The everglades and orlando

Trip Start May 14, 2008
Trip End May 06, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, June 4, 2008

We got to florida city - well they call it a city but there isnt much there since it was destroyed about 15 yrs ago, we got there quite late, and buy the time we had gotten the bus from the greyhound station - (because they put them all in really out of the way places, really crap!) and managed to find our hostel it was about 10pm.

The hostel its self was really nice, so different from all the others we have stayed in so far, i think because it is a family run onw, it was really quiet and homely, with our own shower, and its own little bookcase and everything. When we got there they had left an envelope on the front desk welcoming us and with our room keys. For the 1st day or so we were the only guests, and the owner (oweyn)and the people who volunteer there (scott and graham) we all really nice and friendly.

Linzie actually made pancakes! i was amazed haha., they set us up for the day anyway, along with a gorgeous coffee from the shop down the road.

On our 1st full day there we headed to the allegator farm, they do hover boat rides, allegator and snake shows and you get to hold some of the animals. One the air boat we got soaked! they tell you all about the place, and show you the wildlife, then they spin the thing round, speed off down the river, twirling the boat around and do a 360! and you all get drenched,  but it was so much fun! definately recommend it! - although there is a really funny sign saying no swimming, which made me wonder - could ANYONE really be that stupid???! I think the best thing about the whole day though was getting to hold the baby allegator and having the snake wraped round my neck, i was quite proud of myself that i didnt get scared at all and really enjoyed it.
At night, we just chilled out and had a few beers with the lads, was really nice just to sit back and relax, the garden was just like a tropical paradise - on the down side me, linz and jess all got eaten alive by the mosquitoes.

On our last full day in florida city we went to the everglades, the hostel owners organise bikes aswell as lifts into and from the park. we spent hours walking and cycling around the park and its amazing how close you get to the allegators and other wildlife, i really enjoyed it, but by the end of the day we were all knacked and still had to cycle all the way back to the entrance - another few miles away, it seemed like forever!

The journey from the everglades to orlando wasnt too bad, although it was yet another 8 hours, it would have been less but the woman behind the greyhound desk in miami was being a bitch and being as slow as is humanly possible because she was having a bad day and really didnt care that our bus was in 10 mins and if we missed it we would have to sit around the station for another 2 hours. There were a few more strange people on the bus aswell, we seem to attract strange people who want to chat to us for hours!
When we got to orlando it was a bit creepy, downtown seems to be very rough and i was glad i was there with the other 2 girls, we had to wait ages for the local bus, and while at the bus stop we had one guy come up to us, he seemed quite rough so jessica spoke to him in german and we stood there looking dumb and said zu spreche zie deutsch?? and luckily he went away!! then there were the other guys who were asking us where the dope was at!!!so we just laughed and told them to jog on,  but thats only the downtown area, orlando tourist district is really nice, although i have never seen so many fast food places in one place, its quite funny that there is one on every corner.

Didnt really do that much in Orlando, went shopping, got my hair dyed - it was in desperate need!!! i know im supposed to be doing the whole scruffy traveller thing, but i just cant go to that level! my hair was literally turning orange in the sun, i looked like rough trailer trash!! Me and Jess went to universal studios, which was cool, loads of simulation rides -like the new simpsons one, and a few rollercoasters, but was way toooo hot to be walking around all day, and the really annoying thing is that before you can step onto any of the rides you have to stand and watch a crappy video about the background of the film / programme with rubbish actors, gets so annoying especially after the 1st 5 or so rides!
Ended up spending 5 nights in the comfort inn in orlando, simply because we found a discount coupon in a book and ended up getting the room for 45 dollars a night, between the 3 of us! bargain! so we stayed for the pool and the luxury!
Met a group of london guys by the pool after a few days of being there and they invited us out downtown with them that night, went to tgi fridays and had a fantastic steak!!! and then onto a bar, i have no idea what it was called but it was mad!! all the staff were proper dressed up as clowns - in bikinis and cats etc and just come round and pour shots down your neck! and every so often loads of napkins came flying through the air. never seen a place like it before, mental!!!  Glad we went with the lads tho, as downtown is supposed to be quite dangerous especially for girls on their own, and luckily for us aswell the boys bought all our beers :) cheap night out or what!!!
We left for the greyhound station on Saturday and oh my god what a nightmare!!! the 10.30pm bus to Atlanta was fully booked so we had to book the 1.25am bus, which mean hours and hours in the crappy bus terminal, then at 1.25 they started to load the bus and stopped when they got to us because the bus had been over booked and was full. They had to ring round all the standby drivers to see if they could get another bus, which eventually turned up at half 4 in the morning - so you can imagine no one was in the best of moods, the only lucky thing about it was that this bus was quiet so we all had 2 seats to ourselves to sleep. Got about 3 hours sleep and then just couldnt go back to sleep, the journey took 8 hours and when we arrived in Atlanta in was boiling hot!
We stupidly decided to find our own way to the hotel, and walked the wrong way down the street, for about 45 mins!!! and when we realised, the day had been that rubbish we just couldnt take anymore and hailed a cab. But the crap day doesnt stop there!!!! ...... we arrived at the hotel - the days inn - thinking "thank god for that finally here!" but then reception couldnt find our reservation! luckily they have wifi and i had my laptop so we managed to confirm it with the jessies email but then also had to ring the agent to confirm it! what a bloody palarver of a day that was!!! and then to top it all off, i got a dodgy stomach :( couldnt go out for tea with linz and jess and spent the night feeling sorry for myself wishing like a 10yr old that i was at home with my mum, lazing under my duvet on the sofa watching crap tele and drinking chicken soup out of a mug!
But hey .... we are in Atlanta now so we shall see what this place brings .....
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