Tired of the crazy, frenzied, tourist rush? I love theme parks as much as the next gal (maybe more!) but sometimes, you just have to get away. My son, a friend, and I took a day trip out to New Smyrna Beach to paddle board at East Coast Paddle, and it was one of the highlights of our trip. Spending the day out in the quietude, in nature, and with only 5 people visible to me (including myself) was a welcome break from the crush of crowds you typically find at most attractions.
About and hour and a half from Kissimmee, East Coast Paddle is an award winning-company, run by a husband and wife team. Proud parents themselves, they are excellent with children. Mine was smitten with wife, Cheryl, who toured about with him on her board the morning through. Cheryl, who has a doctorate in addition to her company and expert paddle boarder-status (and is a boat captain as well- yes, she makes us all look bad, LOL) also acted as tour guide in the river in New Smyrna for us, and was more then patient as we found our balance (or didn’t) and with my son, who kept dangling his feet in the water (which I am sure did not make steering easy for her!) Her husband, Tim, joined us in the beginning, and gave us our “lessons” on how to properly use the paddles and boards before we got on.
I think I annoyed him mildly, as I was only half paying attention (my son was asking a million questions, and also since he was on a boat and wandering, I was nervous- even though he was standing with Cheryl and I was an arm’s length away, LOL. What can I say, nervous mommy!) When we got on the boards, I found myself not having much of an issue finding my balance or keeping it. As a yoga lover for many years, I think that helped a lot, and did a fondness for kayaking. My son got right on Cheryl’s board, and stayed there, no problem. How she kept her balance with his wiggling is beyond me, though! My friend had a rougher start, but then he found his groove and we were on the way.
Everyone will have their own pace- and the water is calm and shallow, so there is no danger. Non-swimmers have vests, and each board has a vest and bottle of water on it (just in case you decide you want either!) Toward the end, my friend said something to me, and I turned around to answer him- forgetting I was on a board- and splash! Into the water I went, LOL. I shrieked, I was so genuinely surprised, which my son found hysterical. I had completely forgotten what I was standing on! Cheryl stayed with us for the duration, while Tim took the boat and met us at the end of the trail.
East Coast Paddle specializes in large groups (like family reunions) as well as family and friend groups. They also have regular yoga on the water, fishing, tours, lessons, rentals, and more. I had a great time in this beautiful and untouched location, and it was very refreshing. A lovely time was had by all, and I personally think most anyone would enjoy themselves. (Also- if anyone “poops out”? Tim is there with the boat, and is happy to give boat rides and a little tour to anyone who would prefer that to the board. If your tween or grandma has just had it, but you want a little more time? Tim to the rescue! )
Check out their site at http://www.eastcoastpaddle.com/and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/EastCoastPaddle for hours and times you can book your tour.