Our trip from home to Florida was looooonng. We took the Airbus to Los Angeles at 6 PM for a 11:15 PM flight to Detroit. We had time for a leisurely dinner at LAX before our flight. The flight was fine and we arrived about 6:30 AM. Why Detroit you ask? Our friends Cindy and Gary were flying to Detroit from San Francisco so it made sense to meet them there and fly together to Orlando.
We had only minutes before our flight left for Orlando as they were calling our name when we arrived at the gate. We actually got an upgrade to seats closer to the front to the plane. I had asked for a wheel chair for Clyda and glad that we did as it was a half mile between gates. Oh, we also had a TSA pre-check on our tickets so we didn't need to unload everything from our bags to go through security.
Arriving in Orlando, we got the rental car and drove to Mystic Dunes, a Diamond Resorts property South of Disney World. It is a big property with 23 buildings and over 900 rooms. Beautiful grounds but outdated furnishings in the units but Diamond will eventually upgrade them all.
We drove to what we thought was Downtown Disney where there is shopping and restaurants that you can visit without paying a Park entrance fee. Everything is under construction and all the close in parking lots were full so we left.
We came back the next day when there were less people and took a ride on the free boats that travel between parks. We went to “Key West” and had a leisurely lunch before going back to Downtown Disney, now called Disney Springs (The name changed last week). We saw the movie “The Martian” which was very good.
Boat ride around Disney Springs.
After the movie we drove towards Orlando and the “Orlando Eye” a giant wheel like the London Eye or The LINQ in Las Vegas. We all rode the “Eye” which takes about 25 minutes to make a complete loop. It was dark by the time our trip started but as flat as Florida is you can see a long way. As a matter of fact, we can see the fireworks from Disney if we go to the 6th floor balcony at our timeshare.
The Orlando Eye.
Aboard the Orlando Eye.
Yesterday we drove to Cocoa Beach and did a 2 hour boat tour of the Banana River where we saw lots of birds but no Manatees. We picnicked at a local park, walked to the beach which was interesting as it was full of people, unlike our February visit when very few people we on the beach.
Ed and Clyda prior to the boat tour.
Cindy and Gary .
Pelicans roosting in the Mangrove trees
We drove North of Titusville to a Manatee viewing area the boat captain had told us about and saw numerous Manatees feeding in the shallow water of a boat launch area. There were large and some quit small Manatees along with one who appeared to be very large. It was snorting and showing its flipper. Quit interesting.
We then took a 7 mile drive through the St Johns National Wildlife Refuge and then drove to Christmas, FL where we had camped in February while on our Florida trip. We went to the Orlando Wetlands Park nearby which we had also visited last February.
Today, Thursday was a pool day.