I finally landed back in the UK after flying 12 hours, via Norway.
My Auntie was on hand to pick us up and we headed to her house to recover from the jetlag.
Mum had left her new dog Dylan, with my Auntie while she was away so this was my chance to meet him.
Dylans a lovely little dog, he is however a complete wimp. He is afraid of absolutely everything and everyone. It certainly took him a while to get used too me!
We headed back to mum after a restful sleep and I settled in for my 2 weeks of being home. Id booked a Diving course out in Honduras so I could restart my travels again.
While staying at mum I made myself useful helping around the house, mowing the lawn, building a bed and generally annoying her as I was bored. My days were spent watching TV, annoying mum and playing on the PlayStation. All 3 things were things id missed while I was away, however they soon became quite boring.
I busied myself by getting ready for my Honduras trip. Getting all the little things in order before I left. Picking up the new gear I needed for my Divemaster course. I was to spend 3 days in Miami because of the flights, so I needed to sort accommodation and Visas for that.
It was bizarre being up with mum, it was a new town for me, all my friends were 3 hours away back down south. A reason to visit popped up with the amazing news that my best friend Dave and his lovely girlfriend Adele had given birth to their 1st child. A beautiful little girl called Annabelle.
What more reason was there to jump into my car and drive down for a visit!!
While back in reading I popped into my old workplace to see everyone and went for lunch with the lovely Chloe.
My brother was also in town so together we visited my Dads to get measured up for some suits for his upcoming nuptials. After getting measured up I was under strict orders to neither lose or gain any weight before September!!
Just before it was time for me to leave, my family from Canada came for a visit. They were on a UK tour and mum repaid the favour from the previous year.
We treated them to a walk around the beautiful Matlock baths, complete with Ice cream and a trip to the Arcades. Before taking the dog for a walk, and an obligatory trip to the playground!
The day was topped off by a meat filled BBQ. A wonderful day.
Finally it was time for me to leave. My new gear arrived with less than a day to spare, so I wasn’t able to pack and was stressing way to much!
I was really apprehensive as I waited for my train to the airport. Id not ever felt so nervous about leaving for a trip before, but as soon as I boarded that train, it vanished.
An uneventful flight via Iceland found me in Miami, I strolled through the infamously difficult US immigration and found myself in Miami.
I had quite high hopes for my hostel but was hugely disappointed by it. It was tiny, smelly and uncomfortable, I had stayed in much nicer ones in 3rd world countries!
This was my first experience of the States, it was quite a good one. I met lots of nice friendly people. I was quite surprised at how widely Spanish was used. Signs, menus etc were often in Spanish first followed by English. However Miami has a high Latino and Cuban population so it made sense.
I took myself for a strole along the famous South Beach and Ocean drive. Its a very pretty beach and I thoroughly enjoyed my wander along the pier.
A trip to Florida wouldn’t be complete without going to the everglades. Fortunately I was able to book myself on a trip.
I was really excited to get on the fan boats! They are iconic to the Everglades and seemed like such fun. As we waited to board I had visions of the Police Academy chase scene.
The boat was much bigger than id imagined, however it simple glided along the top of the water, and when the captain opened them up it practically flew! The engines were so loud as we drifted along the top of the swampland. It was incredibly fast and great fun!
I wasn’t there for the thrills though, I wanted to see me some “Gators” and I wasn’t disappointed. Among the vultures and mosquitos we found several male and female alligators!
While not as big as their close cousins Crocodiles, I still wouldn’t fancy going swimming with one!
I really enjoyed Miami and it wetted my appetite to return to the States!
I had an unwelcome surprise for me as I prepared to leave. The airline wouldn’t let me on the flight unless I could prove I was leaving Honduras. I had no return ticket, so I needed to waste $90 booking a flight out that I had no desire to be on! Not a great start!!
I got into Le Cebia, via the Cayman islands and was ready to board the ferry to begin my new life in Utila.