Wow!

My final post about my holiday – I imagine your all sick of seeing the photos nows! lol

I’ve saved the best till last…my dolphin encounter!!!!!!

Wow! Wow! Wow!
I booked it the minute we landed then spent the entire holiday trying to come up with every reason possible not to do it!
I have ย a major phobia of water!
Who knows what will be lying beneath!
I get vertigo when swimming!
Its cruel!
We could spend the money on something else!
I’m scared!!!!!
John managed to talk me out of cancelling it every time and I’m so glad he did! I knew if I could overcome my fears it would be a memory for life and boy was it!!
We went to Theatre of the Sea
you all know my feelings on Zoo’s, aquariums, safari parks etc so I really struggled with my ethics when deciding to do it. The lady I spoke to here was very well-informed and reassured me that the mammals are in fresh sea water, they had either been rescued or like Duffy and ย Stormy (the dolphins I swam with) were born in captivity. They weren’t trained with food so they only do exactly what they want to do and the area we were swimming in has a section the dolphins can go to if they don’t want to participate. sounded good to me ๐Ÿ™‚
We arrived, got taken for some training, got the flippers on and in we went! I was so absorbed in it all that I didn’t have time to be scared and soon as your around the dolphins you feel totally at ease. I felt like a child as they are clearly such wonderfully intelligent mammel…such a shame that places like this are a safer habitat for them ๐Ÿ˜ฆ oh and a money-maker for humans ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
Anyway…first off I swam out to the middle of the lagoon (hearing the Jaws theme the entire time lol) was told to swim on the spot with my arms out like a cross. Then from no-where the dolphin came up right to my hand so I could hold its fin and off we went!
Wow! I really can’t articulate the experience! Mind blowing!
Then I got to hold my arms out and she swam up for a hug!
Wow! I was yapping away to her, she probably thought I was mad! It lasted ages though so she must have liked me ๐Ÿ™‚
After receiving my kiss and watching them do some stunts the trainer told me to go to the side, and hold one arm in the air. the dolphin comes and standsย in front of you, you take its fins, it leans back so you lie on its tummy and off she goes!!!!!
Wow!!! They are just pure muscle so dragging my cumbersome ass through the water seemed a breeze!
The most humbling experience of my life that I shall never forget! If we ever get the chance to do it again I will be diving in the pool ๐Ÿ™‚ hopefully along with Nate who at 4 wasn’t old enough (you have to be 8) who was standing on the side Ooooing and Ahhhhing, at one point he called “this makes me so happy mummy!!” ahhh bless him โค
Unfortunately when we pulled into the car park the camera fell and the automatic bit on the lens broke so we couldn’t use our camera!! Arrrrrgh! Thank the Lord it was our last day and that they had a photographer on hand to capture the moments we weren’t able to. Cost us $100 for the privilege though which was extremely galling! note to self, always put the camera in its bag when not in use!!!!
Before I murdered my camera we had done some shopping around the town
I REALLY wanted this cushion but it was $200!!!! Even though it would have been a lasting memory I thought that a bit steep? It is beautiful though don’t you think?
My final fire hydrant ๐Ÿ˜ฆ they shall be missed!
And the final reason I love Key West…they have beautiful street names!! This one was named after the most beautiful niece on the planet!
Florida was a great holiday and we hold some amazing memories of it…wonder if there’s any cheap flights going?? ๐Ÿ˜‰
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What to do in the Keys?

I could have easily spent a couple of weeks here but we only had 5 days ๐Ÿ˜ฆ We managed to cram quite a bit in though ๐Ÿ™‚

Walking and drooling over houses was on the agenda

The butterfly house was pretty cool

I need would like this bench!

We decided this one should go on The Deadly 60 list!

It was bigger than Johns hand!

All very beautiful and fascinating but I’ll admit I was more interested in the shop on the way out and this delightful cupboard!

We had some lunch at this amazing natural food cafe! Oh how I long for something like this near me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I had the biggest hummus wrap I’ve ever seen! I only managed half and saved the rest

And Nate opted for cream cheese made out of cashews, which actually tasted better than the real thing!

We may have shared a cookie the size of a dinner plate for pudding ๐Ÿ™‚

The weather in Florida at this time of year is so unpredictable as we had gathered but being able to see a storm rolling in is quite breath-taking!

I’m snapping away when BAM!

As the heat rarely abates we took to the beach for the rest of the afternoon ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally starting to relax but not long left ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


Southernmost On The Beach

Cannot rate this hotel enough!

It took Nate all of two seconds to make himself at home

The room was gorgeous, guess what? it as huge! lol And so tastefully decorated ๐Ÿ™‚ It was also very bright! Floridians really must have to permanently wear sunglasses!

Nice view too

As soon as we arrived we knew we were going to have nothing but that famous American hospitality. The hotel is spread out over a couple of sites so there’s a number of swimming pools, restaurants and cafes to keep your interest. All the food we had whilst there was great, not cheap but not expensive enough for us to want to go else where. There was a great range of bar foods throughout the day too. Theres a little man-made beach, a great sunbathing pier and a private beach too. And around the corner is a playground! Sweet!

We grabbed our cosies and went for a dip

As I was gawking at this wonderful scene

when my bloody hat flew off and into the sea!!!

I don’t do the sea and I especially don’t do it when its full of gross seaweed!! Urgh! What to do? Put a sad face on that my husband can’t refuse

even he was gagging a bit! lol My admiration for his heroism was promptly abolished when he threw my hat like a frisbee over the fence for it to land in the sand!! I now had a soaking soggy sandy hat ๐Ÿ˜ฆ didn’t stop me though lol

Ahhhhhhhh!

I got bored after about 20 minutes though, gone are the days when I would sunbathe from 8am till 6pm, sleeping off a previous nights hangover. Only moving to light another cigarette and take a sip of my cocktail!

It had been a looooong day so before we had an early dinner we attempted some family portraits

Sliced my head off

Nate suffocated by boob!

We gave up…need a fourth person to take with us in future to be our official photographer! ha!

We took a nice evening stroll

some of us ran

heading back to our rooms to pass out ๐Ÿ™‚


On to Key West

Considering this was a road trip I took lots more photos of the road on the long drive down to Key West. It’s funny how interesting everyday things are once your abroad?

This was a car park for boats..would that be a boat park?!

There is only one road to get to the keys. One very long single lane road going over many long bridges, the going was slow!

You can see one of the older bridges on the right.

I was trying to remember all the films this bridge has been in…..??

It’s very much an outdoor lifestyle here, J longs to have a boat and jet ski at the end of the garden! one day….

Yes that is a drive thru liquor shop!!! Only in America!

Just looking at all the different cars is fascinating! You do not see small cars in Florida! We saw one mini the entire time we were here. No micrasย or fiats!! haha

After the 3 hours drive we finally arrived in Key West

I got very excited once we arrived at the southern part of the island. So gorgeous!

We pulled up at the hotel

leapt out to check in and got whacked in the face by even warmer humidity! ๐Ÿ™‚

we were early and our rooms were going to be another couple of hours. We took the opportunity to take in our surroundings.

Everything looked so CLEAN!!!!

I’d heard all sorts about Key West. It a bit of a Spring Break attraction but fortunately for us we had come off-season lol so I really got a good vibe about the place. Lots of galleries, interesting healthy food resturants and a wonderful never ending grid of stunning houses and shopsI knew we were going to have an enjoyable end to our holiday ๐Ÿ™‚


Who’s Ami?

I’m not a flashy kinda girl and I’m not impressed my material wealth…I am however a nosey bugger so how could I not do the obligatory millionaires boat trip?!?

It was a great opportunity for skyline photos!

All the houses were perfectly lovely but some were over looking this

mmmmm it’s clearly a status thing! Here’s some of them and I think I can remember who they said lived there, mainly 90’s A listers! I imagine people keep quiet when they buy somewhere these days as I wouldn’t want theseย pesky boats full of tourists going past every hour!

Daddy Iglesias

Rosie O’Donnell…can’t say I blame her!

Gloria Estefans house and studio next door!!!

Naomi Campbell and her Russian billionaires new abode…bigger than a hotel!!

Dont know who’s this was but I thought it was a nice change

P Diddy has the right idea too!

I kind of got bored with listening after that

it was all people who I’d never heard of so I just took pictures of the ones that interested me

Love this “little” one that pops out!

All really lovely but personally I don’t see the appeal of living here…but if you did which one would you like to live in and why???

Cute anecdote – The entire holiday Nate has referred to Miami as “Your Aunty” lol

I kept saying “No, it’s not a person”

“Oh ย OK, your Ami?”

‘No, it’s Miami, but it’s not mine!”

Getting high pitched “I know it’s not yours!!!!”

“good, let’s go to Miami”

“Yeah! Your ami”

Arrrrrrrgh, I gave up in the end!


Ocean Drive

Nate was up early and working on getting his body beach ready ๐Ÿ˜‰

Holla!

Then we were off to town. Mission = Pina Colada!!!

This is one clean city!

Just what you expect to see as your driving down the road….a big hairy yacht!! This place oozes wealth!

And here we are…I was singing Lighthouse Family to get us in the mood

http://www.muzu.tv/gb/lighthousefamily/ocean-drive-music-video/735738/

Are you in the mood now to? ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s not how it looks in the films…people driving whilst posing or driving looking for parking! haha! We walked for about 10 minutes

Before the heat got the best of us and we re-treated into one of the many drool worthy restaurants we had passed!

Hello baby, come to momma!!! Ha! She was soooooo guuurrrrrrd ๐Ÿ™‚

We still hadn’t cottoned on to the whole larger portion thing, so I opted for battered prawns for starters, thinking I’d get 5 and a bit of dip…the large plate was full and so was I by the time I’d ate half of it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Nate had some Parma Ham and mozzarella cos he’s a little freak and about ยฃ50 worth arrived!!!!

I’d stupidly ordered him a burger as I thought this would be a couple of slices :S He had one bite and gave up!

My salad was lush but I only picked the fruit out as I was stuffed too

And I was saving room for dessert…a coffee moose which I inhaled!!

The late Mr Versace’s house…felt a bit morbid taking a photo…but took it anyway, it’s very beautiful. Lord knows why he would have wanted to live somewhere quite so public?!

I loved all the art deco buildings! Especially Gap! Ha!

I would love to go back there for a girls weekend, all the resturants, shopping and nightclubs…but that would probably be a bit pricey! lol

 

 

 

 

 


Welcome to Miami

Nate got comfy ready for the road trip

We definitely have some relatives here

I had found a great hotel a twenty-minute drive from South Beach. We weren’t interested in staying in Miami central as it would be wasted on us with Nate. We just needed a base as we were going to be hitting the Everglades as much as we could. Comfort Suitesย was much nicer than I thought it would be. Unsurprisingly the room was huge as were the beds, tons of space and a mini kitchenette! We unpacked and drove straight to the only reason we’d come to America…

HAHA! I had waited sooooooo long to make this pilgrimage…..and oh was it worth it!!!!!! We all walked round in silent wonder…Nate & John salivated up against the fresh meat counter whilst I skipped/glided off in search of the few pieces I knew I could get home. Protein bars (sugarfree!!!), protein powder and various chocolate peanut butters were loaded into the basket. I really regret not taking an extra suitcase as I need about 4 x what I got! But somethings better than nothing right? I filled up the rest of the trolley with breakfast and lunch stuff for the next 4 days in Miami.

Whole Foods is heaven on earth ๐Ÿ™‚ and the salad bar was the golden gates!

I can taste it now! Little man really enjoyed his food too!

Whole Foods crisps would seem crispier! Can you see the longing for more? Haha

That night we cruised into Miami for an evening driveย and also in attempt to get Nate to sleep! It was like driving into a scene from CSI Miami! We genuinely all gasped when we saw the skyline all sparkly and lit up. Something we’ve NEVER experienced!

Haha you’ll have to take my word for it!

The following day we doused ourselves in mosquito repellant for some Deadly 60 adventures at Gator Park!

 

He was as uneasy as he looks. We all debated whether to go or not, for the same reasons we don’t like zoo’s. But this place wasn’t holding alligators captive it was taking us around their natural home, which unfortunately is shrinking rapidly from all the quarrying and mining going on nearby (you could just see them from the road and they were epic in size. Obviously john found this more fascinating than anything else on the entire holiday lol). We were quite surprised with the amount of dead gators in the shop, gator teeth, wallets, purses etc…the vibe was one of pro-hunting…hmmmm.

We were there for the boat trip and luckily enough got on the first one ๐Ÿ™‚

The tour guide had a unique way of attracting the alligators

It seemed to work, or perhaps its the tid bits of food they throw for them?

So beautiful! The guide informed us that the ones living in the area were young, up to around 4 years then they leave for deeper waters. This beast was 5 feet long so I can only imagine how HUGE the daddies are!

Then we popped the ear plugs in, he cramped up the speed and we were off! So terrifying exhilarating!!!

He went sooooo fast and the water was sooooo shallow! About 2 inches!!!!!!!!! WTF?!

Whilst on the boat I got a bit obsessed with the bloke in the white cap sat behind us. Was it Ed Norton??? J was useless, he has no clue about current culture so once we stopped I took some discreet shots

What would Ed Norton be doing at Gator Park you ask?! research! When he spoke in a German accent I thought that maybe he was in character!! lol Nah don’t think it was him ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

There was then a show taking you through how the native indians used to catch the gators. Unless they were doing it in the wild we weren’t interested, not fair on the poor gator ๐Ÿ˜ฆ