Bahia Honda bridge, Florida

A family holiday to Florida

Well, I’m back, and also: depressed. Coming home sucks to the max, doesn’t it? Looks like that whole “a post a day keeps the huge, long ‘What I did on my summer holidays’ post away” thing didn’t quite work out, because, well, I didn’t do it, did I? It wasn’t entirely my fault: the wireless connection at the house was pretty shaky, and I couldn’t be bothered walking to the club house to blog, and I was also pretty lazy so… yeah, it actually was my fault, really.

Anyway, without further ado, here it is: the huge, long “What I did on my summer vacation” post. Enjoy! Or at least: tolerate!

Things I did in Florida:

1. Got RED WEALS all over my eyes. Again. GOD.

Actually, the weals had been with me for the week preceding the trip, too. I would have mentioned them here but it’s like, there’s only so many posts about red weals a blog can take, y’know? Anyway, we think we’ve worked out what’s causing them: it’s an actual, real-life, non-hypochondriac disease (also: incurable! Have real-life, incurable disease!) that’s caused by … um, well, by dandruff actually… and after a few days of me never, ever taking my shades off, even at night, they cleared up. In the meantime, I did a lot of bumping into things, as you can imagine.

2. Went to EPCOT

Oh my God, it was great. It’s been a few years since I last visited Epcot, and Terry hadn’t been at all, so we went early and managed to pretty much walk onto most of the rides. Here we are just about to go onto Mission: Space:

Walking towards Mission Space, Epcot, FloridaWe later found out that someone once actually died on this (before they turned the speed down) and all I can say is: it was almost me. I survived to ride Test Track (on which I did not stop screaming at all, ever) and Soarin’, which we liked so much we did twice. Loved it all. Even although I almost died of fright more than once.

3. Fought off three snakes. Singlehandedly.*

You already know about the snake that was waiting in the pool to meet us on our first night. What you don’t know, though, is that Voldemort, as he became known, came back to visit us the next Monday, too. He was waiting for us at the front door when we arrived home that night. Friendly, no? My dad got rid of him, but when we decided to go out to the pool later, He Who Must Not Be Named (yeah, my mum has a BIG snake phobia) was waiting for us. Nice! No pictures of Voldy: we were too busy coaxing my mum back down off the ceiling.

4. Took a trip to Key West

This was the second time my parents and I have visited the Keys, but a first for Terry. We stayed at the Southernmost Point Guest House, which is within spitting distance of the Southernmost Point of the continental US. It’s a strange feeling, to stand there and look north, knowing that of all of the millions of people in North America, you are the one at the very bottom of the continent. Or, in my case, to know that you are not the only one at the very bottom, because you suddenly seem to have a Terry growing out of your back:

The Southernmost point in the US: Key West, FloridaKey West is a strange place. Although all of South America is below it, it still has this weird, end-of-the-world feeling about it. In September, it also had a tired, out of season feel: the houses on Duval Street were looking a little shabby, and everything’s surrounded by this lush greenery, giving it a slightly damp, dank feeling, as if the swamp is coming to reclaim it. Still, we had a great time. The acrobat who does a show at Mallory Square was still there – we saw him on our last trip – and the guest house had a great hot tub, in which Terry and I sat at night, drinking red wine and talking about how we were the Southernmost couple, in the Southernmost hot tub, drinking the Southernmost wine in the States. Yeah, everything at that end of Duval Street is the southernmost something…

5. Walked along the Old Bahia Honda Bridge

On my last trip to the Keys, I became fascinated by the old Bahia Honda Rail Bridge, which runs parallel to Route 1 and used to take old-time tourists south, in the days when there was no air conditioning and HOW DID THEY SURVIVE? I have searched high and low for a picture of it I stupidly didn’t buy when I saw it in Key West last time. I couldn’t find it this time, either, but we managed to stop at Bahia Honda State Park and take our own:

Bahia Honda bridge, FloridaThis time we also managed to walk along the first section of the bridge, up to the gap. Being us, we naturally did this in the noonday sun, when the temperature was 100 degrees. Never do that, folks: only stupid people do that. Despite almost being burnt alive, it was worth it for the view of the abandoned bridge, which had this unearthly, post-apocalyptic feel to it:

6. Almost got arrested. AGAIN.

Actually, it was my dad who almost got arrested, for speeding on the way down to the Keys. I mention it here, though, because being pulled over by the police is something that happens to us so often now that I’m thinking of starting a separate category for it here at the blawg. All I can say, though, is that in my experience, US cops are much nicer than UK ones, who always seem to have that “We don’t care if you’ve done nothing wrong, we’re going to find something to charge you with, bitch” look about them. This cop didn’t charge us, and we even got a “have a nice trip” from her, so really, as “almost getting arrested” episodes go, this was definitely one of the better ones. Note: don’t try it at home, though, kids.

7. Went to Miami for dinner

The Carlyle, Miami Beach

I know, it’s a long way to go for dinner, but seeing as we were there it would have been rude not to
… We were actually only there for a few hours, having taken a detour on the way back from Key West, but it was well worth it. Again, this was a second visit for me and a first for Terry. We ate on Ocean Drive and had a walk along the beach – it’s a city I’d love to spend more time in.

8. Bought a lot of shoes. A LOT of shoes.

Well, at least I know I’m in the right job, y’know? I mean, it would be strange if I didn’t buy shoes, really, wouldn’t it? WOULDN’T IT? I also bought boots but… yeah, we won’t talk about that.

7. Gave most of my money to Sephora.

Oh, Sephora, why can you not open a store near me? I mean, I could probably LIVE in that big old box on the left there, and just spend all my money on YOU, Sephora! Whaddya say, do we have a deal? (Terry – pretend you didn’t read that bit)

8. Flew through the air with the greatest of ease. Well, sort of.

Skyventure OrlandoOK, so if you’re ever in Orlando, go to Sky Venture on International Drive. Don’t argue with me, just do it. It’s basically a huge wind tunnel and, once inside it… you fly. They will dress you up in an ugly-ass jumpsuit (mine was red, natch, to totally clash with my hair), and you will look like an idiot, but you will FLY. You get two “flights” and, during the second one, the instructor grabs you and flies with you up to the top of the tunnel, then you spin round a few times, come whizzing down, then go back up, rinse and repeat. Unless, of course, you are me, in which case spectators will simply see you whizz off up the tunnel… then stay there. I dunno, I think I maybe got stuck. Also, I made stupid little “whoop!” noises the whole time I was in there. Damn. As you can see, I contrived to look as stupid as it’s humanly possible to look while doing this, but you will probably be luckier. Just do it.

9. Did a whole bunch of other things I totally can’t be bothered writing about right now

But I will write about them soon – mwahahaha!

Anyway, suffice to say we had a great, great time, and I am utterly devastated to be back home. I think I’ve said this before, but I’ve spent so much time in Florida now that it feels like a second home – in fact, Terry and I are really keen to buy a house out there soon, so we can spend more time there. Assuming, of course, that I stop spending all my money at Sephora, and that someone builds a bridge across the Atlantic, because the whole “air travel” thing? No fun AT ALL.

* With the help of my dad. Who got rid of the snakes with no help from me AT ALL.

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books by Amber Eve
  • Where to start? LOVE the shoes. And what is in the big Sephora box? Looooove Sephora.

    I feel the same way about Key West. Like one wrong step and you'll fall away forever. Glad you're back!

    September 12, 2007
  • Molly, it's a silver Sephora train case in the big box. And in the little box? A black travel one, that my dad bought me. Oh, I love me some Sephora…

    September 12, 2007
  • Fwee! Shopping at Sephora is my hobby! LOL Did you SEE the PINK METALLIC train case? I must have it. MUST. HAVE. I will surely die without it.

    Uhm, and my second hobby is shoe buying. 🙁 My husband thinks me insane but I can't help it! I have to have them to go with all the outfits that I bought. And he doesn't understand AT ALL that you can't just wear ANY black pump with your best dress. God, men can be so dense.

    That Bahia Honda bridge does look sort of spooky. I'm not certain that I'd cross it even by foot. But, I have an intense fear of bridges anyway.

    September 13, 2007
  • Erik (Sorrento)


    Wow! What a great trip you had!

    Now that you've experienced Soarin' and seen how great California is, will you PLEASE come here next time? Sheesh.

    That sounds like a curious experience being on the "bottom" of the US. I read that the "90 miles to Cuba" thing is inaccurate as it's 98 miles away. Still though, outside of Alaska, it's as close as you can get in the US to a "red" country in the history of the cold war.

    I agree about the air conditioning. We just had a heat wave with 7 straight days with temperatures over 105. Lot's of people died as a direct result of the heat. How could people have lived her before AC?

    As for the cop thing,I hate to say this, but likely the only reason your father didn't get a ticket was because he's foreign and it's virtually impossible to prosecute you as the penalties are mostly drivers license related (an American court can't suspend a UK drivers license in the UK). Maybe you can try speaking with an American accent next time you get pulled over in Scotland.

    We have the weakest dollar in 15 years. Going on a shopping spree was mandatory.

    That Sky Venture thing looks like a blast. I wanna do it!

    BTW, I'm going out of town for a few days. When I get back, I'll put more attention to my FB and will respond. See ya later!

    September 13, 2007
  • Erik – I know I say this all the time, but California is definitely on the "must visit" list – and yes, Soarin' is a fabulous advert for it 🙂

    Key West is a must see, although I have to agree with Molly in that it really feels like you could fall off the end of the world. You find yourself praying for no hurricaines the whole time you're there. Re: Cuba – no idea about the actual distance, but one of the bars in Key West was displaying some old advertising signs, some of which were advertising flights to Cuba for $10 (a long time ago, clearly, from the days when it was legal to fly to Cuba from Key West!)- they said something like "fly to Cuba in 20 minutes", so it's not too far. I think I remember reading that you're closer to Cuba than to the US mainland "proper" anyway – a strabge feeling.

    Oh, and definitely do Sky Venture if you can – they have a few other ones elsewhere in the world, so you may have one close!

    Jennifer – They didn't have the pink case in stock, but I've seen it on the website – *love*! The Bahia Honda bridge was pretty scary: I'm not so good with heights and got serious vertigo close to the edge. Well worth it, though 🙂

    September 13, 2007
  • Looks and sounds like you had a fabulous time!
    Welcome home!

    September 13, 2007
  • You sure had a great time!!! I like all those shoes in the pic, lovely!

    September 13, 2007
  • Looks like you had a great time! I'm so jealous!

    Those shoes are all super cute! And who doesn't love Sephora?

    Also, I'm sure the cops were nice to you because of the accents. Either that or only the cops that I run into are jerks. Maybe I should move to Florida?

    September 13, 2007
  • Oh, I'm dying to go to Florida again now! I've only been twice, and not for yonks…
    and must. go. to. Sephora. when i go to New York in November. MUST! x

    September 13, 2007
  • Great pictures! Truly amazing sunglasses in the first one. Am uber jealous of sunglasses. Am coveting sunglasses.

    Welcome back!

    September 13, 2007
  • Haley


    Oooh are those mary jane shoes from Target? I was looking at a pair just like that today in Target. Actually, I was frantically searching for a pair my size, which turned up nothing, same difference.

    September 14, 2007
  • They're not from Target, Hayley, they're Steve Madden. The Target ones were very similar, though.

    September 14, 2007
  • Heh. I "accidentally" ordered the pink train case. 🙁 What? It shipped for free and I had a discount gift card. It was an accident, I tell ya'!

    And I love the herringbone peep toes of all the shoes pictured. 😀

    September 14, 2007
  • Jennifer – hee! I "accidentally" order things all the time! You must post pictures when it arrives 🙂

    The herringbone peep toes were actually the cheapest of all the shoes I bought – $10!

    September 15, 2007
  • Oh, and while I'm here:

    Diane – you absolutely must go to Sephora while you're there! As Erik says, it's the weakest dollar in years, everything was HALF PRICE to me 🙂

    September 15, 2007
  • I sent a glass of red to you on Facebook to help ease the transition. Too bad it's only virtual, eh?

    September 17, 2007