We kind of took a last minute travel deal to USA, yeah my fourth time visiting there, but this time we were going to the east side. See you soon Miami, Oregon and Carolina´s, I`m coming to your direction :D
w e d n e s d a y 5 . 9
We really hadn't the time to look at attractions or shows to go, we just packed and tried to get that 4 hour "good sleep" before heading to airport. First we flew to Oslo and there we had to change planes and off we went again, this time no stops, just straight to the sun.
We arrived to Miami at midday(ish), and let me tell you even though I slept on the plane, I was really tired. We got our rental car and drove to Miami Beach to check-in on our first hotel. I just loved the scenery and overlook of the city when we drove there. The canals were big feature on the landscape, it was just breathtaking and beautiful in its simpleness. We finally got our hotel room so we rested a little bit before going to walk around and look for a place to eat (other than airplane food :D) Rest of the day went quickly, we just walked around and went to the beach and couple stores. Well actually we ended up just buying ice cream and going to the beach to look at the sunset.
t h u r s d a y 6 . 9
Oh, honey... Rise and shine it`s the next day. After a calm breakfast at the beach watching the sun rising, it was time to leave the iconic Miami Beach behind and drove to the next destination aka. Boynton Beach. (Yes, we followed the beautiful coastline) On the way we went shopping on couple outdoor malls that I absolutely love, it would be great to have them at home but we have the problem that is called snowing and all-the time raining so...
We also stopped at Denny`s which is one of my favorite places to eat. Once we were full we continued the trip after one stop at the CVS-pharmacy to buy some medicine because I had got a flu where I was sneezing every other minute. When we got to Boynton Beach it was too early to check in so we spend some time in malls and shops before heading to hotel, I bought some clothes and a book I had wanted a long time. Finally the day was turning into night and after a great shopping day we got to go to our room. It was thundering when we went to sleep, hoping to sleep the final bits of jet lag away.
Except the night didn't went as we planned... We all jumped awake when a really really annoying and loud fire alarm started ringing. We looked at the hall were everyone where also thinking is this real or fake and should we go out or just ignore it. We put some clothes on (other that pajamas) and took our stuff with us in case if something was really happening. (We would be in trouble getting on a plane to home if we didn't have our important stuff like passports with us. you know and it would be difficult to get some back if they would burn.) So we waited an half an hour with others when the fire apartment went through the house.
It was a fake alarm, someone had just pulled the switch on. Really funny... Finally we could sleep, expect my adrenaline was still up so I couldn't.
f r i d a y 7 . 9
Tired and exhausted but still excited. It is a good mood when the day is going to be pretty according the weather as always it´s sunny and warm, 100 F so it´s about 40 C.
Today is going to be really fun because we are going to Kennedy Space Center, the NASA spot.
It was amazing! We had a bus tour around the rocket launching places with cool shows on the way and everything (that was just a one thing in there, we were also launched in the space by this simulator). It´s one of those many places were you have to go to know that it is. We were there so long but still we didn't see it all, but at 4 pm we had to leave because we were feeling pretty week and powerless (our last "meal" was breakfast 6.30 am, haven`t eat since) But still it was a great trip, I´m kind of speechless about it.
The first place we saw after driving away from there was Denny`s, there were no questions of not stopping. After that we drove straight to Daytona Beach and let`s just say I fell in love with the place and the view. Okay now I´m going ahead of myself because on the main route where we drove was this Nascar track, so we stopped and hoped the gift shop and watching places would be open but sadly it was closed at 5 pm and we where 5.15 pm at the doors, so we didn't get to the shop even though we saw the track. Just saying that they are amazing, we have been on the Las Vegas Nascar track once on our way to the Speedway (drag race track).
Once we got to the hotel after driving around the city we went straight to the ocean! It was warmer than our indoor "heated" swimming pools back home. After the ocean dip to the waves, we walked to the near store and on the way we saw this amazing mini golf place which was something that we definitely don't have in Finland. There was everything from a waterfall to a airplane, and please don't even get me started how great the fake grass looked. Most mini golf courses we have home are in bad shape and they are nothing like this place, they are fine but not the best. We were about to go play but we ended up going to swim again :D
s a t u r d a y 8 . 9
Waking up in a picture perfect view (as you can see at the photos) but sadly every story has to go on, so we left to the next destination. We drove to Jacksonville where was a Cars & Cafe meeting, it wasn´t so good that we expected, there were lot more new cars than old school chevys for example. We walked it around and continued the trip. We had a long way to drive today so we made a deal that before Georgia`s border we don´t stop. Finally the border came and we stopped to eat and visit western store. On the way back to highway we saw this plague of Atlanta Speedway, so we put that as a mid-way point. The road where navigator led us was a little sketchy but after one last turn straight in front of us opened this big area where the track was. Apparently we drove there kind of the wrong road because there is now way the transport equipment (race cars) come there but at least we saw cute little town and local houses. After a visit on the track we had to get going. Finally around 8 pm we got to northeast of Atlanta to the hotel, but there had happened a little mistake and we had a smoking room, (even though no one in our family smokes) something in the reservation had gone wrong. The room didn't smell as bad as it could because they have refreshed it. After we had check inn we went to Walmart, to the other side of the street and bought something to eat.
s u n d a y 9 . 9
Smoky morning at the racetrack, it was the first day of Drag Week (one of the things we were looking most forward at this trip) well actually it was checkup day and rehearsal day... Morning went pretty much there watching the race and talking with our friends and other people. At noon we decided to leave because we were really sweaty from the heat and humidity, so we went swimming to our hotel. After a good afternoon swim we went to shopping to the near Tanger mall. Last stop before heading to eat was Michael Kors outlet, where I found this purse that I have been looking on 20% sale (what was great, they are little pricey) and I made some friends when I thought about the bag. Well I decided to leave it to the store. It had silver details that I think looked cheap on it and I´m more gold gal, so... After mall we went to Walmart to buy something to drink and eat and surprisingly we dumped into some swedish people in the checkout line. When we left the store it was already dark and on the way back I was joking that maybe they were our "hotel neighbors" and guess who parked next to us at our hotel? The same guys, what a coincidence! Some friends of ours invite us to sit outside with them so we went to join them. Later when we went to get some drinks at our room we dump into some Missouri guys who came to spend the night with us too. There we sat and chatted a long time watching thunder and lightning, gladly it stayed in the walley and we had a great weather.
m o n d a y 10 . 9
Wake up, pack up and show up at the track was our motto at the morning and it was going stay for the week. A long day in the sun and tire smoke ended at 3 pm when we left the track to the next track. We were given the same map as the racers. There was a couple of checkpoints and the route to the next racing place. Usually the checkpoints are something extraordinary, cool spots or just beautiful rest places to walk around. Luckily we left same time as most of the racers because it was starting to rain. After a couple of missed turns along with others we got to the first checkpoint. We had our little picnic with water and cheese sticks and some granola bars for me (don't liked those cheese things). We watched the racers to come and go for a while before we left too to the next checkpoint were we arrived at 7 pm, we had a fun time there with others.
t u e s d a y 11 . 9
Hurricane is going badder but the race day 2 is starting at Darlington Dragway. In the middle of the race day we went to fill up gas since the evacuation had caused some traffic jams and gas stations were closed because there wasn't enough gas or something. The gas lady warned us at going to Concord and told us a lot about the coming storm and closed routes. We went back to the track and got today´s map. After couple hours we decided to left to the checkpoints and towards the hurricane apparently. In the way to the checkpoint we didn't saw as much cars as yesterday but we were on the right place so.
The first spot was Rockingham`s Speedway which was a closed Nascar track next to Dragway where Roy Hill's drag race school was in action. We waited a little bit but there came no cars so we left toward the next checkpoint. We stopped on the way at White Hills Buffalo Wild Wings which is a sport bar type of place with delicious food. While we were there we got information that today's route was canceled because of Florence and racers are free to go whatever route they want without getting minus points. There we ate peacefully while we were on the wrong but right way. After eating we left the straightest way to the hotel away from the risky hurricanezone. Finally after couple of traffic jams we got to Concord (North Carolina) and to the hotel. After a shower I did some school work in sound of coming V8-motors and fell right into sleep after that.
We have drove long distances, saw beautiful places, saw some great races and had some great days already, lets see what the coming days are bringing with them... in the next post!