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Unread 3 Jul 19, 01:12 PM  
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Arrow Miami Twice August 2019

Miami Twice August 2019

Follow this trip as it happens on Twitter & Instagram @tweetwizzo

Well here we are again, the dawning of a new Pre-Trip Report which can only mean one thing, we are on the brink of our latest trip to Florida. Its been two years since I did a trip report. This effort will be my 11th Trip Report. For those of you that have read them all.youve got staying power! For those of you who are new to my reportsif you dont like moaning, mickey taking and toilet humour, hit your back button now.

Now Im not one to post a pre-trip report a year before I go, update it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday with pointless posts about how this week youve shaved your legs ready to travel or got a new toothbrush for the villa. Theres a reasons there are 4x more Pre-Trip Reports than Trip Report Indexes. These things are a lot of work and first timers in particular dont realise the commitment and self-motivation needed to complete a Trip Report. Im not the type to bail out on you all though. Oh no! I go the distance. Sometimes it takes me ages but I always finish (You dont need to comment on that Lynn!).

For those of you that dont know, Lynn is my long suffering wife. She puts up with me on holiday by utilising selective deafness along with shopping and cocktails. We have two kids, Lauren 15 and Maddy 12 who have been going to Florida since they were tiny. They dont know how lucky they are and cant even remember holidaying in the Med. To them, America is their Nirvana. They absolutely love it, as I suspect does everyone reading this.

I didnt do a Pre-Trip Report or a Trip Report in 2019 (I did take notes) because our holiday was more or less a beach holiday. As most of you know, I like to write my reports with an element of humour to them and when you predominantly go from bed to beach to restaurant, it all gets a bit samey. So I didnt bother. The same will apply this year if nothing meaningful happen (Fear not, we have a hell of a lot packed into this one!).

Right! Enough of the Pre-amble, lets talk about this year. As in the last couple of years, Ive tracked flights closely for months but booked late. We are tied to the school summer holidays and also to the last couple of weeks of August because that is the break in Laurens swimming season. Yes, shes still swimming! Maddy retired from swimming last autumn (preferring her bed) which means I only make trips to the pool 8 times a week now.

I have a hard and fast 500 per person limit for economy flights in the summer holidays and this year I couldnt beat last years 325 pp from Glasgow to Sanford with TUI. Weve paid just under the 500 and are trying a new route for us. The main advantage this year is that we leave form a relatively local airport in Leeds Bradford. We are going via Dublin with Aer Lingus which some of you know means you clear US immigration in Dublin so you dont have to queue at your US arrival airport. In our case, your arrival airport is Miami. Flights were certainly more expensive this year and in shorter supply. Last year there were two flights a week out of Glasgow for TUI and this year there is only one hence why that bargain didnt re-appear.

We have passed through Miami a couple of times before but this time we are starting our holiday there (and ending it). The plan is to spend that first night in the airport hotel before picking the car up in the morning. We are doing this more and more often now, you save a days car hire and dont have to drive to your accommodation, tired the night you arrive. Once we have wheels, we have a couple of nights booked in South Beach where we will chill out, eat and drink whilst getting acclimatised. When we first booked the flights we were hell bent of a few nights in the Keys after South Beach but as time wore on and more research was done we decided that there were better places to be for us than Key West. So we are going to do a day trip to the Keys. We will leave South Beach on the morning and head as far down as we fancy, stopping along the way before heading back to a Best Western we have booked in Florida City (just back on the mainland).

One of the reasons we went off the Keys was the fact that we all fancied some villa life again this trip with our own pool and we couldnt fit it all in. For that reason, the next four nights will be spent in a villa in Cape Coral. On the way to Cape Coral we have an airboat ride booked and we intend on dropping in to either Naples or Fort Myers Beach on the way after crossing Alligator Alley.

Are you keeping up? Theres a lot more to come.

Now this year marks a significant birthday for me (you can guess it) and that means Ive shoe horned in some things Ive always wanted to do. For starters, me and the kids have two morning fishing trips booked while were in Cape Coral. We will head out with our captain leaving Lynn to sunbathe at the villa.

From Cape Coral we head back up to our favourite haunt of all, St Pete Beach. Youve guessed it, were staying at the Grand Plaza again for 6 nights. Ive seen a few threads on the Dibb about Grand Plaza lately so well probably see some of you in Bongos!

While were in St Pete, we are going to take in an NFL game and I have secured us tickets for The Buccaneers vs Browns.

Im hoping to take the kids to a Rays game while were there too but that will be a last minute decision depending on how much time we have. Being in the Tampa area were obviously going to go to Busch Gardens who have added another cool looking rollercoaster (Tigris) this year to their already impressive line-up.

After almost a week in St Pete we head up to Orlando to close out our holiday where we have 3 nights booked at the Renaissance SeaWorld. We stayed here last year, loved the hotel and loved the location even more (The other side of SeaWorlds car park). So we will be visiting, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Aquatica while we are there. We had a magical afternoon drinking free beer in the sun last year in Discovery Cove while the kids amused themselves and we are hoping to replicate that this year!

The eagle eyed of you will have noticed theres no Disney World again, which in many ways is a shame because we still love the place. But like so many other die hard WDW fans, we also now like to see a lot more of what Florida has to offer and are totally priced out of a 3 or 4 day trip to WDW. We got a 4 park 4 day special a couple of years ago at a fairly reasonable price but that ticket hasnt been available since at a similar price. A 2 day WDW ticket is over 200! Dont get me wrong, I still think that a 14 day ultimate ticket is great value if you base yourself in Orlando for a fortnight and hammer Disney World but were getting better value from Seaworld/Busch/Aquatica tickets for virtually a quarter of the price (395 vs 111 FloridaTix today) and meaning we can do Rollercoasters in Orlando and Tampa whenever we want for 14 days.

Once we complete our stay in Orlando we have a lot of time on our last day. Sure, weve got a 3 hour drive back to Miami but our plane doesnt fly till 23:00 so we will do something on that last day too.

So thats the plan. Those of you who know us, know that our plans can be quite fluid and change on a whim when we get there but we will see how it all goes.

Weve done plenty of food research and have a few spots picked out that we want to eat at. We will eat what America does best, pancakes, burgers, BBQ etc etc a trip of fine nouvelle cuisine this wont be.

Countdown is active below. The working title of Miami Twice (Trip Report itself is normally different to my Pre-Trippy) is in homage to Only fools and Horses and because we start and end in Miami. We fly on 11th August and spend 17 nights in the Sunshine State. I hope you drop in and follow what goes/went on.

Till then, I leave you with our traditional rules of engagement on this holiday know as our Dos and Donts (I know its naff but humour me on this one)

We will pose nicely for photos

We won't look gormless in photos

We will leave Dad to enjoy some peace and a drink

We won't end up ill

We will eat our own body weight in junk food

We won't choose the 'lite option'

We will appreciate the wildlife

We won't prod the wildlife with a paddle!

We will leave Dad to enjoy some peace and a drink

We won't play army

We will be gentle with the wildlife

We won't bang on the glass!

We will respect other peoples naff publicity stunts

We won't shamelessly publicise ourselves!

We will keep up our fitness

We won't mock other people's lack of fitness (Me)

We will leave Dad to enjoy some peace and a drink

We won't break the hire car this year (Technically not my fault)

We will represent wherever we go (Ray Jay). Go Steelers!

We won't cheat at draughts (Checkers my ass)

We will enjoy the sun

We won't enjoy the rain (I miss May and September holidays!)

We will leave the mother in law at home

We will take her daughter with us

We will leave Dad to enjoy some peace and a drink

We won't spend all day on our phones!

We will laugh at Maddy catching flies

We won't laugh as much at the word 'Cornhole'

Most of all, like the wildlife, we will have fun

Thanks for Reading. I hope you enjoy the report.

Current Trip Report Pizza, Wings and Stranger Things 2019

My old trip reports are all HERE

Edited at 01:21 PM.
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Florida Road Trip 2019 begins in...
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Unread 3 Jul 19, 01:32 PM  
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Fabulous, I love reading your trip reports, particularly your humour. Look forward to reading along your adventures.
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Unread 3 Jul 19, 02:22 PM  
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Wow looking forward to this sounds like a great plan!
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Are we nearly there yet?!
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Unread 3 Jul 19, 02:40 PM  
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Looking forward to another great trip report.
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Unread 3 Jul 19, 02:44 PM  
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Rob & Jan
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Great a new trip report - you were missed last year!
Aylesbury Villa

2 Master ensuite bedrooms
2 twin bedrooms
Large pool (30ft x 15ft) with mosaic dolphins!
Extended deck and Lanai
WiFi, Games Room, Xbox 360 with games
Monitored Alarm & safe
Florida Licence no DWE6312349 -This is a collective licence under our MC's name.

see our website
email dawson.jan@gmail.com

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A long stay at Aylesbury Villa !
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Unread 3 Jul 19, 04:21 PM  
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Sounds great!

Happy 60th birthday

Jo xxx
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Unread 3 Jul 19, 04:29 PM  
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Yay! Youre back! Like Nips said, Happy 60th bud x
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All over for another year...
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Unread 3 Jul 19, 04:48 PM  
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Cant wait! Love your trip reports! 🤗We are there the exact same time. Miami, Orlando then last 4 nights St Petes which will almost certainly include a trip to Bongos will look out for you 👋
Been to Florida several times throughout the 80's,90's,1999 to see in the millenium,back in Oct 2009 to spread my dads ashes & first time on our own as a family in March 2012. Going back in May 2013 - 1 week Orlando and 1 week St Pete beach. To say I'm excited is an understatement!
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August 2019 again!
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