So that’s it, another year over, an new one just begun. No, sorry, that’s a different time of year….
So, that’s it, the end of our ‘big’ holiday for 2015. It’s been great. Not quite the highs (for Liz and myself at least) of last years epic, but close enough to make it all worthwhile. And for the kids, this years holiday probably exceeded last year (not enough roller coasters in California for them)
The last couple of days in Florida were somewhat punctuated by the weather. Tropical Storm Erika hit on Sunday evening, and killed off Monday as a final day for us. In fact we did actually venture out to Naples beach on Monday morning. We spent all of 15 minutes on the sand and then the darkest, most ominous skies came over together with distant lightening so we decided the sensible option would be to head back to the car:-
We spent the rest of the day bumming around Naples & the Coastland centre avoiding the (at times) torrential rain. In a typically Floridian fashion, by the time were back in Marco, the weather once again had turned ok. We spent our last evening at Snook’s a great seafood restaurant that overlooks the main bay of the Island. We had visited earlier in the week, but the rain had prevented any such view… On this night the weather had eased enough for us to see right across the bay to the main bridge servicing the island:-
whilst we were admiring the view in the fading light Sam shouts, “dolphins!”. Once again, for the *3rd* time this week we witnessed a pod of dolphins frolicking in the water waters of the gulf. Not so close to us this time, but easily visible across the bay:-
So in a week we have seen numerous dolphins, a manatee, several alligators, a raccoon and too many exotic birds to mention. It’s been almost as good as a trip to Dudley zoo.
Tuesday and Wednesday we had the long journey back to England. I am not a great traveler – for reasons of boredom as much as anything. After 2 hours on a plane I am usually ready to eat my own head, so the thought of 9 hours over to Frankfurt and then another 1 1/4 hours back to Brum did not appeal. That said, it was actually ok apart from having to jog / speed march / run for about 40 minutes through Frankfurt airport to get from our arrival stand to our departure stand. The published layover was 1 hour 15 mins, but due to taking off around 35 minutes in Orlando we knew it would be tight on time to make our connection.
We ran upstairs. We ran downstairs. We ran on travelling walkways. We ran up and down escalators. We pushed a middle aged American out of the way at the bag security point. We were speed marched through security points and onto a shuttle bus to the awaiting plane about 5 minutes later than it was scheduled take off. We ran up the stairs to be greeted with…. an almost empty plane. Ok… I spoke to the flight attendant and she said there were *70* people from the Orlando flight due on the Birmingham flight and they wouldn’t leave until they were there as it wasn’t worth flying otherwise…. Well, er, thanks for letting us know. So we sat on the plane for another 30 minutes until all the other passengers meandered on!
We arrived back in Birmingham only 25 minutes late or so, so all good really.
And at the point, I must end this blog…. Nothing more to write, back to the everyday.
Until next year, goodbye.
p.s. you will notice the top image of this post is Toll End bridge over the canal in Tipton. It just proves that beauty can be found everywhere. Sometimes I think we feel we have to travel 1000’s of miles to see all that is good in the world. Yes, we are fortunate to be able to do these trips, but they are by no means essential…