florida trip

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florida trip

Postby r1g0r » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:55 am

i'm hoping somebody here will have some input for me.

my wife & i are spending our 20th anniversary in florida from the 17th to the 23rd of august, partly in orlando and partly in/by the keys.

we're doing this on a fairly shoestring budget, and i was hoping some of our members would have ideas of cheap but decent lodgings in the area (yeah, i know, cheap in the keys?), and interesting places to visit that aren't part of the usual tourist havens.

she's never been to florida, and i've only been there on business trips that didn't allow for much sight-seeing.

thanks for any ideas and info guys!
you know... george orwell warned us!
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Re: florida trip

Postby Since1982 » Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:55 pm

If you're coming to the keys in the summer, that's the right time to do so. It's really cheap down here now as the weather is ...well, interesting. Very hot, and humid with the opportunity of a Hurricane being a very real vacation experience while visiting. Yesterday in my part of the keys the temp was 98f..and still (no wind) and very humid. We've not had a hurricane here since 2005 when Wilma flooded us to a fair thee well. The hotel rates now are like $75.00 or so a day dbl occ. which is a big break from the Winter version of average $350. per day dbl occ. If I was the one vacationing in the Keys, I'd stay at the Miccosukie Resort and Casino in South Miami and drive the 50 mi. to Key Largo daily for whatever sport I intended to enjoy. Miccosukie is like $120.00 per day dbl occ. year 'round. This hotel is virtually weatherproof. It's where a lot of year 'round keys residents go when a hurricane threatens. I do, so do most of my friends. Good luck with whatever you decide. If you need more personal suggestions and/or help, PM me. :thewave:
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Re: florida trip

Postby sapphire » Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:04 pm

While I can't comment directly about hotels in the Keys, I did a lot travel while I was showing cats. I did a lot of travel with a friend and we generally found that Red Roof Inns were generally habitable and reasonably priced.
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Re: florida trip

Postby Since1982 » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:27 pm

How long ago was that, Sapphire? As far as I know, Red Roof Inns are defunct in the keys ever since the flooding of Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Lots of hotels and motels in the keys went under financially as well as under water in that hurricane. My house in the keys had water up to my floor but not quite in my house. Missed coming in by about 2 inches. I've had to beef up my floors as they were wet on the underside. I looked in the 2008-2009 Bell South Yellow Pages as well as the Florida Keys Yellow Pages and no Red Roof Inns in either. There are plenty of local hotels here though.. http://www.yellowbook.com should have all the listings anyone needs. 8)
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Re: florida trip

Postby sapphire » Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:09 am

Hi Skip,
My comment was a general one. I was only making a suggestion based on my own travels, which sadly have not included the Keys.

Sorry if I created any confusion.
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Re: florida trip

Postby Since1982 » Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:08 pm

sapphire wrote: Hi Skip,
My comment was a general one. I was only making a suggestion based on my own travels, which sadly have not included the Keys.

Sorry if I created any confusion.


Nothing to be sorry for, you were just trying to help. :thewave:
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Re: florida trip

Postby r1g0r » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:30 pm

When my wife and I got married, we were poor as church-mice and I was in the military during desert storm and assorted minor government games in foreign lands. We started out with kids and never got a honeymoon. The art of not being able to squeeze in a honeymoon turned into the science of never being able to afford a vacation either.

Last year, my wife started saving to put us into a vacation this year. Wonders never do cease, it actually came about!

well...
…………………………………………………………………………………………………
our trip to florida was very interesting.

we flew into orlando international airport on 17aug08, got a rental car and drove to kissimmee.

our first hotel was a small place presided over by a person who was very obviously a transexual. very nice and helpful, but made no attempt to sound female and wore more make-up than anybody i've ever seen.

lovely lady, though!

We stayed there only one night, and switched to a place that had an indoor pool. This was in case the hurricane caused a lot of trouble, and was a mistake. The new hotel was MUCH noisier, and we never got in the pool.

Ah well, hindsight…

we checked out seaworld & ripley's "believe it or not", and my wife did a little shopping at the M&M store in the mall.

We also got matching roman numeral 20’s (XX) tattooed on our left hands, a permanent and visible display of our 20 years together. Our sons think we’re cool.

then we headed down to homestead/florida city in southern florida for the rest of our 7-day trip. our trip south crossed kay's trip northeast, with fay just a few hours ahead of us. (my wife felt quite adventurous, although we only got hit by a lot of rain.)

homestead is about 20 miles from the keys, and serves as a good base for southern travels. from there to key west only took 3 hours, and key largo (our favorite) was 20 minutes away.

Key largo is muy laid-back, with plenty to do, nice shops, friendly people, and almost no tourist traffic! We had so much fun there, we’re talking about maybe returning in a couple years.

Key west, however, is a tourist trap! Too many tourists, too many shops, the townsfolk were largely annoyed by it all, and I quickly went into a “kill them, kill them all” –type funk that was mirrored by my wife.

Save your money & sanity, stay away from key west.

Our last day we spent traveling back to Orlando, stopping in at Melbourne to try swimming in the atlantic. The beaches in the keys had warning signs about hazardous bacteria levels. The beach at Melbourne was clear and warm (after the first few seconds), and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

We flew back to northern Wisconsin on 23aug08.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………

My wife and I tried:
Alligator
Conch
Escargot
Raw oysters

She was very adventurous for a small-town Wisconsin girl!
…………………………………………………………………………………………………

We went to a gator farm / airboat ride, fed a lot of mosquitoes, saw a 2.5” water-bug, pumped gas in 8” of standing water, heard about 20 different accents (non-american), and had about the WORST internet access possible.

So, anyhow, THAT was our 20th anniversary vacation.
you know... george orwell warned us!
..................................
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Re: florida trip

Postby Since1982 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:49 pm

We went to a gator farm / airboat ride, fed a lot of mosquitoes, saw a 2.5” water-bug, pumped gas in 8” of standing water, heard about 20 different accents (non-american), and had about the WORST internet access possible.
Did any of those "accents" sound somewhat Latin? South Florida is probably the biggest cornucopia / melting pot of Latin sounding accents in the world. We get them from Cuba (most are from Cuba), Mexico, Most of the Central America countries(excluding Belize, which used to be British so they speak Caribbean English there), Most of the South America countries (they speak either Spanish, Porteguese or German (Lots of Germans emigrated to Brazil just at the end of the Second world war), the Dominican Republic, and several Carribean Islands that speak various renditions of Spanish. Were they growing "gators" at the Gator Farm or just selling preserved Gator parts, a ghastly business? Without touristas, whatever will the MOSQUITOES eat? Internet??? You're not supposed to be on a computer when on vacation...you're supposed to be sunbathing, swimming, fishing, lolling about in the sun, collecting shells on the shore..etc etc
:thewave: :thewave: :hide:
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Re: florida trip

Postby r1g0r » Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:59 pm

We heard dutch, german, scots, irish, various English accents, Jamaican, Haitian, south African, aussie, kiwi, French, Russian, and several eastern European. of course, there were the usual hispanic and oriental. especially at seaworld. quite a little u.n.

The gator farm said that some of their gators were going to go to zoos, some would end up as food. They were all healthy, except for the usual injuries crocodilians get.

The skeeters were the aftermath of all the water hitting areas that had been experiencing drought, and suddenly got deluged. I had expected them, just not in such quantities.

The internet was a necessity. Our itinerary was very fluid, and we were making reservations through orbitz.com.
you know... george orwell warned us!
..................................
"Moderation is a colorless, insipid thing to counsel. To live less would not be living."
Sister M. Madeleva Wolff (1887-1964), CSC
r1g0r
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Re: florida trip

Postby Since1982 » Sat Aug 30, 2008 2:01 pm

R1g0r, when are you going to please change r1g0r to your real name so we don't have to keep wondering when you're going to change it, as "r1g0r. "STILL" not my real name" seems to imply. Don't you have any extra names in your name like most folks do? I have 5 middle names, and use one of them here. My mom, bless her heart, named me after 4 rich uncles in the hopes that one or more of them might leave me a tidy sum in their wills. O well, didn't happen, they all left it to "chippies" that gave them something other than heredity. :hide:
I had to remove this signature as it was being used on Twitter. This is my OPINION, you NEEDN'T AGREE.

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Re: florida trip

Postby r1g0r » Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:53 pm

sorry skip, ain't gonna happen.

been using r1g0r in one forum or another since the '80s, and my only other public name is the nom de plume of a dead french lesbian author. using THAT would only confuse folks further, since it connects with several adult-linked message boards she heralded.

my real name is too recognizable in some professional and "social" circles, and i can't afford the risk.

on a different note, where in the keys are you? we cruised through all but biscayne, and i'd love to have a mental picture of your location to link to.
you know... george orwell warned us!
..................................
"Moderation is a colorless, insipid thing to counsel. To live less would not be living."
Sister M. Madeleva Wolff (1887-1964), CSC
r1g0r
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Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2003 11:11 am
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