Fun in Florida!
It was such a shame that when making travel arrangements for IAAPA, the flights worked on a one-week return basis only. I knew that the event only really required a four day visit, so it was a dilemma wondering how to fill the remaining three days. What a nightmare!
First off, the car hire firm had run out of the budget hatchbacks that I’d reserved, so had to upgrade me to a sparkling blue and truly American Dodge Avenger. The noisy engine, cool sound system that connected via Bluetooth to my ipod and the sheer ostentatiousness of it made me a little embarrassed initially. Especially when my wife called me a wally on facebook. But it turned out to be a lot of fun. The sun was out, the windows were down and we had Miami by Will Smith blasting from the speakers. I’m sure we entertained the pedestrians. They probably couldn’t get enough of how cool we were.
Universal Studios was amazing. I love theme parks anywhere, but not having the kids with me was a bonus that I probably shouldn’t admit to. Of course they’d love it. But this time I could actually try some of the grown up rides, and they weren’t for the faint hearted! I especially loved the tester seats at the entrance to the ride queues, to let you know if your behind was small enough to ride. Only in America! After an exhausting day of laughter and thrills we decided to bust our guts with a visit to the World’s Biggest Hard Rock Café. I’ve visited a few record-breakers this year, including Europe’s tallest hotel, the world’s only tattoo museum, the world’s largest indoor theme park (obviously), Europe’s first and 2nd largest theme parks. Well, you get the idea. It was comforting to find that the food and décor was exactly the same as in London, Paris, New York and Amsterdam.
So the following day we decided to find somewhere truly authentically American. In Miami. We failed. We tried hard to find alligators, but failed there too. I did, however, skateboard along Miami Beach and get to see some of the sights from my 2nd favourite film, The Birdcage.
My final day called for a visit to the Kennedy Space Centre. Although the Interactive Atlantis Shuttle exhibit doesn’t open until next year, we got to see two fantastic shows featuring a rocket launch and a moon landing. Most interesting of all were the ‘abandoned’ buildings (warehouses – the size of an English town). These were on the periphery of the exhibition site, and appeared clean and not at all like the abandoned buildings in the Walking Dead. They probably keep aliens in them. Or Illegal Immigrants.
A few days wasn’t nearly enough to experience Florida. But I’ll be back with the family. And for IAAPA 2013. Need a few months to load up on the vegetables first!