Tuesday, 7 November 2017

??18 - Where to go?

The niggling problem is that I have 14 exchange points left to use with RCI after we were downsized for the second week in Florida earlier this autumn.

I hate to see them expire on 31st December 2018. Just vanish unused. There is an option to merge it with another banked week. I need to work out whether it is actually worth the fee to do that. It would give us 36 points to use in 2019 though....

So where to go? Europe is artificially priced and only the crappiest or those with the worst reviews seem to be in the up to 14 points range. Amazingly,  many of the "why is this dump on here" places are much higher!

But turning to the US looks the best value for resort, and choice, but obviously the airfare is much higher. In fact.  In the late October when I can go, fares are about twice as much each as we paid this year.

Now I know the term dates for the  school year starting September 2018 I have something to play with. Not a lot though.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

FL17 - Day 14

Up reasonably early. Quick breakfast and finish packing. The TomTom has chosen a run up I95 and then left on the 528 to the airport.

Claire prefers the alternative route using the Florida Turnpike toll road. So TomTom fixed to take this route.  The odd thing is that the freeway is 4 lanes and the toll road is two.

Still arrived in good time. Take car back. Cost $441 for 14 days rental. Gulp. Not bad to be fair. Works out at about £24 a day.

Had lunch at a Perkins.  Just had to have pumpkin pie.  But restraint needed and had one piece between two of us.

We had checked in, bags checked and through security in less than an hour.  I beeped on the scanner and they said I had something metallic around my belly.  God knows what.

Sat about until the earlier flight left and then went to the gate to read and wait.

Popped into the Disney Store and took a pic of Claire and Snow White. Careful positioning to miss out little girl that wouldn't bugger off. The dog accessories were actually a reasonable price.  Don't think Reggie would like the Mickey ears.

Uneventful flight and landed a few minutes early.

Less than an hour after landing we were on the bus to the car park.  Another miracle.

Holiday over.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

FL17 - Day 13

Last full day in Florida.

The consensus about my foot was gout. First suggested by my brother, Neill,  on a facebook post.

Suggestions that Turmeric might fix it had me at a CVS looking at the many options. By the time that happened the pain had already started to go down.  But five a day with food is a little tough.

But all that was yesterday's news....

Today we had a run across to Coconut Grove and Butterfly World. A seven mile journey that took 25 minutes. It seems wherever we go plan on an average of 20mph and leave accordingly.

The site has a large aviary area filled with er, butterflies.  Plus an area with small birds. You can spend hours in the butterfly house. Some of them are as big as your hand.

Claire had a surprise when a finch landed on her head.

We'll worth the ticket price and not too hot in October.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

FL17 - Day 12

Local do nothing day. Had a run to a shopping mall as Claire was looking for a Yankee Candle shop.

The toe problem was decided on gout. Bought CVS Turmeric.

And that's it. Reading and doing nothing.

Monday, 9 October 2017

FL17 - Day 11

Today my aching foot seemed a little better. The swelling gone down a little.

So as I was walking wounded we decided to go to a wildlife rescue center in Davie FL that we last went to when we were staying in nearby Weston.

TomTom said 39 minutes and 23 miles. He was probably right but it seemed much much longer. Traffic and traffic lights.

The park has some areas that were hit by the hurricanes and so parts are closed. The rest rooms by the aviary had the rood stoved in by falling bits of tree. Luckily none of the animals and birds were hurt.


Of course there are flamingoes. There are what seems like hundreds of Florida White Ibis. Everywhere you go. There they are.

The highlight for us was the new home of the Florida River Otters. They are all there because they have been injured in some way. They breed and the young are then released into the wild. They are so quick getting a photo is difficult.

The run back to La Costa via Publix was much quicker. Except a wrong turn at school kicking out time.... Who needs twenty big yellow buses when parents drive and block all the roads?

So. Tonight. Another meal in. A lazy-ish afternoon reading and sitting in the hot sea air on the balcony.

Tomorrow?  Who knows?

FL17 - Day 10

Into double figures now. Day 10. Always the countdown to going home.

It must be my age but I am finding a mere 220 mile drive to be tiring. It should be easy. The car is automatic.  Just sit and use two pedals.  It has cruise control to take even that job away from the driver.

But. It's the sheer volume of traffic.  The rules of the road that seem to be few and far between.  Overtaking on both sides. Lane discipline that even in India or Vietnam would be sniffed at. Disregard for red lights at junctions... it all adds up to needing 360° vision.

Today we had a lie in. The studio has stunning views and it was sunny all day.  A leisurely shower and coffee and then out to brunch.   We both like Perkins or Denny's.  No Perkins around here so Denny's  it was. Light lunch of egg and bacon with a pile of hash browns and a couple of pancakes. Nice.

Then to Publix for "stuff". Bagels for breakfast. Pre-prepared salad for dinner. Yum.

A bit of time on the beach and in the sea. Then back to the balcony to read and absorb the heat of the day.

The pelicans are about  but trying catch one on camera is so hard. Watching them diving into the sea to fish right by the human bathers is rather strange.

And so. It's dark now. We are supposed to show no lights along here so that the turtles on the beach don't get confused. Tell that to the old ladies next door with the perfumed cigarettes (not marjuana)!!!

For a few weeks I have had a problem with my right foot.  The big toe joint has been "clicking" and seemingly out of the socket. I gently click it back. The last few days it has become painful and swollen. What to do. It seems less painful in the evening.