I left my heart in… Florida

I don’t know where to begin. I am back from our two-week holiday in Florida but so much happened that it feels more like two years since I last updated you.

Long story short – it was an amazing holiday. Probably the best I have ever had and that is saying something! I know I should stay true to the nature of this blog and update you on the runs I had whilst away but that won’t take long.. I thought I was prepared for the heat, after all London had been (what I considered) sweltering for a good few weeks before we went away. Yes, I had been warned about the humidity but I still wasn’t prepared for it. It was hot. Very hot. In fact, if I say it felt like a steam room outside, I would not be exaggerating (much). I did run though but the best distance I did was 6km – pathetic. However, the running locations were unbelievable!

I ran on the beach by the Atlantic Ocean

The aptly named Paradise Beach
The aptly named Paradise Beach

Hmmm.. The map doesn’t really do it justice, maybe this picture will help

Paradise Beach, Indiatlantic, FL
Paradise Beach, Indiatlantic, FL

I ran past golf courses at the Reunion Resort near Orlando

Second run (and preferred route) at Reunion
Second run (and preferred route) at Reunion
View from our balcony at Reunion Resort, doesn't really do the place justice
View from our balcony at Reunion Resort, doesn’t really do the place justice

And when we got back to Indiatlantic for the second week of our holiday, an Ironman took me running over the Eau Gallie Causeway. Florida is very flat so they take the hills where they can.

Eau Gallie Causeway - hills are hard to come by in Florida!
Eau Gallie Causeway – hills are hard to come by in Florida!

Unfortunately I don’t really have any pictures of the causeway but basically it is a large bridge that is very efficient at zapping your strength. We did this run at sunset and were able to watch it whilst running. Beautiful.

In fact, that Causeway run on the Sunday after the first week was my last run during that holiday. Shame on me! But then, from the first Saturday to Sunday (week) I did do 6 runs – maybe I am forgiven for having taken the second week easy. The first week was when we stayed near Orlando to tackle the parks; Typhoon Lagoon (which I fondly call Typhoid Lagoon), Magic Kingdom and Islands of Adventure. Luckily the resort where we stayed had a small water park so we could have a rest day between each park. It was time well spent, drifting around on the lazy river and sipping on Pina Coladas..

"If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain..." This is heaven in a, erm.., plastic beaker.
“If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain…” This is heaven in a, erm.., plastic beaker.

As fun as the parks were, we were all exhausted afterwards so the rest days were vital

All parked out
All parked out

Though the kiddo had a pretty amazing time:

My super man with Spider-Man
My super man with Spider-Man

One thing that left an everlasting impression on me during this trip, was the amazing Florida thunderstorms. I love rough weather and I sure got what I wanted. I find it hard to even try to describe how amazing the lighting was –  just the clouds alone took my breath away..

Returning from one of the parks, the weather closed in...
Returning from one of the parks, the weather closed in…

Since we have family (my husband’s sister’s husband is from there) in the area, we were able to do a lot more than we would have otherwise. For example:

I went flying a small plane – I actually got to do the “dummy” bits of take-off (full throttle and pull up) and to steer the plane. We also flew to Cape Canaveral and did a low flyover over the space shuttle landing strip (3 miles long!).

My view within the cockpit
My view within the cockpit
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Piper Archer TX – a smooth operator

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also went shooting. Now, I am not onboard with the pro-gun movement where folks are allowed to carry guns on them as if they were mobile phones. I am sure some of you disagree with me but that’s just how I feel. I was shocked at how many people revealed to me to be armed. However, I don’t see the harm in shooting guns in a safe environment and that is exactly what we did by going to a gun range with my (here we go again) husband’s sister’s husband’s father who owns an arsenal, including an Uzi. Slight hitch though; you can only shoot at a gun range if you have a green card – which we obviously don’t. UNLESS (and here comes the funny bit) you go to Walmart and buy yourself a hunting licence – all you need is an ID and some money. Yeah, because that makes complete sense; you cannot go to a controlled indoor environment but you are absolutely welcome to shoot outdoors… Anyway… Long story short – I am a crack shot. 

photo (43)

 

Soooooo much more happened, some of which I don’t have pictures of, including:

– stumbling upon (not literally, thank goodness) a sea turtle laying her eggs on the beach (we were taking the short cut from the bar). What a breath taking sight.

– we saw so much wildlife including a sting ray, dolphins and manatee in the natural environment

– we saw a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral

– a whole lot of amazing food. I am not kidding. AMAZING food. How do you like these Da Kine Diego’s Insane Burritos:

Da Kine Diego's feels like a genuine surfer haunt
Da Kine Diego’s feels like a genuine surfer haunt
Da Kine Diego's aptly named Insane Burrito - AHMAZING!!!!!
Da Kine Diego’s aptly named Insane Burrito – AHMAZING!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just want to go back… On the last day of our holiday the four of us got up to watch our last Florida sunrise…

Our last Florida sunrise, right outside our Beach Bungalow
Our last Florida sunrise, right outside our Beach Bungalow
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Can you feel the warmth

 

photo (47)
Breathtaking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now do you believe me when I say it was an amazing holiday?..

We arrived back to London this past Saturday morning, very jetlagged. I took it easy on that day but Sunday morning I did a 22km run, just to prove to myself that the distance is still doable. Just not in the tropics. Regents Park was not quite like Paradise Beach and trying to avoid the Zoo-goers wasn’t quite the same as avoiding fishing rods rigged up on the shoreline but hey – the air was fresh!

 

4 thoughts on “I left my heart in… Florida

    1. Ha, I read this comment first this morning at 0520 when I got up to do my run. I nearly woke everyone up laughing at your comment. 🙂 Also missed a trick there, I should have called that post “Burritos, Booze and Guns” or something. I blame my jetlagged brain. Thanks for the boost this morning!

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