Can I go back yet? I mean I’m aware that it’s only been two weeks since my feet were last on USA ground, but it feels so much longer than that. What’s worse is that I have all the necessary requirements to go again, beside a lack of holidays. Florida you’re perfect.
Also, on an unrelated note my Dad and I went to see Chernobyl Diaries this evening. It’s pretty bad, entertaining in a humorous way in parts, with a typical ending. There was also ten people in the cinema. Bring on Katy Perry and Spider Man, which I will also be seeing this week.
[Florida Blog: June 24th & 25th]
So the Sunday was really chilled. The weather sucked so we went to visit Maria and Tony’s friend Jackie, and her daughter who’s name escapes me. They’re from Scotland and moved over five years ago. She is the expert of all things Visa related, and said she would help me out on my quest to the US of A. Myself and Livv then sorted out her parents companies Twitter follow that right HERE. It was fun actually.
Then Monday came around and I wanted to cry because it was my last full day. Maria, Livv, Freya and I went to celebration to have another milkshake, as it seemed to be a tradition. We also visited a market at spent approximately 15 minutes there because it god awful. On the evening we all went out and ate in the Tavern Pub at Celebration. I had what was called a Turkey Stacker (see picture 5). It’s basically bread, turkey, gravy and mashed potato all stacked up on one another with cranberry sauce served at the side. It was so much nicer than I thought it would be, but I couldn’t eat it all. Thought I was gonna explode after 2/3 thirds of it. We then all visited another disney hotel, the polynesian, and it is super posh, but again absolutely brilliant. They have a waterfall inside of the hotel, just because. On the way out we also got Leis (I think that’s what they’re called), or Hawaiian necklaces if I want to plead ignorance, which I do. Freya made me pack mine, and I can currently see them on my bedroom floor.
This basically concludes my Florida blog as all that happened on Tuesday was we got up, ate, they drove me to the airport, checked me in and seen me off, and then I boarded a nine hour flight by myself in the middle of a storm. Yep.
If you know me, you know I love America. When I last visited in 2007, it was hard to leave then, but this time it was heartbreaking. Not only was I leaving a place where I feel like I belong, but I was leaving behind some of the dearest people in my life. I’m lucky if I get to see these guys once a year, and the longest we ever went was two years. I don’t plan on letting it get any longer than that, so I know I’ll be back in Florida next year (that fact fills me with joy) but I miss them so much already. The fact that I can afford to go again, also makes me sad. I can afford the flights, and have spending money left over right now. Looks like I’m gonna be saving for a while however. I hope work can give me work experience or something though, because Florida is the only place I’ve been so far that feels like home. Don’t get me wrong, I love Newcastle as much as I tried to deny it, and I love the comfort of our horrible accents, but I don’t think I can achieve what I want to here.
[Florida Blog: June 21st / 22nd / 23rd]
On June 21st, which was the Thursday I went to see where Livv and Freya go to school. It literally looks like a club house, or a fancy hotel, nothing like a school at all. I was actually jealous. We visited Panera too. I’ve always wanted to go there. It’s sorta like starbucks, but just a bit cooler. I tried root beer and some form of grape juice while I was there, both disgusting. Then we all went out for food at Panda Express which is a chinese (see picture two for my fortune) and visited Old Town which is like a rundown amusement area. It has a few quirky shops, and about two good rides but that’s about it. It was still nice to have a look around though.
On the 22nd we spent the morning at the pool, and then had to go and help Maria clean a house for their business. It was last minute because something had gone wrong but it was okay because we got to eat donuts and were only there for an hour or so. On the evening we went to Downtown Disney for pie and chips. It rained this night as well, but we were under an umbrella so it was fine. The pie and chips were absolutely delicious and Downtown Disney is adorable. We again looked in some pretty cool shops (see picture three) and I just appreciated how beautiful it was, really.
On Saturday we went to the mall and I spent a ridiculous amount of money in Pac Sun and Billabong, again. I also ventured into the Apple store, forgetting it was a Saturday and walked out after seeing I was sixth in iQueue. I had a nice day with Livv though, it was fun to just do something girly together. On the evening we had steak tacos (IT WAS SATURDAY) and then Maria, Sharon (a friend of theirs), Livv, Freya and I did a hip hop class which was actually pretty cool. It made me realise how much I miss dance, and exercise in general so I’m thinking about rejoining a gym. I also still remember the dance and it’s making me laugh thinking about it. On the night we all, including Tony, went to visit Caribbean Beach, another Disney Hotel. WHY ARE THEY ALL AMAZING.
[ Florida Blog: 20th June]
Note: longest blog entry ever
So theme parks are really expensive when you don’t have a pass, and I knew we wouldn’t be able to do them all. When I went to Florida a few years ago, we did the Disney parks, not the waterparks though, but I really wanted to go see Harry Potter while I was visiting this time around so I made that my priority.
Myself and Livv paid the 95 bucks to get into Island of Adventure and headed straight for The Hulk. Now as a park I’d never done, or even looked into before I had no idea what to expect from The Hulk. I love roller coasters, but I wasn’t prepared for this. We queued for around twenty minutes and it was definitely worth the wait. It was actually insane. When I walked off the ride I was literally dizzy because it shoots you out the tunnel so damn fast you have no idea what hits you.
We then headed to the Harry Potter part and I was absolutely loving my life. We rode the duelling dragons first, another excellent roller coaster, and then queued an hour and a half to get into the Harry Potter motion ride. The motion ride is the only ride in the whole of Island of Adventures I think that you can’t fast pass so we waited, and it delivered. I couldn’t believe how good it was for a motion ride.
Anyway, after queuing for so long we literally thought we were gonna die of hunger, despite it only being like 1pm. We ate in this restaurant purely because it had a plaque outside saying it was the “number one themepark restaurant in the world”, and it probably is. We waited a good forty minutes to be seated, and it was freeeeezing inside, but the food was some of the best I’ve tasted and the decor was really cool. That’s when we noticed it had started pissing it down.
Once we had eaten, we braved the outside. It was still warm, but the rain didn’t look like it was gonna stop anytime soon so we aimed for the water rides. The first one was a raft ride that had spaces for our bags. Everyone was wearing raincoats and those see through mac’s and I think I slipped about four times just trying to make it onto the ride in a safe-ish manner. It was fun, but that’s all there is too it really.
We then moved onto a ride that had a massive drop. It was a log ride, and I of course got seated at the back. I was shitting myself because I don’t like log rides, they’re really uncomfortable and I never feel as though you’re really safe in them. The worst part is you had to take your bag on the ride (for the Harry Potter rides, and The Hulk there were lockers). I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt which were both already wet from the raft ride. My one concern going on this ride wasn’t whether I was gonna survive, but whether my phone was gonna make it. We went down that drop and the amount of water that entered the log was ridiculous. I thought my phone was fucked, it survived and I really dunno how.
After already risking the safety of our phones, we went to go do the last water ride left which was Jurassic Park. We decided this time it would be best to get a locker, but they were charging $4 per hour even though all the others were free. It was at this point a woman exclaimed she had just been on this ride, and you “didn’t get that wet”, so we decided to risk it and take our bags with us. We somehow fast passed through (not sure how because you have to have a different kind of ticket for that) and got on within a space of five minutes. There was a child on our row which meant the bar didn’t go anywhere near me and I could of easily came out, which almost happened when I shot out my seat at the final drop. Take a look at picture three for how wet that ride made us.
By this point the rain had gotten heavier and we had reached the point of no return. It also scared a lot of people off so we did Jurassic Park and the log flume again, just because. It eventually started to lighten up a bit, by this time is it was around 7pm so we re rode the hulk in the hope of drying off, it didn’t work. Livv suggested we go on the Spider Man ride, which we did. The stupid thing about America is, because it’s so warm, there is always air conditioning. We literally dripped our way through the queue we were that drenched. There was about 6 seconds during the Spider Man ride where they blew warm air at you, I wanted to go on it again just for those six seconds. By the time it was over, there was no rain left insight, besides the puddles on floor, which were warm might I add.
I really wanted to see Harry Potter at night too, so we headed back there. We took photographs with the guy by the train and I tried butter beer. We ended up riding the duelling dragons again, and when I got off the ride the seat was literally soaking. It looked as though I’d pissed myself out of fear or something. I can clarify, I did not. Anyway we then ended up riding the Harry Potter motion ride again, and by the time we queued (thankfully not for an hour and a half this time) and got on it, we went straight back on it again for the 3rd time at 8:50pm. The park closes at 9pm, just as we started leaving, it rained. Again.
We then made our way out, through a place called city walk which is full of shops and nice restaurants. Our plan was to eat out for dinner, but we figured no respectable restaurant was going to take two girls, who looked like drowned rats into their restaurants, and we also didn’t really feel like freezing because of the air con. This concluded our trip to Island of Adventures.
I can easily say that this was one of my best days in Florida and one of the funniest. We didn’t let the rain stop us at all, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Island of Adventures is one of the best parks to visit. Every time I think about this day I smile like an idiot.
[Florida Blog: June 18th / 19th]
On Monday (18th) Livv and I had agreed to meet up with her friend Sari, and Sari’s friend Jackie. Sari introduced us to the incredible place that is Which Wich. I think the sandwich I had from there was literally the nicest sandwich I have ever tasted.
Anyway, we drove to Jackie’s who then drove us all to the beach. We were sun creamed up and everything, so I wasn’t particularly worried about burning but oh did I burn. We were swimming in the ocean, checking out the fit life guards, sunbathing, you know - the usual. The highlight of that trip to the beach, besides the beach itself, was witnessing a middle aged man run around in white speedos with a orange cheetos stuck to his ass. Hilarious.
We got dropped back off at Livv’s place and headed straight for the pool. Partly to get rid of the sand but more so to take advantage of using the hot tub.
Tuesday was a completely chilled out day. It might of been raining, I don’t remember. I think it was overcast quite a bit. We went to the pool anyway, but I ended up falling asleep at the pool as did Livv. Evidently our activities were proving to be too much for us to handle. Regardless we had a nice chilled out day and helped Tony do some work for his website too. Tuesday also marked the end of my first week in Florida, and the time was passing by far too quickly.
Week two blog coming soon.
[Florida Blog: June 17th]
Now for those of you that are good at dates, or good at remembering important events then you’ll know that June 17th was Father’s Day. I was evidently away from my Dad being 4,000 miles across the world and all. No worries though, he received his card and I’m going to treat him to seeing Chernoble Diaries with me just because.
Livv and Freya however decided that it would be a nice idea to take Tony to the Animal Kingdom Theme Park for Father’s day. It’s a family orientated park, and I’ve been before but it was still as impressive as I remembered it to be. We did pretty much everything the park offered. From riding Mount Everest (Twice), to seeing a production of The Lion King, stopping for lunch, seeing it’s a Bug’s Life etc etc. Let’s just say it was a very productive day and I was pretty much dead on my feet by the end.
[Florida Blog: June 16th]
Myself and Livv started today pretty late on. We were oh so stiff (note: three days later I was still suffering) from the surfing the evening before I could barely move. We chose to spend the afternoon watching the Disney Channel at Freya’s request. Some movie about music was on, and let’s just say I dread for the audience when it premieres in the UK. The songs are far too catchy.
Anyway, in the afternoon with it being a Saturday we took another trip to a Disney Hotel. This time it was the Animal Kingdom Hotel and again it’s nothing short of perfect. You can have a room that’s situated right next to where the animals are kept, and the inside and pool area are fantastic. We spent most of the day there.
We ate in as well, and Maria and Tony continued my tradition from home which is Steak Saturday. For some reason for the past like, 3 months, every Saturday my family and I have steak. I informed them of this and jokingly they complied. We had steak for tea, success.
[Florida Blog: June 15th]
On Friday Maria, Freya, Livv and I spent the morning at the mall. I have found two of my favourite new shops, Billabong and Pac Sun. I don’t know where they have been all my life, but they are my style exactly and the atmosphere of both shops are so cool.
On the evening Livv and I went indoor surfing. It was something Livv had wanted to do for ages, and I was somewhat hesitant about the idea. We had gone to check out the place, Fantasy Surf, the day before and decided to go ahead with it. It was a lot of fun actually, if not a bit scary at first. I chose to stick with body surfing, where Livv tempted to stand up fully on one of the long boards. I came out battered and bruised (literally, I’m still bruised now) but I’m definitely glad I gave it a shot.
I then took the guys out for food at a place called Bentos. I had never heard of it, Livv recommended it and it was a chinese place. They give you a bowl of either rice or noodles, and then you can pick what it is that you want and they simply place it on top. You get a lot for your money, it was super cheap anyway and best of all it was absolutely delicious. Thumbs up for Bentos.
On the evening Tony drove us all to what’s called The Boardwalk. Now I’ve visited Florida before, and I had no idea this even existed. You wouldn’t even think you were in Florida. It’s apart of Disney, and basically it’s like a village on the water. You can take a boat trip around it, or you can walk around it in one big circle. We got there pretty late and the boat had stopped operating so we walked it. It was absolutely breathtaking how beautiful it was. Again equipped with some quirky shops we browsed and stopped for Ice Cream too. I can’t even fully explain how magic it was. The next time I visit Florida I will definitely be swinging by The Boardwalk.