Lee's birthday - Found a phone at the airport to say happy birthday and some change only to realise that my mobile was in the suitcase that we'd checked in - sorry Bro. X Happy Birthday dude X
We had an early flight back to Belize international airport. Mian air had made a mistake with our reservation and we were booked on for the following day, however unlike any airport we've know they just waved us on to the next flight without any fuss not even taking the fare! By this lime we are used to the 12 seater Sessa's and the bus like stops at different airports.
We caught our flight to Miami and left Belize behind. On reflection it's a fantastic place to visit, in the Caribbean, cheap, they love Brits and they all speak English - Lovely Jubilee.
We arrived in Miami and got a connecting flight straight up to Orlando arriving there 8pm local time! We picked up the hire car which was a huge 4x4 but we still felt small next to some of the monsters on the roads. We headed straight to Kennedy space Center, we stayed the nigh near by in Titusville in a place called 'The space shuttle Motel'. Had a garage tea, drank beer and watched cartoons!
Has the strangest breakfast at the motel ever!
Arrived at Kennedy space centre (out of season so fewer kids - yippee) We went straight to the lift off experience ride! It was mega. We were the only adults on it but it was great. We took the bus tours to the designated 3 stopps on the 140 thousand acres owned by NASA. Our favourite was the Saturn V Appollo craft - it was enormous and very impressive. We finished around 5pm, we enjoyed the day but also glad that this was the only tourist attraction we'd decided to do in Florida as patients with queuing and people were getting a little thin. We'd benn on dry land for too land and needed to get back in with the fish!
We drove across the state to Crystal river and found an ideal called 'The Port Hotel and Marina' a hotel and dive resort on the river edge. It was a perfect place to dive with the Manatees.! The room opened out on to the small marina with the dive shop and sports bar next door. Unfortunately nothing was open so we settled in with some beers and a garage tea and slept to the sound of the frog song! A strange eerie almost computerised sound.
We woke to find out that all the Manatees had gone! How dare they not wait for us! After a gourmet breakfast a Cockadoodals we licked our wounds, put it behind us and got on the road. We headed south- east, back over to the east coast of Florida but to check out the diving further down in Fort Lauderdale. It was a long drive and we arrived at 4pm- enough time to make some plans for the next few days. We booked some dives with 'Lauderdale diver' and checked into the 'Beach Plaza'. There happened to be a doctor's convention on in Fort Lauderdale that weekend so finding a reasonable place to stay was difficult. We bit the bullet and decided to take our chance with a place on the beach front which had a vacancy sign. We soon found out why! The sea view was amazing but that where it stops; it was defiantly not the Ballagio! We've enjoyed roughing it in some interesting places before and we also welcomed the massive saving we were making! So gave it a go. To name a few incidents: there were no bulbs in the light fittings, you couldn't walk on the carpet without shoes, the adjoining door to the next room had no lock, the safe didn't lock, and about an hour after checking in a very drunken couple let them selves into our room with their own key. In true British style all this was complained about and we threatened to leave, but Scott gave the manager a couple of hours to get it sorted out! Slowly but surely it did, the adjoining door was nailed shut - with screws, we were given the hotels master safe key! the couple were seen off! half a dozen bulbs appeared and we kept our shoes on! Exhausted we decided it was safe to leave the room and went to Hooters for chicken, beer …..and to look at the girlies.
Early start for a full day of Diving on the 'American Dream', a great dive boat. The 1st dive was the J.Scutty - a wreck sitting in approximately 30 meters. We descended down the mooring rope and were alarmed by the strong current! It took all our strength to fin along the side of the wreck. It was lovely with abundant marine life and coral. After swimming the length of the bow we sheltered in the deck area, the current was too strong to think about penetrating the wreck. After only 20 minuets it was time to ascend - A very challenging dive. The 2ndwas a drift dive in shallow waters. We took a SMB and bumbled along with the current taking us quite a distance. There wasn't too much to see so we fooled around. Clare got the SMB handle caught in her hair and was unable to removing it because her mask was flooded from laughing! Scott cam to the rescue! The afternoon dives were on the 'Tenneco Towers' - a group of huge pylons that had been purpose sunk to for an artificial reef. The first was sitting at 32 meters rising to 25 meters. The conditions and visibility were fantastic, we spent a few minutes at the bottom and swam through and all round it. It made an awesome reef, a great dive. Got some depth!! We were approaching deco. so shallowed out but there was still plenty to see. Loved it.
The 2nd was deeper at 36 meters but rose to 20 meters, it was equally as fantastic, lots of marine and coral life. A great day of challenging diving, mega.
Got back in at around 5pm - knackered. We'd decided to have a relaxing day tomorrow so we could dry the kit for the next flight and have a boozy day ect.
We went to a swanky steak restaurant for dinner, it was delicious, melt in the mouth steak, Dad's, you would have loved it. It was quite posh but there were loads of TV screens playing a variety of channels, the one near us was randomly, the Rodeo, it was great.
Had a leisurely day, eating and drinking. Crashed one of the major hotels to up-load some photos and videos to this blog, took a long time! Had chilli dogs in the rock bar, snogged in the pirates bar and staggered back to our palace! Drunk - but we still kept the shoes on! A fantastic night.
Checked out of 'Mason de trailer trash' and drove over to 'Billy Swamps Safari' in the Everglade's. We took a buggy ride through the dry bit and a air boat through the wet bit- it was great. Finished off with a snake show.
We drove back to Miami and found a hotel for the evening; it looked over the bay-side to lots of expensive boats and the lights of the city. We mooched around the marina and had dinner at the Hard Rock Café, finishing off with a mud slide on the marina.