I’m not going to lie, after a little more than a week away it feels so good to be home even though we’re missing family already. But let’s back up a bit because I want to share some highlights from the past week with you guys today!
Jax Beach Spring Break 2022 Highlights
We knew we wanted to make the drive to Celestial Farms during our time in Florida because it’s one of our absolute favorite spots. It’s a not-for-profit animal rescue farm with everything from goats and horses to ducks, chickens, pigs and bunnies.
Chase also says they have the best lizards because he saw three green anoles while we were there and managed to gently catch them with his bare hands.
We also love this spot because of the way they care for the animals and the friendly nature of so many of their furry and feathered friends. There were a few baby goats that got a lot of attention during our visit and had everyone cracking up with their crazy antics.
The Caffeinated Cat
My mom recently heard about The Caffeinated Cat and thought it would appeal to our boys and she was spot-on! The Caffeinated Cat is a little café located in Jacksonville Beach that is home to some “wonky cats” (their words), many of whom need a little extra medical attention and love. (Many are also up for adoption should you wish to add one of these sweet cats to your family!) We walked over to the café with my sister and nieces one weekday morning which I’d recommend because we were the only people there and spent a lot of time with the cats before ordering our drinks and donating to the café which relies heavily on donations to care for their cats.
Chase fell in love with a black cat with one crusty eye named Licorice and she really took to him and leaned into his gentle scratches. I actually took Chase back to visit Licorice two days later during Rhett and Ryder’s nap time because he talked about her so much after our first visit.
We always stay with my parents when we visit Jacksonville Beach but we spend a lot of our time at Leslie and Ross’ place, too! They recently updated their backyard and it’s the best spot for our crew because everyone can run and play outside in their fenced-in yard which is ideal with little ones in the mix.
(Bounce house Mom and Dad pic fueled by a dinner cocktail or two)
Ross and Ryan set up their bounce house late last week and the kids loved jumping and wrestling with Pop in between bites of burgers, wings, orange cake, sweet potato fries and grilled veggies. My brother-in-law is also super into cooking over their smokeless firepit and his food always turns out unbelievably well! He’s actually one of the guys who inspired me to add the smokeless fire pit to my Gift Guide for Guys and makes everything from rotisserie chicken and burgers to roasts and grilled veggies and more on it!
Sunshine Park is one of our favorite parks in the Jacksonville Beach area and it recently got quite the update! The park re-opened on Friday and we visited it for the first time with my nieces, Leslie and Ross on Saturday morning. The entire park is built on turf which is just the BEST and it made me wish more parks would go that route because it was soft and clean and the kids love it!
The park is divided up into a few sections which was also really nice since the little kids have an area to themselves and the big kids can go crazy on the bigger playground structures. I know we’ll be spending a lot of time at this park in future visits to the beach!
Ryan and I took the big kids fishing to two different hot spots one morning while we were away and I’d love to report back and tell you guys we caught a ton of fish but we came up empty handed. Well, technically we caught two crabs which thankfully saved the day and thrilled the boys!
The highlight of our fishing adventure occurred at the end when we were done with our bait and threw a couple of the remaining shrimp into the water only to witness seagulls practically torpedo themselves toward the water to catch the shrimp before they splashed into the waves. Those are some resourceful birds, I’m telling ya.
On Saturday morning, temperatures reached the low 80s making it a perfect beach day!
We were craving some sun and sand since most of the week was a little too chilly and windy for too much time in the ocean and tide pools. We made up for lost time and spent five hours at the beach with the big kids on Saturday! (Rhett took a little break for a nap at my parents’ place.)
(Linking our Catch & Release Beach Aquarium because it is a summer staple for our boys and I cannot recommend it enough if you have little ones who love catching, observing and releasing creatures.)
(Coverup: Ekouaer via Amazon — I LOVE this coverup! It’s the perfect breezy top that’s long enough to cover my booty and lightweight enough for summertime, too! / Bikini Top: Maaji / Bikini Bottoms: Maaji / Sandals: Cushionaire / Beach Bag: LLBean XXL Hunter Tote / Aviator Sunglasses: Sorvino)
The kids were all in heaven in the tide pools and sand and caught a ton of little fish and a crab in the midst of boogie boarding, digging holes in the sand and running in and out of the surf. Note to self: Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your feet! The tops of my feet are RED today and I’m paying the price for neglecting them.
Evening Egg Hunt
After our beach day and some pool time on Saturday, we did an evening egg hunt because Ryan and I were hoping to hit the road back to North Carolina early Sunday morning. This worked out really well and we made our way down to the pool area at my parents’ place after a big pizza dinner and the kids had the best time running all over the place looking for eggs in their jammies.
The big kids knew the eggs on the grass were for the babies which let the little ones have a chance at finding some eggs, too! The eggs themselves seemed to interest Colette and Rhett even more than the little surprises inside and it was so cute watching them pick up an egg, squeeze it to get it to open and then throw it down and move onto the next.
Ryan and I somehow managed to stick to our plan and hit the road with the boys first thing on Easter morning yesterday. We made it back to our house in the early afternoon and did a second mini-Easter in the midst of unpacking and trying our best to get organized for the week ahead. I’m looking forward normalcy around here and sticking to a more usual blogging schedule. The kids are all off school for the very last day of Spring Break so for now I’m off to soak up one last day of school-free fun!