Key West, Miami, & Universal Studios

Right after we found out that our international trips were cancelled, a few friends and I scrambled to find something warm and domestic for a few days. The closest thing we could find was Florida, so we tacked on a few days in the Keys since I’d never been there before. I had plans to go to some national parks and road trip with other friends the second week of spring break, but the country went into social distancing mode, so we scurried home right after Florida. M also met up with me in Orlando so we could visit Harry Potter World. This was the last weekend before the Orlando theme parks were shut down, so we were pretty lucky in that the parks were super empty the days we were there. I’m still glad we got a few days of spring break in before everything shut down!

It’s been almost two weeks in social isolation mode – here’s some updates from quarantine, before some pictures from Key West, Miami, & Universal Studios!

Food: Our grocery bill was $115 for two weeks for 2 people, all meals (and we didn’t even break into any of the beans, pasta, or frozen food!) Just shows how much money we save by not eating out…and how much healthier we are. But we still want to support local restaurants so I think we’re going to order takeout as a treat every weekend going forward. We also haven’t had any alcohol at all, which demonstrates that drinking really just is a social occasion for us.

Exercise: I’m one of those insufferable people who is definitely working out way more thanks to quarantine. Earlier this year I set the (admittedly arbitrary) goal to go down 30 lbs, which I’m now only 8 lbs away from! I haven’t changed my diet much so it’s definitely the exercise that’s helped. Posting accountability Instagram stories of every time I’ve worked out helped a TON, but I think I’m discontinuing them because a) At this point I’ve developed a habit so don’t need the accountability anymore and b) There’s only so many times you can see my green toenails + weights + Lululemon yoga mat at home!

Reading: yay for more time to read! In addition to normal reads I’m trying to read a biography of every US president. Currently on page 10 of George Washington’s, lol.

Social: honestly it’s kinda nice not having to host people 😂 Part of me thinks I’ve gotten MORE busy because of all these hangouts. Maybe at the end of this, virtual hangouts with non-local friends will continue to be normal. Hit me up on Jackbox or Switch if you want a game night.

Mental health: It’s so prioritize this!! For me this partially means going out for at least an hour every day for an isolated run, hike, bike ride, or walk. Also grateful I’m not quarantined alone, and have the technological means to hang out with tons of people virtually whenever I want.

Dependents: My heart goes out to people for whom childcare has fallen through, and have to emotionally and otherwise support a full house at home while also transitioning to working remotely. This makes me think that honestly I will never not be selfish enough to “be ready” to have kids. But I guess everyone says you’re truly never ready for it. On the other hand, I wish our condo was big enough to have a proper dog! Alas, I have made my peace that the dog will have to come later in the game than I’d originally hoped. (Side rant though, why do people – especially landlords and older folk – get super judgmental when you say you want a dog “HOW ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE CARE OF IT, YOU’RE NEVER AROUND”, but don’t use the same logic about babies and get super excited for them? Dog discrimination!!!)

Other: Zoom classes are a time suck but hey at least I’m sorta working towards something. Also I think my new quarantine hobby is going to be gardening. Stay tuned!

We stopped along a few places on our drive to Key West. I wish we had more time to do some proper snorkeling and diving, but the weather did not hold up! Key West is super charming, and a great relaxing getaway for a few days. I particularly liked all the pastel-colored houses and wildlife everywhere.

One of our first stops was Robbie’s Marina, where we fed giant tarpon, saw some cute manatees, and fended off some terrifying pelicans.

Key West is supposedly famous for its drag scene but we were pretty underwhelmed. We did have some nice themed drinks though.

nude bar on top

we tried Key Lime pie for almost every meal. This was at Blue Heaven and not one of our favorites, but the brunch here was great.

our delicious brunch at Blue Heaven

I visited the Hemingway House and said hi to some 6-toed cats:

And we stopped to see some endangered Key Deer and alligators on our drive back to Miami.

Our favorite Key Lime Pie, at Kermit’s

The next few days we spent in Miami, where we did pretty much the same things I always do in Miami……we did rent a boat for an afternoon one day, which was a relaxing way to spend a few hours, and definitely our most wholesome activity.

some Coral Gables mansions

Our other days consisted of a lot of pool time, beach time, and eating/drinking.

we pretended we were on a couple’s honeymoon so that we could get some PERKS

This was my first time at drag brunch in Miami, and it knocked me out for the rest of the day. But it was such a great time, thanks DH!

impressed at the brunch food

After I recovered a bit from drag brunch, I headed off to Orlando to meet up with M. Universal Studios was surprisingly awesome. We will always be Disney folk, but we stayed at a Universal hotel and got complementary express passes as a result, which made all the lines go by super fast. We got a park-hopper too so we were able to go to both of the parks in one day, and we rode everything we wanted to! My favorite rides were Hagrid’s Motorbike Ride (no express pass, but go into single rider), the ET dark ride, and Rock N Roller Coaster. There were a ton of 3D and 4D rides which were pretty nauseating, and the park employees were not as pleasant as the ones at Disney..but otherwise, Universal exceeded our expectations greatly.

The non-Harry Potter worlds were pretty well-designed as well:

surprisingly really great meal at the Chocolate factory

We also went to the Universal Water Park the next day, which was one of the best water parks we’ve ever been to! Alas I have no one to show off my tan to, now that we’re in isolation.

smh at me

these little watches were great to use all day, to check into rides and virtual wait lines

Right now it looks like our trip to Spain in May is getting cancelled, so who knows when our next international trip will be! For now though, I hope everyone is staying safe, healthy, and happy, wherever you may be.

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