Oh, Florida.

Oh, Florida.

Raw, honest travel blog.

I spent two weeks in Florida in February 2018.

I had been wanting to visit Florida since I was 6 years old, when I watched my first mermaid movie. Where the entire addiction to all things mermaid began. Where the dream to ‘grow up to be a mermaid when I’m big’ began.
Well, I never saw a mermaid. Not even one.

The next best thing to see in my mind would have been manatees. I didn’t see these either, but I was on a little tour boat in the harbor and saw a sign that read something along the line of, “Be careful, manatees at bay.” If that doesn’t count, I don’t know what does.
The actual beach, Palm Beach, was nothing of particular greatness. It was like Durban beach front to me. The sunburn I got was the same as the one I got in Durban too. It’s like it was the exact same sun back home. Oh wait…

I drove through Miami. The buildings were run down and breaking. There is a massive drug issue there — but the broken buildings were the only ‘disorderly’ thing I saw there.

The people were wonderful. They were so friendly. I became friends with the staff at the resort, who tried really hard to convince me to give up my aupairing job and join them at the resort. I was told that if I arranged the right visa, they would finance some of my education and provide accommodation at the resort for me, as they take on young students to work there as it was. The staff there who I had befriended told me that it could be hard work in busy seasons, but that they were well looked after, paid a fortune in comparison to my weekly wage as an aupair and most of the time when it was quiet joined in on the holiday resort festivities provided for the guests.

Since this blog is my way of talking about my experience, including all the absurd and new experiences exposed to me, I’ll mention this… There was a young, wealthy guest lounging about near me at the beach who got to talking to me. After some time he asked me to be his ‘girl’, offering quite the set up provided for me, saying that he would set me up in hotels and take me on trips if I became is ‘girl’. “Excuse me, random citizen. I think I hear the kids calling me…”

There was an outdoor cinema set up on the beach, with massive toasted marshmallows and popcorn given out. It was an amazing experience for a family with kids, and as a teen or young adult it’s amazing too.

The food at a local restaurant in Miami was super dodgy. Be warned, this is gross. My kid was eating chicken strips and I spotted a piece of wire in one of the strips. There were finger nails in the kid’s drinks, that had either been grated off when cooking, or chewed. It was disgusting! Ew. Ew. Ew.

There was an incident of a missing child while I was there. I was on the beach and suddenly everyone’s cell phone, including my own, started to ping and vibrate. My first thought was that there would be some sort of tsunami. I jumped up, and the locals around me explained that a child was missing. The details of the child came through to my phone shortly after, and the child was found. An incredible system, I must say.

I went on a tour around Florida in a boat, viewing celebrities holiday homes — only viewable from the water of course — so no inside tours. Some of the holiday homes belonged to; Vanilla Ice, Al Capone, Adams Family movie location, Scarface movie location, among others. I don’t remember many of the celebrity homes I did see. They were big names, I remember that. I think I was too concerned and excited waiting to hear if Brad Pitt’s holiday home might be one of them, that everything else just turned into a surreal blur. Unfortunately, his name was never mentioned. Huff. Eyeroll.

We then went on a duck tour. I don’t think I saw any ducks, so I don’t really understand what this tour was meant to be. I did however get a duck caller, which I was very happy with as I had been hooked on Duck Dynasty since I arrived in the States. Probably the most American thing I could ever get hooked on. It’s a fun show. Anyway, Florida…

All in all, Florida was okay. The people were amazing and I am glad I went, but there are other places there I would have preferred to see, and my company while there definitely altered the experience. I would however go back, just to live out my childhood fetish of all the little magical offerings Florida seems to have.

And manatees. I have to swim with manatees.

If you are unfamiliar with manatees, they are often described as a ‘hippo-looking water baby with a tail’. I however prefer to describe them as swimming potatoes. The are fat. They are clumsy. They are slow. They are adorable.

I have to swim with manatees!