Apr 9, 2012

Florida Road Trip

There are holidays and then there are holidays like this one, which are more like HOLY days.....meaning, days of peace and quiet, days that you fully and entirely enjoy, selfish days, days where you can recover from or prepare yourself for something. In our case, it was more the latter ;))

So what can I say about our trip to Florida? Honestly? Lots! Too much even! ...and narrowing it down will be immensly difficult. We spent 11 fabulous days traveling around Florida by car and here is what we did and some snapshots.

March 22nd
An awfully long flight from Geneva, via Zurich to Miami international airport. Have you ever immigrated into the US? Well, then you know why you are not exactly happy even to be off the plane. In fact, that's when the hard part starts. The waiting..........

March 22nd-24th
Picking up our rental car and driving across to the west side and to Port Charlotte.
On Friday we spent a sunny afternoon on Englewood beach. Great place!
Englewood beach
Chris taking the plunge ;)
Me at Englewood beach
 In the evening we drove to Fort Myers Beach to try out a restaurant recommended to us by a friend, Matanzas, where Chris tried Alligator tail and I had an amazingly yummy Pina Colada and a very tasty Lobster.

Choosing what to eat....not so easy when hungry like a wolf ;)
On Saturday, we spent the whole day attending Florida International Airshow with VIP Photographers passes. Very convenient and very price worthy!!

March 24th-25th
Driving up to Orlando to visit Disney world!! Thanks to my super kind former colleague from Disney, we got employee tickets and could enjoy a great, sunny day in Disney's Magic Kingdom. We wanted to visit the other parks as well, but time flies fast when you're having fun ;))

March 25th-29th
We drove down to Boca Raton on the east coast where we spent some really really great days of both beach and pool time (including lots of reading), diving, shopping and eating ;)) 
Pool time in Boca
By the beach in Boca Raton
We also took the time one evening to go to the cinema and finally watched "The Hunger Games" (read more here: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_hunger_games/ ) ! Such a great and thrilling movie!!! We both loved it.

On Chris's birthday (26th of March) we went to "Wakodahatchee Wetlands" (a bit of a local secret gem), close to Delray beach, where we saw, among many other species, both 2 kinds of turtles and an alligator, swimming very close to where we were. Really cool!

See you later, Alligator!
A cute little turtle made a swim-by =))
A proud birdie
A loud birdie!
Enjoying the views
Water lily's
Boca Raton was a lovely place that we will try to go back to! It's beautiful, clean, has great diving and lost of friendly people and quite a lot of things to do as well. It also had a beautiful, loooooong beach. Unfortunately, Boca had no Pinkberry (which is my favorite frozen yoghurt brand) but they did have something very similar called Yogen Früz, where one of their current special flavors suited me like a hand in a glove, namely: Pina Colada =p I had one each day of course to be sure I'd get my share of this divine dessert....... Ha ha haaaa!
Pina Colada flavored frozen yoghurt with fresh coconut, mango and strawberries
If you like Asian food and you're in the neighborhood, I'd recommend you to try "Kin noodle bar", located on South federal highway! Great food and great service......so good that we ate there two evenings in a row ;)

March 29th-30th
We drove on towards Key Largo and on the way passed by the gigantic outlet "Sawgrass Mills"! Amazingly worth the time! I found so many treasures here even though we only spent a few hours there. Afterwards we continued driving down to Key Largo where we only spent one day. Unfortunately, the hotel was not as good as promised when we booked it, which was a bit of a disappointment. Chris had some great sushi though in the neighbor restaurant, which compensated for that part ;) Also, I must say, the sunset was STUNNING!!
The small marina at the hotel
The sun is beginning to set
Our reflections from the pier
The gorgeous Key Largo sunset!
March 30th-April 1st
Again driving on. This time to Key West! A beautiful but quite long drive. We made some stops along the way to enjoy the scenic views and also to take a swim in the sea. No so easy as it was VERY shallow waters.
Once down in Key West, we checked into Avalon Bed and Breakfast! Highly recommended!! Super cute and lovely rooms and fantastic service and breakfasts. It's located right on Duval street, very near the Southern most point. If you go, depending on what you want to do, I'd say that to generalize, the closer to the southern most point you get on Duval street, the calmer. While the closer to Mallory square on the other end, the more noisy and "partyish" it gets ;)

Some very good rules at this guesthouse!!
Walking Duval Street

Key West sunset
One of the many performers on Mallory square at sunset...
 While in Key West, we spent one amazing day on a sail boat arranged by a company called Danger Charters. This is a tour with a very limited amount of passengers, which makes it a nicer experience. Again HIGHLY recommended!! It was a half day snorkeling/kayaking tour on a very special sail boat that can go on extremely shallow waters. The crew was lots of fun and very knowledgable. We kayaked around a little wildlife sanctuary where we saw and heard lots of birds and also got to "meet" a big Horseshoe Crab.
While kayaking, we saw a Bonnet head shark swimming by which was really cool and while snorkeling, Chris and I followed a Stingray for quite a while and managed to snap a shot of it.
We are sailing!
In the kayak
Horse shoe crab
A Queen Angelfish
Sea star resting at the bottom of the sea
Sting ray
In Key West, we were a bit annoyed about the size of the portions while ordering food or ice cream.... It is unbelievable if a single person can manage to finish a plate down there!! One evening, we had pasta in a nice Italian restaurant and I was hungry like a wolf. When I was finished, my plate looked untouched and if we would have had a microwave in our hotel, we could have saved what was left and enjoyed another three meals from just my plate, without exaggerating. Quite a waste and really crazy!

We had one of our best dinners in Key West at a Tapas restaurant called "Santiago's Bodega" located on Petronia street, which would be my favorite food recommendation if you go Key West. Everything we had tasted DIVINE and came in at least roughly normal sized tapas portions. Compared to European tapas plates however, I'd say each tapas dish can easily be shared by 2 people! Go there if you have the chance..... I'd be very surprised if you are disappointed =p

April 1st-April 2nd
We arrived quite late in Miami Beach and basically went straight to bed. The next morning we walked around the area, had a lovely breakfast at a bakery called "Paul" on Lincoln road! Great spot for breakfasts, brunches, lunches and/or people watching =)
I was recommended by a friend to try Coconut Mojito's during our trip and had one on Lincold road that tasted amazing!! If you are a coconut fan like me, don't miss out =p

Coconut Mojito
As it was such an incredibly hot day, we weren't exactly enjoying walking around in the city too much, so in the early afternoon we decided to do some last minute shopping at "Dadeland mall" which is only 20 minutes away from Miami International airport. This way we escaped the heat and were instead freezing from the mall air conditioning ;)

April 2nd -April 3rd
On the 2nd we flew back from Miami to Geneva via Zurich. A for once, very painless long haul flight as I fell asleep sometime after a few chapters of the new book that I bought, "Bossy pants" by Tina Fey (highly entertaining!!) and the airplane dinner. I woke up just before landing in Zurich....in other words, I was quite exhausted.

I loved every second of this trip but can clearly say that 10-11 days is NOT ENOUGH!! At least not when driving around so much. I definitely want to go back one day....


PS. I will do a separate post on the shopping ;))


  1. ja vad ska man säga.. jag blir sjukt avis varje gång nån tar sig en trip till mitt Florida!
    Och du var ju nära där jag bodde ju! 3 år spenderade jag brunbent i Delray Beach.
    Gotta love it!!


    1. .....och jag blir sjukt avis over att du BOTT dar i 3 ar =)) Fantastiskt stalle det dar..... Kram!!

  2. WOW! That was exhausting to read, I can imagine it was an exhausting trip! Gorgeous picks, especially of the sunset. Florida is a beautiful place. I've only been once. Hopefully I'll get back there someday! Glad you made it home safely :)

    1. Ha ha haaaaa I can imagine!! I can tell you it was quite a struggle to narrow it down even to this......and I didn't want to make it more than one post either.
      Thanks for the photo compliment =))) x

  3. Looks like a fun place to visit. I was in the States once back in 2005 and I didn't get to Florida, but I would sure love to go. Good to have you back though I imagine another 10 days in the sun would have been great :))

  4. Great holiday Linda and forty nine more states to see... but you have time

  5. Pictures are great and can see you two had a great time. So glad we got to meet and that you enjoyed yourselves while here at the Florida International Air Show and ever where you visited. We love our beaches. Our air show next year is Mar 23-24 if you can come again for it. But do come again and see us even if not at that time and keep in touch. Kate Port Charlotte Fl

  6. Looks like you had a fantastic time! I live in Ft. Lauderdale, FL so I'm all to familiar with Sawgrass Mall :) I certainly hope you get to come visit again, lots more to see and do! I'm looking forward to visiting Switzerland again, haven't been since 2006. Beautiful country! We need to invent a teleporter so we can swap without the exhausting long flights! I here ya on that one :)

  7. Wow you really did travel all around! I was born in Orlando so I'm glad you got to see Cinderella's Castle at Disney, it's so beautiful lit up at night. I currently live in Boca which I saw you got to visit also! On the frozen yogurt note, if you ever come back I recommend 16 Handles!! They always have 16 different flavors but they change them up every month :) I see you got some pool/beach time though so that's what really counts.

  8. Wow, eleven days in Florida! By the looks of it, you really made the most out of your vacation! Your pictures really showed how wonderful the state is and so was your experience there. I love the sunset and the animals’ shots the best! The airshow is cool too! I look forward to more of your adventures soon.

    Danny Riddell


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