Posted on October 06, 2016

It’s hot in Florida in August, and it’s humid. If you’re going to play golf, play at 7 in the morning. That way, you might retain half your body weight.

But do play. It’s not like playing the municipal course at Hainault. Instead of the sign telling you to keep your shirt on, the starter, in his cart, will tell you to tuck in your collared shirt. A professional golfer, who’s aiming to join the PGA Tour, will clean your clubs at the end of your round. He’ll take YOUR clubs out of YOUR car and put them on your cart, along with the little tee holder, already full of tees. You’ll have your litre of iced water already filled but don’t worry if you’ve drunk it before your 2nd iron into the first green; there’s several refill stations around the course at the pristine ‘rest rooms’.

The distractions aren’t the same.You might have to wait for the black snake to cross over before addressing your ball or tear your eyes away from the golden eagle circling above. You’ll try even harder to miss the water trap when you see the alligator swimming towards you. I’m not even joking. There ARE alligators in the water on the courses. How could there not be? There’s over a million alligators in Florida. They take them off the courses when they reach a certain size though, so I wouldn’t worry too much. They come right up to your Air Boat too (those hydrofoil things you’ve seen in documentaries about The Everglades). “He’s 11 feet long. We call him Jumper.” We even saw one lying on the side of the road, although I’m not sure why I was surprised; the road is called Alligator Alley. It actually says that on your satnav. More worrying is the sign saying Cougar Crossing.

The beaches are amazing. Even if you don’t really like beaches, you’ll like these. Sit on the furniture, which someone brings to you obviously, drink your Frozen Margarita and watch the pelicans dive-bombing the water just in front of you.

A wonderful bird is the pelican,

His bill will hold more than his belican,

He can take in his beak

Enough food for a week

But I’m damned if I see how the helican.

Watch the dolphin arches further out. Take pictures of the snowy egret, with its yellow feet, and stare at the white sand, where thousands of tiny turtles will hatch and tumble down to the sea. You won’t see anything other than sand though, unless you come back in the middle of the night with a torch. Never mind all that, the space is vast and the sand is gorgeous. That will make you a beach bum all on its own.

And that, in turn, makes you want to go to Sanibel and Captiva Island. There are 2 islands now, after one of Hurricane Matthew’s mates blew it in half. Take a boat out to watch whales and dolphins. You’ve seen dolphins jumping behind boats on the TV a thousand times,but when it’s doing it 2 feet away from you and turning its head to look you in the eye, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s amazing.

On this side of the Pan Handle, Miami side, Walt Disney World Resort just celebrated its 45th Anniversary. In its own, unnatural way, it’s also a magical place. Start your journey in the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s Castle. Do you need to like white knuckle rides to enjoy Disney World? Nope. Take a walk around the lands, watch the parades, soak up the atmosphere, and for the older visitors, relive your childhood memories. If you’re a novice and want to try out some rides, Peter Pan’s flight and Pirates of the Caribbean (where the idea for the films originated) are a must-do.

There are six parks under the Walt Disney hat (and others such as Universal and Harry Potter also nearby). See how movies are made, or step back in time to the black and white movie era, at Hollywood Studios. For Star Wars fans, you can enrol your little ones into Jedi training and then watch them perform. Spend a day cooling off at Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon water parks, whether you want to soak up the sun on a lounger, bob around in the lazy river, or test your nerves on a 120 foot drop. You don’t have to be a Space enthusiast to enjoy EPCOT either. You can enjoy a variety of activities from designing and road testing your own car to learning customs, travelling around
the World Showcase. Go deep into the African Savannah on the truly authentic Kilimanjaro Safari. Ride in a jeep through the 110 acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve and see if you can spot up to 20 different animals. You certainly will
on the rest of your trip.

To ‘fess up, I was a little bit worried about going to Florida in August. It’s windy season and it is very hot. But it was absolutely fantastic. You might not want to go in August. In fact, I’d say don’t go in August. But do go. There are things America does that nowhere else can match. Florida, in particular, is spectacular.