I am proud to say that I belong to a family of vacation extraordinaires. Although we stay within the southeast region of the United States, the English family is one with unique and rich vacation experiences to say the least. My mother always prepares a budget plan and a general schedule, opposing my father’s and my spontaneous dispositions, but we have never had a vacation that we regretted. This year’s trip was no exception.
Our six hour car ride was well worth the destination. My younger brothers had miraculously managed to keep their mouths shut regarding the secret of our first hotel. Located right on the beach, our hotel room had been booked without my knowledge. I was prepared to sleep in a hotel on the outskirts of Tampa, where we would be spending three days at the Busch Gardens theme park; it never occurred to me that we could make time in the mornings and evenings to spend time on the beach. Coming in from the theme park and nearly passing out on the sand of St. Pete beach in the afternoons was a wonderful surprise, and perhaps the highlight of my trip.
Three days at Busch Gardens is too much. The family agreed on that, with the exception of my mother of course, who would be incredibly disappointed to know that her unending planning and scheduling was to no avail. When it rained the last day, we rejoiced that the heat decided to give us a break. We used the weather as an excuse to people-watch under one of the shelters and to see one of the musical shows. I was amazed at the talent possessed by the theme park and was very grateful that the weather pried us off the roller coasters and out of the lines for a few hours.
One thing about the major cities of Florida is the astounding number of toll booths. After finding a way off of one turnpike, we found ourselves on another in a matter of minutes. We learned to have change out and available whenever in the car. One day, the blistering heat and the humid air must have gotten to Dad’s head; he completely ran through the booth without paying. Lights, bells, and whistles erupted as we all scolded Dad and gave him our change for the next booth. Needless to say, he didn’t miss another booth.
The last stop of our vacation was undoubtedly the most rewarding and relaxing. In Orlando, there is a getaway that will forever be our family favorite. Discovery Cove is a luxurious vacation spot that is worth every penny. It’s a place where the people visiting are as diverse as the fish in the Grand Reef. There is an opportunity to swim with dolphins and to hand feed exotic birds in the aviary. There is a cap on the number of guests allowed in the park, so there is no stress regarding overcrowding. This was the ultimate icing on the cake, and we’re already planning our next trip.
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