Trek America | Siesta Key Beach and Orlando

The shenanigans in the Sunshine State continued with a stop-off at Siesta Key Beach on our way to Orlando for some much-needed beach time. We got to hang out with Allen’s family.

siesta key beach sarasota florida sunset

After finally arriving in Orlando, we got to our hotel and we were relieved about the two big double beds. After some Chinese food, we then got some sleep.

The next day the group split as some went to Universal Studios earlier on for the whole day, but I decided I really wanted to go to the Kennedy Space Center first. It was really busy as there were such long queues and a lot of things, such as the Dinner with an Astronaut, seemed to be all booked up.

kennedy space center florida ticket and flyer

As soon as we got there, we saw the Rocket Garden, which were rockets that had actually been into space on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programmes.

kennedy space center florida rocket garden and blue sky

kennedy space center at christmas rocket garden

kennedy space center rocket garden and christmas tree

kennedy space center rockets and xmas tree

kennedy space center international space station

kennedy space center international space station flags

We took a bus tour where we go to see the actual place where the actual space crafts take off which was pretty mind-blowing and fascinating – driving past the places where real space crafts take off. Whilst we were at it, we also spotted a few more gators as we drove past!

kennedy space center bus tour nasa launch centre grounds blue sky

trek america kennedy space center inside

After that, it was off to the NASA museum, where we got a glimpse of all the spacesuits through the ages.

kennedy space center florida

kennedy space center apollo 17 spacesuit in museum

kennedy space center manned moon exploration inside museum

kennedy space center museum

kennedy space center under rocket

kennedy space center apollo 14 command module

hand casts of apollo astronauts kennedy space center florida

A7-L extra vehicular suit kennedy space center


 

And off to Universal Studios, Orlando….

universal studios orlando florida

Later that day, we headed to Universal Studios in the afternoon. We didn’t get to go on that many rides unfortunately because of the massive queues as it was high season.

In fact, the others waited FOUR hours just to get on the Transformers ride. After being in the queue for the Despicable Me ride for 40 minutes, we eventually gave up and explored the rest of the park. We went on both the Shrek and Terminator indoor simulators.

Later on, it was the Macy’s Holiday Parade, which was spectacular and a complete visual treat. It just made my time in Orlando so special. I felt so grateful that I got to witness such an incredible, psychedelic spectacle that I would never have gotten to see had I come at any other time of the year.

universal studios orlando dora the explorer

universal studios orlando

universal studios orlando florida blues brothers

universal studios orlando florida macy's holiday parade

universal studios orlando macy's holiday parade

macy's holiday parade orlando florida

macys holiday parade orlando florida

macy's holiday parade orlando

macy's holiday parade universal studios orlando florida

macy's holiday parade orlando florida teddy bears

universal studios orlando inflatable curious george

universal studios orlando macy's holiday parade minions

universal orlando macy's holiday parade the simpsons

universal studios orlando macys holiday parade marge simpson

universal studios orlando christmas tree

We then visited a couple of gift shops where I treated myself to a rather dashing set of Simpsons pyjamas and slippers. That really compensated for not getting to go on the Simpsons ride, as we didn’t have four hours to spare to queue for the ride.

In order to really get the full experience of Orlando’s offerings, you’d need at least a few days there. So I’m well up for going back there in the future, probably during “shoulder season” (just need someone to come along with me – any takers?).

The next morning, we embarked on the seven hour drive from Orlando to Panama City Beach and stopped off at a park in Tallahassee, but I left my camera in the van so didn’t take any pictures – oops!

When we finally got to Panama City Beach, we were greeted with dismal weather and it just rained so that meant no more beach time for us.

panama city beach rainy weather

Later that evening, after a very brief time at the beach, we went or a spot of bowling and returned to our hotel to play some drinking games to make up for the awful weather.

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