So we did it, we went down South and we didnt go near the Florida Keys, not once. The purpose was to broaden our horizons by checking out the gulf cost. We started our time in Orlando and ended it there with the beach in between.
It was hard, and it was an expensive trip too which makes me sigh heavily as we are now in a period of austerity once more...
We went to Bahama Bay for 4 days, Anna Maria Island (hereon known as AMI) for a week and back to Bahama Bay for 4 days.
Bahama Bay highlights were me braving the Harry Potter ride at Universal (I faced the fear), Lily showing a really funny and sassy side which I adored, that wet ride that I forget the name of that we all got drenched on, getting to swim lengths every morning in a warm and peaceful pool and mermaid tales for the girls.
We went to Kennedy Space centre which was incredible and emotional for us all, especially seeing Atlantis.
AMI - well, what to say.
Pros: It had stunning sea colours at all times of the day with white white sand. The cottage we rented was adorable. I had some great walks with Chloe in the evening and some lovely walks by myself in the morning. I read alot. The restaurants serve really high end food there.
Cons: No snorkeling at all ( I still havent gotten over it frankly), loads of traffic and I mean loads, a sense of claustraphobia due to the intense traffic of vehicle and people variety and the closed in feel due to the width of the island and the proximity to the mainland.
Long restaurant waits due to the overpopulation of snotty seniors there.
Undertows in the ocean meaning the girls couldnt swim in the sea at all.
A cold pool at the rental and a cold hottub ( whats the point?!)
So for all of us, definately me, its a strong pull back to the Keys where bar t-shirts are worn everywhere and all you really need on top of one of those are shorts, snorkels, flipflops and a tattoo... I like the more laid back realness of it all..... I like snorkeling in warm, calm, shallow seas....
Oh and another lesson learned is that we no longer require a 14 day break, it was just too long away from everyday life. (And too darn expensive)