A Travellerspoint blog

Tamiami Trail US41

sunny 25 °C

I was reading a blog entry on one of the blogs I follow, "Key West Diary", and the latest post is about crossing the state on US41 - https://conchscooter.blogspot.com/2021/01/alligator-alley.html

It brought a couple of memories of when I did it in 1991 and when Claire and I did it a few years back on route from Punta Gorda to Weston.

In December 1991 I was staying with a work colleague and friend, Carole Belcher, in the south of Miami in Cutler I had the loan of a Kawasaki Z750 twin from her neighbour I only knew as Sgt Steve. He was in the air force based at Homestead.

I had already done a trip to Key West and decided a longer trip to Sarasota to see where my Cavalcade had come from was the next trip. Remember in 1991 there was no internet.

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I set off along US41 stopping at various places to check out the Everglades. One stop was because I saw a large alligator on the opposite side of the water filled ditch. He or she was seemingly asleep just 20 feet from the traffic lane. I parked up the road and crouched down and went as quietly as I could armed with my camera... I got quite close, just the 8 feet of water away and it opened it eyes and dived (dove?) into the water. I ran as fast as I could back to the bike.... Someone had told me that on the flat a gator could manage about 30mph in a straight line...

Later on I stopped at a Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center where there were loads of them in the ditch and a crowd of people hanging over the fence to look at them.

On the way back after an overnight stay on Sanibel Island I stopped at the Miccosukee Indian reservation on US41 and had the airboat ride and watched the guys wrestling the gators...

Sadly none of the photos from this part of the trip have survived.

My next visit was in May 2014. Claire and had spent a week in Punta Gorda and done the usual tourist things like the Edison Ford complex in Fort Myers and the Muscle Car collection in Punta Gorda.

Our second week was to be in Weston. We used I75 to get to Naples and then took US41 across the state. Partly because we didn't have a Sun Pass in the rental Mustang and partly as I wanted to check out the "old road" and the Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center.

We weren't disappointed with the drive across, stopping at a few turnouts to walk the boardwalks. we saw plenty of birds but no gators or even turtles.

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The parking at Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center was pretty packed with cars and RV's. It is difficult to remember back 23 years to my previous visit so I have no great recollection of how it had changed!

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From there it was off to Weston and our apartment.

Posted by InvictaMoto 12:06 Archived in USA Tagged florida alligators tamiami_trail us41 Comments (0)

Grand Canyon Railway

sunny 30 °C

As part of our Arizona Route 66 trip we stopped for a couple of nights in Williams AZ. Way before setting off from the UK I had been looking at places along R66 to stay and to visit.

There is a long list of places in the various Route 66 guide books and of course, these ere pencilled in. Although a fair way from the Mother Road as it is, we had already been to Monument Valley with a stay in Kayenta. On the way up we'd also "done" the Canyon de Chelly.

Of course the Grand Canyon was on the checklist. Surely no visitor to northern Arizona could miss a trip there?

So as part of my planning I saw that the Grand Canyon Railway from WIlliams to the Canyon was running. I went on the website and booked the tickets. Choosing the Observation Dome for the way up to the Canyon and Coach on the way back.

We arrived in Williams the afternoon before the train journey and booked into the Grand Canyon Hotel. Maybe a more down market hotel would have sufficed, but this hotel is pretty antique and historic! The lack of air conditioning might not be a problem early and late in the year but in May it was stifling. The hotel is right on the eastbound leg of R66 through the town.

Grand Canyon Hotel Williams AZ

Grand Canyon Hotel Williams AZ

Anyway back to the train.

We went over to the station to pick up the tickets that afternoon and had a walk around the station. There is a hotel at the station but we didn't see that when searching for a booking.

There is an engine at the station. It is HUGE. I love a steam engine and this is massive!

Grand Canyon Railway Engine

Grand Canyon Railway Engine

We then adjourned to the hotel and as it started to get dark we had a walk around the town and all the neon sights/sites before dinner and bed. Tomorrow was the railway and the Canyon itself.

Up early and breakfast was taken across the road at Pine Country restaurant before we headed across the tracks to the train itself. Departure was 9.30am. They have a mock gunfight show before we boarded the train, and I was glad that I wasn't one of the front row guys pulled out to join the cowboys!

The journey up was pretty good as the cars are air conditioned and it was starting to get hot. After abround 90 minutes and we were there. I took some more photos of the train before we set off from the canyon end station.

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

The Canyon itself. What can you say? It is simply mind blowing. Photos just can't do it justice. We walked along the south rim from the train depot firstly west to the Kolb Studio and then back to the Visitor Centre. As we had limited time before the train was going to head back it was really only a fleeting visit!

I did take quite a few photos down into the "hole" but as I said, photos can't do justice to that awesome view!

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

By the time we got to the Visitor Centre it was getting late and so we took one of the buses back to the train depot. It seemed to take ages but when we arrived at the train and found our carriage we were first aboard.

We chugged back to Williams. On the way there was a holdup. The cowboys from earlier stopped the train and came aboard to rob us. Although they seemed too nice and just were rude to some of the passengers! I lucked out again!

And then that was it. We pulled into Williams and the trip was over.Back to the hotel and then out to a neon restaurant for dinner.

Posted by InvictaMoto 10:31 Archived in USA Tagged grand_canyon williams grand_canyon_railway grand_canyon_hotel Comments (1)

Marathon FL

When we have stayed in Weston before we have always had a trip out for an overnight stay. Previously we have been to Key West and stayed overnight in a 50's styled motel.

This year, we decided that the motel prices in Key West were to high that we'd look elsewhere. In the end I was looking on booking.com for somewhere in the Keys to stay. Claire especially likes the Dolphin Research Center (58901 Overseas Hwy, Grassy Key, FL 33050-6019 https://dolphins.org) and so that became the focus of the trip.

I set TomTom and instructed it to avoid toll roads. It should have been a simple straight line. Out of Weston, turn left on 27 and then 997 and go down there until Homestead and US1 all the way.

Instead, TomTom took us some bandylegged route towards Fort Lauderdale and onto I95. It was packed in the morning and every junction was stuffed. In the end even with the no-tolls setting we ended up on a short stretch of the Don Shula Expressway which is short but tolled. After that we ended up on US1 all the way to Homestead and Key Largo.

I had booked into the Sea Dell Motel (5000 Overseas Hwy, Marathon FL www.seadellmotel.com) for a night and as we were quite early we went for a "fly past" to make sure we knew where it was.

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Fly-past achieved we needed lunch and I saw the Barrucuda Grill (4290 Overseas Hwy, Mile Marker 49. 5 Bay Side, Corner 43rd Street, Marathon, FL 33050-2335 https://www.barracudagrillkeys.com) on the right and pulled into the dusty car-park. Nose on to the building. We had seafood. Perfect and not too much. As I was driving we stuck to Diet Cokes.

What next?

As we were so close it was a good time to take a drive over the Seven Mile Bridge. So we did. The high wall makes photography from a car quite difficult and even a waste of digital power....

I turned around at Bahia Honda and we turned north again - "Destination Dolphin" had begun.

The run back is about 23 miles and traffic was quite light as I guess many people were still at lunch. We arrived and turned left across the traffic into the car park and looked for the most elusive of things - shade. None.

On entry we were stamped on the wrist with the image of a dolphin and set off to walk the pens and see the dolphins swimming around. They are curious and seem to want to see us as much as we want to see them.

We watched some people swimming with them in the big lagoon. If only I had learned to swim more than a width of the pool without sinking....

We were there for about three hours. Often sitting in the shade watching the swimming-with and the show that the staff put on. I took loads of photos and some made it to Flickr.

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I have since heard that people say that the dolphins are being exploited and should be released. That's an opinion. I don't necessarily share it, but if they are fit and can be returned to the wild and can survive, then so be it.

From here it was back south to the Sea Dell to check in. It's quite and old fashioned sort of place. Our room was around the left side and backing onto the office. It was bijou, okay small, but it did have a coffee maker and free coffee for it plus free refills from the office.

We had a little siesta. Even in April the weather was hot and sunny.

Another trip before dinner was to Target up the road to buy some new underwear. There is a story behind this and it was as simple as my case going missing on a previous trip and I had to go to Walmart to buy essentials, pants, socks, t-shirts, shorts and even trainers. I liked the Fruit of the Loom pants so much I buy a load on each visit. There done!

Dinner was a matter of walking across the road to the Cracked Conch Cafe (4999 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050-2622 https://www.conchcafe.com/). Another excellent meal and portions too big even for me! But conch? Seamed like bits of rubber reminiscent of a marshmallow pillow..... it had to be tried.

Cracked Conch Cafe

Cracked Conch Cafe

Then back to the motel to have a read of the kindles and bed.

Breakfast the next day was locally and it turned out to be a bit of a mistake. We should have tried McDonalds! The drive back was on the expected route. After Homestead the 997 two-lane road is getting widened and will (by now) be a dual carriageway with median and a lot more market garden land being ploughed under tarmac to cope with all the trucks and cars.

We stopped in Weston Town Center for a coffee at Starbucks before heading back to the apartment.

A short but interesting trip to the Keys. Maybe once the pandemic is past we can go again and spend more times in the sea and enjoying what the keys have to offer...

Posted by InvictaMoto 04:17 Archived in USA Tagged dolphin_research_center sea_dell_motel barracuda_grill marathon_fl Comments (0)

AZ Route 66

The first week we had been staying at an apartment resort in Scottsdale (more on that week at another time) and we had motored up from the Phoenix area to Holbrook avoiding I17 and using SR87 to Payson and then up to Holbrook via Winslow.

My plan to "do" Route 66 and also get up to Monument Valley would leave backtracking or missing out a chunk of the navigable Mother Road.

Who would miss this chance to be Standin' On the Corner? The Petrified Forest? Not us.

Winslow AZ

Winslow AZ

Winslow AZ

Winslow AZ

Winslow AZ

Winslow AZ

Winslow AZ

Winslow AZ

Winslow AZ

Winslow AZ

Winslow AZ

Winslow AZ

The Petrified Forest?

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

The overnight in Holbrook at the Wigwam Motel.

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

The Wigwam is a must do. They are so olde worlde inside!

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

Wigwam Motel

And then we move on........................

Day 8

Once we were away from the motel the plan was to get breakfast and also get a picture of Joe & Aggie's in daylight. Sadly someone had parked blocking a large chunk of the mural on the wall so we couldn't get a clear shot of the whole thing.

Joe and Aggies

Joe and Aggies

The other side of the parking lot had a Holbrook mural.

Holbrook Mural

Holbrook Mural

Fuelling the car took $36 and the range on the onboard computer went from 56 miles to 505. When we picked it up the average mpg was showing 19.5. Sticking roughly to speed limits (sometimes you have to floor it!!) and we now have it showing over 33mpg to the titchy US gallon.

The trains we had heard so much about weren't too bad. They ran all night but apart from few hoots, the earplugs weren't needed.

We headed up R66 to the freeway and headed east and had breakfast at the Hopi Travel centre. We opted for the BK. The breakfast croissant was filling.

Here we turned left onto SR77 into the Navajo Nation and headed north east to Chinle and the Canyons de Chelly.

We stopped for a coffee break at Denny's near the park entrance.

Chinle Denny View

Chinle Denny View

Chinle Denny Pancakes

Chinle Denny Pancakes

After Claire stepped in to assist some French tourists in the visitor centre, we took the south rim.

People live off the road and there are wild horses walking about.

Each overlook gives views of the canyon walls and the river below. Temperatures are lower this far north, around 95F. On the news we saw Phoenix had a record for 3rd June of 113F.

I took quite a few photographs of the rock formations and one of the locals wandering about.

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly AZ

Canyon de Chelly AZ

Canyon de Chelly AZ

Canyon de Chelly AZ

Canyon de Chelly AZ

Canyon de Chelly AZ

Canyon de Chelly AZ

Canyon de Chelly AZ

We opted to miss the north rim as we had to get to Kayenta, some 80 miles away and fit in Monument Valley as well.

The drive north west on Indian 59 was very pleasant. Kayenta itself is hardly holiday central. A Navajo town full of wooden buildings and a few hotels for the tourists. The Wetherill Inn is motel style with two storeys.

We had room 112 and could park outside which is a boon.

Luggage dumped we headed north for the 20 drive to Utah. The entrance to Monument Valley is about 200 yards past the state line.

We took loads of pictures of the red rock formations.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Sadly the park was closed on the day we went up there due to a Navajo holiday of some kind. We will have to go back another time.

Dinner was in Kayenta at the Golden Bowl Chinese restaurant. Good value and huge portions.

Then back to the inn for TV and bed.

Day 9

Not so much driving today to Williams where we will spend two nights.

After a good and healthy (except for the bowl of Lucky Charms) breakfast we checked out for points south-west.

Our first stop was at the Cameron Trading Post, established in 1916. This is in effect a massive gift shop with attached motel and restaurant. Alongside is a US Post Office sturdily built in stone.

Cameron Trading Post

Cameron Trading Post

We had coffee and a look at the trinkets. I was unable to be Sheriff of Cameron as all the Paul badges had gone. Had I been christened Shelby or Brandon there were loads. I wonder why? Maybe I should have changed my name for the day?

From here the next stop was Flagstaff. Despite being told we wanted Route 66, TomTom had other ideas and we almost went past on I40.

Route 66

Route 66

Route 66

Route 66

Although everywhere advertises Harley Davidson, I felt it only right to fly the flag for Triumph.

The visitor centre is in the old railway station.

Flagstaff Railway Station

Flagstaff Railway Station

We picked up a map for the historic town that extends a few blocks in every direction north of the station. As we crossed the road a large freight train came through the crossing and the station.

Flagstaff Train

Flagstaff Train

We wandered around before stopping for lunch, cameras whirring as we took photo after photo. Such is the marvel of digital photography.

Lunch was curious as the waitress decided that being asked to break a $20 meant keep it and not come back. We won't make that mistake again, and with a restaurant full of people calling her out didn't seem the best idea. Too embarrassing. A lesson learned though.

It was cooler than Phoenix but still in the 90's. We had lucked out with the on street parking as the car was in a little shade.

The next stop would be Williams.

Again we were lucky on arrival to park outside the Grand Canyon Hotel. I chose it for its historical significance (oldest hotel in Arizona), location (eyesight of station and on 66) and price.

Grand Canyon Hotel

Grand Canyon Hotel

Grand Canyon Hotel in room

Grand Canyon Hotel in room

In the end it was okay but the lack of air-conditioning was a big downer. The old style of the hotel helped but it was hot.

Once checked in we went across to the station and picked up the train tickets for the day after, and a walk along R66 checking out the shops and ending with dinner at Cruisers R66 Diner. Not the cheapest dining experience of the trip but the food was good.

Williams Neon

Williams Neon

Williams AZ

Williams AZ

Williams Neon

Williams Neon

Williams Neon

Williams Neon

Williams Neon

Williams Neon

Then it was bed time and ready for an early start and the train to the Grand Canyon.

Day 10 - Grand Canyon Railway

There are no words to describe the Canyon itself. None that haven't been eloquently put to the populace in any case. There are no photos that can do it justice either. I took my camera and smartphone anyway!

We were up bright and early. The new Walmart $14 rucksack was packed with essentials; sun cream, cameras etc.

Breakfast was across the road at Pine County before we went across to the station.

Pine County Mug

Pine County Mug

Pine County Breakfast

Pine County Breakfast

Before boarding there is a western shootout.

Williams AZ Cowboy Show

Williams AZ Cowboy Show

Williams AZ Cowboy Show

Williams AZ Cowboy Show

Williams AZ Cowboy Show

Williams AZ Cowboy Show

Williams AZ Cowboy Show

Williams AZ Cowboy Show

We had seen a different group shoot-out in the street the evening before and this group were as funny, with an (un)willing volunteer from the crowd assisting.

Then we boarded. We had the dome car out and in the heat I was dreading it, but the aircon was excellent. Our carriage crew was Nickolaus. From Williams and very funny all through with his commentary and advice on what to do for a mere three hours at the Canyon.

On the way up as we were in the more premium seats, drinks and snacks were free.. We had a few OJ's and doughnuts.

We arrived about 1145. Entertainment on the train had included a singer who played the accordion. Being British means being reticent. But we joined in the singing.

Our carriage guy Nickolaus was very informative and spoke to everyone at length to help us get the most out of the trip. After all, we were only going to have about three and a half hours there.

As the ladies always take longer in the rest rooms, I went to take some pix of the train. Where's my phone?

I backtracked to the rail car and searched high and low. Nada. Nickolaus was changed out of his uniform and helped look. A really nice guy with a peach of a job!

More backtracking, into the gloom of the men's room, and there it was under the washbasins. Sadly face down. Scratched but at leas had it back.

So the tour starts, using the map in the newspaper that was on the train. Nick suggested if we walked from the El Tovar and rail depot to the visitor centre, getting the free shuttle bus back would be better. Apparently eleven stops going east but only three coming back to the depot.

So that was the plan.

Climbing the steps between the El Tovar and the Hopi House and the fifty yards to the first overlook... I can't wait.... the anticipation!

WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!

The first sight is simply breathtaking.

Photographs can never do it justice. I didn't take many! Mostr of what I did were so "flat" and don't convey the greatness of it.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Firstly we walked to the west towards the Kalb Studio, calling in the Lookout Studio along the way. The round trip from the El Tovar is about half a mile. Temperatures much lower than in Phoenix at around 95F. We had plenty of water and along the Rim Trail there are plenty of water stops.

Next stop was the Hopi House. It's now a shop and art gallery for Indian goods. Claire took a shine to a bracelet and so I bought it. Not as altruistic as it sounds but my credit card has no exchange rate juggles and commission charges!

We decided to do the Rim Trail walk to the Yavapai Point and then around to Mather Point and finally the visitor centre. I set Runkeeper a little belatedly and it recorded 2.7 miles, so I expect we did a bit over three miles. With plenty of stops to admire the view and look at the geological timeline. Time flew. In fact the health app on my phone recorded 17500 steps compared with my usual daily 9000.

All along the rim you count down the millennia from about 2700 million years to present. It is impossible to get your head around these kind of numbers....

Grand Canyon Supergroup

Grand Canyon Supergroup

We arrived at the visitor centre with less than an hour to spare for the return train and so we got an iced coffee to cool down and then the shuttle bus back to the depot.

A quick look in the El Tovar and then back to get on the train. There was time for Claire to have her picture taken with the Train Senior Conductor.

Claire and Conductor

Claire and Conductor

Once on the train, the lowest class return seats were comfortable enough. I like the idea of the reversible seats! Shame we don't have them now!

On the Train Back

On the Train Back

Grand Canyon Railway Seats

Grand Canyon Railway Seats

Grand Canyon Railway Seat

Grand Canyon Railway Seat

The journey back was another two and a quarter hours.

I took a few pictures out of the open window. I also took some videos that are downloaded to the computer. If you like trains, then you might like them. I'll post the link when I have uploaded them to YouTube.

On the Way Back

On the Way Back

On the Way Back

On the Way Back

On the Way Back

On the Way Back

At one point we had the accordion lady again, but not before the train was stopped by train robbers and they came in to rob us. Luckily they didn't take anything other than a few people's dignity with their jokes! Then the sheriff came to chase them off.

Sheriff of all he surveys

Sheriff of all he surveys

And then we arrived back in Williams. Journey over. If you love trains and want to see the Grand Canyon then this is a great way to do both!

The evening. Boring people we are we went back to Pine County. It had been a hot and tiring day and we were in bed about 1030pm after packing our cases.

Day 11

Although this was my first time on Historic Route 66 I felt I knew it already, and still it amazed us both.

Arizona has the longest section of the Mother Road of any of the states it passes through.

Towns bypassed and left in desperate times have been rejuvenated by the tourist attraction it has become.

Williams the last town to be bypassed by I40 back in 1984 would have been dead had the railway not returned. Okay, for every one of the thriving towns like Williams and Seligman there are places where the shuttered and even burned out like Truxton are evident.

It could be the same here in UK. Many towns and villages that thrived on passing trade reduced to dormitory towns for larger towns and cities because they were bypassed by the motorways that started to be built in the 1950's. Many of these old routes have been there since the Romans built the original road almost two thousand years ago.

We fuelled up in Williams and then set off along Route 66. But not until we had taken a few day time Williams photos!

Williams AZ

Williams AZ

Williams AZ

Williams AZ

Williams AZ

Williams AZ

Williams AZ

Williams AZ

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway

, a trip on the interstate and finally a short stretch into Seligman. We hoped to see Angel but he had left an hour or so before we arrived.

We parked by Angel's and walked up to the end of town on that side of the road, and then back down the other. Dipping into the various places to see what they had to offer the tourist!

I took a lot of photos and this lot just scratch the tip of the iceberg....

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Seligman AZ

Then Truxton where we stopped for a drink as it was so hot.

Gas n Grub, Truxton AZ

Gas n Grub, Truxton AZ

Gas n Grub, Truxton AZ

Gas n Grub, Truxton AZ

Gas n Grub, Truxton AZ

Gas n Grub, Truxton AZ

Gas n Grub, Truxton AZ

Gas n Grub, Truxton AZ

Gas n Grub, Truxton AZ

Gas n Grub, Truxton AZ

Then Hackberry another stop to look around the stores and to buy an ide cream!

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Hackberry Stores

Finally into Kingman where we stopped for lunch at Mr D's.

Historic Route 66 - Kingman AZ

Historic Route 66 - Kingman AZ

We stopped in all of them to take in the kitsch or the abandonment.

After Hackberry with the car running on cruise and at close to the limit we managed to get over 41 to the US gallon.

After lunch at Mr D's we headed out of Kingman to Oatman.

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This is a more winding part of the mother road. It had been recently surfaced. It was smooth blacktop all the way. There are a few re-alignments though and the older road was far to degraded to risk a Charger on!

Why Oatman? The donkeys!

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ

Oatman AZ - June 2016

Oatman AZ - June 2016

Oatman AZ - June 2016

Oatman AZ - June 2016

We spend a while in Oatman. As we had arrived quite late things were winding down. We needed a comfort break and the rest rooms smelled as though the donkeys used them too.

It was time to leave and we headed roughly southwards towards I40 and the bridge over the Colorado River. The plan was to "bag" California as we had done earlier with Utah.

A stop at Golden Shores on the Oatman Highway to have a photo taken with the road mark.

Golden Shores AZ

Golden Shores AZ

On the California side of the river not far from the bridge is an old re-alignment by the RV park near the Moabi Regional Park was next. I found this on Google maps and added it to my TomTom route.

National Trails Highway

National Trails Highway

I took a screenshot of the Google Map and it shows the Route 66 sign painted on the roadway.

National Trails Highway CA

National Trails Highway CA

We then turned the car around and headed back to I40 to cross back into Arizona. Our Arizona Route 66 trip was over.

Back to AZ

Back to AZ

There was so much we missed or didn't have time for that I am looking to go back and fill in some of the blanks!

Day 12 - Lake Havasu

We stayed two nights in Lake Havasu City. We arrived late afternoon after the run across via Kingman and Oatman. The main reason was some R&R time after the road trip section and to see London Bridge.

We even got to swim in the lake. It was just like the sea with a sandy beach, except fresh water" Surreal to be swimming with ducks going past!

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge AZ

London Bridge

London Bridge

London Bridge

London Bridge

The last day we drove back to Phoenix for the flight home to the UK

Posted by InvictaMoto 04:35 Archived in USA Tagged r66 Comments (0)

Florida 2019

Orlando & Weston via Dublin

Day 1

I was supposed to have been working in the morning only. But with trains effed up again I returned home and worked from home. I did 0815 to 1210.
We took Reggie to the kennel and booked him in for his two weeks. In the calm of the afternoon we finished packing.

As we were flying from London Heathrow and not from our usual Gatwick, I booked a hotel for the night before we fly. This was in Heston, a small town engulfed by London and close to the airport, and the parking.

A couple of hiccups though. Satnav managed to take us past the hotel without mentioning it and so we drove around the block a few times until Google rescued us.

The second was despite having a booking confirmation they had us as cancelled. It was sorted in the end and we were ensconced in a nice room.

Tomorrow is flight day.

Day 2

Hotel very good. Meet and Greet parking good. Problem was we went into T2 following meet and greet signs instead of "pickup" to level 4.

Once we exited and re-entered. All fine. Check-in done by nice lady at Aer Lingus. Self weigh and despatch cases. Easy.

Now it's coffee time as we wait for a gate for the hop to Dublin.

First flight from LHR to DUB was painless. We left almost 30 minutes late and arrived about on time at 1330.

Transition between flights seemed okay. I always worry that despite the bar coded label on the cases that they might not make it from one aircraft to the next...

As I am writing this in the air over the Atlantic, or at least starting it, we won't know until we arrive in Miami.

The pre-clearance into the US was very easy and painless. No fingerprint scanner either.

Once at the gate we had about an hour to contemplate our navels before boarding. It was clear that take off at 1545 wasn't actually going to happen.

The previous 1630 came and went. Eventually we left at 1700. ETA 2115 local.

Luckily they feed you. So once we get our bags we should be able to locate the car rental and head off on the no toll route to the overnight hotel and not worry about eating.

For us British it will be 0200 or so.

With the different wind conditions varying from head to tail winds the ETA has fluctuated. At one point south east of Greenland we had a 70mph tail wind and the arrival time dropped to 2045. As we head south from around New York the wind is against us and arrival out to 2110.

Only ever having done pre-clearance once before via Toronto, where it was less straightforward, I just hope we just go to baggage collection and out.

The next thing will be finding the bus or whatever to the car rental centre. They had the same affair at Phoenix but it was not very well signposted and quite a long bus ride away, and almost deserted when we arrived.

Fingers crossed that Miami is still open and personed!

------------------

Arrived on the ground in Miami at 2106 local time. Everyone had their phones on. Luckily with Three UK I can use mobile roaming as if I was at home. Useful as I have eat as much as you can data.

Baggage collection took a while and then to Dollar. Easy enough. The rental guys wanted us to take out additional insurance but I had already done that online when booking. They also wanted me to pay for the Florida pass for the toll roads and both looked aghast when I said that I was going to drive to Orlando without using the Turnpike. Heck, we have done it before. It's boring, then again, a lot of Florida driving is boring.

There wasn't much choice in the medium car area and we ended up with a Chevrolet Sonic Turbo. Looks okay and drives well enough from what I can assess after 10 miles!

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I assume as it fails to have the name on the door like other Chevy's (Tahoe or Silverado) that this one is a far eastern re-badge?

Drives okay. Picked it up one bar off full. As it not full I took the pic which is timed and dated to prove it. It's hired full to full.

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Checked in at hotel at Baymont Doral at around 2330. Tired.

Day 3

Up about 8am. Dressed and out and TomTom had another loon taking us back the airport before I reset again. Our chosen route was SR27 via Okeechobee and Sebring.

First stop Denny's for breakfast and then northwards. One stop at Clewiston for coffee. Wanted an iced one. Ended up with caramel latté. Warm.

Once clear of Sebring and Haines City we hit I4 east. Heavy traffic. Some stretches of SR27 saw one or two cars outside towns.

We arrived at Sheraton Vistana at 4.10pm.

Superb two bedroom apartment with views over the lake and (noisy) fountain.

Once partially unpacked we headed to the nearest Publix for supplies. And picked up a shrimp and fries takeway for dinner. Really nice.

Beer if choice tonight is Yuengling Golden Pilsner. Not bad.

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Watched a little TV and then bed.

Day 4/5

Sunday

Lazy day. Up late. Discovered how to work the coffee machine works and that the toaster only toasts one side of a bagel.

Had a walk around the resort and ended up with a cold drink at the Market. I opted for the Frap of the Week.

Bugglegum Frap

Bugglegum Frap

It tastes better than it looks.

A bit of lounging until dinner time and then to Philly Steak for a takeaway. Winn Dixie for some essentials.

In the evening we watched the country music awards on TV.

Monday

Out to Harry P Leu botanical garden. Once TomTom stopped buggering about we arrived in good time. Pleasant walk around the gardens. Plenty of photo ops...

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

Harry P Leu Gardens. Orlando FL.

And then. Our first Perkins lunch. Salad!!! Yep. Salad! Who goes to Perkins and has a SALAD!!!

The Perkins lunch was simply enormous. Luckily we have learned over the years not to go too far.

Despite an offer of pie or other dessert we said no. Only to fall victim of the muffins at the checkout. Buy 3 get 3 free.

We were good and bought only two.

TomTom took us back home. The trick seems to be not to have Vistana as the start point. Tom seems incapable of forgetting the waypoint when it suits...

Once again we endured the I4 massive building site. It doesn't seem much has happened since we were last blighted by it in September 2017. At least this time we passed the Ace Cafe at ground level...

Once back it was Kindle time and to check our photos from the morning.

Dinner tonight is the lazy man's wings from Winn Dixie. A bucket we managed, with help from the counter guy, to get 19 in the small bucket.

Mine washed down with a local beer.

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t rained quite hard on our little trip up Apopka to WD. But it soon dries up. Even in the rain it is 75 °F.

The high today according to the car was 93 °F in full sun. The thermometers along the road sides showed no more than 89 °F!

So what will we do tomorrow. Rain is expected.

Day 6

So today has been another not so busy day. I woke up and my foot was swollen again. Gout. I have been taking the pills, one a day, for ages but here we are again.

Our drive out was to Celebration. It's not far. It is a planned community and has some nice houses. It seems to have been created as recently as 1994.

There didn't seem to be that much to do other than visit a restaurant or coffee shop. We did the latter.

In the town centre there was a bike customised to look like a space shuttle. It looked like the ill fated Columbia.

Shuttle Memorial HD

Shuttle Memorial HD

Shuttle Memorial HD

Shuttle Memorial HD

Shuttle Memorial HD

Shuttle Memorial HD

Celebration - The bank...

Celebration - The bank...

Old Timer Pickup

Old Timer Pickup

Across the Lake

Across the Lake

On the boardwalk. No gators .

On the boardwalk. No gators .

A very nice job indeed. After a walk around the lake we set off via CVS (turmeric pills) and Publix (lunch - salad) for the apartment.

My foot is so painful I can drive but not walk very far.

More Kindle time and then out to get lunch. Fish fingers and chips. Cooking in.

And that's it for another day.

Day 7 - Disney Springs

Yesterday the gout that had started in my right big toe here in 2017 raised its ugly head, or rather toe.
The trip to CVS secured some turmeric capsules and I took a couple a few hours apart. I awoke this morning with the swelling much reduced.

We had a short trip out to Disney Springs. I didn't want to spoil Claire's holiday but also didn't want to aggravate the gout. I might have got away with one ..

Parking in the Orange parking garage and then wandering to the lakeside. We spied the balloon.

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IMG_20190410_125249

We don't go on much so after a coffee at Starbucks we went across. It begs the question why we go to Orlando. We don't really do theme parks here in Europe either, but it is the weather in Florida that attracts us. We go for R&R as well as to see things!

After a long wait they decided it was too windy to let it go up to the full 400ft and then closed completely. Luckily before we bought a ticket.

We decided to take a boat ride around Lake Buena Vista. Quite relaxing too.

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IMG_20190410_123838

Once we had done a circuit of the lake we exited towards the shops. In time for the Rainforest Café's volcano eruption. I managed to get two shots.

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IMG_20190410_130711

The shops include a Harley Davidson shop. I don't have one and have only ridden one a few times but I do like my tourist t-shirt!

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IMG_20190410_133700

Nice but impractical in reality. Imagine turning up at a Meldrews Breakfast meeting on that!

From here we set off for the car. My foot very painful I could hardly walk. I dialled in Publix on Vineland for some small items and we had lunch from McD.

As I write I have had some cocodamol and another turmeric to calm my foot down.

Let's see how this plays out.

Day 8

So what to do. The turmeric seems to have done a job, and allied with no beer, and my foot is much better.

So we decided to have another go at Disney Springs and the balloon.

It was far less windy and was very hot again in the sun. Lathered in Factor 50 we will both go home as pale as we arrived almost a week ago.

This time we chose the Lime Parking! Makes little difference as it happens. First stop a frap in Starbucks. Inside there was a latina model posing for her photographer. Hardly anyone gave two hours at all the posing. To go with the over made-up face and lips she had spectacles and a book. Yep. A real book.

Then to Aerophile. We went up quite quickly and it does move about on the single cable. Some good views across Orlando and the Disney empire.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Disney Springs

From the balloon looking down.

From the balloon looking down.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Then we returned to the car and off to the apartment before our planned visit to Old Town Kissimmee for bike night.

Last time we went it was soon after multiple hurricane strikes across Florida and neighbouring gulf states. So few bikes turned up and it was wet.

Tonight? Have no idea but we gave up as it started to go dark with only 8 bikes.

Maybe with the Ace Cafe Orlando having theirs on the same evening has ballsed it up.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

Bike Night.

Bike Night.

Bike Night.

Bike Night.

Bike Night.

Bike Night.

Bike Night.

Bike Night.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

Bike Night at Old Town

Bike Night at Old Town

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

At Old Town Kissimmee.

Then home again. Tomorrow is the last full day here in Orlando.

Day 9

Today's short trip to Mead Botanical Garden shouldn't have taken long. Maybe 30 or even 35 miles to the trip. Firstly gas. As we turned out of the resort the gauge went from two bars to one.

The filler cap is on the right rear. I went the other side. Pipe too short. At home pumps have longer pipes to allow for filling either side. Not 7-11 gas station here. Saving a couple of bucks on some piping.

Some buggering about to turn the car around as I had already paid $20 for pump one. Job done. Off to the Garden. I4 heavy as usual. A few miss turns and we arrived. Via McD for a frap.

Gardens not as good as the Harry P Leu ones we went to the other day.

Mead Botanical Garden

Mead Botanical Garden

Mead Botanical Garden

Mead Botanical Garden

Mead Botanical Garden

Mead Botanical Garden

A pleasant walk around though.

Then back on some torturous I4 avoidance route from TomTom.

Lunch at Perkins. Now catching up on R&R before we start packing our cases.

Remember the estimated mileage? It was 59 by the time we got back!!!

After some R&R and the packing is almost complete. Kindle time increased for both of us.

Check-out tomorrow before 10am so an early rise and finish packing.

After breakfast pack the dishwasher and leave it on.

To save washing up tonight's dinner courtesy of Taco Bell.

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Day 10 - Southwards Bound

Up early. Only one bagel today. Cutting down...

Packed and car loaded. Dishwasher on and we were checked out of the Vistana and on the way.

Last pic before leaving.

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Even though the Sonic is a small budget car the boot takes two large cases!

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The 192 to I95. Gas stop filled up with $15. This time the right side of the pump... Same shitty budget conscious pipe.

Stopped at a Target and picked up some supplies. The idea to get to the sea and have lunch. Got to Deerfield Beach. A quarter per five minutes to park and I had only four on me. Machine "green" button effed so couldn't even spend my dollar.

Back to I95 and I595 to Weston. Found check-in. No apartment allocated. Very unusual. Will definitely mention that to RCI.

Receptionist did all the paperwork and asked us to wait for a room to be cleaned and added to the computer!!

So here we are in Weston Town Center having a coffee. Starbuck's once again. I used the app on my phone and found that it worked and the star was added to my loyalty account.

We gave then an hour and headed back to check-in and joined another queue to be seen, This time we were all sorted. I didn't like the main building as it was near the freeway and was very crowded. Luckily.....

We are in a smaller resort called Flamingo 1 down the road. We are second floor overlooking a small lake. You can just see it through the trees.

View from the balcony

View from the balcony

Once settled in we searched for a Publix to get dinner.

Publix salad

Publix salad

And tomorrow's adventure? Maybe stay locally. We will be due our "usual" visit to the Flamingo Gardens - and it is only a few blocks away.

Monday we are off to the Keys.

Day 11

A lie in. Cereal for breakfast. No bagels. No peanut butter.

Then out to see the street art at Flagler Art Village in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Once we got there it was pretty closed. So we had lunch at Henry's on the block.

Superb sandwiches. And coffee.

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Claire wanted to see the beach so we headed towards Ft Lauderdale Beach and A1A. Into heavy traffic. Nowhere to park and a pop concert clogging up the area. One entrepreneur offering "beach parking" for $40.

Finally back and Claire in the pool. Me? Not today. Shade for me with Kindle.

The pool is probably safer than the lakes on each side of the property. It is fenced all around with gates that are closed properly.

GATOR!!!

GATOR!!!

We ate in again. That's the good thing about an apartment with kitchen.

Day 12 - To the Keys

Time for our trip to the Keys. Off around 9am for the 122 mile drive to Marathon. I had planned waypoints en route a Theater of the Sea and the Dolphin Research Centre. Traffic was horrible in TomTom"s "fastest" no tolls route. I75 and some parkway or other.

Did I say no tolls? Despite that being in the route setup we found ourselves on the Don Shula Parkway, a toll road. Hopefully the Sunpass in the window will have been picked up and Dollar will pass on any tolls.

Once we finally got to Homestead and onto US1 we felt a bit better. A stop at a BK for coffee and we were down to Key Largo and the Keys. We passed the Sea Dell Motel and as we were too early we went for lunch. Barracuda restaurant. Great plate of shrimp and fries.

With it still too early we went back up to Grassy Key and the Dolphin Research Center. Superb demos is dolphins in action. So many more noises than you saw on "Flipper". Older readers may remember the TV series.

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SAM_6333

SAM_6335

SAM_6335

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SAM_6350

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SAM_6382

We spent over three hours there watching the shows and the dolphins performing and many resting in the lagoons. Then it was back down the the road to the motel.

A nice old fashioned sort of place. We have room 12 on the back of the site. Our neighbours have the Challenger that you can see part of. Sounded nice when it arrived.

The motel is good enough and near where we wanted to be. Plus much cheaper than Key West.

Sea Dell Motel

Sea Dell Motel

A walk down the street shows us the sea, but like most places, no access as the coast is privately owned and fenced off.

With a trouser belt malfunction we had a short trip to a local KMart. A new Dickies belt purchased and then a little drive up and over the Seven Mile Bridge. I forgot to check the odometer but I am unsure it is not that long.

We stopped off at a bit of beach. There is very little like this it seems.

White Sand Beach

White Sand Beach

More white sand

More white sand

Then back to Sea Dell.

Dinner?

Across the road at the Cracked Conche Cafe. It seems that conch is like a big whelk. And rubbery. Very rubbery.

The portions enough to feed a family of five. Had we not been at a motel and at the apartment we would have had a box to takeaway.

Pictures taken on the way back.

Cracked Conch Cafe, Marathon FL

Cracked Conch Cafe, Marathon FL

Errrrrrrr

Errrrrrrr

Tomorrow?

The world is our oyster.

Day 13 - Back to Weston

That's about it. TomTom decided not to take us on any toll roads but on the 997 and 27 that I have expected.

Since last time they have dualled 997 part way but the bit to the north of Homestead still single with road works. Still better than I75 and US1.

Stops? One at a Dunkin for breakfast and one at a t-shirt where Claire bought some fancy Skecher shoes for $34.

Then back to Flamingo One. Lunch? Cereal! I watched Barcelona show Man Utd how to win without breaking sweat and Claire had a nap.

Now at Starbucks in Weston. Tried the app on my phone that I use at home. I expected for it to register two drinks but not take money... It did the latter. Have no idea about the reward star!!

Weston Town Center

Weston Town Center

Dinner in again care of the wonderful Publix!

Day 14 - Flamingo Day

Today we went to the Flamingo Gardens in nearby Davie.

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Elvis close-up

Elvis close-up

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Resting after a show.

Resting after a show.

Showing off

Showing off

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Glade

Glade

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Elvis

Elvis

Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo Gardens

Animals like Glade. A four year old alligator that came to the gardens after being rescued. Along with many others he was part of an egg theft and kept in a Tupperware and is far too small for his age.

From here it was back to the apartment via my usual visit to Walmart for Fruit of the Loom underpants. Sadly Hanes have taken over and no FotL to be seen in briefs!! So bought only one packet of Hanes. End of an era.

I watched Tottenham beat Man City in the Champions League semi final. Bah! And Claire had a doze.

Dinner tonight is the Chinese we didn't eat last night. We over ordered and have around half left.

Tomorrow is our last full day here in Weston. So we need to think of something to do.

We fly home Friday but not until late so we could stay here later than a normal check out. Officially we don't actually check out until Saturday.

Day 15

Really more like Kindle Day and lunch at Denny's. The sausage, bacon and egg with pancakes combo for $5.99 was perfect for lunch.

Last full day here and we had a lie-in. A relaxing day before lunch and after.

Claire to the pool and me the not so calming afternoon watching Arsenal at Napoli in the Europa League. Albeit on a Spanish language channel as I can't find it in Ingles. Except despite advertising the game last night they are showing Valencia and Villareal. Grrr.

And so thoughts turn to dinner. Where tonight?

Taco Bell have joined Wendy's on the ❌ list after Claire was "unwell" after the last visit. Wendy's went on the list in 2014 after the greasiest slimiest burger ever ..

In the end we went for a drive up and down the streets of Weston. Firstly to Walgreens for more turmeric to take home and then to Publix. Fried chicken and potato salad. Yeehah.

Day 16 - Homeward Bound

We were leaving a day earlier than booked. This is simply as flights are much cheaper on Friday back to the UK than on a weekend. Although the timeshares we used are for seven nights we had given up a day to fit the flights.

Late up. Why? At 4am I woke up wondering where I had put the DriveFly receipt for our car at Heathrow. It was in my backpack.

With a late departure we had a run out to get some vittels for the plane, and some US biscuits (it's kinda traditional) to take to work. I opted for Nutter Butter. You can't make that up.

We were packed up and the car loaded to check out before 6pm.

TomTom brought us right to the Dollar check-in. I remembered to fuel up this time. At $2.659 a US gallon. It worked out at about 31 mpg (US gals) for the last tank fill-up we bought in Marathon on Tuesday.

I took another photo of the instruments before handing it back. Saves any arguments and over billing....

Start mileage

Start mileage

End mileage

End mileage

In the end we covered 1158 miles in the two weeks. Not bad really.

The car was rented on a full to full basis and judging how much to prepay was always guesswork. I usually slightly under guessed but this time I need to be more spot-on.

I can't be too peed off that when collected it was one bar from full and we took it back full!

So here I am whiling away the last hour and a bit nearer to Gate F19. All checked in.

---------------------------------

Eventually.

The weather forecast was for heavy rain and then thunder and lightning.

As boarding time approached we didn't get to move very far. The plane was here and so were the crew and passengers.

Once on the plane we were told that due to the weather the area was shutdown for refuelling and flight. It was just about midnight when we eventually took off.

Estimated flight time 7h 40m. It would mean cutting it fine for the transfer in Dublin to the London flight

We landed with about 35 minutes in hand but sat in the taxi way before getting a gate until 1345.

And our 1340 connection had left. Stranding over a hundred passengers in Dublin. We were lucky to get a new flight at 1430. We saw quite a few others from the MIA flight.

It took off 20 minutes late and we touched down just before 1600 at Heathrow. Our bags managed to come with us though and that might be a miracle.

Once we knew we were going to be late I WhatsApp'd our dog walker friend to ask him to collect Reggie from the kennels as there was no way we'd be back before they closed. He did that for us at no extra cost.

DriveFly were really good and the car was there. We were back in Hythe around 1800. A stop in Sainsbury's and home to Reggie.

After 33 hours awake finally bedtime.

Another holiday over.

Posted by InvictaMoto 05:01 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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