Sander, Daniëlle & EmilyOur Family life...

Our Family life...

Driving to Greater Orlando…

Yesterday we did a lot and therefore we had a good night sleep. Sander woke up about 5:30 and about one hour later Danielle woke up. Today we were driving from Key West to the Orlando area, which is about an 8-hour drive.
While Sander was getting breakfast at the on-property Starbucks Danielle took a shower and packed our stuff together. At about 8 o’clock we got our car from the valet-parking clerk and left for a long trip up north.
Short after we left Key West Danielle took over and drove all the way to Miami. There is only one way to get from Key West to Miami and that is over the Highway A1A, which is mostly one lane only and can get very boring. But the views were again beautiful and during the ride we stopped to make pictures from F18’s flying which took-off from the local base.

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After this visit our next stop was de Aventura Mall north of Miami. This mall is a typical USA-Mall with anchor stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdales. As soon as we entered the mall we’d like it. We got ourselves a directory and looked for the Tommy Hilfiger store. In all of the USA there are only 5 flagship-stores of Tommy Hilfiger, all the other stores are Outlet stores. In those so-called flagship stores they sell mostly the european line of Tommy Hilfiger for USA-prices. The staff in this shop was very nice and we got ourselves some nice new clothing.
 

The time went by quickly and before we knew it, it was already 4 o’clock and we decided to hit the road and eat something on the way to Orlando. We hit rush-hour on the highway around Miami but as soon as we drove on the Florida Turnpike it was not so busy anymore and we could drive closer to the happiest place on earth without any delays.
 

With 1,5 hours of driving to go we got something to eat at a so-called Service Plaza. We ordered sandwiches at Earl of Sandwich and got a full tank of gas for the last 80 Miles to Orlando. We got 19,07 gallon (72,6 liter) of Shell V-Power (Octane 93) for 3,809$/gallon (1,01$/liter). This is compared to gas in Europe a lot cheaper because it equals 0,74€/liter where as the regular gas in Germany costs 1,51€/liter. In addition we’ve also checked the gas mileage of our car which is 18,8 Miles/Gallon which compares to 8 Kilometer/Liter.

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Danielle drove us to Orlando and at about 8:15 we arrived at our hotel for the rest of our stay in Orlando, the Staybridge Suites Lake Buena Vista. We have a 1-bedroom suite. This property is recently renovated and the rooms look very good and modern. We took a quick plunge in the hotels pool and went back to our hotel room, because it was a long day.
 

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Go Key West…

Today was our 2nd full day here in Florida and we were going to drive from Miami South Beach all the way down south to Key West. We woke up not as early as yesterday but still at 05.30. We showered and packed the last things and at 06:30 we checked out at the hotel and picked up our car from the valet parking. Next thing to do was getting breakfast at Starbucks. And as soon as we got that, we left for Key West a little before 7 o’clock.

The trip to Key West is only 270 kilometer, but TomTom told us it was going to take us about 4 hours to get there. As soon as we left Miami behind us the highway was not that busy anymore and before we knew it we were at Key Largo. The views were amazing and shortly after Key Largo we made a quick stop to search for a GeoCache, which we found. Our first find in Florida.

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After this stop Danielle took over de wheel and drove the next part. We drove over the famous “7 Mile Bridge” and again the views were phenomenal. We stopped again for 2 easy GeoCaches, number 2 and 3 in Florida. And after finding those caches we were almost in Key West. Key West is a nice town with typical architecture.

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We arrived at our hotel, the Crowne Plaza Key West La Concha, at 11:15 and unfortunately our room was not ready yet. We stored our luggage and went for some sightseeing in Key West. Because our hotel is directly on Duval Street, which is the most important street of Key West, we can reach everything by foot.

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We both wanted to see the “Southernmost Point” of the U.S.A. but before we got that we had lunch at the Southernmost Beach Cafe & Bar. We got a table with a view over the beautiful beach and ocean. We both had a Tropical grilled chicken sandwich with a delicious cocktail.

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After lunch we visited the monument for “Southernmost Point” of the U.S.A. We waited in line to get a picture taken. After this we walked back over Duval Street to our hotel to check in.

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We need to wait a bit at check-inn but everything went well. After Sander asked we got a free upgrade to a junior suite, which is very nice and spacious. You could as well say it’s huge…

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After having checked out our room and installed every charger for our iDevices we went out for a walk to the 0 mile marker of the US Highway 1. Here was a GeoCache which we found and after having made some pictures at both the begin & the end marker we walked along Duval Street before we went to the pool in our hotel. During the 45 minutes we spend in the sun Glenn made us aware of Mallory Square which should be a good place to see the sunset.

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Within 15 minutes we went upstairs, changed our clothes and we left the hotel and walked to the square. After having a Key Lime Pie we went to the Bistro which had some tables with an amazing view on the sunset. We ordered cocktails, sliders and chips to make the 30 minutes wait better. We had a really amazing via and we made some nice pictures too.

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From there we left to Sloppy Joe’s a famous bar on Duval Street for another cocktail and after we had finished that one we went back to our hotel. We are both a bit tired after waking up early, driving for about 4 hours, multiple GeoCaches, a lot of walking, some food and a couple cocktails but this day in Key West was the best day of the trip so far, let’s hope it continues this way.

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At and around the beach…

As expected we woke up a bit early this morning, to be exact somewhere close after 4:00 o’clock. From out of our bed we watched a movie on one of the two televisions in our room and we fell a sleep a couple of times again for some minutes but sleeping isn’t what our bodies liked to do. So at 5:30 I decided to call our little nephew with FaceTime and we had a lot of fun playing peek-a-boo with him. At 6:30 we finally left our bed to get dressed and get something to drink and eat at the Starbucks to have breakfast on the beach waiting for the sunrise.

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We took some great pictures walked through the water and watched a lot of sportive people jogging over the beach. Some of them looking more interesting as others. After a short walk over the beach we walked back to our hotel over Collins Ave.

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After arriving in the hotel we went directly to the pool for a swim and to work on our tan! The pool has 4 windows on the bottom where you can look through from the hotel bar which is a neat photo opportunity.

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Close to 10:00 we went back to our room to shower and get prepared for the first shopping tour of this vacation! And  not even 100 meter away from the hotel entrance I hurt my toe by slipping on some concrete colored mud. It was bleeding o we went back to the hotel for some bandages. In the beginning everything went fine but after about 3 blocks the bandages couldn’t stop the blood from leaking through anymore so we went to the nearest CVS Pharmacy for a “Repair Sanders toe ASAP kit”.

After cleaning and applying we went back on our way to the Tommy Hilfiger Store at Collins Ave but before we went to the Victoria Secrets store for Danielle. At Tommy Hilfiger we spender over 2 hours to shop for the winter collections which was already on SALE. We end up with some great discounts and 2 Rugby striped tote bags. It was fun shopping there since it was a beautiful store with a small garden to walk through different buildings.

After this major shopping we both were read for something to eat and we knew there should be Johnny Rockets nearby. And since we were both looking forward to a burger and a milkshake this was the place to go to. Danielle ordered the “Route 66” and I went for the “Miami”. The milkshakes we picked were also different Danielle is a chocolate addict and got herself a Dark Chocolate Shake  made with Ghirardelli® Chocolate and I ordered the Big Apple Shake made with an actual slice of apple pie.

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After lunch we rolled back to out hotel via the Miami branch of Dash, the shop from the Kardashian Sisters. Back at the hotel it was already 16:00 hour but we decided to enjoy the beach club from our hotel til 18:00 hour. After sunbathing for an hour we got some food at the Wallgreens for the evening.

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After this last shopping we went to the hotel where we enjoyed the hotel and later in the evening the hotel bar. Tonight will be the last blog post from Miami because early tomorrow morning we’ll drive towards Key West.

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