Thursday, May 03, 2012

Roadtripping Florida

I was oh so nervous as my flight approached Miami after my three weeks in the West Indies, with the prospect of picking up my hire car and driving around Florida for the next three days. Having not ever driven in the US, and thinking about the peek hour scenes, and also driving on the right/wrong side of the road, and car, I was wondering if this plan of mine was really going to be all too much!

Moving from plane to rental car was pretty smooth here in Miami, and soon Little Red and I were on the road. Thanks to the Sat Nat (I starting think of her as Sally, like Nikki's), and the relatively minimal traffic on the road at that time of night, I found my Motel BLU without any issue. All good.

The next morning I plotted out my roadtrip north, to get to the Kennedy Space Center, and then on to Orlando, all with Sally's help and guidance. This travel actually took me past names like Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, albeit out on the Florida Turnpike.

Taking in the six lane highways, making them up to 12 across with both lanes, the turnpike was this massive stretch of land just for the road, with nothing really near it to take in as I went by. I turned into Melbourne, Florida, just to say I have, before getting up to Cape Canaveral and driving past the US Air Force Base.

Getting used to the lane changes, and the slow land and merging rules, it still felt very reckless driving on the right/wrong side of the road. Essentially I was going against all my driving instincts, and doing the opposite. Intersections with no one around would also make me second guess myself, and then I would always, always go to change gear with the door controls!

After visiting the amazing Kennedy Space Center, I got to drive with the sun setting in front of me, which was very pretty, and just seemed different to home somehow.

Sally again got me through the outskirts of Orlando, and to the address of my airbnb accommodation for the night. The first time I have used this site, after reading about it, and the reviews, from the travel blogger world, and I loved this option! Basically it is private people renting out a room or apartment of theirs, for travellers. My stay for the two nights was within walking distance from the Universal Orlando complex, and was a simple apartment at the side of Patrick's house. Like the au pair room, perhaps, but with a kitchenette and a separate entrance. It was perfect, and very relaxed.

Today I have made my way back to Miami from Orlando, for my final night of my month long trip. This lighthouse here is the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, site of WWII US Naval vigilance against the Germans, and a little pitstop for me. Sally was none too impressed by my detour, but by then I was well used to her getting cracking and insisting on a U Turn. It was a challenge to ignore her rigid demands at the start!

Driving through peek hour traffic to get to the airport from Miami Beach, I was much more confident, and felt pretty proud that I had managed this little three day roadtrip. I have now dropped Sally off, and am now chilling out by a pool for my last night before my long, long flight home tomorrow.

To an early and cold winter, I hear! Ha....not for long!

1 comment:

  1. When you're worried about driving on the wrong (right) side of the road you tend to concentrate and not make any mistakes. It's when you get a little bit more confident that you'll make a huge mistake. You'll see!


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