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[ # ] Key West and Going North
August 8th, 2010 under USA

What to do on Key West? Well plenty. There is snorkeling, SCUBA diving, Jet Ski, sailing, …, basically anything one can do in water. Our  plan was to see the Dry Tortugas national park but the motel owner persuaded us to divert from this plan. Dry Tortugas is the “most” remote national park in the us. There as boats that take you there but such a tour takes a whole day. The owner meant that there are better and thing more fun to do.

So we followed her proposal and went on a sailing trip which includes canoeing and snorkeling. This way we covered three activities with one trip. The sailing trip started in the afternoon and returned after sunset. This way we could enjoy another marvelous sunset.

Anyway, before we went on the sailing trip we decided to stroll around town and go jet skying. After this magnificent day we decided to pay another key a visit. Since we enjoyed snorkeling a lot and wanted also to see some corals (which we didn’t see on the sailing trip), we decided that Key Largo is our next destination (well also the Monkey Island link helped to decide :P).

On Key Largo we took a two hour snorkeling trip to the close by reef. It was great! Well, the reef isn’t as impressive as the Great Barrier Reef but the fish were as colorful as the ones near Cairns.

The next destination on our list was Miami. So after the snorkeling experiences on the Florida Key we headed to the city where “the heat is on” (according to Will Smith at least). Well, the heat was on. It was boiling hot. This explains this view

crowded beaches. The beaches look like the beaches in Turkey or the Greek Islands (overloaded with umbrellas). However, not only the beach reminded of the standard vacation resorts but also the streets close to the beach. Overall Miami seems to be a place to party or relax all day but apart from that it didn’t seem to offer much. That’s why we decided to continue driving north to Ft. Lauderdale.

In my humble opinion, Ft. Lauderdale is way prettier than Miami; more easy-going and not as touristic and crowded. So, we spent the evening there with an nice sunset dinner on the shore. As for the meal…. the best ribs I’ve ever had so far; Baby Back Ribs. These alone a worth a stop in Ft. Lauderdale :D.

Now only two days remained till we had to return our rental car (no trouble with the car this time ;)). Thus, we drove close to the Kennedy Space Center so that we could spend a day there and then drop off the car. Since we were still far south we drove a whole day and ended up in this motel

This was in a town called Cocoa Beach. Unfortunately, we didn’t go swimming because this was the first day the weather didn’t play along. Shortly after we checked in it started raining and didn’t stop until late night.

The next day we made it to the Kennedy Space Center

Overall the park isn’t that big. The best part are the two IMAX films, one abount the Apollo program and one about the Hubble Space Telescope. Then there is a two hour tour through the grounds of the space center. But apart from one or two buildings it is mostly empty. Here and there you’ve got a real rocket or shuttle which is great. However, to me it was 
not extremely educational.

The next day we returned our car in Orlando and went to the first theme park. We chose to go to the Universal Studios. Well, it hasn’t a lot to do with any Studios. It just the same park as in Hollywood, CA except the studio tour, which makes the Universal Studios worthwhile. So we enjoyed waiting in line and some nice rides. The second day we went to see the second Universal theme park, Adventure Island. There a new theme area opened this spring. It’s the wizarding world of Harry Potter. They rebuilt Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. This is just amazing. The best I’ve seen in any park yet. You actually get the unique vibe from the Harry Potter movies I love so much. The only thing that is out of place is how the tourists are dressed but apart from that … wow. Just great. A must see for all Harry Potter fans.

Next on the list were Walt Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which covered the missing studio tour in the Universal Studios and eventually Sea World. Except the Harry Potter theme I liked Sea World the most of all parks. Its shows are incredible and simply beautiful. My advise skip the Universal Studios and go to Sea World.

After four days of waiting a long time in lines we boarded our flight to Washington D.C….