Monday, March 15, 2010

Florida recap

Overall we had a very good trip to Florida. It was filled only with things we wanted to do, we slept until we woke up naturally, and had lots of time on our hands. I probably would have felt quite rested if it weren't for the sore throat that started on our last day there. I think I'm finally almost over it.

It was cold and windy most of the time we were there. Coldest March Break trip to Florida I've ever had. I wore shorts for a couple of hours one day, that was it; more for posterity than anything else. Temps were in the teens, barely reaching 20°C range. It has been that way in Florida this season, hopefully next year will be better.

The weather limited our activities a bit. I had planned on sitting outside for meals, by the pool reading, or if it was quite hot, I'd even venture to cool myself in the water. Instead, we ended up inside watching TV or movies or reading, which is primarily what we do at home. In that respect, Florida wasn't the best place to go to warm up, but when we booked the trip, we didn't know the temps would be below seasonal.

We got to eat at our favourite places: Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Dennys, Krispy Kreme, Quiznos. We didn't make it to IHOP because John assuaged his pancake desires at Dennys. Breakfast at restaurants is expensive. Other than Krispy Kreme and Dennys, we mostly ate breakfast at home. Some days we had a large lunch and just some leftovers for dinner. I miss having everything so close by, like SoCal.

Arriving around midnight was actually not that bad of an idea. We were tired, but there was no traffic on the roads and we were able to fumble around with directions and wrong lanes without wreaking havoc. It had been 5 years since I was last there, and a lot of roads and routes have changed, so parts were new to me. I actually feel like I know my way around Orange County better than Florida, but this trip was a good Florida refresher.

Our first morning included a trip to Dennys, where we tried the new pancake appetizers. They're like round donut holes fried until crispy and you dip them in syrup. Tasty, but you really need a side plate because otherwise the dripping syrup creates a mess. After Dennys, we discussed what to do next. John suggested SeaWorld, but I didn't feel that going from noon onward was a decent use of the expensive ticket, we really needed a full day to get our money's worth. We stopped at Target for some grocery shopping, and then headed back to the house. We turned on the TV to find out there had been a whale attack on a trainer at SeaWorld. It made national news, and stories as to what happened were conflicting. Glad we weren't there that day after all.

John humored me with lots of shopping time. Most days he was fine, but he was having bad arthritis the day we went to the mall, so I had to cut things short. We decided the next day that he'd bring a book and sit in the car if he got too sore/tired, but it was a better arthritis day and I didn't have as many places to hit at the outlet mall.

We stayed at my Dad's rental house, so it was pretty much like having all the comforts of home. The only exception to that was the lack of TiVo, which you really miss when you don't have it. It probably wouldn't have been missed so badly if the weather had been nicer and we were out and about instead of inside watching TV/Olympics. The TVs were better than home, Dad recently replaced the existing units with new LCDs. That gave us a good test of the Vizio brand. Granted, most LCDs will look better than a CRT these days.

I found a sale online and bought us tickets for Medieval Times. That was an attraction I had driven past plenty of times, but never actually stopped and went in. We enjoyed our time there, the show was entertaining, but the people in our section didn't seem to want to cheer on our knight. We were frequently the loudest people in the red section, and we're not very loud to begin with. I think this is an event where you need to go with a group of friends, and a time when loud, drunk friends come in handy. ;) Because it is emulating a time without cutlery, you're supposed to eat everything with your hands. I had no problem with this rule, but the people beside me brought their own cutlery... lame. So my hands got dirty, big deal. I actually liked drinking my soup. I'd definitely go again, but next time I would prefer to take friends with us.

If we are fortunate enough to go again next year, I hope the weather will be warmer.

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