Day 8, Friday
I had planned spending the day at least in the hotel, probably in bed, after Disney World, which was probably a good thing. I wasn't in a very bad shape (the worst normally doesn't hit until a few days after), but I certainly needed the rest. I slept long, and spent most of the day in bed while Tollef left to see the NASA station at Cape Canaveral. When he came back we went out to have dinner at the resort, and dropped by for some last souvenirs and postcards in the hotel shop. I found a very cool halloween t-shirt and a bag that says "Point me to the candy".
Day 9, Saturday
I had woken up several times during the night, hearing the rain pouring. When we woke up, it still did. We gathered our things, and hit the road towards Tampa and Tollef's relatives that we were visiting. The rain was sometimes so heavy we barely saw the road, but lightened up when we closed in on Tampa.
Tollef's great aunt lived in a beautiful house on a large property outside Tampa. A short while after we arrived, her daughter Sonja and granddaughter Laura also came by, and we had a very nice lunch. After lunch the others went to a park to watch for alligators, while I stayed back to rest, still quite tired. In the evening, Tollef and Laura cooked a very nice dinner, and we had a very good time together.
Day 10, Sunday
On Sunday morning I got up a bit late, and the weather was nice and shiny again. We had agreed to meet the others on a beach they recommended, and we took a detour across the Skyline Bridge, which is a very large and steep bridge that glimmers like gold in the sun.
We drove with tante Lillegunn on to Siesta Key Beach, and met Sonja, Laura and Laura's sister Allison there. The beach was lovely even if it was a bit strong wind and waves. We went out in the sea, and the water temperature was far above what you ever get in Norway. We sat relaxing and enjoying the beach for a couple of hours, and talked about everything and nothing. From there we went to a restaurant they knew nearby and had a faboulus lunch with seafood. Tollef and I started out with fried gator (yes, alligator), and then a seafood combo platter with a lot of different things. Then we all shared a key lime pie for dessert, it being a local specialty. We had a really great time, and I hope we get to see our relatives soon again!
After the lunch the others headed back home while we continued on to Miami, our last long drive on this trip. It felt almost a bit sad and weird, not going to explore along the roads any more, but a few relaxing days by the pool wouldn't hurt either.
We had enough food for lunch, so we skipped dinner, just dropped by a Walmart to stock up on snacks.
Day 11, Monday
First day in Miami Beach. The hotel turned out to be really nice, a bathrom you could actually turn around in, and with a bathtub, fridge, and two big beds. We went out to get breakfast, and it appeared the restaurant downstairs was both reasonable priced and had good food. After breakfast, I settled by the pool while Tollef went exploring the neighbourhood. He joined me, and we lazed by the pool until early afternoon. In the evening we went for dinner at a Mexican restaurant Tollef had found online, Senõr Frogs. It appeared to be a kind of party place serving food, but as we were there early evening the party wasn't started yet. We got balloon hats and good food. They also had all kinds of funny puns on the walls and roof! On our way back we stopped at an Irish pub so Tollef could have another beer, and also got some postcards written. Important part of any holiday!
Day 12, Tuesday
Miami shopping day! Whenever you see something on your travels that you consider buying, don't count on finding it in any of the same chain stores in a different place. They might be out... After a lot back and forth with websites, webshops, next-day-delivery tries and searching, we ended up going halfway through Miami to get me a nice dragon. Then we had a stroll through Bayside, a shopping center/market in a park by the beach, and spending way too much money on Bath and Bodyworks, one of my favourite stores in the US. We also dropped by PetSmart to get some treats for the dogs before heading back to Miami Beach.
Tollef had found a couple of places with Mediterranean food for lunch. We headed for one, but passing the other nearby, I decided the meny looked better there. And maybe it was, if they'd had all that was on it... for some reason the guy didn't have any salad, and listed the things from the menu they did have. He could recommend mostly everything, it was all very good, he said. And all the pizzas. Except when I asked for one, then they didn't have that one, or my second alternative. But the rest was very good. I asked if he had sweet pepper/paprika to put on one of the meat pizzas, and got a negative. At last I just decided on a veggie pizza, which when it came, was loaded with paprika... The food was good enough, but why these people have a 5 score on Google is a mystery yet to be solved.
After lunch Tollef packed and left for the Kennedy Space Center for his Austronaut Training Experience tomorrow, while I went upstairs to the roof terrace pool and got in a few hours of sun before it went down.
Day 13, Wednesday
We are closing in on an end, but I am really happy about this vacation. There were so many worries beforehand about my health, and I am not sure if things could have been much better. As usual, with most travel, it will be nice to come home also, to my own bed, house, dogs and family.
Today I started out with a few hours by the pool, before heading out for lunch and looking around. I ended up all the way to the postoffice to get postcard stamps, and got my nails done for the first time in my life.
When Tollef came back after his Astronaut Training Experience at Cape Kennedy Space Center, we went for dinner at a Cuban restaurant. The food was good, and we returned to the hotel, full and happy.
Day 14, Thursday
We decided to go down to Key Biscayne, a small island south of Miami, with a state park and nice beaches. First, we stopped to look at the lighthouse there, and Tollef joined a tour that happened to start just when we arrived. Afterwards we took our stuff down to the beach and relaxed there for a while, even if it was a bit windy. The wind made the temperature quite nice.
After a quick bath we dried up and returned to Miami beach. We stopped to buy a few last gifts and snacks, and returned to the hotel. For lunch we went to a southern cooking restaurant that was really nice, and we shared a piece of Key lime pie for dessert.
I took the opportunity to have a couple of more hours by the pool after lunch, while Tollef tried some local beer. Then, the inevitable, the packing. There has been some shopping, and we are bringing some stuff for others, so we may have to check an extra couple of bags. Good thing we hardly used our baggage allowance getting here.
Day 15, Friday
We had a nice breakfast at the hotel, before we drove the short distance to the airport. It was quite a puzzle getting all our luggage and my scooter into the airport, but we managed. The flight went as well as the outward journey, even if it was a night flight. I had dinner, and then went to try to sleep. It was quite warm and I didn't manage to sleep much, but at least I got to rest my body and doze off a bit. Enough that I felt ok the rest of the day, if only a bit tired. I love travelling and seing new places and have new experiences, but it is also always good to come home also, to everything that is familiar. I am so happy I managed to make this trip, and have gotten some experience to bring on further travels. Because there will definitely be more of them!
Photos can be found at https://www.simira.net/gallery/Reise/20191025-USA-Eastcoast/