Week 5 – Washington D.C. to Florida

Leaving a still rather cold New York behind us, we made our way towards Washington. A shuttle bus operated by our campground took us into DC – the perfect alternative to trying to drive Gonki through a buzzing city. We spent almost the entire day walking up and down the National Mall, enjoying the sunshine and taking in the magnitude of the American capital. However, only when a road was blocked directly in front of us for a convoy of cop motorcycles, cop cars, 7 or 8 black SUVs and a black limousine with flags on the front, did it truly hit me where we were.

To me, what really turned out to be a wonderful surprise was the National Air and Space Museum (that Benni and I had initially only walked into to look for a bathroom). Not only is admission free of charge, but the museum has lots to offer: hand-on experiments for different age groups, life-sized space shuttle replicas to walk into and all kinds of kids workshops. Benni learned how to construct and fine tune the perfect paper airplane.

And then our crazy journey down to Florida really began: two full days of driving to cover a total distance of 1.873 km (1.164 miles). Both “mornings” we got up at around 3 am, moved the kids into their car seats, I was allowed to lay down (all buckeld up, of course!) on our couch, while Tim drove us safely into the sunrise with an audio book in his ears and a big mug of freshly brewed coffee at his side. Our biggest learning from the first day was to prepare the kids for what was to come. The first day Benni was so shocked being moved in the middle of the night that it took him forever to go back to sleep, whereas the second day he went right back to sleep while Alex didn’t even wake up at all. The difference: before going to bed we made sure to explain that we would be driving through yet again.

Based on the trip down to Florida we now have a pretty accurate idea of the consumption data of our camper:

  • tank size = 190 liter
  • liter / 100 km = Ø 30,7 liter
  • reach ~ 600 km
  • cost of one tank fill = $ 0,71 * 190 liter = $ 134,90 ~ € 109,00

After nice extended stops for breakfast and lunch and a “layover” in Savanah, Georgia we arrived at Flamingo Campground.

Unbenannt

 

And it was finally hot!

To our great luck the campground that is usually known for an infestation of mosquitos was actually completely mosquito-free, so that the kids could play and bathe outside all day and enjoy the sunshine and the heat. We took a shorter trip to a close by marina to see manatees and crocodiles and walked to the beach to have dinner by the sea.

Driving up closer to Naples, we spent almost an entire day aboard a private tour boat that took the four of us on a cruise through the channels around the Ten Thousand Islands and to a beach where the boys collected shells. A definite must-do for anyone planning on coming to Florida!

Some more impressions from our past week: