Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day Six - Tampa

So today was a really special day. In many ways, the highlight of our holiday.
We were up bright and early, and on the I-4 heading west towards Tampa.
It was nice to have a bit of a break from the parks, and the kids enjoyed sitting quietly and watching DVDs in the car on the way.
We finally arrived at Bryan and Erin's house (Charlie was very excited to see 'proper American mailboxes like in the Wimpy Kid books...') and we were so delighted to meet them at long last.
It felt like we'd known them forever, and they made us all so welcome. It was so lovely chatting - and not just about heart stuff!!
We had lots of fun chatting about the differences between the UK and the US, and giggling about the different words we use for the same things!
Rose was smitten with their daughter, whom she persisted in calling 'Baby Emma' all day (and ever since!!) and both of our kids were over the moon to be told they could go for a swim in Bryan's pool! (Oh, to have the weather for an outdoor pool in the back garden!)
Bryan and Erin gave us a typical American lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs (cooked outside!) and potato salad, chips and dips.
I know I've said it before, but Bryan and his family are such an inspiration to us, and other families like ours - to see Bryan, his beautiful wife, and gorgeous daughter living such a happy, 'normal' life gives us so much hope for our Charlie's future.
After we left Bryan's, we went with Jerry and Lesley into the centre of Tampa. Charlie was alligator-spotting all the way!
They took us to a fabulous hands-on children's museum, with loads of fun things for the kids to do.
Rosie found a US firefighter's uniform and a fire engine to drive! She particularly liked the button to sound the siren and pressed it again and again (and again!!)
It was so lovely to spend a bit more time with Jerry and Lesley, and we were sad when it was time to leave and we had to say goodbye. We will certainly never forget them all!
We drove home and stopped at Applebee's for tea (Charlie was playing with my phone and I found this picture of him on it - only 10 years old and taking selfies already...)
All the American restaurants made me smile - I read a lot of US blogs, and also a lot of American books, so all the names were familiar - it felt like I was in one of my books!
It was fairly late by the time we got back to the hotel, so we've changed our plans for tomorrow. We were going to drive across the other way to Kennedy Space Centre, but I think we're going to have a quieter day instead, probably at Epcot, as we didn't see much of it when we went to the fireworks the other night.

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