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Florida - April 2022 - Day 12

An old man turned ninety-eight He won the lottery, and died the next day

It is ironic that when you are having a good time that time seems to pass so quickly. We have now been away almost 2 weeks and our flight home on Thursday seems to be getting ever closer. This trip so far has consisted of 3 very different parts, all of which we have really enjoyed. The first part by the coast was laid back, the second part in the villa by ourselves was chilled and this third part with Graham and Jo has been a bundle of fun.

This morning again by 8am we were all outside before having our breakfast again by the pool. I decided that having fun today was more important than trying to find coverage of the Norwich match. The last time I had done this in Florida, Norwich were five nil up by half time, so hopefully that will happen again today. We decided to hit the road at 10am for a leisurely drive north for an hour to Winter Park. We managed to avoid all the traffic and parked easily on one of the many free car parks in the centre.

The plan was to have a gentle stroll along the main street before finding somewhere for coffee and perhaps lunch. We were immediately distracted though by the Farmers Market which was coupled with Dog Fest that was taking place. It all had such a lovely community feel.

There were dogs everywhere, all shapes, sizes and breeds. They were all on leads with their owners and so very well behaved. Many of them wore neckerchiefs around their necks showing that they were taking part in Dog Fest. We looked at many of the stalls in the Farmers Market but took less interest in the Dog related stalls.

Eventually we went back to the Main Street and wandered in and out of a few of the shops. One that took our eye but we didn’t venture in was dedicated to ‘Doggie Skincare’. I was even more amused when there was a row of doggie dressing gowns hung up for the dogs to wear whilst they were waiting for their pampering session. This truly is a dog friendly town.

All the café’s, bars and restaurants were bustling as we walked along and it all had a lovely atmosphere. As we couldn’t get a table anywhere that met the girls’ requirements we headed back to Panera Bread at the end of the line of shops. We had a very acceptable lunch only ruined by finding out the Norwich score. I felt guilty for not watching and perhaps my support and urging them on from 4500 miles away may have helped.

We then made our way back through the Farmers Market stopping to get Jo a savoury crepe on the way. In the car we headed the 20-minute drive to the Addition Financial Stadium.

The multi-story car park opposite cost us $15 but was convenient as we had tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters. I had bought the tickets through Groupon. I have always wanted to see them since childhood. I used to absolute love watching them on TV both in person and then later as a cartoon. I could never work out why as a child that all teams didn’t play the same way. Surely, they were all the greatest players in the world? And they all had such fun doing so.

The stadium was at the home of the University of Central Florida. It outdid most professional arenas in the UK. However, I was surprised it was probably only about half full for this stop on the Globetrotters world tour. Our cheap Groupon seats turned out to be the cheap benches but that was fine. There was a lot of razzmatazz (unnecessary in my opinion) before the game finally started. Our one complaint was that the PA was not up to the job and lots of shouting in American accents meant we were not sure what was being said all of the time.

The skills on show were impressive. I quickly realised as an adult though that the Globetrotters could only perform some of their moves because the made up opposition (the Washington Generals) were in on the show and allowed them to. Funny how that never occurred to me as a child. In fact, I would say that the Washington Generals defence would even make the Norwich defence look good this season.

Some of the long shots that both teams were scoring with were amazing. My favourite player was 0-zone, who at 4-foot 6 is the second shortest player they have had. He kept trying to do chest bumps with his 6-foot 9 captain. The captain himself was micc’d up and was giving a running commentary as well as interacting with the crowd during play.

Karen was crying with laughter at the antics of the inflatable large mascot during one of the intervals. My favourite part was mid match when they started playing the music from Lion King and all the players ran into the crowd and found a baby and formed a circle as he was held aloft like Simba.

We left a couple of minutes before the end to ensure we could get off the car park. Apart from losing Karen for a while when we thought she had been kidnapped on the way out because of the garbled text message she then sent telling us where she was, we eventually made it home all together safely.

There was still time for a couple of hours by the pool and that meant more bubbles and G&T’s once the bubbles were finished for the girls, whilst I had zero sugar Raspberry Lemonade as a treat. The G&T’s must have been strong as the girls were non-stop chatter for the rest of the day.

I booked a table for us tonight at Bahama Breeze. After a few minutes wait because we wanted to sit outside, we were taken to our table. Tonight, we had a trainee waiter called Edward. He and his trainer were excellent. The girls started with Frozen Margaritas which were enormous. We shared some Conch Fritters which were delicious. Karen then had the Jerk Chicken whilst I went for the Coconut Shrimp and Sirloin which was really good. Overall, the atmosphere, food and service were very good and we all left impressed.

Tonight, we thought we would head to the Boardwalk for a walk and to watch the Epcot fireworks. We had forgotten though it was a Saturday night. There was a large queue trying ot get into the car park and like everyone else we were turned away as the car park was full. We would just have to try another night.

So instead, we headed back to the villa after refuelling. We all sat outside for a while having a drink (this time was a role reversal and I was the only one having some alcohol). Karen turned into ‘Karen the Cockroach Slayer’ when we spotted a large one and she didn’t rest until she had crushed it under her foot.

Yet another really good day in Florida.

Don’t you think?

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