Day 1 – Left for Florida. Flight was delayed by half an hour so we left about 11:30 pm PST. We arrived at the airport about 7 pm. A long wait in the airport especially when there’s an 8-year-old that’s easily bored.
Day 2 – Arrived in Orlando at about 9 am, local time. Took the shuttle to the car rental place, that took longer than necessary, but was in Universal Studios by noon. Went to a couple of rides and the Hogwarts Express. It rained. Got to the resort about 9’ish or more around 10 pm. The two men went to nearby Walmart to shop for supplies. They arrived and made a wonderful saltless (we forgot to put salt and pepper on the grocery list) chicken fajita.
Day 3 – Second day in Universal Studios. Got to take a lot of the rides and was in long lines for most of the day too. Those rollercoaster rides were too much for me, but I had to go on them. I just closed my eyes the entire time. Also went to a ride that soaked us from head to foot, which was good given the heat and humidity of the day.
Day 4 – a break from the theme park routine. Decided this was beach day. Drove 1 ½ hours to Cocoa Beach. Beautiful beach, warm water, wide sandy beach and not crowded. On the way back, stopped at a Venezuelan restaurant for dinner – we had arepas, tostones, fried yucca, empanadas, etc.
Day 5 – DisneyWorld day. Today is the only day we allotted for Magic Kingdom. And today happened to be the hottest and most humid day of the week. The heat was brutal. I nearly lost it. We did a few rides, went back to relive memories by going to Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World and Jungle Cruise. These rides are not magical anymore. Anyway, rain happened again, like each day this week at about the same time every day. Waited out the rain then resumed activities and watched the magical electrical parade and the fireworks at Cinderella’s castle. Left after the 9 pm fireworks, our friends stayed behind until the park closed.
Day 6 – Husband and I went back to Universal Studios to take the Transformer ride, because we didn’t do it on day 3. We also took the Hogwarts Express going the other way and did a bit of shopping. While we spent the day in Universal Studios our friends had another beach day. They drove to Daytona Beach and enjoyed sun, sea, and sand all day long.
Day 7 – Flight out is at 10 pm today. While our friends went to Universal Studios, the husband and I went for a drive to Tampa a little over an hour’s drive. Then we scouted out the food trucks and got some more Latin food before heading out to the airport. Husband got sick on Day 5 – he was coughing and was running a fever. On day 7, I got sick. Got home at 3 am.
COMMENTS: I enjoyed Orlando more than I expected and more than I enjoyed Miami. Although in Miami's defense, I was only in the city for 2 days and that is simply not enough time to taste and see the offerings of the city.
Cocoa Beach is quite nice too. The beach part is awesome, the main city is not so much. At least didn't get to see much. I would not rule out a return to Orlando with or without a visit to the theme parks.
One more vacation time on the list for 2016 and that's coming up in November (2 weeks) and I still don't know where we'll go. However, one thing is sure, we will stay stateside for this vacation. We are thinking of revisiting San Diego since it's nearly 10 years since we last visited it and now that I have reconnected with my college pal who lives in San Diego and who came to visit me in July I thought San Diego is a sure destination. Likewise, I am thinking of spending a few days in Sedona, long overdue. I've been planning on going back to Sedona since I fist visited it nearly 10 years ago also.