June 15, 2015

Florida Trip Outlines!

There's just something about Florida that feels right. I don't know if it's the salty hair, sandy skin, or crashing waves, but Florida had me feeling "high on sunshine". Whether it's fishing, swimming, walking, boarding, or biking, there was always something to do. We stayed at a small section called the Hammock, located on the Palm Coast. It's a real mix of upper, lower, and middle class housing, just a short walk from the beach. We visited many different beaches, but my favorite of all was the St. Augustine Beach. Crystal clear water, soft sand, great fishing, and a vast variety of shells and sea creatures to discover brought this beach to the top of my list. Another mentionable beach would be Flagler Beach, due to it's walk-out pier, and delicious seaside restaurant, the Funky Pelican. We also visited downtown St. Augustine, which is the oldest continuously occupied city in America, founded in 1565. Although a tad "touristy", the city has many shops, galleries, museums, and forts to tour and enjoy. Another great place to visit in St. Augustine, is the Alligator Farm and Zoo. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to get up and close with hundreds of alligators, crocodiles, and many other animals. We also rented some paddle boards and went out onto the Mantanzas inlet in St. Augustine. If you make it to the Mantanzas inlet beach around sunrise when the tide is lowest, you will find plenty of shells and interesting sea life in the tide pools. Now you can't go to Florida without visiting Disneyworld, am I right? I've been to every Disney park in the resort, but this time we visited the Magic Kingdom. If I had to pick a favorite park, it would be Epcot. I absolutely loved getting a taste of every culture, and seeing the diversity between the cultures. But if you're looking for rides, Mickey Mouse shaped treats, and some good childish fun, Magic Kingdom is the place to visit! It takes a full day to make it entirely through each park, so plan accordingly! We also spent a day at Universal Island and Universal Studios. Even though I was looking more forward to Disney, I was even more blown away by Universal! The wait times for rides at Universal were nearly half of what Disney's wait times were. Every ride there was a hyper-realistic and intense adventure. I'm also a mega-fan of Harry Potter, so seeing Diagon Alley, Hogsmede, and Hogwarts come to life was a dream come true. Inside Hogwarts castle, is a tour through the Hogwarts replica that leads to what was my favorite ride. If you're a fan, also make sure to have a pumpkin juice in the Three Broomsticks, and a Butterbeer in the Leaky Cauldron. The best surprise was that if you purchase a special wand at Olivander's Wand Shop, you will be able to cast spells and interact with things around the park. Don't foget to grab a giant pink donut at Lard Lads in Simpson's World, explore Jurassic Park, and (for my fellow superhero fans) nerd-out in the Marvel section of Universal! All in all, Florida was a wonderful experience, and I can't wait to visit again. More posts to come, so check back in with me soon!

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