Now of course I love shopping, eating and having fun in materialistic kind of ways when I am on vacation. But the moments that truly feed my soul and fill my heart with warmth are those beautiful moments where I see or feel something unexpected. Like when my cousin and I went down to Miami Beach early one morning to watch this sunrise.
It was a beautiful sight, but what I did not expect to experience was the magnificent transformation from a calm and sleepy ocean to a wavy one as soon as the sun had risen. Or to hear and see so many birds arrive with the sunrise to the beach.
An Early Bird.
It was just like watching Mother Earth open her eyes, yawn and then say with a warm, loving and cheerful voice: "God Morning My Children." It was amazing! And really a moment which is hard to describe in words, it has to be felt. But that is actually my favourite moment of the entire Florida trip. The sunrise at Miami Beach.
Such a magical, yet everyday moment.
I actually managed to grow really fond of that beach during the 10 days that I was there! Because even on cloudy and windy days it was such a wonderful place to just take a stroll by. It was especially fun to walk there with my camera and simply get lost in the moments. Seriously, I am sure I could have stood by that ocean and take photos of its waves forever. I mean really, every wave is so different! But besides the ocean, the birds by the ocean were pretty funny to look at as well.
Like these adorable birds. First they ran with their little legs as close to the ocean as they possibly could without touching it. Then, as soon as a wave came towards them, they quickly turned around and ran from that wave as fast as they possibly could. They did this over and over again, and they looked so cute!
Then we have these guys, who always seem so care free.
And of course along the beach I found all sorts of odd things which I had no idea what they were. Like this blue thingy?
Another lovely beach only a 10 minute drive away from Miami Beach was this one - South Beach. Although I did not spend as much time there as I did at Miami Beach. But beautiful it was.
I also really enjoyed to watch this lovely skyline at night from our apartment in Miami Beach. Because it was definitely very different from any view I normally see in Sweden.
But after 10 days in Miami we drove to Orlando to spend our final 7 days in Florida there.
And even a long drive can have its breathtaking moments.
Once we were in Orlando we mostly visited amusement parks, did some final shopping and relaxed by the pool. Although our last days in Orlando were actually pretty chilly. But I am NOT complaining at all, because we did have pretty good and warm weather most of our trip.
A trip which has actually been over for about one week now, which of course means that I am currently back in Sweden with my doggy in my apartment here in Lyckeby again. But I must admit that I do wish I had a few more weeks to spend in the lovely state of Florida, especially in Miami Beach. :-) However there are plenty of fun stuff going on here in Sweden as well. Therefore this post will be my last one about my Florida trip for this time.
And to sum up my trip to Florida, well I simply have to say that
I did truly enjoy it. I had a ton of fun with the best company ever. My Christmas Eve in Key West was amazing and I had a wonderful New Years Eve in Orlando. I also spent way too much money and ate way too much good stuff, which is a good thing in my book though. I also got to experience some amazingly beautiful moments in Florida which will forever have a warm place in my heart. All in all I am very happy and grateful for this trip and I look forward to continue 2012 with a lot of love and joy from Sweden.
To end this post I will let this lovely bird, who decided to fly right over me when I was on the ferry from Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld, represent how I feel - about life really. Because this bird and this moment represents yet another one of those unexpected, amazing and beautiful moments that actually take place all the time - everywhere. Whether we see them or not.
Therefore I am very thankful I managed to catch this one on camera.
We enjoyed our last dinner in Florida at the World's Largest Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando. Where I of course had a classic Hard Rock Burger and my new favourite American beer, Bud Light Lime. Which my cousin insists is a very "high school" beer to drink - whatever! Lol! But the Hard Rock Cafe certainly was the perfect place to have our last dinner in the US, both fun and yummy! :p
The World's Largest Hard Rock Cafe at the Universal Citywalk in Orlando.
In I go, to the bar of course. Lol! Cheers!! ;-)
My Hard Rock Burger and Bud Light Lime beer!
A perfect place to have our last dinner in the US indeed! :-)
And a little panorama view I shot inside the Hard Rock Cafe.
Now a funny thing that happened when we asked for the check was that the waitress told us our table had been "comped". Huh? We all looked at each other like big question marks. The waitress said thank you and left. We all started to debate what she actually meant by "comped", us being from Sweden and all... But I was pretty sure "comped" meant that we basically got everything for free. However, just in case, we still wanted to double check this. So we called her back and asked what she meant?
It turned out that it was actually the table next to us that had been "comped", not our table. The manager had given her the wrong information. Mhm! But "comped" did indeed mean "free" though.
Oh well, it did sound too good to be true anyway. Although I do wonder what would have happened if we had just left, instead of double checking! Another oh well, lesson learned. If someone tells you it is free - say thank you and run! Lol! ;-) Either way, we sure did have a great time at the old Hard Rock. :p
Although I came back home to Lyckeby in Sweden this Saturday evening, my coming posts will be about my recent trip to the US. This is of course because I still have a ton of unpublished photos from there. :-) So today's post will be all about my visit to the lovely, and HUGE, Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida.
Now Disneyworld has several parks, I think five? I would have loved to have visited them all, but I just did not have the time. I mean we had to take a bus and monorail/ferry to get from one park to another, so it did take some time. So instead of stressing between parks I chose to visit the Hollywood Studios Park and the classic Magic Kingdom Park. And below are photos and videos from my visit to those parks.
First stop was at Disneyworld's Hollywood Studios
I saw the Indiana Jones Stunt Show where they pretend to be on a movie set and perform stunts.
Like this cool stunt.
I also went on the Star Tours Ride. Where you get to go "out in space" on a Star Wars Shuttle.
Outside the Star Tours Ride this cute Jedi training session took place.
And this was the guy they prepared for.
Before we entered the Star Wars Space Shuttle we had to pass these guys.
As well as this familiar dude.
After a few more rides and shows it was time for a visit to the Magic Kingdom Park.
Where I actually mostly looked forward to see this castle live.
And beautiful it was indeed!!! Especially in the evening!
Now there were a lot of people...
and parades at Magic Kingdom.
But my absolute favourites were the Electrical Parade and Fireworks that took place in the evening. They were both spectacular!!! And despite the fact that it was actually freezing cold that evening. I managed to, sort of, keep my hands steady enough to film both of these events with my iphone. So below are those videos. :-)
The first video is of the Electrical Parade.
The second video is of the lovely Fireworks. (The last 1,5-2 minutes are stunning!)
I have now been in Florida for about 11 days, and I LOVE it! There is so much to do, see and buy here - and the weather is great! So I have been on the go from early mornings until late evenings ever since I got to Miami/Orlando.
But I want to back up a bit to Christmas Eve, which we spent in Key West. We had a lovely day there and visited the Southernmost point in the US, spent a few hours at the beach sunbathing and watched the sunset. We finished off our Christmas Eve at a seafood restaurant on the way back to Miami.
Below are some photos from our Christmas Eve in Key West.
Me at the Southernmost Point in the US.
A very popular spot indeed...
The beach in Key West where we spent a few hours.
No complaints about the weather. :p
Birds at the beach.
And on the fly!
Sunset in Key West.
Sunset in Key West.
Sending some Sunset LOVE from Key West! :-)
Sunset in Key West.
Sunset in Key West.
This is where we ate our Christmas seafood dinner.
I had fresh shrimp stuffed with fresh crab meat as an appetizer.
And pasta with fresh mussels as a main.
Now to say the least, this years Christmas Eve was anything but a traditional Swedish one. No Donald Duck on TV, no Swedish Christmas Buffet and no rice pudding with a hidden almond for breakfast. BUT it was still a great Christmas Eve indeed! :-)
I love shopping in the U.S.A! There are so many more malls, outlets and shops to shop in here compared to in Sweden. So the last few days we have spent the mornings at Miami beach/pool and afternoons/evenings shopping at different locations here in Miami. And because of this I have almost spent my entire shopping budget already! Lol! Oh well...
Below are some photos of my shopping spree in Miami. :p
First mall we visited was Aventura Mall.
Which was full of Christmas spirit and people. :-)
I always think it is so fun to see stores here that I see on TV a lot but which we do not have in Sweden, like Macy's and Sears.
We have also been to Sawgrass Mills Outlet which is a HUGE!!! outlet here in Florida. It has more than 350 shops and is Florida's largest retail & entertainment center. I could have spent an entire day there, but had to settle with 6-7 hours.
Sawgrass Mills was of course also packed with Christmas shopping people.
More stores we do not have in Sweden.
We do not even have Target in Sweden. :-( And I love Target! So I was very happy to find this Super Target at Sawgrass Mills. :p
One happy shopper!
And one huge lovely Christmas tree at the huge Sawgrass Mills. Pretty, pretty!
Besides shopping we have been to South Beach and we spent our Christmas Eve at Key west. So I will share photos from there in coming blog posts. But until next time I wish you all a continued Merry Christmas from Miami Beach in Florida! :-)
We had a very long, but smooth, flight from Stockholm to Miami yesterday. In total it took about 24 hours from when we left Stockholm until we arrived at our apartment here in Miami Beach, this travel time included a 4 hour stopover at Heathrow in London. And because there also is a 6 hour time difference between Stockholm and Miami, my brain and body is not completely with me yet. Therefore today has been a bit of a settling in and slow day for us here in Miami Beach in Florida.
But I have of course already managed to take a whole bunch of photos along the way and today. So below are some from the airport, planes and my first day in Miami. :-)
At Arlanda airport in Stockholm, Sweden, early in the morning.
In the air.
Approaching Heathrow airport in London, England.
London from the sky.
Finally in Miami Beach!!! It was a bit cloudy and windy today though so I did not go in the ocean.
We are staying in the pink building there.
Where we have some lovely views. :-)
View from our balcony at sunset time.
Also view from our balcony. Ahhh!!! :p
Now I do hope for more sun tomorrow so I can start to work on my tan, hehe. But all in all I have had a great first day here in Miami Beach and I look forward to the rest of my stay in Florida with lots of anticipation. :p
My departure date for Florida is fast approaching, only a few days left now! So today I brought out my bag and started to make lists over what I need to pack, do before I leave, do when I get there, buy and other reminder-notes. I always write lists, for everything... It makes everything easier and seem less confusing to me, which in turn makes me feel more relaxed and under control - especially before a long trip like this. In short, I have officially been infected by travel fever and to write lists is my medicine.
So this is my bag and list I started to write today.
My doggy Lisen of course immediately became a bit suspicious, she has probably learned through the years that whenever this bag comes out - I go away.
Are you leaving me - AGAIN!?
Ahh, Lisen. But she will be fine. Lisen will stay with my sister and her dog in a big house over the Holidays, so I am not worried. Though I will of course miss my little doggy. :-) Nevertheless, I am VERY excited to fly away to some sun and warmth soon. Wahoo!!! But until then I do have a lot of list making and packing to do. So I'd better get back to it!