Although it just feels like yesterday, it’s been almost three years since our vacay to West Palm Beach in Florida. What a dreamy two-week holiday that was. A holiday and a much-needed catch-up with my bestest, Selina, who was working out there.
With just short of two weeks, planning and timing was of the essence. As part of our trip, we wanted to cram in the ultimate essentials and take advantage of how close we were to exciting attractions and the sea. We also didn’t know when we’d ever be back next in America, so we wanted to do it all!
The beauty of visiting coastal cities such as Florida, California or Washington, is the opportunity to island hop. A mini-holiday within a holiday, whether it’s a weekend resort escape to the Bahamas or a mid-week retreat in a vacation house rental in Hawaii.
Whilst you’re there getting to know America, consider an island exploration within the Atlantic Ocean or Central Pacific where you’ll be wowed by the archipelagos and their natural beauty.
As part of our trip to West Palm Beach, our original plan had always factored in a trip to the Bahamas. Our 10-day trip was starting to fill up very quickly, packed with local attractions, must-try activities, enough pit stops to refuel at, and the ultimate classics. And when I say classics, I mean CLASSIC classics.
So here’s our fun-filled itinerary:
Surprisingly not jet lagged at all, but day one was acclimatization phase. The weather was gorgeously tropical, so the humidity was something we had to adjust to. A storm was brewing too. We checked into our hotel and headed straight out to the pool until the most dramatic downpour arrived.
During the impressive downpour, we drove over to the outlets opposite the hotel (yes – lazy, I know, but 1) we didn’t want to get wet and 2) we had a mid-life Chrysler we just really wanted to drive!) and had a little shop around.
Having headed down to the port, we were on a mission to hire out a canoe and paddle around Peanut Island. It was a scorcher of a day, so we took advantage of the surrounding lake to dip in and out of. We spent the best part of a full day out and about, stopping off at the island for a spot of sunbathing, before returning as Master-Paddler and admiring the view.
Late that night, we headed Downtown to check out the night time vibes and for a bite to eat. Overwhelmed with choice, this place knows how to cater for any kind of appetite.
The most unexpected experience happened on this day, completely unplanned, totally random. We checked out the local gun range just to see what it’s like. Before we knew it, and bloody fortunate at that, we were all kitted up with all the gear to shot at some targets. How we had swindled this I’m still unsure, but the British accent may have helped.
The power behind these weapons is terrifyingly exciting. What a thrill!
Wanting to explore more of Florida’s beaches, we visited both Juno and Jupiter beach. We spent the morning and early lunch here before the midday sun arrived. It was particularly hot, and the sea breeze was a nice cooler from the heat of the sun.
We tanked in a few rays, relaxed under the piers and walked along the sandy shores, before making out way over to the Cheesecake Factory, because it just had to be done.
Selina raved about this place, and I couldn’t wait to give it a go. Their options for mains was impressive, we all opted for something totally different and were all completely in love with our choices. As for the desserts, well this was something completely beyond my belief.
Thirty cheesecake variations and counting. This is for real. So excited and overwhelmed with options and portion sizes, we rolled out of The Cheesecake Factory, with a doggy bag included.
Five miles from the hotel, Mounts Botanical Garden proved to be a gorgeous excursion. With an encouraged donation of a few dollars, you’re open to roam the 14-acre park and appreciate the 2,000-different species of plants. My word of warning, if you’re prone to mosquito bites, spray plenty of repellent beforehand and quite possibly avoid the Rainforest Garden.
Leaving with 50+ bites wasn’t quite what I had expected, but the walk was certainly lovely.
DISNEYWORLD. HERE. WE. COME.
So, when I said before that the classics had to be done, well this is what I meant.
Oh, my goodness, Disneyworld was just phenomenal and genuinely magical. Apart from the mosquito bites that were a pain to ignore, the rides, appearances and atmosphere was breath-taking.
We bought day passes for the Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom, meaning we had to be quick on our feet to see each park in just a day.
The Animal Kingdom was first up. The Tree of Life was spectacular, the safari exhilarating, and the daytime shows exciting, even for adults. So much to see, so much to take in.
After one full day of exploring the Animal Kingdom, our second day meant that it was time to get enchanted over at the Magic Kingdom. From magical live princess performances to interactive rides, the day had just flown by once again. The night came to a close as the Electrical Parade passed through and a finale nighttime show on Cinderella’s castle. What a spell-binding projection that was.Having experienced the world of Disneyworld, it’s easy to see how you can fall in love with it.
Getting to share these memories with Nathan was just unbelievable, and to top that off, Selina was there too. My two best friends with me at Disneyland.
Seeing as we were in Orlando, who would we be kidding if we didn’t visit Universal Studios either? Yes, we decided to completely spoil ourselves during this trip and immerse ourselves into the full experience. We became the ultimate children during our stay here.
Awesome, awesome, awesome!
It was our penultimate day in Florida. Boo! We had seen and experienced so much, and we had surprisingly managed to fit it all in too. There was just one last thing we had to experience for our very selves, before our trip back to the UK.
Introducing the Kennedy Space Center.
Astronomical. What an interesting visit, learning all about aeronautics and the amazing minds behind human spaceflight. The trip was well worth it, and we became completely submerged by the history and future of space research, understanding and developments. Physics had never been my strong point, but it doesn’t take an astronaut to appreciate just how great it is.
The time had come to say au revoir! Bye Florida, see ya America. Hello, again England. What a brilliant trip we had, an amazing experience and certainly an unforgettable journey.
I still can’t believe this has been almost three years, it’s completely flown by and I still remember and cherish this trip like it was yesterday. Having ticked off Florida from our holiday list, I’d really recommend the Orange County as prime US holiday spot.
For the next trip, we’ll have to the states, California will be on the must-see list. Another coastal location where this time we’ll be able to plan an island escape. That makes Hawaii the luxury retreat we’ll be able to plan in, a destination that has long been on my wish list.
In part two of this series, I asked the wonderful Tara Povey, from Where is Tara?, about her tips and travel advice on Hawaii.
Look forward to you joining us in the next post, which you can read here.
Lots of love,