Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Travel Tuesday: USA Roadtrip #3 Orlando.

Once again, I must apologise for the absence of this post, a little later than its predecessors. Lots of work and pub commitments. Being sociable is knackering, but I'm back with the third post in my USA series. FLORIDA.

So, carrying on from where we left off. From Washington to Orlando direct is a 22 hour journey. I'm all up for travelling, but 22 hours on a bus isn't the most pleasant of experiences. So, we decided to take a few pit stops on the way. From DC we got on a bus to Knoxville (9 hours done) where we were blessed with the opportunity to stay in a hotel. Non communal showers, double beds, room service and a TV. After 5 days of sleeping in hostel bunk beds and Megabus seats, we were so grateful for comfortable beds. 10 minutes after checking in, we were already in our bikinis and in the pool for a late night swim, a little delirious from sleep deprivation and lots of travelling, it felt like such a luxury.

After a late night swim, we did a bit of washing in the hotel laundry room, another luxury for smelly travellers, and then ordered room service. Unfortunately, the room service was over an hour late, and by that time, I'd passed out on the oh-so-comfortable bed, but we ended up getting a $30 order for free. Alongside the smallest bottle of ketchup I've ever seen, so small it was worth a photo.


Waking up feeling refreshed and ready for our next dose of travelling, we hopped into a taxi and hitched a lift to the bus station. Fortunately, the next journey was only 4 hours long. Knoxville to Georgia, Atlanta. A little bit of a detour caused by the fact that Megabus don't go directly to Florida from Knoxville, but we were excited to be stopping in yet another place to explore. 

Upon arrival in Atlanta, Caitlin directed us to the nearest restaurant. As hungry travellers, often the first thing we did in the cities we stopped in was eat. The dinner I encountered on this evening, has to be one of the strangest dinner combinations I've ever seen. Chicken and wait for it... Waffles. Now, I'm not sure wether I'm just late to the party on hearing about this whole food combo fiasco, but I can't say it was something I was in love with. Nevertheless, it was food, and it filled a hole.

Next up, a 4 hour wait in Georgia, Atlanta. If you've ever been to Georgia, you'll know how scary this experience was at night. A very eery part of town filled with drunks and businessmen. 4 hours later, on the verge of crying with exhaustion and actually being cold for the first time on my stay in the USA, the bus arrived and we were welcomed into the loving arms of once again, more Megabus seats. I'm not complaining, especially when getting from city to city was as cheap as $1. Bargain. 

I can't say that I actually remember the 9 hour journey I was then faced with, I spent most of it unconscious next to Caitlin, who I think did 9 hours straight of making friendship bracelets. A very "Camp America" past time.

Now, for the best bit... ORLANDO.

Following the usual pattern, we checked into the Hotel at 10am and made a swift exit once again to find food. Across the road from where we were staying, was IHOP. Dangerous! My first and only ever experience of IHOP, but probably the best one I'll ever have. 

Never have I had such a satisfyingly hearty breakfast. So, after hardly being able to walk out of the restaurant, we jumped in a taxi to Universal. With two days worth of tickets, we spent our first day wondering around the Studios, as a film fanatic, this excited me immensely, especially the minion ride, in which we actually were the only people there without a child under the age of 5. No shame. My favourite part? Rock 'n' Roller coaster, roaring around the park listening to any song of your choice. Incredible.

After a long hard day of being in the scorching heat, ridiculous amounts of 4D cinemas, and eating over priced food, we finished the day with a visit to Hooters. My first ever experience of "boobs and chicken" and I have to say, it was pretty darn tasty, and not at all awkward. With my mission to buy a t-shirt from every city we visited, I took the opportunity to purchase a "Hooters Orlando, FL" t-shirt, and I flipping love it.

Regardless of your age, if you're going to Orlando, you've got to do Seaworld, if not for the amazing marine life, then for Shamu. It's such a magical place, filled with happiness and cheesy Disneyesque music. As well as the marine life, they have amazing rides, Manta especially, if like me you're a lover of Alton Towers' Air, imagine that but 10x better and you have Manta. It's just an amazing day, even as 19 year olds, the girls and I had an amazing day, even the rain couldn't put off.

Dinner on this evening was a little risky to say the least, Caitlin and I went back to the hotel whilst Esther risked life and limb for our McDonalds dinner. Why I hear you say? Well, pedastrian crossings are few and far between in Orlando, so Esther had to do a little jaywalking with 3 happy meals in her backpack. Our food-fetching hero.

Finally, our last stop in Orlando. We made our way back to Universal in the torrential rain, Hurricane Isaac was on it's way, which did wonders for my mothers grey hairs (sorry mum). Having already done Studios, it was time for Islands of Adventure, which only meant one thing... HARRY POTTER WORLD! The rain would not deter our plans, nothing and nobody was getting in the way of me and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. After at least 4 goes round on the Hulk ride, sitting at the front, being pelted by rain at 60 mph, we came off with bright red faces, donned our rain coats and made a head for Harry Potter World. After spending an hour walking around the rides, we had brunch in The Three Broomsticks, made a quick stop in Olivanders, and decided that the chaffing was too much. Denim and rain definitely do not mix. So we jumped in a taxi back to our Hotel and spent the remainder of the afternoon in the Hot Tub, followed by a Pizza Hut delivery and copious amounts of trashy american TV.

And that saw the end of our time in Orlando.

1 comment :

  1. If I remember correctly on the bus between Atlanta and Orlando we swapped between sleeping on the two back seats and sleeping in the footspace of those backseats, which was surprisingly comfortable! Ever the classy ladies.