Place 81 – Day 7: Orlando,FL – Surfin’ USA

Surfing

Kim and Abbie still really wanted to go surfing today, so they had a look at where was good to surf and rent a board.

They discovered that Cocoa Beach would be the best option and that is about a 30 minute drive from us.

We drove out to the beach and it was quite highly populated but we found a spot where no one was whilst Kim and Abbie got a surfboard.

As soon as we got to the beach, Kim and Abbie went off and into the sea to surf.

They were surfing for a good couple of hours and then came out for some light lunch and suncream and then back in again for a bit.

Portland Friends!

We saw a friend from Portland who came in on a cruise ship from New York, where she lives.

We all walked up to the pier, which was quite disappointing really, and then took a 20 minute walk to an ice cream shop where we grabbed an ice cream each.

We said goodbye to our friend, Fernada, and all got in the car and headed back home.

Tired

After we went to the shop and got back home, we’d been out for about 8 hours, so we were very tired and some of us burned!

As we were all tired, we lounged for a bit and then Abbie made a delicious stir fry.

More Card Games

We spent the remainder of the evening playing Monopoly Deal. It was the first time that Abbie, Tom & Maggie have played the game, so it took some time to show them what to do but it was a very fun evening.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

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Place 81 – Day 2: Orlando,FL – Florida Beach

Pancakes

Tom made pancakes this morning, as well as bacon, sausages & eggs.

We ate up and lazed about before we got ready.

Florida Beach

When in Florida, you have to go to a beach.

We went down the road and just found a beach somewhere, which was perfect as it wasn’t rammed.

We chilled at the beach for a few hours Kim and Abbie went in the sea and everyone got sufficiently brown.

We got a coffee whilst we were down there and Kim and Abbie looked in some shops.

We left all feeling very tired and headed back home.

Evening

We had a spinach, feta & beetroot salad for dinner and then Curtis watched the Leafs game.

We all slept at a decent time as we were tired and the both of us have colds, too.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 79 – Day 5: Austin,TX – Chicken Sh*t Bingo & Black’s BBQ

Crazy Lady

We had a very relaxed morning as we weren’t able to get much sleep due to lady going crazy, setting off a car alarm & shouting at 03:00 this morning!

We had plans to be up at a good time as well as go somewhere, but we changed our minds and got a good amount of sleep tomorrow.

Brunch

We went out early afternoon for a spot of brunch and we were hungry! We went to a well recommended diner called Magnolia Cafe.

We waited for 20 minutes for the table and once we got one it wasn’t all that great.

The coffee was tremendous, but the food was just ok. Kim got a pancake, which was burned and the house fries were cold.

We each had eggs and Curtis had bacon and a muffin also.

All in all it was just OK.


Magnolia Cafe | Austin,TX

Rating:- 6/10


Chicken Sh*t Bingo

A weird name, huh? Well, it was exactly what it sounded like.

We did some laundry briefly and then we drove out to the ‘saloon’ that was putting on the event.

We got there and got in line to buy some tickets. We eventually got our tickets and then it was a waiting game.

So, as the name suggests, you purchase a ticket and each ticket is numbered between 1 & 60. A chicken is put in a cage with numbers on the floor in squares and wherever it poops is the number that wins.

People got very passionate, but we were there for the show really.

Wierdly, it ended up being Curtis’ lucky number 13, but our numbers were 18,19,20 & 44, so we didn’t win.

We left right after that as there were just too many people.

Black’s BBQ

We got in the car and drove to a BBQ place had heard was good and it clearly was, judging by the line!

We had to queue for over an hour, so were hoping it was delicious.

We got inside and saw the sides and the meat and it all looked incredible.

We got 3 sides, green beans, mac & cheese and coleslaw.

We then got to the meat section and got a few slices of brisket and a rib each, which was more than enough. We also got some cornbread which we didn’t like.

The meat and sides were outstanding. Delicious and a pretty good price.


Terry Black’s BBQ | Austin,TX

Rating:- 9/10


Wine

We got back home and drank some wine which our Airbnb host had given us earlier today, which he gave along with chocolate covered strawberries, which was very nice to receive!

We chilled out for the evening and are having a good early night due to heading out for the day tomorrow.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 79 – Day 4: Austin,TX – Axe Throwing & Monster Jam!

Axe Throwing

We slept in and had about 10 hours sleep, which was excellent!We left the house and went to Urban Axes, which is an indoor axe throwing place.We booked in for 15:15 and went for a coffee at a coffee shop nearby.We got back to Urban Axes, filled in our waivers and threw some axes! It was an hour of axe throwing but this was shared with 6 of us in total, as we joined in with a family.

We did a small tournament at the end and we both did alright!

We left the axe place and drove back home to relax briefly before heading back out again.

Monster Jam

We went out for some food before we went into the Monster Jam. We got to the event centre but as we needed food we stopped to see what food there was around.We found a German pub to go to, so we took the short walk down to that. It was very busy in here, but we got a table.Curtis ordered a Bratwurst and Kim got a pulled pork sandwich.

The food here was just OK, but it filled us up a bit.We ate up and then headed back to the event centre and into Monster Jam.We had pretty good seats and the show started shortly after we entered.There was first a monster truck parade, which was loud!

We then saw the first event which was racing. This was alright, but ended a bit too quick.

There was then some ATV racing involved and then monster truck two wheel challenges, donut challenges, more ATV racing and monster truck freestyle.

We left the event having had a pretty good time, but it wasn’t as good as we thought it would have been.


Monster Jam

Rating:- 7/10


Downtown At Night

We walked for 20 minutes to get to the main party area to check it out. There were a lot of bars but they went all that great, so we left. It did look cool at night, though.

We got a Lyft home, watched something when we got back and then headed to bed.Another busy day but good fun!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 79 – Day 3: Austin,TX – Horse Riding, Shooting & Barton Springs Pool

Ranch Experience!

Horse Riding

We got up with plenty of time to get ready, but someone else was in the bathroom, so this meant we really had to rush when it was available.We hopped in the car and drove to a ranch called Lone Star Ranch. We got there, were welcomed really nicely and signed some forms.We got led out by our wrangler to meet our horses and get helmets.Curtis got a white horse called West and Kim got a dark brown horse called Julian.We were shown what to do and how to control the horses and off we went!We walked though creeks, up steep hills, down steep hills, through jungle areas and beautiful fields. We even got to trot a little bit, which was exciting!

Ranch Animals

After our horse ride, we had some time to kill, so we had a snack and said hi to the other animals on the ranch. There are some sheep and goats, as well as some cats, so we said hi to those.

Washers

We played the game washers for a bit, which is similar to cornhole. Both of us got much better at this as time went on.

Shootin’

We were next taken by Robert to do some clay pigeon shooting. We were using military style pump action shotguns and it turned out Curtis was pretty good at shooting but we both had a great time, if not a bruised shoulder.

We shot for a while and it was great fun!After we finished shooting, we olayed some washers with Robert, and Kim beat everyone!We then went leave but bumped into the owner who was very lovely. We got talking and she was interested in our blog, too, which is great! We thanked everyone again and headed to the car.


Lone Star Ranch | Austin,TX

Rating:- 10/10


Barton Springs Pool

We got into some shorts as it had gotten warm and we drove to Barton Springs pool.Before we paid our $9 entry fee and entered, we sat outside and ate our chicken wraps we bought.This pool is a natural pool which has been created in the middle of a large river/creek.The water was incredibly cold, but it was beautiful and the sun was in the perfect spot.

There was a diving board there, too, which Kim took full advantage of!

We spent a couple of hours here and then drove back home, but it took a while due to rush hour traffic.

Accidental Nap & Dinner

We had been out non-stop for over 8 hours, so we were very tired.We showered and then watched one video and before we were having dinner, we had an accidental nap! It felt amazing to get some solid sleep for an hour.We then had dinner, which was the exact same as yesterday.We have another fun day planned tomorrow, but just a bit less hectic.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 79 – Day 1: Austin,TX 🇺🇸 – Stupid Heat & Downtown Austin

The Flight

You may remember, if you read yesterday’s blog, that we were flying from Vegas to Austin.

Well, that flight was odd.

Firstly, it was not assigned seating, but everyone was in boarding sections and were boarded that way.

We were in the last section, so we had to wait until the end, which meant we were left with middle seats.

The takeoff and start of the flight was incredibly bumpy but after that was ok. We got free drinks and snacks, which was good, but the flight way just around 2 hours.

Austin!

We landed, got through and got our bags and got an Uber to our Airbnb.

We are in a very comfy room in a house. So much so we came in and went right to sleep.

Car Pickup

We picked the car up this morning, so had to be up at a relatively good time.

We got down to the airport via an Uber and went to pickup the car.

It turns out, we weren’t meant to get it until tomorrow! Luckily, a car was available and we paid the extra to get it today, so that was a win.

We were able to go to the lot and just pick our car and we chose a Ford Focus because why not.

We left the lot and headed to the supermarket to get some things.

Downtown Austin

We headed to downtown Austin and found some free parking just across the river where there was also a really nice park.

We walked around the park and then took the 30 minute walk across to the city. There was a great skyline, though! It reminded us of Brisbane.

Once we got into the centre, we just walked around in the unbearable 35°C heat.

We got to the State Capitol, which is actually taller than the US Capitol and a very cool building.

We left here and noticed our parking was almost up and it was too far to walk, so we got scooters and scooted to the car.

We got caught in traffic on the way back home, but got home at a good time.

We cooled off and then went to a shopping mall for Kim to find some clothes she was looking for.

Shopping & Panda Express

We went shopping and Kim got exactly what she needed which was great.

We then headed to Panda Express to eat. We got orange chicken as always with chow mein and Beijing beef which was terrific.

Chill

We got home and chilled. Tomorrow is more of a fun packed day, we hope, and have a few plans. It’s warm again tomorrow!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 77 – Day 6: Las Vegas,NV – Hoover Dam & Grand Canyon

Chatting With Norwegians

We woke up this morning and had a call from Espen & Marcus, so we had a chat with them for a bit.We got ready and had breakfast after speaking with them and then were ready to go.

Hoover Dam

First on the agenda was the Hoover Dam. We drove for 1 hour from our apartment to get there and it was a pretty simple drive.We got to the dam and had to pay $10 for parking. We parked up and headed down to the dam.The sheer size of the dam is astonishing! We didn’t pay for any tours but we did walk around it a bit and got some cool photos which we think show the depth.

We walked around here for a bit and then stopped for an ice cream in the cafe, which was perfect for such a hot day!Weirdly, the Hoover Dam is in Arizona, but only just, so much so that when we left, we had to drive out of Arizona, into Nevada and then back into Arizona.

The Grand Canyon

We weren’t too sure what to expect, but we drove for 1.5 hours from the hoover dam to get to the Grand Canyon (west).We didn’t know that it was a tour in which we had to pay and then take busses buses everywhere, but it worked out well.The first place we went was where the observation deck was, but it didn’t look great, so we didn’t pay for that. We did get some cool photos of the Grand Canyon though.

Behind us from this area was a native American village, which we got to walk around which showed all the different types of buildings used.

We got back on the bus after this and went to the next section, which gave us a 360° view within the Grand Canyon, which was awesome!

We even saw the old cable car system they used to move materials whilst mining.

We left this area and got on the bus to get to the final place, which was a ranch.Unfortunately, by the time we got there, everything was closed, but it looked like an old wild west town.

Kim tried to lasso a fake bull and managed to do it when she wasn’t being filmed!

We went and saw the horses and then tried to do some horseshoe throwing, which Kim perfected on the first throw!

We left here and went back to the main area where we collected our car and drove back towards Vegas, with a stop in IKEA!

We got some Swedish meatballs, of course, and looked around the shop.

We got back home, much earlier than we have been, and ate some ice cream whilst watching TV.

We have to give the car back tomorrow!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale