Did you think I’d given up on this? Those who follow on Instagram and elsewhere will know we have been in Florida for 2 weeks. The week before we went I was frantically trying to prepare and catch up with my work as I talked about in my last post. That continued on the Saturday and there were points in the day when I thought I’d never get it done: there were blog posts to write and schedule; house and garden jobs that I wanted done before we went (like leaving the seed potatoes to chit while we were away and watering my houseplants); and then there was the packing which hadn’t been started before Saturday.In the end though after dinner I realised I was just about there: tired, but pretty much ready.
Sunday saw us off bright and early to go to Birmingham airport. Flying from Birmingham is always our preferred choice as we can get a taxi which is convenient going out, but a godsend coming home when you have been on a night flight without sleep. The downside to this was that we had to fly via Frankfurt. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against Frankfurt, it’s twinned with Birmingham after all, and the airport was full of opportunities to cross off things in H’s ‘I Spy’ book. In Frankfurt airport H learnt how to use a water fountain (this was useful as it proved to be the holiday of the water fountain as they were all over the place in the states). Then we got back on a plane and pretty much flew back over our house. Our last sight of Britain was a lovely high view of Cardigan Bay (it looked stunning) many hours after we’d got up. Lufthansa were a great airline to fly with, but it was still a tiring day and US immigration was even worse than I remembered it being on my last visit 20+ years ago. I thought we’d never get out of the airport and you’re not allowed to use phones in immigration so you can’t let people know you’re held up – ludicrous! At least we could pick up our baggage straight up afterwards and we were soon met up with our relatives. Another hour and a half later we were safely at their house and exhausted.
Monday was a quiet day when we didn’t leave the house. We all got a chance to catch up and the boys got on like a house on fire (this is H and his third cousin who is about 2 years older than him), just as they had last time they saw each other in July 2013. As our cousins had a pool at home, the boys didn’t have far to go to have some water fun.
By Tuesday we were starting to recover and we decided to take the trip to Kennedy Space Centre, which is an amazing day out. H got to show off his space knowledge to an astronaut. We learnt a lot. Whilst we were there we found out there was a launch (to restock the space station) that evening and we were able to watch it on TV later that night and then rush outside see a little of the rocket going up in the garden.
We quickly found that after a big day out we needed a quieter day to regroup. So a relaxed morning at home on Wednesday was followed by a short drive to a small museum about the Treasure Coast and a Turtle conservation centre, then we were off to the beach for a spot of treasure hunting and play. We hadn’t taken the swim things and the inevitable happened in the water, but in the warm Florida weather it really didn’t seem to matter.
On Thursday we went to a baseball match between the Washington Nationals and the St Louis Cardinals. Many of the baseball teams do their spring training in Florida and have warm up matches like this one. We were supporting the Nationals (our cousins lived near Washington DC for many years) and they won.
Before we came to Florida H had said the thing he wanted to do was go to Legoland (and Universal, Disney didn’t even get a mention). We tried to put him off saying we could go to Legoland back home, although to be fair we have only been to Legoland Windsor once. He was insistent because Legoland in Florida had a section for his beloved Lego Chima. There was lightning part way through the afternoon at Legoland and the rides shut for a while for safety reasons. I think a lot of people decided to leave then, but we stayed and when the rides reopened we were able to get straight onto the Chima ride. It was a blast, but very wet. H, his cousin and his dad went straight back on for another go and that’s when I took this picture of them.
Saturday was a recovery day, but also it turned into Easter Sunday too. We had decided to go to Universal on Easter Sunday for tactical reasons, so we celebrated Easter on Easter Saturday. The boys coloured some eggs, later there was an Easter egg hunt and we even had a lamb roast dinner with an Easter cake for pudding.
Easter Sunday saw us at Universal Islands of Adventure visiting Hogsmeade. H bought a wand and we had lunch in the Three Broomsticks. Wonderful! Then onto Jurassic Park for some rides down there. It was a full on day, but a lot of fun.
On Wednesday it was H’s 9th birthday and his birthday treat was going to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He had a wonderful day. If you go to Disney for a birthday make sure you get a birthday badge. Staff all over the park wished H a happy birthday and he loved it.
Thursday saw us recovering on the beach and later we went out for a family meal to celebrate H’s birthday. It would have been too much the previous day.
Friday saw us doing some more exploring. We went out to the viewing point for Pelican Island. Then in search of manatees in Fort Pierce (sadly we saw none) and walking along the boardwalk in Vero Beach. It was our last day because we flew home on Saturday. We’d had an amazing time and we were very sorry to leave.
Since coming home things have been quite dull. It’s taken us a while to recover as we lost a night’s sleep and there was the time difference to get used to too. I do have pictures from the week, but they look a bit dull compared to the holiday ones. I am sharing the picture I took at John Lewis though as H & I went in to see his school art project (about space) which has been on display in the community room there.