Day 204 – 3/22/21 Cocoa Beach: Manatee Park, Dinosaur Museum and Ron Jon Surf Shop

We had a nice day checking around Cocoa Beach, and going to the Dinosaur Museum and Store.

I woke up at my usual time, and had a nice quiet morning as we had the AC fan running overnight, so I left that going and no-one woke up until 8:30.  I got some writing done and did some website work early.  I also got our new capital one cards activated and am happy all my cards (the two I usually use) are touchless cards.  The part that sucks about getting new cards is that you have to update all the websites that have auto-pay with them, so I started that as well.  I then got the girls up and going.  Bella has stuff that needs to be printed every Monday, so I have to get the printer from a box by my bed, and set it up, then I put it back.  Since it’s only once a week, it’s not a big deal, but I think if we had to print more maybe we’d find a permanent spot for it somewhere more accessible.  After the girls were going, I got the washing machine and drying rack from the truck for Carol, and then left for a run.  We are technically in Cape Canaveral, but very close to Cocoa Beach, as in less than a mile or so.  I went to the beach and ran south towards Cocoa Beach.  It was a nice run, not a lot of people on my way, great weather and all.  Running at the beach can be tough as it requires some different muscles to work, so I was feeling it.  I ran past the Cocoa Beach Pier and back.  It was not very sunny out and it was early, so there were not a ton of people by the beach.

Bella was up and started doing her school work, but quickly got into trouble with her attitude.  She got me upset and I said I’d stop helping her and she’d have to be nice to her mom and work with her.  It took less than an hour for Carol to be upset as well, and just stop helping Bella.  She had this commanding attitude about her this morning that was just not nice, she’d ask a question and get upset with the answer.  After Carol got upset, Bella had to do the work on her own, and she just did it.  She’s been testing her boundaries for some time now and it’s not fun.  Luckily for her, she also had very little school work to do, so she was done with school before I got back from my run.

Bia got going, and aside from a moment or two of losing focus, she got done before lunch.  They are both having shorter days this week, and don’t have class Thursday or Friday, and then no class next week.

Carol took care of some things around the trailer, put some laundry away, washed Maggie and then washed all of Maggie’s things.

After I came back from my run, I took Bella to the waterfront by the campground.  The campground is small, basically two streets and less than 50 sites.  It is shaped like a U, and the turn is by the water.  We were surprised at how nice that little water access is.  They have a nice grassy area, with a big fire pit, nice pier, and even a little beach.  Bella and I checked it all out, took some pictures and went back. 

Once back, I got the grill out of the truck and started getting steaks ready for lunch.  Carol got corn going in the Ninja pan, and we had a nice lunch.  The girls love medium rare steaks, and so do I.  Bella took Bia to check out the waterfront, and they were there for some time, then came back saying they didn’t like it there because they saw a horseshoe crab. Hahahahah.  After lunch, we cleaned cup a bit and left to explore the area a little.

Our first stop was Manatee Park.  That is a nice little park, with some walking paths, and a playground (for smaller kids), and a boardwalk by the water with some benches, so you can sit there and watch animals in the water.  We did not see any today, but I understood you can see Manatees and even Dolphins there often.  We didn’t stay long, but walked around a bit.

Next we went to the Dinosaur Museum and Store.  We were not sure what to expect there, but had the recommendation from the campground manager, who said even his adult son liked it.  We walked in and walked around the store, not really knowing what else there was and at first thought, ok that’s it… kind of nice, but really?

Then we saw some signs for the museum and adventure zone.  Since we were already there, we decided to do all of it.  It was a bit pricey for the size of the place, and we spent $76 for all of us to see the museum and then have as much time as we wanted in the adventure zone.  First we went up to the second floor, where the dinosaur stuff was.  It was actually very nice.  They had some replicas of big and small dinosaurs, with explanations and videos of many things.  The girls really liked it.  They were especially impressed with the exhibit on mankind’s evolution, and asked if we came from Monkeys. :). They had big birds, fish, giant snakes and even some stuff about volcanos, showing information from Yellowstone, which they loved saying that we were there. 

We had a good time at that floor, and then went to the third floor, which had some Egypt, China and a few others.  That one was interesting as well, and they got their first close up exposure to Pharaohs, pyramids, sarcophagus, and mummies.  Not to mention the concept of trying to rule the world.  That floor was nice too, but much smaller and it had less things.  But what was there was enough to get them some new things to learn. 

From there, we went back to the main floor and entered the fun zone.  That spot they loved. Hahahahaha.  It’s basically an arcade room, where all the games are free.  I think we stayed in there for 90 minutes at least.  They’d roam from one game to the next, shooting hoops, playing Pac Man, table hockey, etc.  There was a room in there with some big snakes, including an Anaconda, which we checked out for a few minutes before the girls ran back to the games.  Carol went outside at some point as she had Maggie, and I stayed inside with the girls.  To kill time, I started shooting hoops, until all the balls I had had fallen out of the game.  They had a gap in the net on the side, so if the ball hit the rim just right, it’d fall out through that hole. Hahahaha… I think I shot for a good 25-30 minutes.  The place closed at 5, and we left that room at 4:50. :). I think we did our best to get our money’s worth.

Then we went to the Cocoa Beach Ron Jon store.  I thought the girls would want a body board if I offered, so we made a stop at a beach first so they could see someone doing it. 

While we were there, a girl had a board and was just jumping waves waiting for the right one, and in the 10-15 minute we were there, she got no waves.  Bella said she was not patient enough to wait and would be frustrated, so she didn’t want one. hahahahaha… Anyway, we went to the store anyway.  It’s a pretty big store, with everything you can imagine surf wise.  Boards, clothing, etc.  We checked out some boards, but then Bia said she didn’t want one either.  Carol ended up checking out a new swimming suit for Bia, while Bella walked around with me just checking out what they had.  She kept asking for something, but just because she wanted to buy something.  They did have some nice shorts there, but they were a bit pricey. 

When Carol was done, we met by the door and I took the girls across the street to get ice cream, while Carol waited in line to pay.  We went to a store called The Key Lime Pie Factory.  The girls chose their ice creams, Bia got coffee and Bella got coffee and Key Lime Pie.  The Ice creams came in coconut shells, which was cool.  Pretty good ice cream too, and also expensive.  hahahaha… turned out to be a bit of an expensive day, so I had to go back home before anyone decided to buy something else. Hahahaha.  We made a stop at a grocery store on the way back, but only Carol went and it was quick.

Once we were back, we ate dinner, finished eating some left overs and some pizza we brought from Calina’s house.  I also exchanged a bunch of messages with Alex and my family.  Alex is really bummed that it does not look like my family will be able to come to his wedding.  They really want to, but many of them need new visas and the US consulate has canceled all interviews with no certain time to return.  They are only doing emergency visas at this point.  He is really bummed, and I can’t blame him, but…. Nothing we can control unfortunately.  The family will keep trying but as of now, it looks pretty tough.  And, the girls showered, we watched some TV and started the bedtime procedures.  I stayed up a little longer messing around the computer, trying to update my card in a few more places, etc. and called it around 11.

We had a good day checking out a bit of the area here, Cocoa Beach and the Dinosaur Museum.

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