Well, PY and I arrived in Florida yesterday afternoon. Security at Orlando International airport was quite strict: they re-scan your baggage on the way into the country and you must walk through the metal detectors again. I find this really odd (it happened to me in Raleigh last December) and it’s so time consuming. Don’t the American border guards trust the security measures at Gatwick? It took nearly two hours to get through the airport and I don’t want to mention the bizarre situation where you pick your bags up and then place them on another conveyor belt to appear elsewhere in the airport sometime later.
One of the things that had been concerning me was the drive. I have never driven in the US before and I have never driven an automatic car before. And with less than 24 hours since I picked up the car I am a convert to the automatic but not to this side of the road. Don’t you people know that the left is the only decent side to drive on? We didn’t pick up a fancy car (because I wanted something small but the Avis guy’s idea of small and mine are very different – this is a big car) but it seems to dive well (the ABS may be a little over the top) and I like this whole one-foot approach. We got a little lost (by which I know we took the wrong road but – somehow – that meant we missed the toll roads so it worked out well). But it poured down with rain. It was torrential. I was quite shocked by the power of the rain and it might have put me off the drive but it was OK because everybody drives so slowly here (even though they’re all breaking the speed limit). I have been quite amazed by that little fact. Six wide lanes and everybody popping along at sixty miles an hour. Of course I shouldn’t complain because it’s safer but what must American drivers think of the M6 (when it’s running)?
So far we’ve been pretty lazy: shopping, pool and eating. Tomorrow I visit my first US Disney theme park. We’re off to Epcot and I am quite excited. One thing has become very obvious though – Gym Buddy isn’t going to be happy with me. There’s so much cheap food here (a great deal of it fried) and I want to eat most of it. Oh dear.
My first impressions of Florida – warm and wet with long security queues, big cars and slower drivers that at home. And lots and lots of food.