Venturing further afield is what we've been meaning to do for a long while. There is so much to see & do around Florida that we've never got bored even after going there 8 (or is it 9?) times!!
The exchange rate is ok (about $1.60 to £1) but in recent years it has fluctuated from $1.35 to $2 to £1, so it's about average at the moment. When we went 2 or 3 years ago we bought our dollars months before when it was $1.95 to £1 - we, and specifically I, were happy bunnys!
We do of course have lots of things over here to see & do (just that you don't have to travel so far to see & do them!) so you should come on over. We live just over 20 miles from London and we're slap bang between London and Brighton on the coast. Brighton is certainly a "different" place!
London of course has lots to see but we personally don't like cities much - we prefer the countryside and Sussex is a very picturesque & often quaint county.
We actually live about 2 miles from Gatwick airport (2nd busiest airport in the world, after Heathrow!) and can actually see the planes coming in to land from our garden so if you ever did come over you could always drop by and meet a slightly strange Limey family! Ok, maybe it's only me that's strange - my wife and kids are (nearly) normal.
If you're about an hour from Universal and on the west coast, you must be somewhere near Tampa?
As I said, we hope to get over there (US) again sometime this year and if I have my way or any say in the matter, it'll be mid to late September! Whether we go to Orlando/Kissimmee again we don't know, but there's a good chance! So that would be great to meet up if we did. I'd love to go for halloween but then of course I'd miss out over here.
As a family we do all like wandering & exploring - the best part is not knowing what's around the corner. Sure, you can do all of the famous sites (as we want to do) but following a strict agenda or timetable isn't us - we like just taking things as they come. I do all of the driving over there (which I love) and usually end up doing between 1,000 & 2,000 miles in a couple of weeks.
But we've often not gone too far - we've been over to St. Pete's & Clearwater and driven down the west coast to Naples (lovely place) and of course over to Kennedy, but not much further. St. Augustine sounds nice as I've heard about it before. Not heard of Casadega though but will look into it.
We've been to Busch Gardens 2 (or is it 3?) times but not to H-O-S. We love all the parks but have a soft spot for BG as it's a lot quieter and the coasters (Gwazi? - Wicked!) are good, plus it's just a lot more chilled there. Universal do things quite well (I fell in love with the pumpkin woods!) and I spend most of the time looking to see how they've made their props! To be honest, many of them are little different to what us home haunters put together - when we went last September to Universal during the day, I noticed quite a few props that had clearly been bought in Walgreens as they were identical to what I'd seen in there a day or two before! But nevertheless they do it well.
Hi Phil! I sent you a friend request!
I live about an hour from Universal, so next time you are in FL I would love to meet you and your family!
I've got a great idea for your idea of wandering, just start with FL and that will get your family used to it. Drive north to St. Augustine, a great place to walk around, our oldest city, so you can compare that to the history in your country. And they have a bunch of ghost tours!
Another place is Casadega, a town north of Orlando that has all psychics in it!
Or you could come over here to the West Coast where I live, we call it the Nature coast. There aren't long sand beaches, but you can see our Manatees.
Have you gone to Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens in Tampa? They put on a good show, and it can be more closely compared to what a Home Haunter strives for, where as UHHN is more like movie set quality and what a Home Haunter can usually only dream of achieving.
There are lots of things to see and do as a day trip from Orlando, get your family used to adventuring out and then really start to explore!
You have such a great advantage right now with the exchange rate, I am so jealous! Hubby and I are dying to go to the UK and visit everything!