Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Fabulous Florida

I'm finally back from two wonderful weeks in what can only be described as tropical and beautiful Florida. After a rocky start with an eleven hour delay at Gatwick, it turned out to be a jam packed, fun filled holiday. We flew into Orlando where and spent a couple of days. We decided to have a kinda lazy day on our first day following all the drama of the previous day and did just a spot of shopping in the Premium Outlet shopping area in Orlando.....even Mark did some may well spot his new "man bag" in some of the following photos. If you know Mark well, you will know that shopping is not his favourite pastime and to get him to actually buy anything can be like pulling teeth. Now that you know this, here's the story......I am in the Fossil shop (one of my favourite places) purchasing a new bag and a new watch, I am at the till handing over my cash when Mark appears behind me with a bag and announces that he's going to get it as it's only$29.99....a real bargain he says! I can hardly argue when I'm buying two items but did wonder what was going on when the cashier announced that the total was $339.00. Upon checking prices, it turns out that the fabulous bargain man bag was in fact $129.99....Mark's face was a picture and he was about to put it back on the shelf....I quickly added that we were on holiday and if he wanted it, it didn't matter. He's now glad that he did as he used it every day and I have to say, it is a very nice bag!!!

After lunch we went to Ripley's Believe It Or Not.....crikey, there is some amazing stuff in there.

 Hard to see in the photograph but this picture of John Lennon was carved out of a book!!

Day 2 - Universal Studios

This is the new Harry Potter World

There certainly know how to build an attraction at these places.

The big Jurassic Park ride is my favourite ride at Universal. It's an indoor big dipper, in the dark and you get soaking wet. It's hilarious....only problem is that Mark doesn't like getting wet and we got soaked which made it even funnier!!!

Day 3 - We started driving south, we were heading for Plantation, near W. Palm Beach which is where Wendy Vecchi was teaching for the weekend. We managed to figure out a way to hook up for dinner on Saturday night. How lucky can you be....I only found out a day or so before leaving home so this was a real treat. Wendy is such a lovely and very talented lady, it was so nice to spend a couple of hours with her.

Next stop Miami.....OMG, I just loved all the architecture....all very Art Deco but blimey Miami was a busy place!

 Loved this car....fab colour!!


Our hotel was very interesting....a real eclectic mix of interior design.

But this was the best bit, this made me laugh out loud!!!

We had a bus trip out to the everglades with a ride on an airboat and saw a guy give an amazing talk about alligators whilst he was in the den with the alligators!!!

Then Mark decides to hold one!!! Only a baby one though.

We did another boat trip all around Miami and saw where the rich and famous live.....only problem was that I had never heard of most of the famous people but they were obviously rich to live here!

So apart from walks along the beach, that was our visit to Miami. Next stop....The Keys. I have always wanted to visit Key West. I am so glad we did, this was my favourite place that we visited. It's a mix of very new and the Old Town is really quite quirky and quaint. It is the most southern part of the United States and it's one heck of a bridge to get there!!!

So I think you'll agree, Key West is just a little snippet of paradise.

Time to head north again, this time we were heading back to Fort Lauderdale. Our hotel was just south of Fort Lauderdale in a place called Hollywood. We spent a couple of relaxing days here, walking along the beach another boat trip, this time on a paddle steamer and then hit the road again. Now I know I was beyond lucky to hook up with Wendy Vecchi and my luck didn't change as I was able to take one of Donna Downey's class too!!!!! The lovely store owner Paula bent over backwards to make this happen for me as did Bill, Donna's husband, so huge thank yous to both of you, I can't tell you how much I appreciate everything you did.

So here's Donna in full swing.....not only is she an amazing artist, she is hilarious too. In the background on the left is the lovely Paula, owner of A Scrapbook Store and More in Port St. Lucie.

The class was a technique based class. A journal to work in and forty techniques  to fill it with.

 Oops for some reason, I can't get this picture to rotate.....never mind, it looks OK either way up!! It's done with Gelatos and salt.

Now this ones upside down!!!! It's a Pan Pastels double page spread.

Guess who?

Holiday is now nearing an end and time to head back to Orlando where we spent a day in the other Universal Studios park.

Mark doing his photographer thing.....can you spot the man bag from this?

The Beetlejuice show is just one of the amazing attractions at Universal, The Men In Black ride is Mark's go around shooting aliens but there's all sorts of rides and Mark made me go on an indoor rollercoaster in the dark to get his revenge for getting wet in the Jurassic Park ride. All I can say is that I will never do it again!!! And on that note I will leave you with a piccies of my craft purchases which I forgot to mention in the above epic!!


Helen said...

Wow Linda!! The photos are amazing, you packed so much in, and had so much fun- it was lovely hat you took Donna's class and met with Wendy too. MY eyes popped when I read about Mark's man bag, but at least he got good use from it... thanks for staying awake long enough to write this! Hope the jet lag goes now!

Ali H said...

Hi Lin
Sounds like you had a really fabulous holiday ! Great to hear all about it !
I just loved Key West - the plantation style house were gorgeous - I spent a very early Sunday morning wandering round the streets & thought it was so atmospheric! Hope we get to see what you make with all your new stash ! Ali H. xx

Gillian .... said...

Boy oh boy it sure didn't feel like two weeks from this side of the pond, loved reading about your well desrved break, Key West looks amazing, so glad that you were able to pull off your time with Wendy & Donna (wowzers). Hope the jet lag eases soon, good to have you back. x

Rebecca said...

Looks like you had a super time & great man bag :) the closest I got for my OH was a stig lunch box for work, that didn't cost $129.99 though LOL.
Can't wait to see what you make with your new stash.
Happy craftin

Kathyk said...

FABULOUS stash! Love the pix too. Your vacation looks great. I know I LOVED the Harry Potter experience when I did it. I'm currently in Orlando and will be here till the end of May!!


Val said...

Wow - sounds fab - what a holiday, and looks like you have some amazing crafty bits as well. Did you need another suitcase? Hee her ...

Sarah said...

Oh my word - totally fabulous - now that's what I call a holiday...all you could wish for and more. It all looks so amazing and wow getting hubby to buy a bag...know that one. A great haul too. The fun continues...

Linda Cain said...

So glad you had a great time. Many places look so familiar...South Beach, Key West..loved it there, too. You were only 90 miles from Cuba they told us. And I have a picture of me holding the baby alligator, but the look on my face is quite different!

Great pictures!

Daniele said...

wow what a fab time you had, classes, shopping and theme parks as well as, welcome back to rainy England.

jill said...

Wow what a holiday , have you come back home for a rest. The roller coaster in the dark sounds like the Aerosmith one .
Lovely crafty stash as well. I love going to the craft shops in Florida.

vinny said...

You look like you both had a fabulous time. Loved the story about the man bag, but at least he used it every day ! x Lavinia

Trish said...

What a fab holiday - looks like you had a ball. Love the man bag - well worth it!

Gabrielle said...

What a fabulous round up of what seems like an amazing adventure! How exciting to do all those things, experience Florida and to share it with Wendy and Donna! I feel like I was with you now! Welcome back to rainy Blighty - I'm so pleased you have such a great time!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful trip memories with us all. I loved every word and every photo! Karen told me today on the phone that there had been lots of Tweeting about your trip, but haven't been there last couple of days -- so missed it all!!! Hope you're recovering from jet lag -- they say one day for each hour of the time difference will get you over it properly -- still a little while to go!!!
Hope to talk soon -- love and a big hug -- Sally
P.S.: GORGEOUS stuff in your stash -- will have to ask you a couple of questions about those lucious goodies!!! Ha ha!!! Typical . . . . . xoxo

Ann B said...

That's what I call a holiday, acres of golden sand, warm enough to take your vest off and crafting to boot, sounds wonderful Lin, no wonder you had a ball.

Ann B

Jacqui said...

A lovely 'post' and gorgeous stash! Sorry you had to come back to winter!

Siobhan Brignull said...

wow what a holiday, now I dont want to moan but apart from craft I do like a nice bag, so how comes I only saw a manbag, which looked nice, but i wanna see your purchases, come on get with the programme Lin, LOL, loving the look of those hat pin things, yum yum x

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...

You seem to have had a wonderful vacation in Florida.
Really DIG Mark's man-bag.

Anonymous said...

Ohhh Linda, you've been to the keys!! It's just wonderful overthere! I loved it so much, as if you are in the seventees.
Good to hear that you've had a wonderful vacation!

Margo Marnette