What did we like (and dislike) about Florida? Read the answers to our All50 Questionnaire to discover what surprised us, what went exactly as planned and other details that might be useful as you plan your own trip (like how much we paid for parking and where we wished we would have spent more time). We answer the same set of questions for each state independently so you'll get two unique perspectives.
When did you visit?
October 11th-16th, 2017
How long was your time in the state?
About five days
Why did you visit?
To visit Andrea's dad
Describe Florida in five words.
Andrea: Hot, Green, Water, Wealthy, Humid
Brandon: Hot, Humid, Exotic, "Lizard-y", Wealthy
What surprised you about Florida?
Andrea: How green it was and the many varieties of plants and wildlife; the greenery makes things very private - on more roads you can only catch glimpses of the houses/neighborhoods because of the various trees, shrubs, and hedges
Brandon: Definitely the amount of lizards. I knew there were gators and the little lizards, but I didn't know there were iguanas. I was kind of surprised by the range of age. I expected there to be a lot of old people, but there were a lot of teenagers.
What was exactly what you expected?
Andrea: The heat
Brandon: The weather was pretty spot on what I expected. When I was there in February as a child it was hot and sticky too.
How was the driving, roads, parking?
Andrea: The lanes seemed much narrower, people didn't seem to use blinkers, parking was mostly free (I think we paid a total of $6) and available and we rarely hit bad traffic
Brandon: The roads seemed narrower. I didn't feel like traffic was all that bad, but I felt like nobody could pick a speed out get out of the fast lane. I didn't really like that there were one or sometimes two lanes blocked off as express lanes that you had to pay to use.
One a scale of one to five (five being the safest), how safe did you feel throughout your stay?
Andrea: 4.5. My dad said the area near his work isn't very safe so I felt a little nervous driving through it, but other than that I felt completely safe all the time. It probably helped that I was always with Brandon (a Marine) and also with my dad most of the time, but everywhere we went seemed clean and safe. We saw several homeless people but I've never seen so many drivers interacting with them and giving them money as I did in Florida. I didn't feel threatened by them (even though they sometimes walk in between the lanes of traffic).
Brandon: 4.5. We stayed in places that at least appeared safe and didn't really go off the beaten path. I didn't see any areas that looked like they were riddled with crime.
What was your favorite attraction?
Andrea: The ocean! The Kennedy Space Center and the Everglades Holiday Park were also great.
Brandon: I think the Kennedy Space Center. Under normal circumstances it would have been the Everglades Holiday Park, but there was something about the grandiosity of the space center and not just the technology, but the history and all the artifacts and being able to see the space shuttle Atlantis which was really cool.
What was your favorite meal?
Andrea: The Salmon Benedict and home fries with a slice of cantaloupe from Eggcetera Cafe
Where would you have liked to spend more time?
Andrea: The Kennedy Space Center (plan at least a full day there) and the ocean (I can't get enough of it)
Brandon: Probably the ocean more than anything, and the space center, and the everglades.
What would you do if you could go back that you didn’t do this time?
Andrea: Biscayne National Park, Everglades National Park and possibly Universal Studios to see the rides my dad helped build almost 20 years ago. I would also like to see the state capital.
Brandon: Both national parks for sure, the state capital and maybe the theme park that has the ship from the Flight of the Navigator. It would also be cool to see the western coast of the state and the Keys.
What was an interesting thing you learned?
Andrea: Florida has the third largest bald eagle population (only we and Alaska have a bigger population)
Brandon: I think it's interesting how docile gators can be if they don't feel threatened and they're well fed.
What would you like to learn more about?
Andrea: The space program
Brandon: The space program over all (what they're planning for the future, how many astronauts they actually have, etc.)
What kind of wildlife did you see?
Andrea: Tiny lizards, huge iguanas, lots of different birds, butterflies, turtles, alligators, a dead armadillo and a very friendly resident cat (Sophie) at The Alchemist
Brandon: Lizards, lots of birds (we probably saw like 20 different species of birds), dolphin and jumping fish
What kind of nature did you see?
Andrea: Lots of palm trees and tropical, flowering tress and plants, coniferous trees, hedges/vines, lots of seagrape trees, thick-blade grass, lots of lakes, ponds and man-made bodies of water
Brandon: Lots of flowers, several different varieties of palm trees, banyon trees (those are awesome, I want a bonzai version of one of those), a lot of tropical kinds of plants with the thicker, shinier foliage, a lot more different colors
What did you like least about the state?
Andrea: The heat and humidity (even in October!)
Brandon: The heat and humidity
Describe a funny memory from your trip.
Andrea: When I was washing the beach sand off my feet Brandon turned on the nozzle for the overhead shower thinking it was for another foot nozzle which got me all wet.
Brandon: The little girl in front of us on the plane on the way home popped up when we landed and made faces (and spit all over me) and then waved at us while we waited to get off.
Did you fly or drive?
Fly (see picture of adorable child hanging onto the see in front of us)
What souvenirs did you bring home?
Andrea: Children's books from the Kennedy Space Center, a stuffed monkey in a space suit for Jane's birthday (with children's books to go with it), a leave from the seagrape tree, a little orange fruit from a palm tree at the Kennedy Space Center, shells from Delray Beach
Brandon: A challenge coin of the Atlantis Space Shuttle, a couple of seashells, and a set of model ships used by the space program over the years, including the Apollo missions and the Atlantis Space Shuttle
One a scale of one to five (five being the most eager) how eager are you to return and why?
Andrea: 2 - slightly less likely than average because I would only want to go in the winter months and because there wasn't a lot of historical sites to visit (that we could tell)
Brandon: 2 - because there's a lot of stuff I'd still like to see but in the grand scheme of things, I 'd rather move on and see other places. I prefer cooler, mountainous places