Daytona Leon and I dropped off our car at Hertz and then jumped in the van for a trip to Daytona. Once we arrived we stopped off in a little café which had a map similar to the one that Leon and I had used to navigate around Clearwater. From the map we spotted that there were a couple of things of interest in the area. However, these things only took a short time (a chocolate shop and a very small museum) so we decided to head back to the Daytona Raceway for Paul to take some pictures before moving on.
When we got to the raceway we spotted that there was a pretty big museum there, and that it wasn’t very expensive and the price included a tour of the track. Leon and Paul both wanted to see that and to be honest I was quite intrigued. I was glad of it, when we got in, for there was the bluebird – the record breaking car! There were lots of really interesting exhibits though my favourite was the “pit stop challenge” where members of the audience get a chance to be a pit crew for a few seconds. I shoved Leon to the front of the crowd and he was picked. He got to use some kind of power tool for taking the nuts off a wheel and putting a new one on. He, and the other people picked, did really well! They didn’t get the best time of the day, but they did pretty well. I hope to put the video online some time, but don’t know how at the moment.
There was also an imax and the tour was really interesting, actually. I bet if you were a fan it would be even more fun. My favourite bit was getting up onto the winners dais at victory lane for a photo!
We had hoped to go to the Kennedy Space Centre that day too, but as you can imagine it was a bit too long a day to also do that.
Thursday of the second week had always been earmarked as the day that we would go to Universal Studios. Mum and dad decided to stay at the villa for the day, so the rest of us took the van and headed off to the theme park.
I had been looking forwards to taking Leon on the Back to the Future ride, as BttF is one of his favourite movie trilogies. However, to both our disappointment, the ride has closed, making way for a Simpsons ride of all things. Really, I was gutted. Still, there was lots left to do, we loved the Terminator experience (which was different from when I last visited Universal) and Jaws was interesting (though it is showing its age – I wonder if it will be next to bite the bullet) I really liked the Shrek one, and the Mummy one was funny and cool, though it was a roller coaster so Leon was unimpressed.
We also enjoyed a cheeseburger and fries in Mel’s diner, which will mean something to people who’ve seen American Graffiti.
There were lots of cool cars around and about, and some look-alikes too. I was disappointed that none of the Scooby Doo look-alikes said “jinkeys” or “zoiks” and I hung around for a good few minutes as they had Dr Emmet Brown with them!
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, even when it rained on us in the late afternoon while we were waiting for Gayle and Paul who had also been to Islands of Adventure.
I think that Universal was my favourite theme-park day, though Busch Gardens was good, I would have enjoyed socialising with my family some more. And I’m still slightly annoyed about missing out on the water rides. I don’t do water rides in the UK, it’s too cold. However, as I said to Jaxon at the time – it just means I have to go back to Florida some time!