Following Islands of Adventure, we went into the next day bright and perky. One of my goals this trip was to see a beach; put my feet into the ocean. Orlando is in central Florida so there’s not a lot of beaches around. My friend and I googled a bit beforehand looking for some beaches that were close by that we could go splash in. We ended up coming across Cape Canaveral National Seashore which happens to be a national beach park that stretches for many miles. It’s undeveloped as well which means no building beach front properties on this stretch of beach; very natural. It’s about a 1 hour 20 minute drive from Orlando so we got a good headstart in the morning. I usually read on long trips in the car but I didn’t get enough sleep the night before and ended up sleeping the whole way there. By the time we got there it was a little cloudy but it was still a nice and toasty 80ºF. When you first get out of the car, you can hear the beach even though you cant see it. There’s a wooden ramp built up this hill that leads to the beach. There was a sign with beach rules with the very first one being “Know how to swim.” I don’t know how to 100% swim but I didn’t plan on going out deeper than what my feet could touch. We get to the beach, strip down and slowly inch forward to the tide. The water was warm but cold to our bodies initially. You know how you always have to acclimate to a body of water cause your natural temperature is so much warmer. But once we were in, we were in! The waves were so fun to splash in (and get knocked over by) but even though we had sand in all kinds of places and a mouthful or two of saltwater, it was one of the best days of the trip.
Later on we decided we were hungry. Naturally, after splashing around in the ocean, we wanted seafood. We went back to the suite to shower all the sand out (and believe it was A TON of sand, probably half the beach) and then went to a seafood joint I found through Google that had really good reviews. When a local, eat like the locals do! And man was the food fan-freaking-tastic. The restaurant was called Winter Park Fish Company and I got the best fish and grits of my life. If you’ve never had this food combination, you’re missing out. It was seared mahi-mahi over sugary cheesy grits (which btw, I never put sugar in my grits but oh my goodness gracious), with this spicy lobster gravy sauce drizzled on top and brussels salad on the side. My husband had fried snapper fish and chips with these powdered sugar hushpuppies. I wish I could order the whole menu and take it home. We found out the owners live half the year in Florida and the other half of the year in Costa Rica so they always have fresh fish. Anyway, if you ever find yourself in Florida, make sure you eat here! Here’s some pictures:
We settled down for the night after dinner to prepare for the next day. We went to Busch Gardens Tampa which is a theme park/animal park. There used to be an old show on TV with Jack Hanna who would talk about animals and animal welfare and I remember he would always host these shows at Busch Gardens. You all know I loved animals so I got great enjoyment out of the animals more than the rides although Cheetah Hunt was a pretty fun ride as well as Montu and Cobra’s Curse. Walking through to get to the actual Cobra’s Curse ride was really cool cause there was a couple of boa constrictors inside and it was all dark and stuff talking about serpent gods and what not. When we’d rode every coaster and seen all the animals, we decided we were hungry and went and got Jamaican food this time. Here’s a picture gallery from Busch Gardens (and me and my best friend just cause):
Tomorrow will be the last part of my Florida vacation recap. It also happens to be my most favorite day so I had to share it in it’s own post. You’ll see why. 🙂