The first stop on our tour around the Americas is Tampa, Florida. Famous for oranges (Tropicana orange juice) and alligators!
Why Florida you say? Because:
We have some close friends here, "Meet the Herman's" to show us around
It is close to South America, the next leg of our journey.
It's the sunshine state and we are in much need of the Vitamin D.
We arrived around 3pm on a Thursday in Orlando Florida and after a few hick-ups at the airport with our bags (a 2 hour delay) we finally got on the road. Since we are not really Disney kids, we decided to drive right through Orlando to Tampa Florida, about a 2 hour drive depending on traffic. Thankfully our good friend Dave picked us up at the airport in his monster truck so we didn't have to worry about hiring a car, driving on the wrong side of the road, or whether we would have room for all our luggage!
After a good nights sleep, we hit the ground running and packed the weekend with loads of fun in the sun. Friday morning we spent lounging by the pool at Jenny & Dave's place, now affectionately known as #hotelherman. In the afternoon we visited Clearwater bay where the sands are bright white and as soft and silky as can be. It was the Pier 60, Sugar Sands Festival with live music, street performers and a sand castle competition.
You can view more pictures from the festival on our instagram @gntonefortheroad
We stayed at Clearwater Bay to watch an incredible sunset, had some amazing Mexican Food at a local restaurant then made our way to St Petersburg for an open air concert with some Reggae man and you guessed it Bob's old band, The Wailers. They were absolutely brilliant! What a great night.
Saturday we headed out early to the beach and managed to secure the last parking spot at Lido beach, Sarasota. It was set to be 31C so we loaded up with chairs, towels, shade, beach blankets, cold drinks, games and all the gear for a day at the beach.
The crystal clear blue green waters were cool, calm and refreshing and we whiled away the day sun-baking, swimming, playing games in the sand and getting to know the locals and their lingo. Sarasota is cute little beachside village with lots of nice boutiques for shopping, restaurants and cafe's. All in all it was a fun filled weekend with loads of things to do. The sun is no joke though, and pretty much everyone ended up sun-burnt. After all that fun in the sun we were ready to turn in for an early night.
GnTonefortheroad Travel Tip 1: Keep your luggage with you at Orlando airport, don't place luggagge on carousel to main terminal, this cost us 2hrs.
GnTonefortheroad Travel Tip 2: Wear the 50+ waterproof sunscreen and top up every 2 hours. Chose the kids brands that have been backed by the Cancer Council or Skin Cancer Foundation. I recommend the Babyganics, it's mineral based, non greasy, non allergenic, certified organic and plant based.
GnTonefortheroad Travel Tip 3: At the beach, use one of the many hotel rest rooms on the stip. There is always one in the lobby. Pretend you are a guest.