Miami – Being terrified of scorpions, alligators & crocodiles. Star Island, Home of the famous and some HUGE houses.

The Everglades was an experience I’d really like to do again. We left the comfort of the heart of Miami to head a little way out to the Everglades to do a tour and try and see some alligators and crocodiles! It was a one of a kind experience and like I said I would totally go back and do it all over again. Firstly because the fan boats were so incredibly loud but SO much fun, they went a whole lot faster than I thought they would! And secondly, because we actually only saw one baby Alligator and that was about it!

I want to go again so that I have a little more of a chance to see some more of those water creatures I am so wonderfully afraid of! Although I say this now, chances are when it finally comes to going back It’ll be one of those things where I won’t see anything again. But the experience would be totally worth it.

 

We had a guide on the back of our fan boat, the boat sat about 15-25 people and we ended up at the back which meant we got given ear plugs because of how loud the fan was. Our guide was great, she was really talkative and open to all question and she actually got into the water at one stage of our tour where the water was only knee deep and all I could do was watch and listen and just PRAY that there was no creature with sharp teeth circling around her shins. It was pretty cool though when she just got back into the boat as if it was totally normal. But then I guess for her It was!

 

I could only imagine some of the beasts she’s been lucky enough to see on the huge area of water and grassland that is the Everglades! When we arrived back at the boat area we all piled out of the boat and headed towards a show area! Here we all sat around this large fenced area in the middle where another guide demonstrated how to tackle and catch an alligator or crocodile! I wasn’t the biggest fan of it, but it was so interesting to watch. And If I ever get into a spot of bother with an alligator or crocodile then I know how to handle it, because you know, its something I deal with on a regular basis in the UK… sure.

He also showed us other animals and reptiles and Its a safe to say GJ and I thoroughly enjoyed it when he decided to place a scorpion in his hands, pretty damn close to my entire body. The photographs sums up our exact emotions. BUT I did get to hold a baby alligator, and if thats not cool and totally doesn’t makes up for the fact he terrified me with a scorpion then I don’t know what will!

 

*****

When In Miami it would be almost rude not to do the boat tour of Star Island and all the other celeb inhibited areas! Although probably incredibly intrusive to those celebs that live on star island, some of the houses were absolutely out of this world. We went on the trip with Island Queen tours and it was honestly such a fun experience for our little trip.

The tour started in the harbour of Miami where theres also a huge market place! I bought a hoodie that said Miami on it and it lasted a grand total of one wash. I pulled it out of the washing machine and I hadn’t gone to Miami, I’d just gone to M-am- Instead, the letters had peeled of nicely!

 

We hopped onto this boat which had two tiers, it also had a bar with refreshments and an intercom across the entire boat so our guide could tell us who’s house/flat we were passing as well as all the other wonderful sights we did see. It wasn’t incredibly bumpy either on the boat so the journey was smooth. The water is such a clear blue when you hung your head out of the windows you could see all the jellyfish bobbing about in the water.

Not only did we get to see star island but you also get this totally different view of the Miami Skyline, all the cruise ships in the harbour were also massively impressive. It took us about an hour and a half to get around. We saw the houses that have been rented out by the likes of Kayne, P Diddy and houses that belong too Philip Frost, Shaquille O’Neall, Will Smith, Gloria Estefan and A few residents are women from the real housewives of Miami.

 

We also saw Fisher Island and Millionaire Row. Fisher Island is only accessible by helicopter or ferry and get people like Demi Moore and Bruce Willis renting the flats there. Plenty more famous faces still visit there too. It even has a golf course and a supermarket, I’d just never leave.

Nearing the end of the tour they take you under one of Miami’s main roads into the Port where the cruise ships sit and there were 5 HUGE big ships all docked. I’d never been so close to a cruise ship as nothing terrifies me more than cruise ships. But they looked wonderfully impressive from the outside, at a distance, in another boat that wasn’t a cruise ship. Much where I’d rather be!

 

We chose the best day for it too as there was no cloud in the sky! Overall I would totally go again, for the experience and because I enjoyed the boat trip that much!

 

 

Miami – Miami South Beach, Tiny Shorts wearing models & Nearly getting eaten by Sharks.

Miami south beach was my idea of perfect. I know I’m not yet travelled enough to have seen Thailand and Australia etc and I’m very sure my opinion will change once I do go to those places. But for now, Miami South Beach is my beach of dreams, its also where I realised I wanted to study tourism.

Our first day on Miami south was spent walking up and down the sand, not going that far into the water as there were swarms of jelly fish everywhere and watching a man nearly get eaten by sharks. No really,  he really did nearly get his ankles nibbled by a shark. But I shall get to that.

I was blown away. I love the beach. At home the beach is my happy place. So any beach that is more gorgeous than the seafront at home, which is most as its England, will never fail to absolutely blow me away. It had golden sand and the clearest sea I have ever swam in so far in my life. The lifeguard huts were even like ones you see from the movies. I fell in love. I won’t hide it.

This was also where I fell in love with the idea of working in the tourism industry. The influence of all the tourists and the sites that I saw as I wondered along the beach were something that made me realise that this industry was for me. So it really wasn’t just any old meaningless trip to Miami South for me because I decided my future. The best decision may I add.

One day I went for a wonder along Miami South on my own with just my headphones and I saw a stingray for the first time as it swam along the shoreline! I never thought I’d see one so close to the shore and because the sea was so clear it was so impressively large and swam so fast. i also saw a film crew filming someone who looked to be a male model, but its safe to say the swimming shorts were far to short for my liking.

The walk where the man nearly got bitten by the shark was an interesting one. I wasn’t on my own for this experience either so I had Imi’s shoulder to hide behind if I needed too. There was a a serious jellyfish problem at the time we were there so a few huge schools of fish were coming really close to the shore to feed, and following those schools of fish were some little sharks who wanted to eat the fish. Because they were so close to shore some man decided yeah Ill walk out into the water where the fish are, and the shark which you could see very clearly, and take some photos.

I think he realised the mistake he’d made when the shark spotted him and started to go for him and he was knee deep and humans running in knee deep water doesn’t always work in our favour. That and the shark was a lot faster than he was. So he literally JUST managed to make it back to the shallows before the shark decided he fancied fish instead of human for lunch.

5

Honestly you know when you’re cheering someone on to win a competition because they’re winning and an opponent is just behind them and you get that rush of excitement and you’re alrmost screaming for them to win? It was a lot like that because we didn’t want his ankles to be devoured.

One day Imi, GJ and I decided we wanted to go exploring to the end of the beach where there was South Pier. The view of the coastline from south pier was literally something from a magazine, I was speechless. It made me realise Miami is a beautiful place. The other side of the pier was the harbour and I think what made it was when the disney cruise ship was leaving the harbour and they sounded the horn that played disney tune and I melted. It was an impressively large harbour and port which can hold up to 5 cruise ships! But I’ll get to that in my next post about our Star Island trip!

My stepmum and I also did a beach run along the boardwalk that they have along the top of the beach, almost like a promenade. That was perfect to run on. It was also incredibly hot, but really perfect for a 6 mile run as we went a little earlier in the morning! We tried to run along the sand but as you can imagine that wasn’t the easiest!

So the verdict from Miami south was that I’m going to live there one day and bury myself  under the sand so I never have to leave ever again. And go to Nikki Beach. 

 

 

Orlando To Miami – ROAD TRIPPIN’!!

We decided from the start of the holiday we were going to drive to Miami South Beach from Orlando as a convoy, two SUV cards both packed and ready to roll for the 5 hour journey! And it didn’t disappoint. Honestly I spent a majority of the journey wondering how the hell my parents knew where they were going. We did two initial stops, although there was a quick one because we got lost being adventurous.

162We’d been driving about an hour when we stopped for a toilet break and some breakfast,  Dunkin’ Doughnuts? Don’t mind if we do. The scenery hadn’t changed much; we could tell we were still in the depths of Orlando, but there was a lot less around as were were driving. Not as many buildings or places to stop and enjoy. So once we’d stopped at Dunkin’ Doughnuts and stocked up on munch and were satisfied, we were off on our road trip once again to the holy land.

A little further along the way more buildings and roads and cars generally appeared, which meant we were getting somewhere, and getting closer! We stopped for lunch on our journey to Miami at Palm Beach! I didn’t catch the name of restaurant we went to but we sat outside under a canopy and all 13 of us enjoyed a big lunch! Us younger ones went for a wander along the beach, there was a huge pier which I wish we’d had time to walk down. There were also countless volley ball pitches on the sand, which was awesome but I can’t play volley ball for love nor money. The food was lovely and it was a really good break in the journey as it was starting to get a bit tedious.

We got a little lost before we finally managed to make it to Miami. I could never have told you the route we followed but it involved looking at a lot of beautiful beachside houses that were impressively large. We had to make a stop to stretch the legs and figure out which way was the right way but we made it in the end!

I remember arriving in Miami and being absolutely lost for words. What a place is all I have to say. I would live in Miami if anyone gave me the chance because its hands down the place of my dreams. Beautiful beaches, houses, fast cars, better lifestyle, god If only.

One day hey! I’ll be writing about my experience in Miami from here on! These were some of my favourite experiences of the holiday!

154

 

 

Orlando – Hot Air Balloon Mornings & A Beautiful Villa.

Orlando and Miami was a once in a lifetime holiday for me. I went with another two families and my own and we spent 10 days in Orlando at the parks and enjoying life and then a couple of days in Miami afterwards in absolute bliss. It was the best two weeks of my life in terms of travel, going to the disney parks, exploring Miami, what wasn’t to be loved.

This is that start of a very long Saga of blog posts, but only because there is so much I can write about, and I’m pretty sure those reading and those interested will enjoy it.

I’m going to go through Orlando, discuss the parks and what we did outside the parks too, then write about our road trip to Miami and how we stopped off at palm beach, and then from there Ill be writing about Miami and things like the everglades and star island etc, So theres a nice little summary of what is to come!

*****

The plane journey was your typical 8 hours, long haul, over night with no leg room. But I was with 4 of my favourite ladies for the duration of the flight and surrounded by families I also loved, so It was enjoyable. Not to mention the tears cried at the movies we watched on the plane #tragedies

Where we stayed was next level up the ranks I’ve never stayed in anything like it type of deal. It was phenomenal, very grateful to stay in such a place, waking up the following morning after going to bed and settling in with everyone the night before was really gorgeous as we stepped out onto the balcony of one of the bedrooms.

Usually an American flag flies too but this time it was also a hot air balloon! Lord knows why we were awake early enough to see the hot air balloon and gorgeous sunrise.

420

We used rental cars from the airport so it was easier to drive to parks and to Miami together as a convoy. Lets just say the house was a pretty beautiful place, pool tables and ping pong tables to an actual pool. It was impressive, I never thought I’d be lucky enough to stay somewhere like it, especially with a cinema room too! I guess you get the picture, although just in case you didn’t, here are some.

Ive said it once and I’ll say it again, the house was beautiful and god was it a pleasure to stay in. I shared a bedroom with my friend GJ when we were in Orlando, we had our own en suite and wardrobe, and a bed that was beyond comfortable and huge, safe to say I slept like a baby when I did go to bed. I couldn’t even reach Georgia from across one side of the bed! Everyone had really gorgeous rooms and it was very cosy and homey. Its in a gated area, so its pretty pristine, everything house is slightly similar, all shapes and sizes too though, America is just so different to the UK its fascinating.

The villa was about 20 minutes away form the parks, not even that to be honest. It was also near a few restaurants that we visited like Red Lobster, we also went to an Italian nearby often too which was so lovely, We kept going back! If someone gave me the opportunity to stay in a place like this again I would 11110% say yes.

One day I’ll visit all 50 states #dreams.

Vienna – Sight-Seeing Galore!

There’s plenty of things to do and see when traveling about in Vienna! At least thats how I felt, we walked for ages some days but through the painful feet we always saw some beautiful things.

One of the most gorgeous places we went when we were in Vienna was the Schoenbrunn Castle, the gardens and the Gloriette.

The inside of the palace walls blew me away because the palace was so huge and impressive, it was a light beige colour and very authentic, it was like nothing Id ever seen before, purely for its size! If you head round the side of the castle you can walk through the rose cage and into the castle gardens which are just as impressive in size as the castle.

To walk up the to the Gloriette and to get an incredible view of Vienna you had to walk through their gardens directly behind the castle first. Theres a large fountain before the steep hill up towards the Gloriette, the architect didn’t hold back when building this place because everything about it is impressive in terms of size, the fountain is also, you guessed it, huge.

The gardens went on for miles, I believe somewhere within all the gardens theres a zoo?! There was also what appeared to be a botanical garden in a large greenhouse like building, it was really unique form the outside. I totally wish I’d gone inside when I had the chance, it was very photogenic, the whole of the gardens and palace are.

The trek up the hill to see the Gloriette was totally worth it. Not only was the Gloriette gorgeous but so was the view. I’d wanted to walk up the hill from the moment I saw it so I could see the view and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

The Gloriette is unbelievably impressive and towers over the hill, it also has a little cafe inside too! The sight of it and the attention to detail on the statues, the arches and the writing that is on the building, and the general structure of it would be any architects dream for sure. It’s been there since 1755 and also displays trophies and Roman Empire armour and many other Roman trinkets.

*****

The Danube is the river that runs through Vienna, we walked along it when we were shopping in town and when we got the tube one day. We got off at the stop where it’d on the bridge over the danube, it was lovely and was a gorgeous day which made the view a whole lot better.

We sat on the steps down to the water when we walked along side it, It was warm and I took my shoes off wandering up and down the steps, some of the graffiti on the walls was funky too, some of it was so well done!

*****

One of the first places that Julia took Jake and I was Karlzplatz, where I accidentally got a photo of the car park and put it on my insta saying how gorgeous it was there when really it was majority car park, so yeah, reaaaaally gorgeous haha!

But the Opera House in Karlzplatz is one that Tom Cruise jumped off in one of the Mission Impossible films (Mission Impossible 5)! I was I’d had the chance to see the Opera so I guess it gives me a very good excuse to visit again! They also held the premier for the Mission Impossible 5 film at the opera house!

*****

One morning we decided to not let our hangovers defeat us and we went on a road trip to a lake and man made beach! When we got there we paid about €5 to get in, then when inside they had changing areas and toilets, a huge balcony seating area on the water and multiple beanbags and sun-beds to chill out on. Theres a field of grass behind all this and then if you carry on walking theres a man made beach with sand and all! We set up on the sand with our towels and got tanning.

It was really cool to chill out and tan our hangovers away, we also went for a swim in the lake and it was so fretting. Theres a restaurant / cafe also there were we got lunch and could look over the lake. It was a really pretty place and a perfect day with friends.

*****

We spent a day shopping in Vienna, I’ll never forget storming to the till in Zara and Julia not really giving Jake any choice on the matter in buying a €50 cardigan. I’ve never asked Jake if he wears it so Jake if you’re reading this let me and Julia know!

We walked through the streets of Vienna looking at all the fancy shops and restaurants, we walked past places like Gucci, Chanel and Marc Jacobs and it all looked so flawless. Of course there was H&M, Forever 21, all the just as brilliant and cheaper shops for the broke students like me! The shops that got me the most was the #Respect Your Ass shop where you could make your won customised pair of jeans, It was cool inside and out, I wish I’d got some.

There were also plenty of statues dotted about which were made of gold! We had the nice Ice cream whilst walking back as it was getting a bit cold, and what better log then to have Ice cream when you’re cold. It was SO NICE. I rate Ice cream and that stuff was gorgeous.

Whilst out shopping we came across St, Stephens Cathedral, I never realised how cool the roof of the cathedral was until I saw it myself. It’s all patterned with zig zags in different colours. It was something different, especially for a cathedral!

More architectural beauty for sure in the heart of Vienna!