And so it began on April 5th, 2014 at around 1 pm. There was excitement that I’ll be driving my own/favorite car, Mustang GT, and doing my favorite thing of visiting new places, experiencing and doing new things. And then there was teeny bit of curiosity that I might be driving myself crazy for being alone most of the time. With those feelings I zoomed on Florida Turnpike destined for Atlanta to meet my best friend, Pavan. The drive was kind of a relief because I now know for sure that I was gonna leave the flatland for good. Miami is a great place to visit over weekends to bask in the glory of the world’s best beaches and make your palate dance with some exotic Latin American cuisine but to live in it for more than 2 years just bores you to death especially if you’re a person who likes exploring places around. On that positive note I reach Atlanta.
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Back to MIAWalked around South Beach before heading to the airport.I didn’t enjoy Miami like I thought I would. I guess the weather not being nice was a turn off. I had the opportunity to go to Daytona Beach last year as well as Captiva Island and it was beautiful and nice tropical vacation. Probably won't go back to Miami but I'm glad I crossed it off the list.
Walt Disney World
Things to Do One of the most popular themed resorts in the world, Walt Disney World in Orlando features four theme parks, two water parks, several golf courses, a camping resort, additional entertainment venues, 27 themed resort hotels and nine non-Disney hotels.New in 2017 The newest theme park coming to Disneyland’s Animal Kingdom is Disney World: Pandora—The World of Avatar, complete with floating mountains. It is slated to open this May, so you may see on your summer trip to the park. The thrilling simulator, Avatar Flight of Passage, will enable riders to climb on the back of a winged-mountain banshee and traverse the Pandoran Jungle. The Na’vi River Journey, a scenic boat ride, will take passengers into a bioluminescent rainforest.Among other developments, the Animal Kingdom park at Disney World has extended the operating hours to include after-dark experiences and nighttime safaris. Other Locations: California, Hawaii, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
The second day was spent in the Animal Kingdom park! This was loads of fun. It's like a zoo with rides. Being animal lovers, we really enjoyed our time here. Almost every ride was worth the wait and we were constantly surprised by interesting animals or beautiful birds.Must-Dos: Wildlife express, Everest expedition, Awakening of the tree of life (show), Bird show, Riverboat ride.Tip: Walk to all the animal viewing areas to see everything from river otters to tigers.Eat At: Yak and YetiRank amongst 4 parks: 2nd
Disney's Hollywood Studios
We chose the Hollywood studios park first because we were still jet lagged and didn't want to do a bigger park, afraid we might miss some of it! To make it easier for you to plan, I'm going to make this quick.Must-Dos: Hollywood tower hotel, rock and rolla coasterTips: Buy the photopass for your entire stay and you can ask any Disney photographer to take beautiful photos of you that you can then download from the app. Super helpful if you're on a honeymoon and don't want awkward selfies as the only photos you have together.Eat At: Mama Melrose'sRank amongst 4 parks: 3rd
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
If you’re a history buff, a fan of the author or just a curious traveller like me, you must not miss The Ernest Hemingway House while visiting Key West. Situated in the Old Town area of Key West, which is also known as the Historic District (more on this to come in a separate post), this place was the home of the famous American author, Ernest Hemingway, for ten years.
I have to say this was the most disappointing of the four Disney parks. All our friends had mentioned Epcot as a must do so we were probably expecting it to be more fun than the other two parks we had already seen. Epcot is dry, grey and steely. It's not cheerful or playful like the other parks and the rides aren't grown up enough to justify how boring it is! This was the first time we left a park before sunset because we just weren't feeling itMust-Dos: Space mountainTip: Look out for art exhibits or other events at Epcot- it's usually the most 'adult' park of the fourEat At: Starbucks!Rank amongst 4 parks: Last/4th
Pastel Colored structures welcoming us to the IslandsWe decided to splurge a little and encash our travel points with the Mariott Group and had booked the Mariott Beachside Resort at Key West and it was truly worth it! The view was mesmerising. To wake up in the morning to the expanse of those blue waters and sails parked all around and the gradual tint in those skies as the sun comes up is enchanting. It was like a picture waiting to be painted, Alas, we all have our shortcomings, I had to make peace with capturing it on a mobile camera and Instagram it.
Florida - The Sunshine State in the United States is the land of sun, sand and sea. It has few of the world's best beaches encompassing from Atlantic Ocean in its east coast to the Gulf of Mexico in the west coast, no wonder this part of the world is a beach lovers paradise. Whether you love isolated beaches or family-friendly one with live entertainments and exotic beach parties, Florida has everything to offer you. But my favorite is Siesta beach, located on southwest coast of Siesta Key island, Florida. It is blessed with the world's finest, whitest sand as well as exotic flowers, magnificent banyan trees and preserved mangrove shores where ibis, snowy egrets and herons claim refuge for their young. And yeah, the breathtaking sunset which is every photographers dream to capture! Do share your favorite beach in the comments below? P.S.- This post also got published in Huff Post, US. You can find it here.
Seven Mile Bridge
Seven Mile Bridge, United StatesLocated in the Florida Keys in Monroe County, Florida, this bridge was built between 1909 and 1912 and connects Knight’s Key to Little Duck Key and is located on US Route 1. The road is very aptly called the Overseas Highway because as you drive over it, all you will see around you is a beautiful blue ocean. The bridge’s older section, while not open to vehicular traffic, is open to pedestrians and cyclists. A drive on this bridge is an experience of a lifetime!
In the morning, visit the mangrove forest. The back canals are used as local highways, transporting cars, goods and people on small flat-bed boats, but a large area is off-limits to commercial transportation and is a designated a bird sanctuary. Tour it by canoe and spot herons, eagles and even flying fish. An excellent guide can be found at the turtle sanctuary next door to Pez — our guide, Noy, was extremely knowledgeable, although his English was not the best.
To visit this scenic wonder and enjoy the multitudes of water sports you must be accompanied with someone who is affiliated to University of Florida and has a membership card because this is a University recreation center. There are quiet a number of picnic tables on the lake shore where you can carry your KFC buckets! If you are lucky enough than you can spot a couple of gators basking in the sun.
National Naval Aviation Museum
Naval Aviation Museum:India's one and only Naval Museum is located in Goa near Goa International Airport.The Museum initially had a small collection of 6 aircraft of World War II vintage - Sealand, Alize, Dove, Vampire, Sea Hawk and Hughes Helicopter. Today there are 15 types of aircraft at the museum and wide-ranging exhibits including a scaled model of the aircraft carrier INS Viraat, complete with a ski-jump runway, and Sea Harrier jump jets on its deck. The museum also preserves the historic Super Constellation aircraft, which paved way for Indian Navy to take over Maritime Patrol duties from the Indian Air Force.It would not be possible to describe in detail here, the wealth of information at the museum except to say that if you are a historian, an aviation enthusiast, or just plain curious to learn more about naval aviation, be prepared to spend at least a few hours here!And don't go there on Monday- it's Holiday. Houses of Goa:The museum is built on a traffic island in Torda, Salvador-do-Mundo, Goa.Strangely enough, it is in the shape of a triangle and resembles a ship.Viewed from the outside it is a mystery, but as you begin your visit, it slowly unfolds its charms.The museum has the wide collections of pictures of Goan House which is a treat to watch.It is located at the distance of five km from Panjim.