Monday, 21 October 2013

Florida Trip

All in a day's work ;)

That was one pretty darn tasty meal

This was the chef entertaining us with the 'onion train'

As I have already mentioned a few times, a couple of weeks ago my family and I took a trip to Florida. We have been a few times before together but this was my first time going as a (sort of) adult, and I am pleased to say that I still had an incredible time. So I thought that it would be a waste if I weren't to share a few photos with you of our time there. So get ready for looots of pictures - hopefully you'll enjoy them, though!

When the three of us arrived in Orlando it was a Friday evening, and so we found our way straight to the hotel. The views from our balcony were absolutely gorgeous, and we spent the next couple of days going to some local malls and gradually getting ourselves into the swing of things whilst we recovered from the jetlag. As you can see, though, after the first day I had already spent half of my savings - I absolutely love shopping in America! At the end of our second proper day we decided to visit a restaurant called Benihana which serves Japanese cuisine. They best part is that they cook it right in front of you which, as you can see, can be pretty entertaining. Not to mention that the food was absolutely delicious - I ended up taking half of mine home and picking at it the next day!

That's actually me in the top right corner

It was pretty chilly

I love turtles, you got to see them from underwater at Sea World

The dolphins tried to play peekaboo with us

Our next day out was at SeaWorld. This has been one of mine and my mum's favourite theme parks for a while, so we knew that we had to revisit. Unfortunately I am the only person in my family who likes roller coasters so I spend some time queuing for them by myself. Luckily as it was September the lines weren't too long. My favourites were definitely Atlantis and Manta. The part that my mum really enjoys at Sea World is looking at all of the animals; we spent ages at the dolphin nursery where the pregnant and 'babysitter' dolphins enjoyed playing peekaboo with us. We also went on the brand new penguin ride together, which ends in you coming into a 0°C penguin enclosure. Needless to say we weren't in there for too long!

The next day was a Tuesday which we spent in and around the hotel, being lazy. My mum and I found a little man-made beach just beside one of the hotel swimming pools which we had to ourselves for most of the day, and also enjoyed some mocktails (although I can drink in England, I have to wait another year and a bit before I can do this in America!) and quesadillas at the pool bar.

We have a picture of me doing exactly this when I was nine, I'll insert it here too if I can find it!

The next day we were back at it and went as a family to Islands of Adventure. The main attraction on our 'to see' list was Harry Potter World which was still being built on our visit four years ago. My whole family really enjoyed the quidditch ride, we even went on it twice (that's a pretty big deal for my self-confessed rollercoaster-phobe parents). We also bought a few things at the candy store, and my mum and I tried a butter beer which I would definitely recommend if you're in Hogsmeade! Unfortunately my dad wasn't quite as excited about seeing the rest of the park as me and my mum were, so it was just the two of us for the rest of the day. We went on some old favourites like the Cat in the Hat ride, one of the Jurassic Park rides and the Popeye water ride (where we got absolutely sodden). I even managed to convinced my mum to go on the Dudley Do-Right ride which includes a pretty steep drop! There was a lot of screaming involved. We had a great time in the cartoon part of the island reliving some old memories. At the end of the day we also went to the Lost Continent where we went along to a tour of Poseidon's Cave; I'm sure that this would have been a lot of fun if you had some littluns with you, but since we didn't we felt a bit out of place (we cued for a good forty minutes).

The Don Cesar, or pink palace...

Blueberry pancakes in a little cafe near the beach one morning

Mine... mine... (yes, I do realise they're not actually seagulls)

The sunset was undeniably gorgeous

Of course we couldn't leave Orlando without doing some more shopping, but on the Friday we left for our next destination. The Don Cesar (or the pink palace) is a hotel that we stayed in a few years ago and is fairly close to where some family friends live, so we spent the last three days of our vacation there. There wasn't as much to do as in Orlando, although we still had fun doing things like visiting the supermarket (this may sound sad but I absolutely love American supermarkets) and going on a sunset cruise. I absolutely love being on the water and got some really great photographs. We also went to visit our family friends while we were there which was really nice; I met Elizabeth (my friend) when I was just 11 months old and we spent a lot of our childhood together when she lived in England. However this was the first time that I had seen her since she moved back to that states seven and a half years ago!

I had such a great time in Florida and can hardly wait until my next trip to America. It was such a treat and was a lovely family holiday.

Have you ever been to Orlando? What were your favourite bits?

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