A family holiday to Florida

Things I did in Florida:

1. Got RED WEALS all over my eyes. Again. GOD.

Actually, the weals had been with me for the week preceding the trip, too. I would have mentioned them here but it’s like, there’s only so many posts about red weals a blog can take, y’know? Anyway, we think we’ve worked out what’s causing them: it’s an actual, real-life, non-hypochondriac disease (also: incurable! Have real-life, incurable disease!) that’s caused by … um, well, by dandruff actually… and after a few days of me never, ever taking my shades off, even at night, they cleared up. In the meantime, I did a lot of bumping into things, as you can imagine.

2. Went to EPCOT

Oh my God, it was great. It’s been a few years since I last visited Epcot, and Terry hadn’t been at all, so we went early and managed to pretty much walk onto most of the rides. Here we are just about to go onto Mission: Space:

Walking towards Mission Space, Epcot, FloridaWe later found out that someone once actually died on this (before they turned the speed down) and all I can say is: it was almost me. I survived to ride Test Track (on which I did not stop screaming at all, ever) and Soarin’, which we liked so much we did twice. Loved it all. Even although I almost died of fright more than once.

3. Fought off three snakes. Singlehandedly.*

You already know about the snake that was waiting in the pool to meet us on our first night. What you don’t know, though, is that Voldemort, as he became known, came back to visit us the next Monday, too. He was waiting for us at the front door when we arrived home that night. Friendly, no? My dad got rid of him, but when we decided to go out to the pool later, He Who Must Not Be Named (yeah, my mum has a BIG snake phobia) was waiting for us. Nice! No pictures of Voldy: we were too busy coaxing my mum back down off the ceiling.

4. Took a trip to Key West

This was the second time my parents and I have visited the Keys, but a first for Terry. We stayed at the Southernmost Point Guest House, which is within spitting distance of the Southernmost Point of the continental US. It’s a strange feeling, to stand there and look north, knowing that of all of the millions of people in North America, you are the one at the very bottom of the continent. Or, in my case, to know that you are not the only one at the very bottom, because you suddenly seem to have a Terry growing out of your back:

The Southernmost point in the US: Key West, FloridaKey West is a strange place. Although all of South America is below it, it still has this weird, end-of-the-world feeling about it. In September, it also had a tired, out of season feel: the houses on Duval Street were looking a little shabby, and everything’s surrounded by this lush greenery, giving it a slightly damp, dank feeling, as if the swamp is coming to reclaim it. Still, we had a great time. The acrobat who does a show at Mallory Square was still there – we saw him on our last trip – and the guest house had a great hot tub, in which Terry and I sat at night, drinking red wine and talking about how we were the Southernmost couple, in the Southernmost hot tub, drinking the Southernmost wine in the States. Yeah, everything at that end of Duval Street is the southernmost something…

5. Walked along the Old Bahia Honda Bridge

On my last trip to the Keys, I became fascinated by the old Bahia Honda Rail Bridge, which runs parallel to Route 1 and used to take old-time tourists south, in the days when there was no air conditioning and HOW DID THEY SURVIVE? I have searched high and low for a picture of it I stupidly didn’t buy when I saw it in Key West last time. I couldn’t find it this time, either, but we managed to stop at Bahia Honda State Park and take our own:

Bahia Honda bridge, FloridaThis time we also managed to walk along the first section of the bridge, up to the gap. Being us, we naturally did this in the noonday sun, when the temperature was 100 degrees. Never do that, folks: only stupid people do that. Despite almost being burnt alive, it was worth it for the view of the abandoned bridge, which had this unearthly, post-apocalyptic feel to it:

6. Almost got arrested.AGAIN.

Actually, it was my dad who almost got arrested, for speeding on the way down to the Keys. I mention it here, though, because being pulled over by the police is something that happens to us so often now that I’m thinking of starting a separate category for it here at the blawg. All I can say, though, is that in my experience, US cops are much nicer than UK ones, who always seem to have that “We don’t care if you’ve done nothing wrong, we’re going to find something to charge you with, bitch” look about them. This cop didn’t charge us, and we even got a “have a nice trip” from her, so really, as “almost getting arrested” episodes go, this was definitely one of the better ones. Note: don’t try it at home, though, kids.

7. Went to Miami for dinner

The Carlyle, Miami Beach

I know, it’s a long way to go for dinner, but seeing as we were there it would have been rude not to
… We were actually only there for a few hours, having taken a detour on the way back from Key West, but it was well worth it. Again, this was a second visit for me and a first for Terry. We ate on Ocean Drive and had a walk along the beach – it’s a city I’d love to spend more time in.

8. Bought a lot of shoes. A LOT of shoes.

Well, at least I know I’m in the right job, y’know? I mean, it would be strange if I didn’t buy shoes, really, wouldn’t it? WOULDN’T IT? I also bought boots but… yeah, we won’t talk about that.

7. Gave most of my money to Sephora.

Oh, Sephora, why can you not open a store near me? I mean, I could probably LIVE in that big old box on the left there, and just spend all my money on YOU, Sephora! Whaddya say, do we have a deal? (Terry – pretend you didn’t read that bit)

8. Flew through the air with the greatest of ease. Well, sort of.

Skyventure OrlandoOK, so if you’re ever in Orlando, go to Sky Venture on International Drive. Don’t argue with me, just do it. It’s basically a huge wind tunnel and, once inside it… you fly. They will dress you up in an ugly-ass jumpsuit (mine was red, natch, to totally clash with my hair), and you will look like an idiot, but you will FLY. You get two “flights” and, during the second one, the instructor grabs you and flies with you up to the top of the tunnel, then you spin round a few times, come whizzing down, then go back up, rinse and repeat. Unless, of course, you are me, in which case spectators will simply see you whizz off up the tunnel… then stay there. I dunno, I think I maybe got stuck. Also, I made stupid little “whoop!” noises the whole time I was in there. Damn. As you can see, I contrived to look as stupid as it’s humanly possible to look while doing this, but you will probably be luckier. Just do it.

9. Did a whole bunch of other things I totally can’t be bothered writing about right now

But I will write about them soon – mwahahaha!

Anyway, suffice to say we had a great, great time, and I am utterly devastated to be back home. I think I’ve said this before, but I’ve spent so much time in Florida now that it feels like a second home – in fact, Terry and I are really keen to buy a house out there soon, so we can spend more time there. Assuming, of course, that I stop spending all my money at Sephora, and that someone builds a bridge across the Atlantic, because the whole “air travel” thing? No fun AT ALL.

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