Forgive us for not posting more. We are 11 days in to our 40 day road trip...yup it's that long, and currently in Tamarac, FL. Lots has happened since our last post.
New Orleans: Fantastic! We got in on last Friday night after a stop in Montgomery, AL through some of the heaviest rainstorms either of us had ever seen. Our fun-packed weekend with Hillary and Christie involved multiple visits to Cafe Du Monde for beignets, sight-seeing, Jazz Fest, afternoon drinking of Hurricanes in the French Quarter, a few crushes and some delicious food! (also some less than medium food at Cochon - so disappointing)
Next stop Tallahassee on the way to Orlando: We are both fans of La Quintas because they so rarely steer us wrong - except in Tallahassee. This hotel was where we landed for the night after shopping around the many hotels at that exit, and we thought we could risk it. Medium. There was the creepy other guests, the wrong room keys from the completely dead pan front desk clerk, and the dead pigeon in the middle of the pathway. We quickly locked the door, hopped in our sleepsheets (beds were questionable) and tucked in til the morning.
Orlando: Sort of. This is our first stop using D's vouchers so we were somewhat skeptical upon arrival. We got to the Orlando Welcome Center to check in and received the tickets to Universal Studios and Arabian Nights! This hotel was a few steps better than the La Quinta but had we traveled back in time to the 80s this hotel would have been amazing. The center of the hotel is a giant space the height of the hotel with murals all around, beach scape murals. Also included in this central space, a pizza hut, a recessed seating area with Karaoke nightly, the saddest buffet restaurant ever, and a pool with a "waterfall" and that is in quotes because it was a pipe with holes poked in it. I'm sure there will be some pictures up shortly.
Our full day in Orlando was Universal Studios - Islands of Adventure where we promptly rode all the rollercoasters. Spiderman was the best, Hillary was right. Then we participated in a TV show viewing where we made $15 each - we totally win. Maybe the only people to go to an amusement park and actually make money.
But the day wasn't done yet, not by far. We had tickets to a dinner show - Arabian Nights! This is a show that has a Bedoin girl who is actually an Arabian princess and has been kept safe from the villain by her fathers genie. Then throughout the show the genie proceeded to inform the princess about gypsies, cowboys, indians, unicorns, and torreadors all on horseback! Everything that you are imagining happened and was crazier than you think! Plus dinner! Yup!
Fort Lauderdale: Again, sort of. We are actually in Tamarac, FL outside of Fort Lauderdale a trick of these voucher stays. This hotel is definitely a couple steps up from the Orlando stay and we get every meal comped! It feels like we're back at a dorm and getting three meals a day - love it!
When we got in D was having a shopping craving so we got directions from the front desk and headed for the nearest Ross and Old Navy! We made it to the shopping area but didn't get past the Dot's!!! For those of you who went to school with D you are very aware of Dot's and the excitement that it caused us both to find this store. For those of you who don't know it's like Rainbow at it's very best! We did not make it to Ross or Old Navy and each bought more things to somehow fit in our bags...anyone shocked?
Today we went into the Everglades!! To get there you drive on a highway called Alligator Alley. There was Billie Swamp Safari on the Seminole reservation in the middle of the Everglades. We got the airboat tour and the swamp buggy. Around the camp there were alligators and tortoises and snakes. The airboat tour was great and we saw two alligators probably about 12 feet long each, also raccoons, ostrich, wild boar and cranes. Then we took the swamp buggy which went along an old canoe path that the Seminole used to use to escape the soldiers all around the reserve. K did not conquer her fear of alligators but did go and see them anyway.
On our way back we stopped at an Art & Music festival on the reservation and got amazingly delicious Indian Tacos and watched a traditional dress fashion show. The heat started to overwhelm us so we headed back to our hotel for our free dinner and a swim in the pool!
Now it's time to get back to watching School of Rock and get ready for our drive up to St. Augustine, FL tomorrow to stay with our friends we met in Thailand.