I apologise to our family and friends for taking a long time to get around to working on the photographs of our Christmas Holiday in Florida, but this is the first of several articles about our trip, Debbie and I hope you enjoy it.
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We left Southampton the day before Christmas Eve, a very icy day in the South of England, and headed up to Heathrow Airport where we spent the night. We had decided that it was better to drive up earlier, rather than risk bad weather, traffic jams and breakdowns, especially as we were flying out to Florida on Christmas Eve. Debbie managed to get us a good deal for a night in a hotel plus parking for the duration of our trip – she is amazing at finding good deals online.
We hadn’t been able to get direct flights to Miami from London, since Christmas is a very busy time, and the flights were almost all fully booked, and if not the remaining seats were horribly expensive. With my only having got a job a month earlier after 3 months out of work, we had to make do with a cheaper option, and we managed to find a good connection with American Airlines changing planes in Raleigh/Durham in North Carolina, which worked out well.
Debbie was really stressed about travelling to the USA, since the last time she came into Miami she got held up for 15 hours in Immigration, but this time all went well, with the immigration officers in Raleigh waiting for her and having read her file before we arrived. On then to Miami, which had worried us, since we wouldn’t be landing until about 9:30pm at night, then had to pick up our rental car and drive 15 miles up to Hollywood Beach where we were staying.
The flight landed on time however, and since we had already gone through immigration, we just had to pick up our bags and get a shuttle to the car rental location. It was nice to get an upgrade to an SUV, however we did have problems with it later, but that’s another story, and we got to the motel about 11pm.
I had called the owner a few days before to tell them that we would be a little late arriving, and they left the room unlocked with the key inside. More about the Motel later, but by now I am sure you are desperate for some pictures, so I will begin with a walk early Christmas Morning on Hollywood Beach.
Christmas Day On Hollywood Beach
The beach had quite a lot of seaweed on it from the storms of the previous day, the sky was rather ominous, and there were some good waves coming in, as we took a much needed walk along the beach after having sat on airplanes so much the day before.
There were also a lot of jellyfish washed up from the storm, which look like plastic bags. I am not sure if they can still sting you when dead, but we weren’t about to touch them and risk it.
This is the Motel that we were staying at, and as you can see it’s right by the beach. It’s one of the older style Hollywood Motels, with a number of rooms above a row of shops. No p0ol, but a great terrace where you can sit out and watch the world go by.
You can get an indication of just how many people go to the beach on Christmas Day, even when it’s cloudy, by looking at these pictures below. You also see some rather strange sights! I’m not sure whether all of these people were living or not, some looked remarkably like Zombies…
This is the view from the terrace at the Motel. You couldn’t really ask for a place that is closer to the beach. People even took Christmas Trees to the beach and sat around eating and drinking, and even the Lifeguard had a Santa hat on!
After a fairly quiet day of recovering after the long flight – we didn’t get to sleep until the equivalent of 5am UK time, we went out for a nice Italian meal in the evening at a restaurant on the boardwalk.
Much more to follow in the next installment of our trip to Florida. We hope you enjoy the photos, and next it’s Boxing Day and we get to see the girls…