2011-10: St. Augustine KOA, Florida

While it took a ton of convincing, we finally got Paul to go camping.  Even in a tent.  The KOA at St. Augustine beach was our destination. Three families caravanned their way from Brevard to St. Augustine on Friday evening.  We arrived late, because we forgot a few supplies that we had to pick up along the way.  Tents were setup by lantern light, but we managed. For each meal we assigned it to a family to be responsible for.  Our dinner was the first night which consisted of BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, beans, and pasta salad.  The grill on the campsite was less than ideal, so it too quite a while. On the second day, I woke up pretty early and got water and coffee on the stove.  The McGees were assigned breakfast today and they made french toast and sausage. After everyone ate and got ready …keep reading …

Tips & Lessons Learned from our Puerto Rico Vacation

While I’ve (thus far) neglected to blog about the details of our Puerto Rico Vacation, here are some “lessons learned” for those of you that are considering it for a vacation. Soda – In the nearly two weeks on the island, only two restaurants had fountain soda.  Nearly all of the rest had only cans.  So plan or order accordingly if you are a big soda drinker. Rain – Rain in Puerto Rico is inevitable.  Make sure that your itinerary has some “fluff” to accommodate rain days.  We were extremely lucky, with only one full day of rain. “Cheap” is Relative – You will read reviews of restaurants noting their cheap or affordable menu.  Be aware that this is not quite what it is back at home.  An affordable dinner is sub $25 in Puerto Rico.   Plan on paying at least $15-20 per person, if you want full service, even …keep reading …

Our 2011 Summer Vacation Plan – Puerto Rico

This year’s vacation was somewhat a last-minute plan.  The contract that I work on, had not been renewed until May 1st, and I was reluctant to make any firm plans until my employment was guaranteed. Earlier in the year, I had created a couple “idea itineraries”, so that when we knew something, we could quickly make plans.  Ideas included San Francisco, Cruise, Puerto Rico, New York, Moab, Denver, RV, etc. The day I got word of our contract award, I began looking into actual prices of the options.  Quickly I determined that Puerto Rico was our most cost effective option and the only one that I could plan in the short timeframe that I had. From my preliminary research, I discovered that Puerto Rico was a realitively inexpensive place to visit and there is quite a few options for “outdoor” activities that we enjoy. After a little work, here is …keep reading …

Kids and Scavenger Hunts (Geek Version)

Last night I attended the  SANS@night seminar “Nurturing the Next Gen: Creating Kid-Friendly Challenges for Fun and Mayhem”.  The talk was put on by Ed Skoudis, Kevin Johnson, and Josh Wright. Both Ed and Josh presented very interesting ways to get your kids to think analytically and to begin to look at (and enjoy) topics like cryptology and non-base-ten number systems. Ed described in “lively” detail how he constructs scavenger hunts for his and the neighbor’s kids each year at his family’s holiday party.  While listening, I remembered that I too have done this. A few years ago, it was Trevor’s birthday and we bought him a gift that he would have never expected we would buy (a gaming console).  So rather than just simply wrap the gift and give it to him at his birthday party, I (like Ed) made finding it a challenge; I created a “Quest” to find …keep reading …