Thanksgiving in Florida

Hello Followers!

Last week saw the passing of a long lasting American tradition, Thanksgiving. A few friends (from New Zealand, England and Nigeria) and I reluctantly passed up the opportunity to have an authentic Thanksgiving break to seek out theme park adventures in the heat of Orlando and Miami in Florida.

Our first days were spent at Orlando’s Universal Studios, where crowds were still surprisingly large considering that Thanksgiving is such a valued traditional family holiday. This meant we received no break in everlasting theme park lines. Something good about the lines however, was the fact that we could over hear many southern accents, the main thing I wanted to hear while visiting the south of the United States. The newest addition to Universal Studios in Orlando was the Harry Potter themed park; where muggles were dared to ride Harry Potter themed roller coasters, shop in stores identical to the ones shown in the movies, and drink authentic ‘Butter Beer’. The Harry Potter section of the park was a clear standout from the rest of the park, and much of the time was spent there and on all of the big thrill rides.

Our next days were spent at Disney World, were much the same occurrences took place. Having visited Disneyland in California, Orlando’s version was much larger, with so much more to do. Disney World was made up of four different ‘lands’ that included the ever-popular Magic Kingdom, as well as Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom (yes a zoo) and finally Epcot, a park that was surprisingly amazing due to its imitations of several global cities and countries (Australia not included).

 The last day of our trip (the best day) featured a tour of the Everglades, South Beach Miami, and the city waterways of Miami. The Everglades tour was utterly amazing. The tour started with a walk through tour of a wildlife rescue zoo that gave us insight into the many animals of Florida, including the Black Panther, Cougar, Alligator and Crocodile. This section was ended with the opportunity to hold a baby alligator, an opportunity that I happily took up… It wasn’t as scary as I thought. We then pressed on down the highway towards Miami. As we entered the city limits, the Miami skyline made me cringe with excitement. As soon as I stepped of the bus I was in love. South Beach was amazing, and the area around the beach was also amazing. The art-deco buildings looked surreal, and the South American influence was exceptionally strong. I could help but feel familiar with the streets after watching numerous hours of Dexter.

 Our day in Miami ended with a boat tour around the harbour of Miami. As it was the afternoon, we were lucky to see the sun go down and see the bright city lights come to life. The tour pointed out several million dollar mansions owned by the rich and famous, the most renowned being the mansion featured in the movie Scarface. After eating Cuban food and watching Cuban dancing it was time to get back on the bus, then airplane and back into reality.

 Upon landing in Syracuse we were greeted with a large amount of snow, and since then, in the past week, it has snowed about three times. Many locals complain about the snow, but I definitely love it!

 It has come down to the last few weeks here in the United States for me. Many assignments and final exams lay ahead of me, so I better get to work… All the best!


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