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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Last Family Vacation: Florida, Age Seventeen


When I was 17, the summer before my senior year of high school, I went on my last annual vacation with my family. You can see some of the other years here:

Yep, this time, in 2005, we went to Florida (Disney World and Daytona Beach). We had actually gone to Florida before - I believe I was in 5th grade. Except we flew that time. And it was one of my favorite vacations. This time, we drove the whole way there and back. From north-western Illinois. Talk about long hours in a vehicle...I actually don't want to relive that again. But here we go. Some passages from my journal on our Florida vacation!

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Saturday, June 4, 2005
"So it's 1:08 right now. I'm pretty much sitting in the back of the van, listening to Fall Out Boy. We left for vaca this morning at 7:45...so we've been on the road for approx. 5 hours I think? And we stopped at Arby's for lunch (somewhere). I think we're still in Illinois. Tonight, we'll stay in a hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Then tomorrow, we'll drive down to Orlando...We're in Salem right now, wherever the heck that is!"

Sunday, June 5, 2005
"Ho-hum....it's exactly 12:00 eastern time (noon)....we're in Georgia, in a very LONG traffic jam on the interstate. It's taking forever. I think we're just outside of Atlanta. We left our hotel this morning, I think a few hours ago. Last night we ate dinner at Shoney's in Kentucky, then we kept driving to Tennessee and stayed at the Sun Inn in Chattanooga. We drove to two other hotels before we found that one, because like all the rooms were taken in the others...I guess there was a big golf tournament in town or something. Anyway, we just watched SNL last night, and I took a shower, did crossword puzzles, and ate my peanut butter M&M's....I have no idea when we're going to get to a city or town, but we're probably going to stop at a restaurant before we get to Florida, then we're going to drive to Orlando and stay there a few nights I guess....Well, maybe I'll update tomorrow or the next day..."

Saturday, June 11, 2005
"Well, I know I said I'd write more, but there was just no time. So we're coming BACK from our vacation now; we're in Daytona still, and it's POURING down rain, most likely from Hurricane Arlene, which is west of us, but it has been causing a lot of rain and wind in Florida. Luckily, this is the first day of our vacation that it's actually raining. We just happened to miss out on all of it. If it did rain, it was at night, so that was good."

"...Sunday driving to Orlando was THE WORST. It took for-ev-er. I think it was longer than the day before, actually. Well it definitely seemed like it because we didn't eat dinner until around 9:00! Our hotel was just a 15-minute walk from Universal Studios, and there was a bunch of other hotels, too. It took forever to find our hotel. We went in circles, and it got dark, plus we were hungry. We hadn't eaten dinner yet, because the way there was like all interstate, and we got in two huge traffic jams, because of 2 wrecks. So then, when we finally got to our hotel, we wanted to eat, so we went to Denny's, but it took forever to get a table, so we just decided to go back to the hotel! Me, Mom, and Haley all wanted to order Domino's pizza, but Dad didn't want to wait, so he just went next door to Burger King. We ate Domino's, and it was yummy! So, that was the rest of Sunday!"

"Ok, Monday (the next day), we walked to Universal. It wasn't that bad, actually. We kept seeing these little lizard things on the way (I think they were geckos). 

At Universal Studios
It was hot, of course, in the late eighties to mid-nineties. We went on The Mummy Returns twice, it was definitely the best ride ever!! We also went on Back to the Future, Twister, Earthquake, and I don't really remember what else. I get Universal confused with Islands of Adventure! I think the Terminator Ride was somewhere in there too...and the E.T. ride....we went to some shows, too - The Animal Planet show, and Fear Factor Live. We ate at Hard Rock, and then we walked back to the hotel."

Eating at Hard Rock by Universal
"The next day we went to Islands of Adventure, only we decided to drive that time. I think that might be where the Jimmy Neutron ride was, and the Spiderman ride, which we went on twice and was really cool. There was also a stunt show, and a log ride-type thing that we went on, but you didn't get that wet. Dad and Haley went on these Thunder and Lightening roller coasters, and The Hulk. Me and Haley went on this river ride where you get soaked. We were drenched! Especially our denim shorts! It was so bad! But it was really hot outside, so it felt good. We went to a show that was like a tour, it was about the gods and stuff where you go to different rooms. There was a lot of pyrotechnics and special effects. We left later (actually I think the night before we drove to another hotel in Kissimmee - yeah, it had to have been Monday night - that was the best hotel ever!), then we went swimming in the pool, right outside of our room! We layed out, too. Then we ate at Cracker Barrel, and me and Haley each got these mushy pillows at the gift shop."

In front of the Dr. Suess place at Islands of Adventure
"Wednesday, we went to Magic Kingdom. It was probably the longest, hottest day! We were all like dying, and it was SO crowded! We had to use the fast passes for a couple of rides. We went on Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Mickey's Philar Magic, Buzz Lightyear, Snow White's Adventures, and the Haunted Mansion...I don't know what else! It was so crowded, we couldn't even find a place to eat. We finally ended up grabbing something, actually twice. I had grapes, chips, and fries. I drank a lot of water too! We left at like 3 or 4 (It was 103 degrees when we got into our van!), then when we got back we watched TV for a while, and Mom and Dad went out and ate at an Italian restaurant while me and Haley took showers, and Mom and Dad brought us sub sandwiches from Subway with chips and cookies."

"Thursday, we checked out of our hotel and drove to the Florida Mall. It was really nice and huge! There were a bunch of stores I liked....we didn't get to go to all of them, though. I bought a watch at Nordstrom's, a bracelet, belt, and necklace at Forever 21, and a shirt and flip-flops at Hollister. After that I had like $60.00 left. Then we drove to Daytona Beach, and our hotel was right on the beach. It wasn't the greatest, though. We were on the 3rd floor, but it was facing the parking lot, not the beach. We ate at Denny's for dinner, and then we walked along the road our hotel was on and saw the shops and stuff. We went into Maui Nix Surf Shop, which was really cool."

"Then yesterday (Friday), we walked along the beach, but we didn't swim in the ocean or lay out, because it was cloudy and we were all super sun burnt...Then we decided to go mini golfing. It was pretty fun....We ate at Pizza Hut after that, then we went back to our hotel to get some coupons, and we walked to all of the souvenir shops and stuff. There was a lot of crap! I was going to get a keychain but decided not to. I got a pink lei for my car though, and I spent $45.00 at Maui Nix. I got two tank tops (they're surfy/beachy), and a free purple mug, lol. (The night before, I got green shorts, a pink Daytona Beach tank and a bracelet at the other Maui Nix.) So, now I only have $15 left! :( We went back to the hotel and watched TV. I was bored and wanted to go back to the beach again, but no one else wanted to. For dinner, we ate at Steak 'n Shake, and Mom wanted to drive to a mall, so we went to like, Vescola Mall or something like that. It had pretty cool stores too, but since I only had $15, I didn't buy anything. Me and Haley went off and got Dippin' Dots, though! It wasn't a very productive day...."

Haley and I walking along the beach. Unfortunately we didn't have the nicest weather
for enjoying Daytona Beach!
"So then this morning, we got up, checked out of our hotel, and it was pouring rain. It's 10:30 right now, and it's still raining and overcast. It looks like we're stopping at McDonald's....It's only been 2 hours...."

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There was another entry after we got home, but it was just about the 2-day drive back and was pretty boring. I do remember the last hotel we stayed at though, on the way back, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I remember it after I read that last entry because it was a newer hotel, and our room was literally brand new. I said that it smelled new, and some furniture and things weren't even in there yet. There was no bedside table, no pictures on the wall or headboards for the beds, and there were just 2 lamps for lighting. Other than that, it was nice, though!

That was the last real vacation I went on with my parents and my sister. I think we took a little mini trip to the suburbs of Chicago to go to the mall one time, but that's about it. Luckily, I've been able to continue to take little vacations with Trent now that I'm older, and we've been able to experience even more awesome stuff. Trent has never been to Disney yet, so hopefully one day we'll get to go together.

2 comments:

  1. Family vacations are always a fond memory of a great time. What better place to enjoy a family vacation than Florida! Thanks for sharing your trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, Jenny! I love Florida! It was definitely my favorite place to go on vacation as a kid!

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