8 days. 943 miles. 14 hours each way. 4 opportunities to play The Proclaimer's 500 Miles.
The next part of my American adventure was to take place in Florida. Luckily I have a friend who has a house down there so accommodation was sorted and another friend who has a car and was willing to drive down.
The USA is big. Very big. I saw on google maps '943 miles' and '13 hours and 36 minutes' but thought nothing of it. Then we were in the car for much longer than 943 miles and 13 hours. Let's just say that Katie's sense of direction is just as good as mine. However, we eventually made it, passing through Maryland, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to get there.
Arun's house in Orlando is fantastic. I've noticed that houses over here tend to be a fair bit bigger than at home. This one was in a development with it's own pool, so that was our first day sorted. Chilling out by the pool for the best part of the day, followed by cooking a real meal with a bottle of Walmart's finest Floridian wine that $3 can buy.
Days two and three were spent at Universal Studios. Now this is somewhere that I have wanted to go to since I can remember and it managed to exceed expectations. I could go on about this for a very long time so I won't bore you with all the details of every single ride- we managed to do all of them across both parks. Highlights included the Harry Potter world, which luckily sold the same things as the one in London so I didn't spend too much on wands and suchlike. The rides there seem to be moving into 4D simulation things, which all look and feel incredible, it's definitely the way to go. I also bought a photopass for $50 as one picture was $25 so I figured I might as well buy all of them so some beautiful pictures of Katie and me on rollercoasters will be online soon. The days were tiring but completely worth it, we spent over 10 hours each day running to and from each ride across two parks and I can honestly say that I don't think any of the theme parks back home will come close to being as good as Universal.
You can't come to Florida without going to the beach. Our last day down south was spent at Cocoa beach and Arun, who had just flown in, and Trace, Katie's friend, joined us. We hired out a couple of surfboards and spent the afternoon attempting to look cool on the beach. There was a slight flaw in this plan as Trace was the only one who could actually surf. So the rest of us just ended up getting battered by the waves rather than riding them.
That night Katie and I went over to Trace's house, which is just outside Disneyland. We'd missed the closing show both days at Universal and so we stood outside the Space Mountain ride, looking at the top of Cinderella's castle and watched the firework spectacular. A brilliant end to a fantastic weekend.