Big Family Travel: Turning A Page
Leaving the falling temperatures of fall behind this November, has been something I have dreamed of for so long. We’ve been patient, having 4 children in 5 years forced us to put our travel dreams on hold. During those years we sorted out life as parents and worked hard moving towards our next chapter.
That next chapter is here, and I am beyond excited to toss aside wiping running noses, changing diapers and living in my sweat pants. I am looking forward to packing up and being spontaneous with my family in tow.
That is exactly what happened on our first crossing border road trip from Toronto to Florida only a few weeks ago.
Dancing In The Ocean
Our first stop was to introduce our four children to the Ocean. I will never forget the look on their faces as they ran tossing aside their clothes on the run towards the Atlantic Ocean. Dancing in the moment.
We pulled into Daytona Beach and although I have seen pictures online or in the movies of Original American Beach, I had no clue it was going to be this jaw dropping beautiful.
Our children learnt far more than they would have learnt at school those few days we spent on the coast of Daytona Beach. We found jellyfishes washed up on shore every few feet and the kids got to examine them outside of a glass aquarium. We observed birds foot prints in the sand and they chased birds away, just as kids do.
Bookmark this: Part 1: Canadian Walt Disney World Vacation Value Tips
Daytona International Speedway
If you have been following InRdream.com you would already know we have a future race car driver in our house. As long as I can remember, Lincoln’s passion has been to be a race car driver. He sleeps and breaths racing, and taking him to Daytona where NASCAR originated, was a must do for our whole family.
We took an All-Access tour of Daytona International Speedway and although I have watched Daytona 500 on T.V seeing it up close and in person left me speechless.
Standing in the infield of Daytona International Speedway where 15 Florida Sports Stadiums can fit inside, reminded me just how tiny we are inside this big world.
It reminded me that dreams can come true and if someone dreamed up something this historic and this huge, our dreams too can become real!
We got a sneak peek into Daytona Rising, which is the facility’s $400m nearly-completed “re-imagining” upgrade. It is the little things at Daytona International Speedway that will make a big impact on the racing fans experience, while they are cheering on their favorites from the grandstands.
Daytona Rising upgrades such as:
Wider grandstand seats, thousands of video screens allowing you to never miss the action, lined throughout the 11 neighborhoods the size of football fields. 40 escalators, 17 elevators, 2X more restrooms and 3X more concession stands, has me dreaming of going back to see the completed project of Daytona Rising in person in 2016.
The All-Access tour is a must do when you visit Daytona Beach, you cannot just drive by without stopping in. The guides walk you through the history of NASCAR and we got to stand in the famous Victory lane. Plus, our behind the scenes tour of the Drivers welcome room had our little boys walking on cloud 9.
Richard Petty Driving Experience
It just so happened that the day of our tour, the Richard Petty Driving Experience was taking place. The experience puts you in a NASCAR race car for a thrill seeking adventure around the track.
Now this is where I got very excited. You see, there is something about the rumble of a race car that gets my blood pumping. I grew up in the garage with my Dad, and on the race track as a little girl, watching him race. Speed is in my blood.
If we all had our choice, our whole family would be sitting shot gun doing the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Speed runs through all of our blood. It’s not cheap to experience 600 horsepower under your butt. Since we have a future race car driver in our family, it was only fair to allow our 7 year old to follow his passion and experience Daytona International Speedway at 150 mph.
I cannot explain the feeling I had standing there letting our oldest son climb into a NASCAR race car. Tears were rolling, but not out of fear, but because I was so proud of him in that moment. I was proud that our little boy was chasing his dreams, his passion and working hard towards his destiny is stronger than I have ever seen in a child before.
Even his brothers and sister were excited for him, we all know his dream, and we will support him as much as we can to make it a reality.
We all left Daytona International Speedway that day happy, excited and full a deeper love of the sport. Dreams came true that day on the track and I will be forever grateful our path lead us to Daytona International Speedway that day.
Bookmark this: Part 2: Walt Disney World Value Tips For Canadians
Must See While At Daytona Beach
Apart from spending time jumping the waves in the ocean, exploring jellyfish on America’s original beach and seeing Daytona International Speedway up close in person, and in the passenger seat, Daytona Beach is boosting with places to see, and restaurants to eat at.
After our All-Access tour we were famished and it was only suiting to go for lunch at one of the NASCAR drivers’ favorites, famous Racing’s North Turn, located right on the ocean.
We ate most of our meals at the oceanfront restaurants in Daytona Beach, why wouldn’t we?
Racing’s North Turn was yummy, the view was incredible and the restaurant was packed with locals. Full of NASCAR history on every turn, it felt like walking through a museum on our way in.
Daytona Boardwalk & Pier is a must do when in Daytona Beach. We went at night because we were looking forward to experience the lights on the pier. At first we questioned if it was safe to be out on the ocean so late on a weekend? We asked the locals who assured us that if we kept to the pier we’d be safe with little kids in tow. They were right not once did we feel out of place.
We played some arcade games, ate some ice cream and watched some carny rides. Since we were heading to Disney the kids were okay with skipping out on the carny rides at the pier.
Well I am a little sad we couldn’t squeeze in dinner at Our Deck Down Under, climb the 203 steps of the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum or enjoy hands on learning at Marine Science Center. We will have to save those for our next visit to Daytona Beach. I assure you Daytona Beach, we will be back soon!
Stay tuned on our review of The Shores Resort & Spa, a 4-diamond property in Daytona Beach Shores.
Thank you for reading In R Dream!
Thank you Daytona Beach for your hospitality during our stay.