Monday, 5 January 2009

Day 14 - going home

Pack up for the drive to Miami airport via Naples and the Delnor-Wiggins state park, basically a car park for the stunning beach where we stopped for lunch in the 85 degree sun. Luck enough to see a wild Dolphin cruising by.

Highway 41 takes us through the everglades where, unfortunately, we do not have enough time to stop and go on an air boat.

Day 13 - Chill out last full day

Our last real holiday day was spent mainly on the very local beach, apart from a short drive around to get some present shopping and a meal in Clearwater Beach at Clear Sky Cafe, highly recommended, followed by a walk up Pier 60 to look at all the local jewellry stalls.

Day 12 - Clearwater Aquarium

Today we head to the Clearwater Aquarium for a great day out including a boat trip around the Clearwater Harbour and talks about Winter, the Dolphin without a tail.

Day 11 - goodbye Disney, hello Gulf coast

Today we pack up and leave Tuscana Apartments and take a 90 minute drive west via Tampa to Indian Rocks beach where we have a beach apartment booked for 3 nights at Sun 'n' Fun.

The apartment is pretty old by US standards dating from 1925, and to be honest, it shows and could do with some investment on internal fixtures and fittings. You can't however fault the location as Indian Rocks is a quite area between Clearwater Beach and St. Pete's beach on a very narrow strip of land barely wide enough for the road. The beach is just out the back and is fantastic white fine sand leading to the Gulf of Mexico sea, a haven for Dolphins, Pelicans etc.

After a quick play on the beach, we head off to explore nearby Clearwater Beach and make a plan for tomorrow before a meal out at nearby JD's, a very nice local restaurant.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Day 10 - Epcot twice and New Years Eve fireworks

Yet another early start to get to Epcot for the 8am opening and a rush to get Fast-passes for Soarin'. We get a 9:15-10:15 time-slot which is pretty quick as it soon gets to be 5pm plus with a 3 hour wait for the main queue.
n and
Once we get on, after also going to "Living with the land" and "Circle of Life", it's pretty clear why the queues get so big so quickly. The ride has us flying over various sights of California including Yosemite and Lake Tahoe.

Once done, we leave for lunch at Ponderosa steak house, probably all that is wrong with American food! Then back to our pool for the afternoon in really lovely sunshine.

Early evening sees us heading back to Epcot as we luckily discover that the usual 9:30pm fireworks are re-sheduled to 7:30pm as it's New Years Eve, making them early enough for Robyn and Dylan. The whole place is packed out, but it's worth it as they're the best fireworks I've ever seen, and they do them every evening of the year!