Florida - USA - Cape Canaveral & Orlando
Aug 8, 2014
|When we left you it was Sunday 3rd August and we had another traveling day planned.
We drove from the west coast across to the east coast and ended at Cape Canaveral where we had a paddle on an enormous sandy beach that went on and on.
The following morning we had a short drive over to the Kennedy Space Centre where we met Tom Jones, the astronaut (not the singer) who had been on four shuttle missions. He provided a fascinating briefing on NASA's current plans and their intentions to hopefully go to Mars or one of its moons in about 25 years with their deep space programme. This will require the correct funding and of course the political backing.
We visited the current resting place of the Space shuttle Atlantis which now has its own building and exhibition.
We took a short coach trip to an enormous hanger that houses a Saturn 5 rocket and what's left of the Apollo program.
We finished our tour with an IMAX movie on the shuttle missions to repair the Hubble Space Telescope and then the amazing photographs it has produced.
We both agree this was a great day and worth every cent of the admission fee.
After our visit to the space centre Helen drove over to Orlando during a really violent thunderstorm where the rain was so heavy the windscreen wipers could barely clear the windscreen.
Tuesday was our first day at the Universal theme parks.
We started at the Universal Studios park and managed six rides.
The Despicable Me - Minion ride which was a 3D video roller coaster, The Twister which was a film set that rein-acted a Tornado hitting a town, The Mummy which was a 3D roller coaster, Harry Potter's escape from Gingotts which was one of the star attractions and was situated within an amazingly detailed mock up of Diagon alley. This was a high definition 3D ride that was absolutely amazing. We finished the day making a disaster movie with about a hundred other participants and the last was The Transformers 3D ride.
Wednesday - 2nd day at Universal
We arrived just as the park was opening and caught the Hogwarts express which is a train incorporating a theme park ride.
On arrival at Islands of Adventure we decided to queue for the second Harry Potter 3D ride but while we were waiting the ride broke down. We decided to wait for a while but after about an hour we left the queue and headed for some alternative rides.
We got absolutely soaked on a couple of water rides - The Jurassic Park river journey and the Dudley Do-Right log flume.
We managed to do the Spider-Man 3D ride and then returned to the other star attraction, the Harry Potter and the forbidden journey ride which by this time was running again. This was another amazing high definition 3D ride where you ride a broomstick around the grounds and through Hogwarts school whilst being chased by a dragon.
We had a ride on a small roller coaster and then caught the Hogwarts express back to Universal Studios and finished the day with The Men in black and Shriek rides.
On Thursday we went to The Disney Magical Kingdom for the afternoon and had planned to stay until the evening.
A mixture of large crowds, the heat and a thunderstorm led to us leaving around 5pm but we had managed to have a good look around, eat chilli cheese hot dogs and have a couple of pretty average rides, compared with the Universal parks, but we did see 'The Mouse'.
On Friday we had one last day at the Universal theme parks and repeated our favourite rides and had lunch at the Orlando Hard Rock Cafe which is apparently the largest in the world!
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Universal Studios.
Its Saturday 9th August and today we have our flight to California and San Francisco.