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Day 13 & 14 Home Time

I think this was our first actual lay in!!!! We stayed in bed for ages and only headed out for breakfast about 11am! We went to our favourite diner and ordered allllll the pancakes. I had eyes bigger than belly and couldn’t get close to finishing 🙁 so heart breaking!

After, we decided to get the car and head out towards Fort Myers for a couple of shops. I was on a mission to find my brother a hockey puck.

The drive was awful! The heavens opened and it was way beyond cats and dogs. For a moment I thought I had transitioned to being a mermaid and was living underwater….

We headed for the stadium to look for the fateful puck and found queues of cars preparing to park. Genius here hadn’t thought to check if there was a match on – doh!

A quick u turn and we headed to the shopping centre across the road. As we wandered around seeing the fans passing the time before the game, I thought I’d check to see what the chances of getting tickets was like….

Before we knew it, Matt and I were sat in row 2 at the Panthers Vs Blue Jackets ice hockey game.

I’ve never been to an ice hockey game before and it was AWESOME!! I loved it. The atmosphere, the aggression, the speed, the skill, the food – everything. I was in my element. Sadly, the panthers didn’t get the win at this game, but it was a great watch and a brilliant way to end our last official day in Florida.

This morning was spent eating pancakes at our diner, packing – eww ewww ewwww! And going to the airport waiting to hear home again. As much as I hate travelling coming to an end, I am looking forward to heading back home.

Sometimes you realise that home really is where your heart is.

Day 12 Miami

It would have been rude, being so close, not to go to Ocean Drive for breakfast and have a wander.

It was so damn hot and humid even early in the morning, but we powered through and headed out to do our shooting session at Lock and Load. We had booked to do the USA package beforehand so it was nice and easy to walk in and get going!

I have never shot before but Max was really great at explaining what to do and making it fun! I was surprised that I was actually able to even hit the target knowing my coordination!!!!!

Of course Matt was a natural!

We packed up our targets into the car and walked over to check out the artwork at Wynwood Walls.

There was some really awesome work, but there was very little shelter from the scorching sunshine to spend too much time out taking them all in. We took shelter in the Hard Rock getting my next pin and then onto the hop on hop off bus to see a bit of Miami.

We finished up the day at the Miami Heat basketball game, which was awesome. I am becoming a big fan of basketball….this could be an expensive hobby!

Day 11 The Everglades

Packing in the morning was grudging, slow and painful, but we were out on time and on the road to The Everglades.

When we arrived, I had enough time to make friends with Snippy before heading out on the airboat around the mangroves.

We didn’t see much wildlife in the mangroves, or on our next tour – the swamp buggy! They were tons of fun though.

Our final tour was back on the airboat over the grasslands. Here we saw a huge alligator (and friends) and got up so close.

It was amazing to watch this dinosaur in the wild, although slightly unnerving.

Back on land we checked out the sanctuary (I made friends with Casper this time), but after seeing a snake, I was ready to move on…

Matt drove us on to our hotel in Miami, I was an awesome navigator and fell asleep in the car on the way – doh! When we arrived, we dropped our bags and headed straight out for dinner, we were ravenous!!!! The local diner was on hand with great service and damn tasty food. I had to be rolled out.

We had a wander on the seafront before heading back to the hotel to unwind.

Day 9 & 10 Fort Myers

Sorry folks – I’m a day behind so I’m combining efforts….

It was check out time from Orlando, we were both exhausted from a few hard days of theme parking but we didn’t want anything to go to waste. So, we headed off to Disney Springs for our last theme park and retail fix!

We cleared out Under Armour’s stock, checked out the chocolatier (believe it or not, the skull is chocolate!), tried on various Disney outfits and stocked up on caffeine.

The final shop to hit was Harley Davidson which I thoroughly enjoyed messing about and dreaming about my own bike….of course mine would be a cruiser!

Shopped out, we went hit the road for the next part of our day….Tampa. First stop, the Hard Rock Café.

I am getting quite a maps worth of pins going now, it is super exciting!

As we were in Tampa, we checked out the local ice hockey stadium and got the requested gift for back home, so I got to tick all the boxes there!

It was then time to head back on the road to our hotel in Fort Myers – and another upgrade woop! With a sea view to boot 😍😍 it felt only right to celebrate the evening with Hooters and some drinking games into the night in the hotel room. P.S. I suck at all drinking games and seem to do a lot of the drinking…..I need to work on this as I am not always great with the whole fresh the next day thing.

Today was a totally mellow and chilled out day. We went to a couple of shops to get the cheesy tourist bit done, had an amazingggggg couples massage at our hotel where I almost fell asleep and then had a lovely walk along the beach. Totally awesome!

Day 8 Universal Studios

We both woke up before our alarm after an awful night sleep – that’s what a late night celebratory Krispy Kreme gets you! So we decided to just get ready and go to Universal Studios.

After parking, we headed to pick up our tickets which of course is never straightforward! Eventually we got to the front of the queue and got sorted ready to join another queue to get into the park…..sense a theme coming on?

In the park, we headed straight for Diagon Alley and to Gringotts bank before the queue had much time to form. 15 minutes later we were whirling around the tracks get wowed by the graphics and effects!

After that excitement we were starving and ready for some breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron (luckily for us it was normal food!).

Fueled up and ready to go, we started to adventure round the park and go on other rides where the queues weren’t too ridiculous….

Before we knew it, it was lunch time and the weather was piping hot, so I persuaded Matt (not that his arm needed twisting much) to go to Ben & Jerry’s – after all, when in Rome…..

The trouble is, I’m a clumsy klutz at times and it can be a real problem….

So off on our next mission….to find me a new top….

Luckily it didn’t take too long to find a replacement so we decided to switch it up and catch the Hogwarts express over to the other park.

Obviously we rode in the best carriage….

We are arrived at a PACKED Hogsmeade and with the weather only getting warmer, we decided to call it and go on a mission to the Hard Rock Café.

The Hard Rock Café in Orlando is the largest in the world, it looks like it is in an old school colosseum. The shop was a temptation in itself to buy everything, but I remained restrained!

After the final obligatory photos we headed back to the hotel for a relaxing swim in the pool and a laid back evening.

Day 7 Orlando

I woke up ready to go from the moment I opened my eyes (poor Matt!). Today is the last Disney day so I was excited to get stuck in.

First stop….Hollywood studios!

Finally I got a ride with some drops and a loop and bonus….only a 5 minute queue!

Once we had gone on a couple of rides, eaten breakfast and checked out the shops, it was back to the car for the final park – Animal Kingdom.

The heat by this point was hard work….according to my app is was feeling 37°c….compared to a toasty 12°c at home in England, that’s quite a difference!

I was started to wilt, but determined to atleast see the animals at Animal Kingdom, so after a food stop and some fluid it was time to queue. We went on the Safari and then decided to call it quits and head for some aircon before I evaporated!

One nap later, it was time for dinner and the much awaited Orlando Magic game. I’ve never seen a basketball game before so I was super excited – and it was Matt’s favourite team playing, so obviously so was he!

We had great seats and it was an awesome game with Magic winning 119-80! I LOVED all the break entertainment, it was so lively, fun and it had such great atmosphere. I can’t wait to go to my next game!

Day 6 Epcot

An early rise ready for the magic hour of staying in a Disney hotel (sadly we are checking out today!). But we hopped in the car after packing and headed over to Epcot!

It was great to be there so early. There was hardly anyone there, it meant we could miss the queues and get ALL the cheesy pics!

Epcot has a surprising number of Disney princesses wandering around casually! I think they come to escape Magic Kingdom….I managed to get a fair chunk in my autograph book and obviously I had the pics to prove it happened.

In between the princesses we melted, rode as many rides as possible and posed for the random photographers around the park – they could obviously see our model qualities….

Before the heat completely wiped up out, we said goodbye to Epcot and headed off to check into our next hotel and off to my favourite place (Walmart!). I managed to find a dulce de leche churro – all that was missing was my wifey – miss you wifey!!!!!

Our evening I had arranged for us to go on a bioluminescence kayaking tour. After driving through about 100 toll stops we arrived just on time and hurriedly joined the others to pick up our oar and life jacket. They also gave us an awesome pink glow stick so they didn’t loose us. It was then I figured I should probably tell Matt I hadn’t kayaked before and so I would be learning on this trip…..in the dark…..

Have no fear! There was no capsizing. I got soaked, but only because I couldn’t stop playing in the water to see the bioluminescent lights. It was truly magical! Every little movement produced dancing lights.

We even went fishing with nets (for tiny jellies) which had me memorised!!!!! I named jellies as follows; Button, Shelly, Stewie, Louis, Eliza, Joey.

After two hours, it was time to come back in, much to my disappointment. What a magical day I have had here in Florida.

Day 5 Disney World

I was like a child on Christmas day getting out the hotel this morning. We parked up and I practically ran to the tram and onto the monorail!

First things first once through the gates, get suitable head gear for us both….

Then we were ready to commit fully to a Disney day! We had our fast passes, our head gear, some breakfast and excitement to power us through.

We hit the rides…

Met the princesses….

Ate the snacks….

And even snuck in a caricature!

It was a packed day to say the least. We were out for over 12 hours, but finally it was time to say goodnight to the magic, get back to the hotel room, shower and drop!

Yay Disney!!!!

Day 4 Goodbye Jacksonville

It was time to say goodbye to our lovely little pad in Jacksonville. After a quiet few days, it was time to get back on the road to Orlando.

Not before stopping for the ultimate pic!

They even had my ë! It must be mine…..

The weather got worse the closer we got to Orlando, but one hotel room upgrade later, we were settled into Disney world.

Settling into the room, I had a momentary brain blip, stressed myself out, confused the bank, gave myself a headache and joined the weather in misery!

Matt suggested a trip to the Hard Rock, but upon trying to get there we realized it was in Universal Studios, so we will wait until then.

Giving up on doing anything other than eat for the night, we got some grub and went back to the room.

Disney time tomorrow!!!!!!!!!

Day 3 Gainsville

I woke at a more sociable hour today and Matt and I had a cheeky breakfast in bed with TV moment. Always a good way to start the day.

After an urgent dash to Walmart, we came back and I got ready to face the day. We had nothing planned, but our decided mission was to track down a Jacksonville Jaguars top. So off we hopped into the beast.

After half an hour of mooching, we went to St John’s Shopping Centre and went to Dick’s sporting goods – I couldn’t miss a good photo op!

After behaving in the sporting goods shop whilst Matt browsed, I bargained a snack break that turned into a full on meal and dessert break at the Cheesecake Factory *druel*

Ready to roll back to the beast we left, so of course that was the queue for the heavens to opens! We hid in the shop doorways but that didn’t stop us from getting a tad soggy. I got back into the pickup with my toes swimming in their own private pools in my shoes…..

Back at the pad we dried off and I had a necessary nap (Matt may agree that I was acting like a child without one….) Then it was time to get ready and head out for the evening.

I had booked tickets for Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque tour

Which I can you now was awesome. My inner geek was suitably happy and I now have hula hoop goals!

A never ending drive home got us to the pad for our last night sleep in Jacksonville!