October 2015; AMERICA baby yeah!

This October Matthew and I both made our first trip out of Europe, I'll admit America was never on my list of places to go but we both currently have friends living there so thought, why not? Our first stop was New York, moving from one tourist spot to another we explored every corner. It was a hard decision as there were many to choose from, but, I would say The One World Trade Centre (Freedom Tower) and The Flat Iron were my favourite spots. IMG_2712  IMG_2660 I was determined to walk round the whole of Central Park but obviously it was impossible so I settled for half way. IMG_2562 With Matt being an avid photographer he enjoyed taking panoramic photos. I love this one of The Statue of Liberty, it really looks like she's conjuring up the sky. IMG_2820 Using an old train track New York have recently created a Sky Line Walk. Wiggling through the city, it is a great place to see the sights... IMG_2610 ...and some fantastic public art. I am a huge fan of installation work that engages with the public and this piece did not fail to impress me. These Lego blocks, of all shapes and sizes, began life carefully stacked to represent buildings although continuously passers-by have re-arranged the blocks to alter the appearance of the entire piece. IMG_2594 After two full on days Matthew and I, were exhausted and pleased to be flying off to Orland where for six nights we planned to chill out with our friends Emily and Mark. IMG_3020 It was my birthday whilst out there so Emily and Mark planned a surprise day. The picture below might look peaceful and relaxing but just to the left of us was a 5ft alligator. Bearing in mind it was our first ever time in a kayak and I cannot swim it certainly was a surprise. IMG_3828 Also apparently under pressure I am incapable of listening to instructions therefore, certainly not to Matthews amusement, aiming straight for the alligators was the only thing I seemed to be good at. Saying that, after we (by we I mean Matt) got the hang of how to use the kayak it couldn't have been a more perfect day. IMG_3820 Emily's family have been working extremely hard over the past two years putting Orlando City on the map and Matthew and I were extremely lucky to be invited to a game. Football in America is different to England instead of hooliganism there is a lot of fun and laughter that surrounds the game which, for me, made it much more enjoyable. IMG_2930 Driving down the coast we made our way to The Florida Keys which I thought was out of this world, one second we were on a motor way the next we were on an island. IMG_3375 We experienced many things in The Keys although by far my favourite was Robbie's where we fed the absolutely massive Tarpon, chilled out in the quirky bar by the water and purchased some brilliant trinkets. If you ever visit The Keys I would 100% recommend Robbie's. Link: http://www.robbies.com/tarpon.htm IMG_3405 IMG_3384 We experienced some crazy weather whilst on the island of Sambrero. On one side of us it was beautifully sunny with palm trees and soft sand whilst on the other a storm was brewing. We could see the spray from where a twister was hitting the water all the way up to the clouds. IMG_3435 Although we had our swamp adventure I still wanted to visit The Everglades. We spent a full day at Homestead Alligator Farm where we not only had a ride on an air boat over The Everglades but also watched alligator wrestling and a live feeding. IMG_3609 (2) One interesting fact I learnt was in Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger was 15% muscle and an alligator is 52% muscle! IMG_3533 Also at the park they had taxidermy which helped to identify the appearance of crocodiles and alligators. All these years I thought it was the other way round. IMG_3574  IMG_3570 Finally we visited Miami where we stayed with the lovely Marta. Marta was extremely well know in the artists quarters of Miami and her house was filled with work. From coffee tables with plastic legs to vibrant paintings and curtains made from un-usual material, everywhere you looked in Marta's house your mind was blown.IMG_3785 My favourite piece has to be the cabinet below because it's so subtle and cheeky. Also to the left of the cabinet is a Lion with a plant on his head, well because why not? IMG_3773   IMG_3779 On our last day we visited Wynwood, Miami, throughout America various people had spoken about this neighbour-hood  explaining we would love it and they were right. Wynwood is home to the largest open-air, street-art installations in the world. IMG_3849 Not only was every wall a canvas but the streets were lined with art galleries and quirky bars / restaurants. Link: http://wynwoodmiami.com/about.php  IMG_3836 And there you have it, over fifteen days I visited two states, drove over 800miles,  lost count on how many wild lizards I saw and managed to keep all my limbs despite being up close and personal with a 6ft alligator, mission complete.