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A wanted man beware Smily

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A wanted man beware Smily

Post by Steady Eddy on Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:24 am

There is some women from the wrong side of the hills a looking for you ,
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Re: A wanted man beware Smily

Post by KatieC on Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:31 am

Bloomin’ cheek, Eddy. Finally managed to get on here. Nothing sinister about hunting Smilo down, I’m after some unbiased info about the state of things in Florida post-Irma.

We’re considering flying over Jan or Feb 2018 & touring round. Not remotely interested in Mr Mouse & co, more like seeing the Keys and round the rest of the state. Assuming they’ll let us in, I have enough trouble getting into Yorkshire.

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Re: A wanted man beware Smily

Post by Steady Eddy on Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:46 am

Am sure Old Smily will be along soon to put you in your place (I mean give you all the info he can ) if you read back on some of the older posts on the site and you will gather some of what you want to know
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Re: A wanted man beware Smily

Post by Smilodon on Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:01 am

What do you want to know? The Keys are still there, I'm told. I had a friend stop there on a cruise ship, and was surprised that it was in as good a shape as it was. Did take a bit of a beating though...
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Re: A wanted man beware Smily

Post by KatieC on Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:52 am

Wondering what sort of state Florida is in now, outside the cities that is. Recovering or still battered? Still worth visiting the place? We’re not big city or theme park people (although Las Vegas is a bit of a laugh), generally we visit the South West - Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado etc as we love deserts & mountains (yeah, I know, not many of either in Florida). But we’ve never been down that side of the USA & thought it might be time we tried it out. We’re after a bit of sunshine too, getting a bit fed up of grey skies over here.

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Re: A wanted man beware Smily

Post by KatieC on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:33 am

Well, we’ve bitten the bullet & booked flights, travelling out 21st Feb for three weeks. Car rental booked too as we intend to travel round. Any suggestions for places to see & things to do would be most welcome - other than the Keys & Daytona, we’ve no plans yet (we tend to make it up as we go along, anyway).

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Re: A wanted man beware Smily

Post by Smilodon on Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:47 am

I think we are in pretty good shape. There will always be that "one thing" that took serious damage (some of the beachfront hotels in Daytona for example), but in general things are back to "normal".

South Florida took a bit of a bigger hit in places, but as far as I've heard are open for business.

I'll try to think up some out of the way places and post in a separate post. Can you give me a hint on some of the kinds of things you like (certain foods, museums, historical stuff, interesting places to stay, etc.)?

If you've never done the theme parks, there is so much of that in Orlando that there is really something for everybody there. Know you aren't really interested in "theme parks", but there is occasionally something really cool there, even for locals.
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Re: A wanted man beware Smily

Post by Steady Eddy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:12 am

Places stocking 16 year old Scotish whiskey are high on the list Smily and need to be well stocked when she is about ,
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Re: A wanted man beware Smily

Post by KatieC Yesterday at 8:01 pm

Bloomin’ cheek, Eddy. So far on our list we just have the Keys & the Space Center (US spelling, see what I did there?). We’re not generally city folk, though as it’s our first visit, I guess we should do a bit of townie stuff. I like to window-shop but the Lovely Man doesn’t understand the concept, I try to leave him in a bar whilst I browse.

We’re both interested in history & tend to visit every National Park we can find (the NPS do a great value annual pass). Reckon we have to visit Daytona Beach plus anywhere there may be bikes. And I’ll even give consideration to a theme park. Can’t face Disney, though. We have a relative who is obsessed with all things Disney and it’s become a bit nauseating.

We’ll be doing this trip mostly on a budget, the Lovely Man will spend hours each evening checking out our next stop (we both like making our plans mostly on a day by day basis but I like to know where I’m going to sleep by 4:00 pm each day). He’s started a bit of research already and nearly wept when he saw the hotel prices in Key West (I’d swear he has Yorkshire blood in him). Mind you, most accommodation is much cheaper in the States than over here, we find that in the Southwest US, we get a perfectly good hotel for under $100. We’re registered with the Best Western rewards scheme & find their ‘Best Western Plus’ ratings are about right for us but if it’s ‘tourist’ prices, we might have to lower our standards a bit.

Food-wise, we tend to share a Sub at the end of the day (see what I mean about frugality?). Fancy restaurants are a bit wasted on us, the Lovely Man doesn’t eat steak or shellfish and I’m too mean to pay a lot of money for something I know I can make at home for a fraction of the price.

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Re: A wanted man beware Smily

Post by Smilodon Today at 1:11 am

Hmmm... Looks like you will be leaving right at the start of Bike Week in Daytona (March 9-18 this coming year).  I'm sure there will be plenty of bikes around before and after, but you will miss a bit of the lunacy of hundreds of thousands of bikes during the event (maybe not a bad thing).

I am very near the space center and you are welcome to drop by.  Maybe the garage will be done by then!  PM for more details.  I might even join you on the tour and tell old "war stories".

Florida is not a tremendously "historical" place, but there are things here and there.

St. Augustine is a bit of a tourist trap, but is still worth a visit.  It was an early Spanish colony and fort site and is considered one of the oldest settlements in the US.  Lots of neat B&Bs in "old town" and a lovely beachfront park nearby.

An airboat ride through the marsh somewhere (or the Everglades when you are down that way) is a worthwhile and unique activity.  There are tours from many inland areas including a few around me in the St. Johns river basin.

There is a new Ace Cafe in Orlando, but they decided to plop it right in the middle of downtown (to maintain a tie to the original in London I guess), so might not be worth if for you.  Nice place though, with car/bike events every evening.

You might consider visiting one of the "old" tourist attractions in Florida (like the Mermaid show at Weeki Wachee springs).  These old places are making a bit of a comeback and are pleasant and low-key compared to theme-park land.

Are you a fan of Tiffany stained glass, lamps and such.  Orlando has a little museum (Morse) with one of (or the) biggest collection in the world.

If you have a passing interest in Drag racing, there is the Don Garlits museum in Ocala FL ("Big Daddy" Don Garlits was the Valentino Rossi of Drag racing).  There is the Dali museum and Chuhuli glass collection in St. Petersburg, the Ringling (art) museum in Sarasota.  Beesa from the old FS board is down that way.

There is a fantastic car collection in Naples FL, but you have to reserve a spot in advance (no walk-up business).  It used to be called the Collier collection, but is now the "Rev's Institute" (for some reason).

I'm sure there is a ton of stuff in the Miami area and Key West, but I'm not much of a South Florida expert.  There is a nice Japanese garden and museum down in Boca Raton (the Morikami) that I've been to a few times, and I've been down there for one thing or another, but my backroad travels tend to revolve around bike rides, and not many good trips down there from here.

Busch Gardens in Tampa is a pre-Disney "theme park" in Tampa that is a bit off of the beaten path from the Orlando stuff.  You might be interested in that, look them up. (I grew up a few blocks away from there).  Good Chicago-style hot dogs nearby too!

You are smack in the middle of all the big racing events, but missing all of them.  After the 24 hours of Daytona, before the Daytona 200 (motorcycles), before the Sebring 12 hours and the Gatornationals (drag racing).  Just after the Daytona 500 NASCAR race.  Just before the Indy Car race in St. Petersburg.  Also just before the big Amelia Island Concours and just after the big Mecum auction in Kississimee... All of these are a week or two before or a week or two after your dates!

The Daytona speedway does have a pretty cool museum and tour, even if NASCAR isn't your thing (like me!).

I'm always looking for excuses for a motorcycle ride, so am pretty up on most of the roadside attractions and backroad places in the area.  If you have something on your Radar, feel free to ask about it and I'll give you the scoop (if I've been there).

We are a bit "foodie", so I have some pretty good places to eat too.  I'm not much of a seafood person (sadly, being in Florida!), so I definitely get that.
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Re: A wanted man beware Smily

Post by Steady Eddy Today at 6:00 am

Well Kate it sounds like you need to extend the stay a little with all that to get through , nice one Smily thats the ticket give her plenty to do I am sure the lovely Man will be much relieved that she now will not have time for all that retail therapy cary on , good on ya , that lovely man needs all the help he can get with that one let me tell you
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Re: A wanted man beware Smily

Post by Smilodon Today at 6:16 am

Well, there are a few places to shop too! affraid
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