Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The days keep rolling by....

Finally, a catch up day!  A chance to sleep-in a bit and do everything that needs doing before we head on to our next town. Now to catch you all up.  After our busy Key West day we had to make the decision about visiting the Bahamas.  We had all hoped that this would fit into our schedule but after a lot of research and question asking we discovered that all of the ferries to the Bahamas had ceased operation in September - aargh, so close and yet so far.  Our only option was to fly over which would cost approximately $1000 for the 3 of us.  We had also discovered that unless you were planning on going to the private resorts it was pretty much just another town.  We decided that it just wasn't worth the time and money so it was promptly crossed off our list.  We have learned along the way that some things sound more glamorous than they actually are so we're not obsessing over the things that we thought were important. So....
Day 4 - Tiahna and I both slept in - yay. We then checked out of The Best Western at Miami (despite still not receiving our sim card that had been ordered before we left Australia - more on that later) and headed up to Orlando - a three and a half hour drive.  Checked into a Choice hotel for $44 a night including breakfast - accommodation is so cheap here.  We then went shopping at some Premium Outlets (Thanks Ton for the VIP membership sign up, saving lots of money on already cheap prices!!!). Whilst I'm on the point of cheap prices - here is my current top USA tip: If you have RACQ membership bring the card with you.  RACQ is part of the AAA group here in the US, we've had cheap accommodation and discount at theme parks including all purchases in parks. So worth it!!
Day 5 - Gary and Tiahna had a sleep in.  We spent several hours trying to sort out our mobile phone issues - what a hassle.  Gary had done his homework and pre-purchased a sim card in the US before we left Australia.  It had to be sent to a US address so we had it sent to our friends who forwarded it to our Miami hotel so it would be there when we arrived - unfortunately it never showed up.  The problem here is that none of the prepaid sims for the major companies that allow data usage work on iPhones - how stupid!! Anyway that's why we haven't been able to give you a phone number for us.  I've emailed it through to several people now so hopefully everyone that needs it will have it.
After this we had lunch at the world's largest McDonalds.  Then more outlet shopping (a different centre this time) and Tiahna has bought her very first real Guess handbag and matching purse - one happy girl!
Day 6 - Woke up early and headed to 'Islands of Adventure' which is one of the Universal Parks.  So many choices to make - which parks, how many days??? Bottom line - there are 2 major choices - Disney or Universal.  Disney is made up of 4 individual parks and you have to pay for entry into each, Universal has 2 which is also separate entry.  We had always agreed that we'd go to 'Islands of Adventure' as Tiahna wanted to visit 'The Wizarding World of Harry Potter'. None of us were interested in Universal (Gary and I visited it in LA), and we had all been to Disney in LA.  We decided to visit the one park and see how we felt about Disney after that.  Also (next tip) despite what people tell you, it is possible to upgrade your tickets once you are in the park so it's a great idea to buy a one day ticket and decide if you want to upgrade after that.
We had a fantastic day at 'Islands of Adventure', it is easy to visit in 1 day.  We spent half the day at Harry Potter and the other half visiting the rest of the park.  Tiahna went on the 'Forbidden Journey' ride 4 times (once was enough for Gary and I), 'The Dragon Challenge' 1 time and 'The Hulk' 1 time.  We had lunch at 'The Three Broomsticks' which was quite yummy - I even had 'Butter Beer' to drink which I really enjoyed.  A very enjoyable place to visit - Beck and Josh would love it!! Lots of great photos to show you all.  Decided a drive past Disney and a walk along 'Downtown Disney' would suffice so that was it with theme parks (we're really not that into them anyway).
And that brings us to.......
Day 7 - Catch up day.  We have little bits and pieces we need to do before moving on to Cape Canaveral tomorrow where we will visit the Kennedy Space Centre - stay tuned!!
Love you all


  1. Thanks for keeping us up to speed, Sis - and for sticking your toe in the water. I'm sure I felt a connection via the kitchen tap, being just an ocean away! Luv, Roy & Co xxx

  2. And so the fun continues! Sounds like you are all making the most of it. I never used my phone as a phone o'seas and quite enjoyed it that way. Did not miss it as I used it for fb and emails and it did not cost any extra! Looking forward to the next episode as you create some more adventures!