This holiday did start with a flight from Schiphol at Amsterdam to the international Airport of Orlando in Florida. In comparison with 10 years ago, we are now with only just the 2 of us. On the airport we did pickup our rental car and we did drive to our first Hotel ("Blue Palm Resort ***") in Orlando. There we did stay for 3 nights. From this hotel we did visit the first day Orlando. A town with a small centre where you can find a real and nice steam locomotive. There are also very high office buidings. The second day we did go with a hotel-shuttle to Disney's Magic Kingdom. The shuttle did bring us to Epcot, and from there we did go by Disney's internal transport (monorail) to Magic Kingdom. During this bus or monorail trip (on May 26, 2010), the space shuttle Atlantis did land for the last time on KCS. However we did not see this event because we did not hear the Sonic boom. For the very first time we were at the official day opening of Magic Kingdom. Then a Train arrives and all famous Disney characters are waving to the people and they do welcome you and asking you to enter the park.
The next day (May 27, 2010)we went to "Kennedy Space Centre" (KSC). From far you can see the 160 meter (525 feet) high Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). On the KSC complex was very much to see. First a short walk through a small museum, then a guide tour through the rocket garden, where we could walk over the original bridge that was used to let Neil Armstrong walk to the capsule of the Apollo 11, the first moonwalk. Then we did take the bus for a tour over the complex, to the lookout point near the launching platforms (LC39A en LC39B), used for Apollo (1961-1972) and Space Shuttle. In the future (2018-2021) these platforms will also be used for the Constellation Project. This trip did bring us also to the Apollo museum. If you can remember that era, it is a very nice and impressive museum. At the end we did look into a real Space Shuttle. We did not expect before that there was so much to see that one day was nearly enough. At the end of that day we did take a Hotel in Cocoa Beach, just below Cape Canaveral.
The next morning we did travel via Fort Lauderdale to Hollywood, a couple of miles above Miami. From there we did go to a couple of nice beaches, and with the train and metro we went to Miami. There we did visit mainly South Beach with the famous Art Deco houses. At the end we did travel again back with the metro and the train to our Hotel in Hollywood.
The next day we did leave Hollywood for a long ride over the Florida Keys to Key West. This ride goes over the Florida Keys with his 42 bridges. Ounce we did arrive in Keywest we did find a nice hotel, in the neighborhood of the Duval Street, the main street of Key West. We did visit the southernmost point of the Continental U.S.A, only 90 miles from Cuba. We also did see enormous Cruise ships, which were present in the harbor. There was also a kind of party at the beach boulevard, where at 20:00 hour the sunset can be seen. On the boulevard all kind of people are performing to get some extra money.
From Keywest we did drive back over the 42 bridges with the destination Naples (just below Fort Myers), where we were also 10 years ago. We did stay now far most in the north of Naples, and also more closely to the beach. We did drive to Naples South to see the pier were we did go to the beach then in 2000. What we did see now, is that there were no pelicans on the pier. Every roof was protected with wire, so the pelicans where not able to sit on the roofs. We did see just as 10 years ago dolphins and even a sea turtle swimming in the sea.
After Naples we did driver further to Homosassa Springs, to visit the Homosassa Springs State Park where you can see the Manatees. There was beside the Manatees also a Hippo, called "Lu", who did perform in the TV-Series Daktari (episode "The Return of Ethel and Albert" in 1968).
But there were also crocodiles and very many birds, even some real American Eagles and flamingos. The visit was very interesting to do. Just adjacent of the park was our hotel, where we did stay for one night.
Our final visit was to the Spanish town at the east coast of Florida, called St Augustine. It is one of the oldest Spanish settlements in the US. Here the Spanish Sailors did for the First time put foot on American soil. There is also a large Spanish fortress. It has a nice cozy centre and some nice but also old Spanish houses. At the end of the day we did spent some time at the beach of St Augustine.
The next and also last day we did travel towards Daytona Beach. On both beaches it was allowed to drive on the beach with your car, if you did pay some money to the guard. After some time we did decide to leave and the go to the airport and to bring our car back to the rental station.
A nice journey to the "Sunshine State" of Amerika was again over.
Pictures of our roundtrip from Florida.
Click on a picture to see a bigger image.
Information over America can be found here.
Information over the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) can be found here.
Information over the NASA programma can be found here.
Information over the Wild Life Park in Homosassa Springs can be found here.
Information over Key West can be found here.