Florida in August – Moskito Coast? Not at all! # Episode 1

Beware of Florida in Summer!

Florida in August! – you are crazy!

This is too hot, too steamy and you will be eaten by Mosquito swarms.

This was what we heared from all people, when asked about my idea.

In fact, I’ve been there 18 years ago the last time and it was like all the other people said – Moskito Coast.

We had made this experience, when entering the Everglades National Park. Leaving the car. Standing outside half a minute and then fleeing back into our airconditioned car, licking our wounds and trying to get rid of the “no see´ems” that followed us into our vehicle, just to fulfil, what they started – playing Count Dracula – sucking our blood.

To be frankly, this was the horror story that everyone told us – and as said – we experienced that a long time ago by ourselves.

Anyhow. We wanted to enable our kids – now old enough to speak english in an appropriate manner – to have a nice and really unique summer vacation, experiencing something different than only touristy Europe (now touristy US), and have some impressions outside their close environment. We were sure, they´d like it.

So the question was – how to book it – either all by ourselves – or via a travel agency. We took the last option – and during our holidays – experienced, this was the right choice.

So the time for travel came near and we started to get our travel route fixed.

We started in Orlando – visited Epcot, then the two Universal Parks (my daughter needed to see all the Harry Potter stuff), Kennedy Space Center (that’s what I needed to see…), travelled back to Orlando and then to St. Petersburg Beach. From there down to Ft Myers Beach, visited Naples, travelled via Everglades City (stop to see the 10.000 islands tour), down to Key Largo…. Key West…. Miami Beach….. and then heading back home.

USA here we are – New York City, Long Beach, Manhattan and Staten Island seen on the upper middle

When looking for the flights, unfortunate Airline “AirBerlin” was the choice we made. Not the worst one, I need to mention.

We booked the place near the emergency exit and had lots of space for – at least – my long legs.
The downside is that you have a seat near the loo, but the extended foot space reimbursed me for the possible inconvenient situation of people standing in line (which was really not the case). The truth is – AirBerlin made a great job, bringing us from Duesseldorf to Orlando and from Miami to Duesseldorf.

(What a pity, this airline stopped living)

We flew and time did also – we reached Orlando area and all was like we were coming home – except the long lines of people waiting at the immigrations.

I was travelling to the US several times before – last time was 2016 – and I was allowed to use the Immigration´s pass checking machine.

The Officer told us, that the whole family should have a try on the machine and it seemed to be working. Except my 12 year old son, we all had “XXX” on the bill. Oh man….

We were told to enter the counter and see the Officer there. The man asked us what we are doing in the US and for how long we would stay. – Easy going – really – we said we wanted to see Mickey Mouse, travel the country and return to Germany by the end of the month. Tickets are valid so – hey…..

After 10 minutes and some minor interrogation, he said “have a nice stay” and “Welcome to the United States” – we thought that was easy going.

We had to get our stuff from the baggage claim — and put it again to a baggage band to get it transported to the main terminal – just to get it back from another baggage claim.

OK – need to deal with it. Entering the Arrivals Terminal, getting our bags and off to the car rentals.

We ordered a Mini Van – and got a nice Dodge with 7 seats. Space enough for the next three weeks for us 4 and our oversized luggage.

Hey Sunshine state – here we come!

A short drive later, we entered the Hotel Lobby of the Best Western Hotel at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Just a few steps to the Disney Springs Mall.

Disney Springs is definitely a fun place and you can find a lot of shops there, Restaurants and many things to see. Most impressive is a Volcano that erupts several times a day with fire and smoke.

You’ll find also a nice little “Marina” and a gigantic Disney Store – a must for all Disney Enthusiasts.

Our plans were like having one day for acclimation, one day at Universal Studios, another day at one of the Disney Parks and one visiting Kennedy Space Center.

The first day lead us to EPCOT where we ran into a nice little Thunderstorm with heavy rain in the afternoon. But all we have seen and done there completely reimbursed us for getting wet to the bones.

We have visited a last time the “Universe of Energy” that now has been removed from the Park in September – after 40 years presence.

We got inspired by “O Canada”, France and also Japan. China was also a really great showcase to visit as there was an acrobatic show and also like in the Canada section a 360° round theatre with information about the country.

Did I mention Chevrolet´s TEST TRACK? Really a nice ride.

The end of our tour at EPCOT marked a visit of the Mexico Showcase where we entered a Maya Pyramid.

We did the ride 3 times as we had fun, seeing Donald Duck and other things. Also the view from the water to the mexican market place is worth the ride (even some think it´s lame).

After all that and a 14 hours day, we watched the outstanding fireworks show.

This was the best fireworks show we ever attended!

Disney at it´s best!

To be continued in Episode #2