Florida

Florida – Out of scale = painful

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Visiting Florida just once, but it was a good experience.

The goal, which was successful, was to take the kids to Disneyworld, but we took the opportunity to visit Cape Canaveral and go to the beach in Miami, with a little trip to the Bahamas.
A vacation in beauty, and with some adventure.

Miami

Out of scale in 
Florida

Miami began as an adventure – a delay in Madrid “dynamited” the timetable, and I had to drive to Orlando the first automatic car that I drove, out of hours, through the sleepy roads of America.
I drank as much coffee as I could, and made it to the hotel without incident.
On the way back, it was then possible to enjoy the beach attached to the hotel, to know a little about Miami and the keys. I just found out, but it was good.

Orlando

Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom

As expected, the overwhelming majority of time in Orlando was spent at the theme parks, but a glimpse of the city was still possible.
We were surprised by the size and dispersion of the buildings and streets, confirming the European joke that says that in America everything is so big that even to cross the road you have to go by car.
It was, in any case, a very interesting visit.

Cape Canaveral

Florida

Visiting Cape Canaveral was dazzling, as we felt “inside” the space project, with the rockets, ships, space capsules and control rooms, right there at hand, as if it were a banal thing.
I was amazed at the apparent openness to the public of everything, although it was clear that the exhibition focused on the past, with the present and future, discreetly protected.
Worth it.

Out of scale

Twice I felt “out of scale”, which means obliged to calculate distances, understand volumes, manage times, outside my common standards.
It happened on my first visit to Morocco, where the smallness of the Fes medina gave me that feeling, and in Florida, when for the first time in my life I drove an automatic car, on the long and sleepy American highways.
The plan had been carefully crafted:

1 – Get up at 5:00 to go to the airport and take the plane to Madrid.

Success!

2 – Take the connection to Miami in Madrid, arriving at 16.30

Failed! Delay in Madrid made us arrive in Miami at 19.00

3- Pick up the car in Miami, and drive 3 hours to Orlando, without a map or GPS

Problems! The agency voucher did not identify the rent-a-car company, and I had to run them one by one. and it was already after 20.00 when I left the airport. The park ranger’s directions were precise, and with 6 instructions they took me to the turnpike. Take a deep breath.

4 – Arrive in Orlando at 20.00 and have dinner

Of course the dinner had to take place at a service station still close to Miami.

5 – Look for the hotel, in a transversal of International Drive.

Florida
Florida

The problem began with “getting there!”. Adding to the fatigue of the long hours on foot, with the drowsiness of a wide avenue at the pace of an ox, sleep took hold of us. Everyone slept except the driver, and the danger made me to start stopping at all the gas stations, to get wet, and drink a coffee.

American coffee is a bucket of water with coffee, and at times, I didn’t carry any more water, and the coffee didn’t work. After getting lost and having enlisted the help of two policemen in Tampa, to get me back on the right path, I arrived at the International drive after 1:00 am the next day.

Out of scale

I woke my wife up and told her to check all the transversals we were going through, waiting to see ours appear.
Tens of kilometres and nothing, giving way to the discomfort of “we’ve already passed”. An open service station appeared, and I went there to ask the employee where that crossroads was. He informed me that it was 10 miles ahead. To my amazement “I thought it was close” he opened his eyes and exclaimed “Yeah, it’s only 10 miles (16 kilometres).
Perhaps the adventure of checking in at the hotel will be told elsewhere, here I should just mention that this first clash of scale continued over

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