And that's another Miami Dolphins first down!

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Mar 16, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Friday, October 3, 2008

From Washington the plan was to keep travelling down the east coast to Florida where we would spend a week with an old friend that I met on the West Coast a few years ago. Since time was a constraint for us in the States we booked a flight from Washington to Orlando with Airtran Airways, now officially my least favourite airline in the world! For the first time in all our months of travel we had to pay extra for our baggage, not because our bags were over weight but because the airline had some whacky rules on the overall size of your baggage not exceeding certain dimensions. We were well aware of the standard baggage size limits which we were well within and had never had a problem in the past either internationally or domestic but this particular airline had other ideas. To cut a long story short we had to pay a whopping $40 for 2 extra inches which really sucked!

In Orlando we were met at the airport by my old friend Joe who as mentioned before I had met in Langebaan while he was on a surfing safari holiday back in 2001 (I think) since then he'd got married to his beautiful wife Nurse Becky and subsequently had two delightful little daughters, two year old Breezy (aka why?) and the 'good as gold' few month old Shelby. The Kovac family graciously opened their home to us for week and from the minute we arrived made us feel right at home.

Our first day in Orlando was spent the way any good day in Orlando should, on the beach. We loaded up the cars and headed down to a little piece of beach where Joe and Becky got married, we were also joined by their friends from San Diego, Larry, Marisa and their son Anthony. We had a great day soaking up the rays and catching a few waves before settling in at the Holiday Inns pool for a few beers and cocktails.

The following day Joe had arranged us tickets for the Football in Miami where his team the San Diego Chargers were playing the local team the Miami Dolphins. Neither Inge-Marie nor I had seen a live NFL game so we were very excited to get the opportunity. Sadly Becky who is a huge Dolphins fan decided to sit out the game so she could take care of the kids while we went off to the game, so I decided not knowing much about either of the teams to support the Dolphins in her absence.

After we'd picked up Joe's brother in Miami we made our way to the stadium to join the pre-game tailgating. For us this was another new as I thought tailgating was an annoying habit some drivers adopt to speed up the slow driver in front of them. What happens at the football games is something totally different where hundreds of fans set-up little entertainment areas off the back of their truck tailgates. Many take this pastime very seriously and have a BBQ's, bars and shaded seating and spend hours socialising before the game. We arrived just in time for a few quick beers before kick-off.

We had great seats high up in the stands so we could get a good view of the field as well as the entertaining crowds in front of us. With a brief explanation of the rules we quickly started understanding the plays that were going on even though we did not understand the elaborate rules or the roles of the 90 something players on each team.

San Diego drew first blood with a field goal but very quickly lost the lead when Miami ran in a few touchdowns. Sadly for Joe the Chargers never had a sniff of the lead again and ended up losing the game. Joe, wearing his Chargers t-shirt, made us leave a few minutes before the end of the game which set the crowed around us into roar of boo's and abuse that you typically get when your team is loosing and you give up on them and leave early.

We thoroughly enjoyed the day and had a great time at the game and still hum the little Miami Dolphins team song from time to time and definitely won't forget the catch phrase we heard all day that Joe for some weird reason didn't like very much, "and that's another Miami Dolphins first down!"

During the rest of the week we made a trip to Disney's Epcot centre which was hosting a food and wine festival from around the world which was right down our alley. Spend a two days at Universal Studios theme park which had some amazing rides most notably the brand new Simpsons ride. When we looked back at the week we realised that it had flown by in no time and wished we could stayed longer. We really enjoyed being back in a normal home environment with good old home styled cooking and great company. Joe and Becky both took time off to spend with us and drove us up and down which we really appreciated, thanks guys we will look back at this part of the trip with fond memories. See you South Africa!!!
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