Everglades and Kennedy Space Centre

Hey peeps,

Hope everyone is well. I have a half marathon tomorrow and am not quite feeling prepared! I did manage  8 miles on Tuesday evening, so at least that is over half way, but my 12 mile run seems a while ago now (I think it’s a month ago). Partly because of this holiday! Which was awesome.

We booked flights to Florida from Madrid (because the passenger duty is much cheaper from European cities- no way we would have managed in the school holidays otherwise), so on Friday evening as soon as I got home we had to head to the train station, go to Gatwick and then fly to Madrid.

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Friday evening flight

I bought a lovely salad from Pret to enjoy on the plane, along with a spiced orange hot chocolate- starting the holiday off in style! After a short stay in the airport hotel, we were back in the airport bright and early on Saturday morning ready to fly to Miami.

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Flew over the Bahamas

After picking up the car we had about an hours drive to our hotel, and had a walk in the evening to get some dinner before trying to stay away beyond 8pm!

Usually I would wake up early, but I was shattered from a week of work so slept for 12 hours-crazy!

We then drove into the Everglades National Park. By the way, the American National Parks are the biggest bargain in the entire world. For I think $80, you can get a ticket, for a year, for a car load of people, Valid for any park, and unlimited entries. Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, plus loads of other amazing places.

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We drove into the Everglades, visited the Visitors Centre, and then headed out on a few walks around the water.

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We saw these huge grasshoppers.

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An alligator (we saw a couple, but they were so hard to photograph as were so well camouflaged)

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And a turtle!

We did a few walks in different parts of the park, and then headed to our next hotel, closer to a beach.

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After checking in, we had a wander around the town (which was very empty) and the headed to the beach (along with everyone else). We sat outside at a bar, had some dinner while live music was being played at the place next door.

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This was the view at dinner. Perfect.

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Then we walked along the beach a bit, and sat for a while watching the pelicans diving.

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Just after seeing this, we saw a manatee in the water! I was so excited by this, as I have only seen them in rescue centres before. But it went underwater before we could take a photo.

The next morning we were off to Kennedy Space Centre. We had been there years ago (possibly 12 years ago?) so a lot had changed.

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As soon a we arrived we got on the bus tour which takes you around the various launch sites and buildings.

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That is what a launch does to metal!

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It is hard to imagine the scale of the rockets.

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I even got to touch a piece of moon rock! How exciting!

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We saw some more rockets, and then went inside another building for an IMax film about the space shuttles, which was brilliant. The most amazing part was going into the room afterwards and seeing one of the shuttles.

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Very cool.

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They had a ride, which Andy did, but I didn’t fancy, so I looked at some of the other exhibits- it’s a bit like the Science Museum space section, with astronaut suits, the car they ride in to the launch and other paraphernalia.

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It was interesting to hear about the new companies (like Space X) and what they are building. We saw information about inflatable domes to be used potentially on Mars, or as additions to the Space Station.

Even though I would not fancy being an astronaut, I always loved astrophysics and it was inspiring to see all the obstacles the engineers had to overcome. 2015-05-25 15.28.16

 

It was a great place to visit, and I am very glad we made the time to go there this time.

We left mid-afternoon, for the drive to Orlando. During the drive we went across a long causeway (I think) and saw lots of dolphins leaping in the sea- very exciting! Once in Orlando, we stopped at a few shops, and then drove through the gates…

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But I will save that for another day.

What did you want to be when you were younger? I was too practical for my own good I think. I considered being a zoo keeper until I realised I would have to clean up the muck, and I didn’t like the idea of breathing through a tube so astronaut was out pretty quickly.

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10 thoughts on “Everglades and Kennedy Space Centre

  1. I always wanted to be a vet when I was younger, to the point where I actually did work experience at a surgery when I was fourteen. Sadly I realised then that there was no way I could ever live with myself if I put an animal to sleep, even though it’s obviously the kindest thing to do. After that I wanted to be an artist or a graphic designer, and still wish I’d pursued that as a career path. I’m horribly claustrophobic, so being an astronaut never appealed much – seeing the movie Apollo 13 when I was 9 or 10 sealed the deal for me. I’ll keep my feet firmly on planet Earth!

    My Dad is obsessed with all things space and sci-fi, so he would absolutely love the Kennedy Space Centre 🙂

    • Oh yes I thought of that too, but then I didn’t want to have to put animals to sleep! I did work experience and a kennel and cattery and that put me off a bit too!

  2. Like Jess I also wanted to be a vet although I’m not academic enough to have ever gotten into vet school. I did work as a receptionist at an equine and farm animal vets between sixth form and uni though. Next best thing?! When I was much younger apparently I wanted to be a toilet cleaner! High ambitions hey?!
    It is the animals and the wildlife that most makes me want to visit America again. I’ve been to New York and spent 14 weeks in Idaho after finishing my GCSEs but there’s still so much I would like to see.

    • Ha ha I love that ambition! Brilliant!
      The National Parks in the USA are amazing for wildlife too (although I even love seeing the chipmunks which the locals seem to think are just small squirrels- they don’t realise how lucky they are!)- I don’t think I would get bored of visiting a different park for each holiday- so many walks and beautiful views and animals to see.

  3. So cool! I always wanted to be a photographer when I was younger (surprisingly!) and Im still trying to pursue that….love seeing pictures of your travels – so inspiring!

  4. That’s good to know about reducing the cost of the flight down! I never knew that!
    The holiday sounds fantastic. I love the idea of going to the National Parks. I always love to do a lot of walking on holiday and seeing some lovely sights.
    I’ve been to the Space Center when I was eight and was fascinated by it – but I can’t remember too much of it now.
    When I was really young I wanted to be a painter but I have no artistic talent whatsoever so that was a bit of long-shot!! When I grew a bit older I wanted to be a psychologist but university changed my mind about that – it was not what I wanted to go into at all.

    • Yes it is a great tip- we looked at a few flights from Oslo, Amsterdam, Paris etc as they all had much cheaper air tax- worth a hunt around if you are going away.
      I loved painting when I was younger- I always think when I retire I will take it up again as it is so relaxing.

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