful new home.

With Tita Mariette and Timmy, sending us off to Disney.

What's a visit to Orlando without going to the Magic Kingdom?

First ride, the Merry-go-round.

My little pony, my little pony...

Ride like the wind, Bullseye! Yeeee-haaa!

Joseph's first Dumbo ride :)

My favorite Martian.

"Dad, is Pleakly from Mars?"


Day 4: Plant City

We were exhausted after our day at the Magic Kingdom we decided to stay home and rest...then we thought of gators.  We didn't know where to find them and we ended up with Dinos instead...oh, well, distant relatives.

Mica was too scared to be within arm's length of these stones.

Stones, yes, but nonetheless scary!


"Is that a T-Rex taking our picture?"

Back at the playground, finally smiling.

"No more dinosaurs here!" Too scared of the dinos, Mica was so relieved to be out of Dino World.

"Did Superman have a side-kick?"

Jacob made a new friend at the playground, a boy named Asher, who mimicked Jacob's every move and word.


Day 5: Tampa

We left Orlando and headed to Tampa, to see Tito Bri and Tita Paz.  We were treated to a late lunch of Tito Bri's mouth-watering barbeque ribs, Tita Paz's delicious pancit, and sinigang na bangus with freshly picked camote tops, from their garden.  After eating, we tried to burn the calories in the pool, but it didn't take long before the Tampa thunderstorm welcomed us visitors. 

Enjoying the pool.

The water is so warm. Come-on!

With Tito Bri and Tita Paz at their home.


Day 6: Florida Aquarium and Fort De Soto

We drove to Ate Jophine and Kuya Gerry's new townhouse in Largo, where we stayed for the remaining days of our vacation.  It was close to the beach, restaurants, supermarkets, department stores, pharmacy, etc.  While there, we visited the Florida Aquarium, the Museum of Science and Industry, and of course, the beach.., morning and late afternoon!

Ate Jophine and Kuya Gerry's new townhouse in Largo, Fl.

Outside the Florida Aquarium.

Waiting... watching for an unsuspecting prey.

Aaahhh... life....

Did you expect these gators' bodies to be sooo relaxed under the water?


Nemo and Marlyn, playing hide and seek.

Mr. Ray!

Shark dive show at the Aquarium, with Kim and Barbara.

Cactuses adorned the short-trail that led us to the beach.

Fort de Soto, where the sands are powder white.

The water may be warm and inviting, but Mica loved playing in the sand more.

Low tide.

Beautiful sunset at the beach.

The place was so beautiful and peaceful, we decided to stay until sundown.


Day 7: Indian Rocks Beach, Largo

Indian Rocks beach was closer  to where we were staying than Fort De Soto. There was public parking and a shower so we can leave the sand out and not bring it into the car. Because it was close, we were there in the morning until before the sun gets too hot, and then again late in the afternoon.

Morning. On the way to the beach.

The fine, white sands cling to Joseph's knee's skin and hair.

Loving the sand and sun.

Claw prints.

There were more birds than people on the beach at this time of the year.


AFternoon. Heading for the water, once more.


Rain falling from the clouds, with lightning and roaring thunder.


We watched the flashes of lightning from a distance, but the thunder didn't sound distant at all. It was scary for these New York kids.


Day 8:  MOSI

After Sunday mass, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry.  The  science center has interactive activities that the kids found challenging and fun. It has Learning Center, planetarium, nature trails, and a hurricane simulation exhibit. We were able to view their exhibit entitled, BODIES.

The Museum of Science and Industry.

With Tita Princess at MOSI's Sesame Street .

Tracing the star, one of the museum's interactive games.

Flight Simulator 12.

Captain Jacob on his first flight, with an obviously excited co-pilot.

With very pregnant Tita Rose Utt, after viewing the BODIES exhibit.

In the background is an interactive skeletal dino, work-a-saurus.


Days 9-11:  Driving Up

Our Navigator.

"Just follow I-95, it will take us to Savannah, dad."

Downtown Tampa.

Sign at the rest area. Yikes!


Getting their rest, too.

Birds in the rest area north of Jacksonville.


Savannah, Georgia

We started our drive up north on Monday.  Our first stop was Savannah, Georgia. We stayed at the Mulberry Inn in Savannah's Historic District.  We took a tour of that beautiful place on an Old Town Trolley.

At the Mulberry Inn's lovely courtyard.

Taking a rest after the 90-minute history tour.

Lunch time at the Pirate's House.

We later learned that the Pirate's House was featured in a travel channel as a place with friendly ghosts. Even ghosts are friendly in the South.

Arrr! Mate!

Capt. Jack-ob Sparrow.


"What a bumpy ride!"

A history trivia.

One of the old structures.

Houses and cottages dating to as far back as the 1850s were still standing in Savannah's historic district.

Spanish-moss laden Oak tree.

It is interesting to know that the moss don't grow on the trees, they just hang on them. Why they were called Spanish Moss had nothing to do with Spain, according to our tour guide.


South Carolina

From Savannah, we drove up to Charleston, SC, but by the time we got there, the visitors' center was closed.  We drove  around for a few minutes--so we only have 2 pictures taken from Charleston, a church steeple and a newly-constructed bridge.    And the third picture here is also from SC, but close to the NC border.

Yup, you read right!


We decided to drive further up to Myrtle Beach, another  3 hours' drive from Charleston .  Jacob and Mica would enjoy going to the beach more than taking another history tour.  Unfortunately, we did not see any beach. when we got there at past 9 pm, the rain was pouring heavily with the usual accompanying effects, "lights and drums."   It was a sun-less day following, so we decided it was time to  say, "Bye,  Y'all!"