Eric and I have recently returned from a fabulous trip to Florida. We started our holiday with a flight from Manchester to Miami via London Heathrow on the Airbus A380.
On arriving into Miami we drove to Key Largo which is the start to the Florida Keys. This was about a one hour drive, which was enough after a very early start and a 9 hour flight from London to Miami. The next morning we set off to Key West stopping off at a great breakfast spot in Marathon called the Wooden Spoon. What a bustling little spot this was. Our journey down the Keys was very sad as the hurricane damage was very clear with piles of debris at the side of every road. Some of the Keys were hit more than others, but they are working very hard to clean up all the affected areas.
We arrived in Key West at around 1pm and checked into our Hotel. We chose to stay at a beachfront location situated across the road from Smathers Beach. The hotel offers a shuttle service to downtown taking approximately 15 minutes and runs every half hour there and back. If you choose to walk it takes around 45 minutes. We had a fabulous and very lively 4 nights. It was actually Fantasy Fest down in Key West. This is an annual 10 day costumed party in paradise for grown – ups. It is now considered to be the wildest extravaganza around! What a time we had over the 4 nights we stayed.
Things then calmed down as we headed off the Keys up to Fort Myers on the West coast of Florida to collect our son from the airport. Charlie flew out from Manchester to Fort Myers via Philadelphia.
We drove up to Siesta Key located on the west coast just south of Tampa. Siesta Key is one of our favourite places we have travelled to. The beach is beautiful as it is made up of 99% quartz so it never gets hot and is so white. It has again just been voted the best beach in the USA . The sunsets are fantastic. We stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment right in the centre of the village. There are local shops and restaurants close by. We had 8 nights and totally relaxed for the length of our stay.
It was then time to hit the road and travel up to Orlando, but on the way up we stopped at Busch Gardens in Tampa, about a one hour drive. This is a fabulous theme park with rides that appeal to the whole family. Eric and Charlies’ favourite were Cheetah Hunt, Sheikra, Cobra’s Curse and Montu……………. as you have gathered I look after the bags!!
We then left for Orlando, it took us about one hour to arrive at our hotel in Lake Buena Vista. It is a lovely area of Orlando and a great location for all of the theme parks. We only had 4 nights so made a decision on the parks to visit. We chose Universal studios and Islands of Adventure, two amazing parks now linked by the Hogwarts Express train. Both parks have fantastic rides once again suitable for the whole family. If you are a Harry Potter fan you will love ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley’ at Universal studios and ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter –Hogsmeade’ at Islands of Adventure. Both parks are superb. Eric and Charlie would both have to agree that their favourite ride is ‘The Incredible Hulk’ My favourite ride is E.T.
On the final day we had a relaxing morning around the pool and then did some shopping at a Mall. We have in the past done all of the theme parks and Water parks apart from Volcano Bay which is a new water park. We have become to know Florida like the back of our hands so who better to talk to for any further information!!!!