Holidays Our little holiday diary

Florida Part Two

Tuesday Day 4.


Right! Let’s try again and find our way to at least one of the Universal Parks. Along the 192, left onto International Drive and up there somewhere should be one of the parks. Would you believe it, we actually found Universal Studios. Wonders never cease! We had a very good but tiring day, including buying bags of very expensive chips (fries). We managed to see eight shows including Terminator 3, Shrek in 4D, Back to the Future, Jaws, Earthquake, and The Horror Make up Show etc. After all that, we made our way back to the hotel where we finished off the day with crackers, cheese and ham and the usual drinkies.


Wednesday Day 5.


Woke up early at about 6.0am to get a quick breakfast in the hotel before catching a free bus service at 8.15 to Disney. In true holiday style, it started raining. It poured down while we were in Animal Kingdom which tended to put a dampener on things (if you pardon the pun). We managed to get through the day alright even though we were soaked to the skin for most of the time. We were told that the bus would be picking us up at 6.00pm in the middle of the car park and not to be late because the driver wouldn’t wait. As it happened, the park closed at 5.00pm. We stood in the middle of the car park, in the pouring rain and howling wind in just our tee shirts and shorts, not daring to shelter anywhere in case the bus came and went without us. Fortunately, we did the right thing as the bus came a little early.


Thursday Day 6.

We got up fairly early by our holiday standards and after shaving and showering etc. we made our way across to the Ponderosa only to find that customers were queued out of the door. Back to the hotel for ham and cheese with crackers before catching the coach at 10.00am to take us to the M.G.M. studios. Here we go again with a list of shows and things that we did during the day.


Indiana Jones. (Stage Show) Video to follow.

The Little Mermaid. (Animated Film)

Studio Back lot Tour

Beauty and the Beast. (Stage Show) Video to follow.

Motor Parade. Video to follow

And a few more like The Muppet Show, Fantasmic, and Star Tours Ride etc.

I really must learn how to put videos onto this site.


One of the few days that we can safely say went more or less as planned. We made our way back to the hotel very tired but happy in the knowledge that we had a decent day out.


Friday Day 7.


Would you believe it, I have nothing written in my little diary apart from the comment “A very good day out”. This is the only day in the whole of my little holiday diary that I didn’t report anything.


Saturday Day 8.


This was the day that we were starting our planned tour of Florida. We first of all went into Celebration near Kissimmee to get some stamps for our postcards and a quick look round and then out onto the highway to Clearwater. We had a very pleasant run towards Tampa where we stopped at an information office to find a motel to stay for the night. They recommend one in Clearwater where we went. It wasn’t the best motel we have ever seen (rather basic) but we thought that it would be adequate for one night. After sorting out the room we went for a walk along the beach on the beautiful pure white sand. Had a walk along the pier and had a decent meal at a restaurant overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.


Sunday Day 9.


Went back to the beach to have a quick paddle in the Gulf of Mexico before driving on to St Petersburg. We spent some time on the rather nice pier there. Watched the fishermen fighting with the pelicans for the fish. It is a our wedding anniversary tomorrow and our elder daughter Angela gave us a pair of tickets for Busch Gardens in Tampa, so we made our way back to Tampa to find a motel near the Gardens ready for an early start. We had left it a little late to go there so we were in the dark when we got to Tampa. We had an idea where the park was so we headed toward it looking for any motel that was convenient. We drove in and out of industrial estates not having a clue where we were. Finally, driving along North Nebraska Avenue, we spotted one on the other side of the dual carriageway. We managed to turn round further along at the traffic lights and made our way back to the motel. I looked very nice, all individual Swiss type chalets with inviting lights over the doors. It was called “The Orange Motel”. I left Diane in the car and went to reception to see if they had any vacancies. The desk had wire mesh guarding it and there was a shotgun on the desk. I should have known then but we were tired and ready for a rest. The funny little man behind the desk asked me how long I wanted the room for and when I said just one night, he said, “all night” in a rather surprised tone. I said yes, and paid him. He gave me the key, “chalet 8” and a very small hand towel. I drove the short distance to the chalet. We had noticed a restaurant on the other side of the dual carriageway so Diane went across to get a menu whilst I got the cases into the chalet. Diane got back from across the road saying when she walked on the grass verges and the central reservation she was crunching when she walked and saw that she was treading on syringes and used condoms. She walked into the chalet, took one look round and said “I’m not stopping here”. The place was filthy and smelly. She couldn’t even bear to sit down. The sheets had blood stains on them, the curtains were hanging off the rail, the electric sockets were showing bare wires and hanging off the wall, the toilet hadn’t been flushed or cleaned for weeks and the shower was a nightmare, even the table had a layer of greasy slime on it. We could not bear to wake up in such filth on our wedding anniversary, we just threw our cases back into the car (Remembering the shotgun, I didn’t bother to ask for my money back) and drove like a bat out of hell all the way back to the Ramada Hotel in Kissimmee and asked if we could have our room back. We booked in for the rest of our holiday and scrapped the idea of the tour round Florida. We spoke to a local couple the next day who told us that the motel probably rented the room by the hour to prostitutes and that is why he was surprised that I wanted it for the night. (He must have thought that I was "good")

“A Night to Remember”

At last, you can, if you want to, go to Part Three

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