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Old 12 Aug 18, 01:02 AM  
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A Southern Adventure August 2018 Day 3

August 10th Day One

The start was vicious...Grace was awake at 3.10am...pretty usual for a first day start for us I have to say, but how can you have been awake for all that time before and still not sleep all night?

I tried to get some more sleep while she watched her kindle and played at the desk on her swivel chair but it was rather hopeless. I got up around 4.30 I think in the end and started my report.

Daddy was still sleeping in the other bed so he was OK! I was worrying about the car hire a fair bit and I was wondering if Mick and I were insured to drive it at all. When we left with the car I was driving and all the 2 people we saw said was can I have the lead drivers license, so that was all we gave over which was Grandads. I decided to ring them up and to cut a long store short we needed to go back to the airport and add the 2 of us on!

It is what it is and had to happen (forget the fact that I had already driven the car!) so we booked the hotel shuttle for 8am and went back over there. We had to wait a little longer for the shuttle so he kindly dropped us right at the rental centre which they don't normally so so that was nice of him.

We decided to get in line at the desk (I know, I know painful!) but I wanted it done properly this time. We waited about 15 minutes and a lovely lady sorted it all for us and charged us $77 with tax which was what we were expecting.

We got a cab back to the hotel like we had yesterday and we were good to go. This all took about an hour and a half but I felt much better then. We quickly packed up the room and went downstairs to sort out the next part of our journey. We needed to stop off at the Miami International Mall to go to Kay Jewellers to drop of our rings for cleaning and Rhodium plating. This we have done every year f.o.c last year however not very successfully. They did not do the job properly and we can only collect near the end of our stay so there was not time to re do it. I contacted Kay's on our return last year and got some money from them to do it at home, so their customer service was excellent. We set off in the car now all fully insured and were on our way using the car sat Nav..I did however realise 5 minutes later that I had left the small SD card by the side of the bed which holds all the UK maps on it for the Sat Nav. I had taken it out the night before and left it on the side as in my being awake for 24 hour state could not think of a safe place to put it! AAAAAahhhh today was not being kind! We had no choice but to turn back, luckily check out was at 11am and I had not handed in the room card! The in car sat Nav however had other ideas about making this a painless process and sent us on a wild goose chase and then with all the road works I missed a couple of turns! We made it back to the hotel for 11.15, I ran upstairs, picked up the card, no dramas!

It was at this point I decided to switch back to our sat Nav, I updated it before we came out and it was clearly more up to date than the cars and it was too difficult with all the road works too. I was beginning to dislike driving in Miami!

Off we set again for the mall.

We reached it on problem this time and were soon inside, Daddy agreeing to stay with the car while we got food and dropped the rings. I got in to Kay's whilst the rest went to the food court opposite. I explained what I needed and started the paperwork.

They are guaranteed to be back on 23rd but I explained I need them for the 19th...he put on the order to rush them and I know that I can get them sent on if they are not back so I left them with them?

While I was doing this Nanny and Grandad went to get some food in the food court while Daddy stayed with all our stuff in the car. I went to find them and Grace was tucking in to chicken and chips!

I had seen a pretzel stand whilst at Kay's and Grace had said she wanted a cinnamon one so I left them in the food court while I went to get the pretzel. Unfortunately they had no raisin or cinnamon ones ready and only one plain so in the end I got one plain and one salted as it was a 10 minute wait otherwise and we were already over an hour behind schedule!

I collected the others from the food court and told Grace I would get the cinnamon pretzel round the corner as I had spied a churro stand. We ordered and then saw Daddy who gave the car keys to nanny and Grandad whilst he visited the rest room. We said we would meet at the car. We ended up waiting for the churros anyway and she didn't give me what I ordered but anyway it was that kind of day. We had been another 10 minutes easily and we walked out to the car to find nanny and Grandad were not there! I knew immediately that they had got lost going through Penneys, so we called and text and 20 minutes later we were they know how hot it was standing next to the car! What a day! It was now just after 12.30 so our drive along Miami beach was well and truly shelved and we were heading down to the Keys.

We had been on the Turnpike for about 10 minutes when we saw a sign saying that the road was blocked ahead...someone really didn't like me today. We ended up getting off the junction before as I made yet another mistake, this was in fact a good thing as the incident was just in front of that junction, not hat I knew that at the time. We rectified the wrong turn and took the turning back on to the turnpike or so I thought nut at the junction I could not figure out where to go so ended up going around again. This time I realised I had been right but all the cars had done a u turn on the slip road which was why I couldn't figure out which lane was mine! As we reached near to the top of the slip we realised what was happening and a policeman got out and made us turn round and go back down the slip. I have never ever seen anything so crazy in my whole life!
It was organised chaos, who am I kidding, it wasn't organised the whole thing was complete madness! The pictures do not really do it justice, we should have done a video in hindsight.

We were now in a big rat run to avoid traffic, I won't bore you with the details but it put quite some time on our journey. We made it to the top of the Keys eventually and began the slow drive down. It was lovely. To drive through and we took some rubbish pictures on the way. It was not that clear a little bit misty and there was a bit of rain but certainly nothing major.

We made it to the Holiday Inn at Marathon at 3.50, a good few hours later than planned but there you go we had at least made it!
We checked in to our IHG member room and got changed immediately in to our swimmers and hit the pool

It was really nice but the water was a bit hot, like a bath! Grace messed about in the water for a while getting the dive stick and I even had a little swim too. Finally today relaxation! We took a quick walk to the restaurant and tiki bar to suss that out and decided to get food as soon as mainly because it was happy hour until 6! We deserved it after the day we had had and to be honest I was really looking forward to a drink.

We gathered our thing after taking a picture of the biggest lizard I have ever ever seen ...

We were seated immediately in the restaurant, when we had gone to see the server just before we had asked what they do for kids, they don't have a kids menu but they do pizza and to be honest we said he didn't need to say any more as that is what Grace would have, so she ordered that.

I had a flat bread salad which came with feta and cranberries, Daddy ordered fish tacos, Nanny had a chicken sandwich and fries and Grandad coconut shrimp and a tuna club sandwich.

We ordered rum and coke for Nanny, Daddy and I had vodka and Grandad had beer, we had 2 rounds. The spirits were strong so that was all we needed. Grace was doing the falling asleep at the table thing so I brought her up at 6.45 and showered and she was in bed by 7...she was shattered!

The meal was excellent and the bill came to $140 including the tip, lovely food, company and setting a great end to another long day really.

I did some more trip report and I have to admit to turning the light out at 8... we will get better at staying up as time goes on...I hope lol

See you tomorrow and thanks for reading.

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Old 12 Aug 18, 01:15 AM  
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New Photo Added by pretty71 - 12 Aug 18 1:15 AM.
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Old 12 Aug 18, 03:58 PM  
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Glad you managed to fit some relaxing in today after a couple of busy days

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Old 12 Aug 18, 06:11 PM  
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What a nightmare drive!
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Old 13 Aug 18, 08:54 PM  
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Thatís why I donít drive in the US, way too stressful. A long day but it ended well.
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Old 18 Aug 18, 08:48 AM  
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Oh my goodness. Not the smoothest of first days, but you got there in the end!
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