Gardening Matters – Travels with Allie.
The weather in Orlando has definitely turned tropical stormy. Yesterday was overcast all day with very heavy thundery showers around, rain pelting down, despite temperatures around 29C.
We did some packing and then headed over to Melbourne to say our farewells to Fran, Dave and Harriet. We had lunch with Harriet and then played some rumicube with her, before bidding a sad farewell late afternoon. It’s always sad to say goodbye and now especially with such uncertain times.
Last night we had a farewell dinner with Stuart and Fi and we went to Texas De Brazil, a Brazilian churrascaria. It’s a major feast. You have full access to a very extensive salad bar first which contains fish and seafood salads as well as lots of different vegetarian and cheese options. You can then start on the various meats which are carried around on huge skewers by servers dressed as gauchos. There were many different types of steak, pork loin, chicken wrapped in bacon, various cuts of lamb, sausages….. all cooked to different degrees of “doneness” and all very good, very succulent. You also get cheese sprinkled spicy fries, garlic mash and those little cheese beignets popular in Brazil. We really enjoyed it all. It’s not cheap but good value and a worthy choice for our last evening together.
Today Bob and I finished our packing in the morning – another hot but overcast day. Stuart and Fi don’t fly home till tomorrow night so they have a little more time.
It’s been a brilliant winter – much more expensive than spending the winter in Goa, which is our usual winter choice – but we certainly made the most of it. Highlights of this trip include:
Visiting Walt Disney World
A day at Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Airboat riding through the Everglades to view alligators and birds
Swimming with Manatees
Shopping in various malls and outlet malls
Kayaking the crystal waters of Weeki Wachi Spring and seeing the mermaid show
Watching 4 space launches
Visiting the Kennedy Space Centre
Visiting St Augustine
Seeing a great show in Cocoa Beach
Seeing the famous Daytona Beach and the race track
Clay pigeon shooting in the boondocks
Visiting the Florida Keys and Key West, the most southerly point of the USA
A two week cruise visiting the Caribbean and scuba diving in Cozumel and Turks and Caicos
An amazing river trip in Belize and a visit to jungle Mayan temples. Hearing the cry of the howler monkeys.
Most of all, re-uniting with friends and family – Malcolms, Costellos, Deitz and Fuerstmans who all made us so welcome after covid separated years. It was the reason we chose Florida for our winter escape.
All of those adventures are detailed in my blog, plus all the overeating we’ve done. Definitely need a major diet when we get home.
We bid sad farewells to Stuart and Fi at 330 – they’ve heroically put up with us for 10 weeks of travelling in close proximity without a cross word. It was pouring with rain as we left so Fi fashioned us ponchos from rubbish sacks. Got to the airport parking garage at bang on 4pm and our Turo car rental guy was waiting for us. We checked out of the rental using the app and all went smoothly. We would definitely recommend Turo – it saved us literally 1000s of dollars and it worked like a dream.
Check in was very quick and we were through immigration and security by 1650. Impressive. I am writing this at the gate. A long flight ahead with good old BA. Landing at LHR at 8am tomorrow morning and a taxi home. The heating was switched on yesterday and the house is nice and warm to welcome us back. It’s been a brilliant winter escape and I hope you’ve enjoyed travelling along with us.