In August 2008 we did a short weekend trip to Orlando, Florida together with Vannessa's sister Susan. I timed the trip to be able to catch up with my old friend Jörgen who brought his kids up from Barbados where they live.
We drove up the coast along the scenic 1A which follows the beach more or less the whole way. A nice drive alright, but at times a little monotonous.
We did a pit stop in picturesque little Stuart that had a fun antique car show going one. After Stuart is the Hutchinson Island stretch that I recommend due to it's nice beaches, especially Bathtub Beach with some nice cliffs bordering a little cove, something otherwise rare in Florida.
Further up he coast we stopped at Mel Fisher's treasure museum in Sebastian. Small and somewhat chaotic exhibition but still great fun to see some of the artifacts they recovered. I read about his exploits as a little lad and it cure caught my imagination.
Stayed the first night in Cocoa Beach. Nice laid back surf town that reminds me a bit about other surf spots like Santa Cruz in California and Torque in Australia. The lack of any cliffs make the beach a little less scenic but still well worth visiting to grab a beer on the pier while you watch the surfers in the waves.
Next day we headed for Orlando but made a stop at Cape Canaveral along the way. Funs to see the launch site and the huge old Saturn V rocket, but he place is very spread out. I enjoyed it since I'm bit of a tech nerd, but not so sure kids would have the patience and history knowledge to appreciate it.
Orlando; big, busy and loud it is. The parks are amazing I'm sure but since we already did Disneyland in California we gave that a miss. Susan got her shopping craving well served at the many malls in the area and once we got that out of her system we drove to Wekiwa Springs for some kayaking.
Amazingly clear and calm water from the natural fresh water spring winds down a river making for excellent paddling. Plenty of wildlife including fish, turtles, birds and little alligators. Supposedly also otters but they eluded us. One of the best places I've ever kayaked.
Orlando sure is a fun place to visit, both for its parks and also for the natural beauty in the surrounding area.