Travel Journal 2016 Week 25: Antarctic Dreaming

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June 26, 2016: Driving…(Key West, FL ? Miami, Fl)

Our day started at a little cafe called Sarabeths. We talked and bonded over the delicious breakfast and coffee then went over to jump on a boat. A few of us had not done parasailing so the group went out on the boat for another round. My fear kept me from trying round two, but the boat ride was fantastic. Being on the water is the way to experience Florida. 
Sadly we had to part as half of us needed to head to Miami. A ton of sad goodbyes before we headed up to Miami and our flights out. The drive was around four hours and felt like it. I haven’t had the chance to drive in the last few months and I was reminded on this drive how free it feels. I love the feeling of moving along the highway. There is a lightness in my soul when I’m driving to a new place and seeing the whole world drifting past my window.

Yep, that's me up there. Great morning in Key West!

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June 25, 2016: Perfect Day

(Key West, FL)
Waking up a bit late I started getting texts from my Antarctica friends that we were meeting at 11. I ran down to meet them only to find out we were going parasailing, and that because it was comped trip from he day before it was even free! We immediately jumped in a boat and next thing I knew I was in the air screaming my lungs out. I would have never suggested parasailing and was slightly terrified but it was such a weightless feeling. At 300 ft in the air I could see reefs around us and the island with its palm trees.
Key West is known for Hemingway and his drunken haunts. We decided to grab some bikes and head to his house, stopping for sno comes along the way. It was exactly like the scene from “Sound of Music” with a half dozen of us cramming the road with our talking and laughing. After the Southernmost point and Hemingway’s house we enjoyed the sunset and a nice dinner. We took it easy and relaxed, basking in the opportunity to catch up and learn about each other. 
To my frequent amazement I meet people that all the time do not understand wanderlust. They cannot comprehend the urge that lies beneath to see and experience a foreign place. This group of people understand, they don’t ask ‘why would you go there?’ they ask ‘can I come!’

June 24, 2016: Sunsets and Vino

(Kissimmee, FL ? Key West, FL)
Time to road trip to meet up with all the absolutely amazing people I met in Antarctica. Turns out it was a longer drive than expected. Seven hours later we arrived in gorgeous Key West. Immediately we connected with everyone and jumped on a boat to Latitudes. We watched the stunning sunset from the boat and our table at the restaurant. 

June 23, 2016: Animal Kingdom 

(Kissimmee, FL)
On our last day at Disneyworld we chose Animal Kindgom. I expected the park to be like a zoo and the African Savannah to be endless. Sad to say it wasn’t, the animals existed there as they do in most zoos, with boundaries. A particularly fun ride was Dinosaur. Very similar to Indiana Jones you are jostled about in a jeep before falling back into reality. One dinosaur was missing his bottom half and you could see the mechanics around his movements, a huge fail that said to me Disney is hardly trying.
Leaving early I had a chance to run some errands, including replacing my Surface. I chose the Lenovo Yoga, in excited to see if it holds up to my crazy travels.

#fireworks #epcot #florida #epcotjapan #japanpavilion #night #travel #instagood #instamood #amazing

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June 22, 2016: Birthday Fireworks!

(Kissimmee, FL)
Ah another birthday! And what a birthday it was. My friend Max said he would take me around the world for my birthday, so we headed out to Epcot. My initial comment was “This looks like it was built the year I was born and hasn’t changed since.” The funny thing is, it had! We are both from 1982. 
Though a bit dated, we had a great time. I loved the flamboyant cuttlefish on display after the Little Nemo ride and the historical ride inside the Epcot globe was interesting. I don’t recommend the Ellen ride about Energy that commits you to 45 minutes locked into a seat. 
Later in the day I grabbed a birthday button with my name in Japanese and we headed to Tepanyaki for dinner. It was a great moment to walk out after a birthday song and see the fireworks lighting up the sky. Ten minutes of sparkling before the park closed and we all headed home.

#disneyworld with my #bff #bestfriend @a2ztraveladdict

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June 21, 2016: Magical Day

(Kissimmee, FL)
Disneyworld!! After at least a dozen trips to Disneyland in my lifetime I find myself at Disneyworld. I have been begging friends to go to Disneyland with me the last two years, and it never seems to work out. So, when one of my besties, Max, suggested Disneyworld I jumped at the chance.
The journey around the Magic Kindgom was, well, magical. I felt right at home as it is nearly the same layout. I hate roller coasters and large drops so I veered is towards more laid back rides. For some ridiculous reason I came a three year old and was terrified of the ‘drop’ on Pirates of the Caribbean. Either I’ve grown up or California has a bigger drop. This was a gentle slide down and not terrifying in any way. 

June 20, 2016: Rain to Sunshine

(London, UK ✈️ Kissimmee, FL)
Waking up London was dreary as usual. A light rain pervaded the city as I traveled to the airport. I was flying United and excited to use my ‘premier’ status, unfortunately it is less exclusive than it seems and was once again a longer line than the regular folks. From London I headed to Newark and then finally Orlando.
In Orlando I waited in the long line at Dollar to pick up my car. After ten minutes of looking at my license and typing things into the computer the attendant said “I cannot give the car to you because you aren’t from the UK.” She put forward her hand to return my license. It was as if this was a normal thing, to just deny someone and leave them stranded. Obviously I was like “WHAT?!?” Apparently since I booked it while in the UK the ‘deal’ was only available for the Brits to help encourage them to come to the us. Still a little gray as to whether I will get the refund or if I have to pay for this car I was denied. So, I was denied a rental car in America because I am American!