25 days “over there”

Going home gift to you all

Over our last 24 days we’ve collected a few car signs that are funny or weird. We will spend a few weeks editing our 5000 pictures so keep on checking back even if we’re back home.

We hope you have had a great trip together with us and with our pictures we also have a few houres of video… It’s good we have those dark and cold winters to edit it all.

Hope to cya all soon! Anett and Jan Ove signing off for a few :)






October 16th, 2008 at 12:00 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

The last days over here.

The last real trip we took was to a Alligator farm in the Everglades. It is located on the mainland of Florida so an hour of driving from our hotel we found it. Since it is part of the everglades it had to be located far out in the bush. So far out that we actually had to pass a prison, and that is far out.

Didn’t expect there to be any people, but there were actually more people than one should think. Not that it is crowded at all. Like all touristplaces you walk through a souvenirshop first. Good thing we can’t carry with us too much home.

Once inside the park we got to see some large snakes, panters, lizard and other small creatures. They were in cages that made it impossible to get good pictures, so no point in showing them. Enough to say that the largest snakes were around 5-7 meter (15-20 feet). Later we heard that one of the snakes in there was just delivered from someone that couldn’t care for it anymore, just after it ate the other housepet (it came in to the park with a big lump on the middle). In the last month the state of Florida has captured 2000 snakes that isn’t native to the state.

We did take a few pictures of some pretty geese that was in there.

After these small cages we got to the main attraction, the alligators. But first we saw a couple of crocodiles. The first one was Ms.Toothy. She was having her pond washed and we stopped to talk to the keeper.



She was laying on the edge to the pond and looked at the keeper all the time. She seemed to tolerate him, but as the keeper said, if he didn’t pay attention then she would chase him down. Crocodiles are more dangerous than alligators cause crocs wants to eliminate all threats, while alligators will rather move away. As you can see on the last pictures, the keeper kept spraying water on her to let her know that he was paying attention. We were the only ones staying there watching and talking to the keeper, so suddenly he took out 3 teeth from his pockets and gave them to us. They were teeth from Ms.Toothy that he had found this morning. Free souvenir from the park.

Over to the main pool with all the big crocodiles. No point in trying to count them, most of them will be on land later on. Just hope that you don’t meet one of those when you go to swim.

After looking around it was time to go to the snakeshow. They didn’t show much, but at least we got to handle a couple of snakes. Only constrictors, none of the 4 snakes in Florida with venom. It is strange how they feel, nothing like one expects.

After this show it was time for the main reason for us being here. The trip on the swampboat. That was a great trip. 20 people on a flatbottomed boat with a huge helicopterrotor on the end. It can’t get much more fun than that on a boat. I did manage to get a picture of a turtle before we went out though, or at least the head as it looked up at us.

It was going to be a wet ride, so we were adviced to put down our cameras unless they were waterproof. So no stillphotos from the trip. I did however take the chance on using the videocamera so we did get quite a few minutes with high speed racing over the water on film. We were in speeds up to 35 miles/h (55 km/h). And he turned 360 degrees around from time to time. Way more fun that any rollercoaster, and you do get wet. If you get the chance to go on such a trip, then do.

Back on land we went to see the breedingground they had for the alligators. 5 different stages according to when they hatch. From very small to up in their “teens”.

We also got to feed some of them. Bought some small bits of food. There were some birds that have learned that they also might get a snack, but it is a risky business to try to take food from alligators.


 Now it was time to see a little show with some info about the alligators. Back to the same stage as we were with the snakes. Alligators were on the endangered species in Florida, but not anymore.

She showed us the blindspots on an alligator. It can’t see anything straight ahead or right behind. That is why you see those wrestlers that can jump up on the alligator from behind. We saw that later too on the feeding. She also took out a few small alligators, taped their mouths and let us hold them. As with the snakes, they don’t feel anything like you think. Very nice to hold, a little colder than us and very soft skin.

And now it was time for the feeding of the alligators in the big pond. Remember all those in the water. Now they all came up on land, or at least those that could find some room. Fish was on the meny.

 It was time to leave now. Been here a lot longer than we thought, and almost went on another drive with the swampboat. So we’ll let Ms.Toothy say goodbye from here.

 We were done for the day, and actually done for this trip. So now all we have to do is get on the plane and go home. Thursday morning we will hopefully get on the road towards Miami airport and mid-day friday we’ll be back in Norway. Might be a last post when we get home. Thanks for following us on this long trip along the roads of USA.

October 14th, 2008 at 11:49 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Key West continued.

As mentioned in the last post we went into a Butterfly conservatory.

Like most other places it has a souvenirshop first. If we had lived close by then we could have bought some things, but it isn’t eay to get things back to Norway. So after looking at some of the things for sale we bought the tickets to get into the conservatory. First we got to see some of the larvaes (caterpillars) before going into the conservatory itself. The room isn’t big and the butterflies need to be in a warm humid climate, so you can imagine how it was to walk around in what was almost a jungle of plants and running water.

All those pictures of the conservatory are taken from the same spot, so you can imagine how small it is. But you didn’t want to see the room, so here are the butterflies, or at least some of all those we saw.


And here are some pictures of the birds that was flying in there. Why they didn’t eat the butterflies? I guess the birds were too small, cause they only ate the seeds that was placed at feedingstations around the room.


 As we walked through we got to a little “waterfall” and the birds were cooling themselves down there. We just wished that there was a waterfall for us too somewhere, but we weren’t that lucky. In the second picture the bird has just started splashing.

 After walking back and forth in there for several hours we finally managed to drag ourselves away. For once the heat outside was actually feeling like a dry heat, even though it was still quite moist.

On our way back to our car (on the other side of town) we came by this house. Anyone up for a remodeling project? The house is sold “as is” and needs quite a bit of TLC (tender - love and care) - and maybe a money tree in the yard. How much to you think you need to pay “as is” to get it?

If you have $5.5 mill to spare - this is the house for you. It’s huge though with a 2nd apartment and a large back yard. If it’s worth it? We have no clue.

Driving back towards Key Largo - and just some 5 mins outside Key West - the sky darkened and before we new it it rained elephants! (read - no driving in 55 mph.. we could hardly see the car in front of us).


Two more days left. Tomorrow we’ll go out and look for alligators and then it is over when it comes to new experiences. We’ll be planning out trip home as early as possible to get good seats. 

October 13th, 2008 at 6:08 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Key West

Our hotel is only a 2 hour ride from Key West so ofcourse we had to visit. The drive there is a bit boring - you cross over some 40+ bridges - and the speed varies from 25 to 55 mph (not to forget the truck drivers who just have to try to kick your ass off the road.. !!!)

There’s not much to say about the ride there so here are some pics.

This drove past us - a Ford Mustang Shelby. We saw this again in Key West AND another one just like this (no, it wasn’t the same car we saw twice.. )

One of the bridges we drove over - to the right in the picture you can see part of the old bridge.

One of the fun parts about driving here is that you are inbetween two oceans - the Atlantic and the Mexican gulf.

The Atlantic:

 The Mexican gulf:

One of the cute animals that live on one of the keys (there are a bunch of keys - not only Key West or Key Largo) is a small deer.

We couldn’t quite understand how this poor little thing could live out here since we only see water, but we had to go and look for this shy animal - and we found it! (atleast one.. ) We had to drive off the main road to see it, cause along the main road was high fences to keep them away.

Back onto the main road and over the last bridges and we got to the last island. Key West is actually a quite large area and just like every other town out there. Lots of shops, gasstations and hotels on the way into town. After getting past these typical things we got a view of the buildings we wanted. The residentarea of town. We drove past the main street with its typical tourist shops and found a place to park. Walking along the streets we saw both old buildings and new tacky touristbuildings. Here are some of the fine buildings.

One strange things we saw was chickens walking around free. Roosters, hens and chickens. Don’t know why these are roaming the streets, but guess it is a speciality down here.

 We walked south and went to the southern most point of the USA. Only 90 miles, that is about 150km from Cuba.

 A few meters from this place is a conservatory for butterflies and birds. We decided to look and will be writing more about that later. Now it is time for us to go see some alligators.

October 13th, 2008 at 4:24 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Downtown St. Petersburg and going south

We decided to head downtown to see if St. Petersburg had something to offer tourists - the answer? Not much. We parked our car and as we left the the parking house we stumled upon the local saturday market!

It was a nice start to a beautiful day. Live music - freshly baked bread - pizza - pasta - fruit and of course every other odd thing you could find. Take a look at the sign saying “Hairy Potter” - no lack of fantasy there.

After taking a look and sniffing in all the good smells we left to take a look at the pier. Remember - it was hot and sunny and we had no sun lotion on. Either we forgot it somewhere or someone stole it - or we will find it when we come back home and start to unload our suitcases.

We just had to take a picture of this tree. Take a close look at it. You might have or have had this as an indoor flower - here it’s a huge tree!

The downtown hasn’t much to offer when coming to shopping, but what they lacked in shopping they made up for with the great view of the bay.


As we walked towards the pier we saw the normal critters - squirrels, but we also heard a familiar sound. We looked around and up and found these cuties!!!

 The view towards the pier:

 A bad picture of a melted Anett…

And a somewhat melted Jan Ove…

View towards the pier - and to the city.

After looking around we left heading to town (to try to find some stores), but what caught our eyes was this - cars with its doors open playing music (quite normal) - man fishing (also normal) - living room chair - NOT NORMAL! We both named it “redneck fishing) (and had a bit of a laugh)

Well - it wasn’t much of a shopping town so we left and headed home. We’ve forgot to tell you about some local birds that liked to live at the hotel - I guess the guests fed them (atleast we did…)

12th of October.

We’ve left St. Petersburg and headed to our last stay of this trip - Key Largo! We can’t quite believe we’ve been here for 3 week already!

Our first stop of the day was in Naples - more like driving through (and checking out the beach of some local properties… someone has a lot of money out here!)

We have heard a lot about the upcoming election, but haven’t written much about it since we’re not that into politics, but we soon realised we were in McCain country when we saw the home made board - if you want make up the writing it says: “Why can’t we use his real name Barak HUSSEIN Obama”. (a quick comment to that is from a campaign spech where some lady said that Obama was an Arab and a muslim.. and when the reporter told her he was not.. she said - well I just don’t want him… good luck voting to you Americans).

Enough about the election!

Naples has some large houses and seems like a wealthy place. First is a gps picture so you can see the beack and how the streets run towards the beach. We parked and had a look - just one thing to say - pretty!

We had a drive around the area ending at a dead end - I guess we just blame the water.

Leaving Naples with a few pics from the area (there are a lot of houses for sale - even some beach front properties… )

We headed to Everglades city which is not much of a city, but if you like river boats - dragonflies (øyenstikkere) and having a house built on poles this is the place for you.



We were suppose to drive “Alligator Alley”, but we didn’t (we forgot about it.. we’ll go back this week). The scenery along the road is very green and parts of it actually reminds us about Norway. Some of the swamp areas look like the Norwegian “myrer” (hard to take pictures of it while driving though.. )

Here are one of many signs - 60 during day time and 45 during night time - I guess there are a lot of animals along the road and not that much street lights during night.

2nd sign says “Animals crossing highway”.

Some random pics from Everglades. For those of you who don’t know this. My (Anett’s) grandma had a uncle who lived here. How he could move from Boston to this place - I have no clue, but I guess he was tired of seasons. I have no idea where he lived as the letter he sent are gone, but it’s still nice to be in the surroundings.

We finally headed onto “South 1″ - the road leading down to the keys - and our stop - Key Largo (which is at the top of the key.

As this is our last 4 days we traded up a bit (though we’ve been were satisfied with our stays at the Best Western). I know we’re gonna enjoy and relax these last days and try to get a bit more tan and save energy before going to work next Monday. Here are some pics of our room and the surroundings. Tomorrow we’re heading for Key West - fingers crossed for yet another sunny and warm day!

We even got to walk out into the water which wasn’t cooling at all. It must have been almost 30 degrees celcius.

Sidenote: We had a look at what we had used on our creditcards for the first time. When we are done here we’ll put up what we have used so that you can find out what 4 weeks in the states costs. Ofcourse only travel and stays. :-)

October 11th, 2008 at 10:54 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


We’ve wanted to go to Sarasota ever since we saw this place featured on the danish tv show “Hammerslag”. Sarasota is about 1 hour south of St. Petersburg and the scenery on the way is very beautiful.

Our first stop on the way was just to take in more of the bay (Tampa bay) before driving over Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

The bridge itself isn’t an attraction, but it’m impressive (almost like the one between Denmark and Sweden though that one is larger). The 4-mile bridge spans Tampa Bay south of St. Petersburg. It was built to replace the old span, which was destroyed in 1980 when a boat rammed into its base. Much of the old bridge still stands, and has been converted into the world’s largest fishing pier, spanning almost 2 miles. It’s a great place to see the sunset as well as do some fishing.

Part of the old bridge - now a large pier:

As the GPS told us we were in Sarasota we just left it on driving our own way around (if you get lost it will help you back on the right track soon enough). Like all the places we’ve been to - except for Tallahassee - it was sunny and warm. Our first stop was just to have a look at the town. The place we stopped was a fishing-combined-swimming area - notice how close to the road it is.

In the middle of the picture are some clothes. To the left of us was a mum and her son taking a bath. Well - the mum was swimming the kid had his toes in the water… he was afraid it might be sharks. They left without him getting wet… We have no idea if there are sharks around, but if they were we don’t think they’d be 1 meter from the shore. Poor kid.

We headed into some random residential area just to have a look at the houses. Maybe you want a 5 bedroom 7 bathroom house?

I guess the area was a bit over the top for most ppl, but one thing is sure - you don’t need a big house if you live here cause you’d be outside most of the time taking a swim in your pool or in the sea.

We didn’t quite know where we were (which is quite fun cause you have no expectations) but we found another resting area with lots of squirrels!  

Find the squirrel:


View of the city from the opposite side from our first stop:

We left and drove yet another bridge. As you see from the gps some of the houses here have a great location:


There’s only one thing to say about Sarasota - beautiful! When we finally got rid of all the houses and hotels blocking the view to the sea - this is what we saw!

We found yet another place to park and went down to the beach (whoever went to this place without a bathing suit…!!!)

 Going back to our car we found a few of these critters - we have never seen as many squirrels as we have on this trip (ok - maybe a few more lizards). These were a bit sneaky as they were on top of cars - in the front. We tried giving them apples, but they had no interest in it - just a quick check and then they ran off.

This picture is just to show you the beach and how narrow it was here.

This place is so pretty I’d live on the beach., but I guess it could get pretty windy if a storm set in. From the signs we found all over Sarasota we figured out they had been out for rough weather before.

We headed home after a long and sunny day. On our way home I - Anett - found this sign - and since my mum always says that “everyone is named Ellen” (I first heard her say that while watching Sue Ellen in Dallas…) - anyway - this place should be suitable for my mum!

October 10th, 2008 at 10:21 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Hello St. Petersburg, Florida

While being in Tallahassee we decided that we were tired of getting a new place to stay every other day so we found two places to stay for the rest of the trip. First is in St. Petersburg (near Tampa) and the other is in Key Largo (about 1 hour south of Miami). This leave us with a bit of slack to do whatever we want as the distances here are a bit closer than they were on the west coast.

Today we went to the Florida Aquarium, but first Anett had to take a picture of the lovely trees we’ve found here in Florida. They remind us of a southern charm that we’ve seen on tv. I - Anett - wanna take one of these trees home…


Aquariums are fairly the same all over the world. The exception to this one was the birds. I don’t think we’ve seen birds inside an aquarium before (except for penguins… )

If you’re in an aquarium during a weekday you’ll probably see a lot of kids there - as did we (but we tried to avoid (read ignore) them as much as we could).

This is not a kid though, but a funny “blow fish”.

Another cutie!

A secret hideaway…

Would be nice to have a large aquarium at home with these ones!

This poor thing is just ugly, but ppl. seemed to be fascinated by it.

What seemed to get the most attention was the different sea horses.


 We’re not quite sure why they put birds into the aquarium, but here are a few. There were suppose to be four owls around the aquarium - we found one! This small (but oh so cute) one.


This is a totally different bird… notice the white below the red on my chest… we’ve had quite a lot of sun!

With the entrance ticket we also bought a trip out on the bay (Tampa bay) to watch for dolphins. It was an 1 1/2 hour trip - in the sun!

Out to the area our guide told us a lot about the area - the houses etc. She also showed us the only DOG BEACH - never heard of that in all my life.

In the 60’s and 70’s the bay was so polluted that the government had to take action. The water quality has been watched since 1979 and it was only until 2008 that it had reached the quality set in ‘79. To protect the birds in the bay they used the spoil (slam og slagg) to build new islands that today are green and covered with birds. They also have special pipes that stick up outside the islands so that they can “fill” the islands without disturbing the bird life.

So - did we see any dolphinis? Oh yes! They even jumped for us. According to the guide they had never done that before (so high and so many times… well well.. ). Do we have pics of the jumping? Nope. It’s not like we tell them to jump and they jump. They do what they wanna do when they wanna do it!

On our way back the guide showed us a house featured on Extreme House makeover (from January 2007). Not gonna give you the story behind the makeover you can google that for yourself.

Tampa skyline.

And that concludes our trip to the aquarium and the bay.

A side note. There are some weird commercials on tv. The latest one was for men who want to have grey hair! We thought hair dye was to cover the grey - how stupid are we!

October 9th, 2008 at 1:27 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

First days on the road in Florida.

After a couple of days in Orlando we went to get our car. Was a little tired of the Impala so decided to try out the Hyundai Sonata. Too bad going to america and drive a korean car, but it was either that or another Impala.

We had seen that there was a nice car museum to the north, in Tallahassee, so we decided to go that way. We wouldn’t get there before it closed so found a Best Western motel in the city. What we noticed on the road north was that it was very different from what we had been seeing on the east coast. The surroundings are greener and not so dramatic, but the roads have tolls like we are used to. 

We arrived at Tallahassee and spent the rest of the night there. After a good nights sleep we drove of to the automobile museum. Lots of really nice cars there, from the very first to some of the latest models. Older models are often nicer to look at than the new ones. On the second floor of the museum you’ll find a lot of other collector items. From motorcycles, motors for boats, modelcars, modeltrains, knives, toys and so on. A really fun museum to walk through.

Those are just a few of the cars we saw. Here are some pictures of other things in there.


The last picture from the museum was of a sign that we saw in one of the cars. Might be getting one of those.

 And after some hours it was about time that we turned our noses southwards again. We were going to Tampa Bay / St.Petersburg. Staying there for 4 days. See you later.


October 8th, 2008 at 2:16 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


Well - Magic Kingdom wasn’t so magic for us “old folks” so we took the steamboat (instead of the monorail) back to the entrance where we found our way to the EPCOT.

The park hopper pass allow you to go from park to park - except the water parks (we got enough water anyway) - which was perfect for us as we wanted to visit EPCOT. So off on the monorail to get to EPCOT.

We bet you’ve seen this before!

As with all of Disney it’s difficult to share the atmosphere, but there were fewer ppl whice made the place more inviting. (or maybe they all were somewhere were we weren’t - who know). We came to EPCOT to visit the Norwegian pavillion, but we took a ride through time first. It might seems strange, but it was very interesting to see our history of communication from the dawn of time and into the future. This ride is actually inside the huge Epcot ball, circling it’s way to the top.

Telephone ladies


..one small step for mankind…

The start of personal computers as we know them.. in a garage somewhere..

After this trip we headed for the world exhibits - with a detour on the ongoing vine and food festival (since we’re not much into vine we just passed all the stands with vines from California - France - Argentina - Australia etc). Our walk took us through some beautiful scenery.

As we sat down to have a cold drink (we SOO needed one) we saw the skyes darken, but we were told that the rain in Orlando rarely lasts for more than 10-15 mins so we weren’t worried. Little did we know that we should have been a bit worried…

We had a quick look at the mexcian world before we run over to Norway - and got into talk with a norwegian guy and his girls (the girls were all new to EPCOT so they were a bit shy so I - Anett - told them to smile a bit) It was almost strange to speak Norwegian again, but at the same time it was nice and it reminded us that our time here in the US is slowly coming to and end.

Here are all the pics we took of the Norwegian world. Take a close look at the price at the Norwegian milk chocolate that I (Anett) so wanted, but didn’t buy (priced at $5.95!!!!! (close to 36 Nkr).


After the Norwegian visit we left to see some of the other worlds, that’s when the rain started. A quick break outside Venice and we could walk on after the short shower.

This next and last picture (cause the rain sat in and we left the park while it was raining cats and dogs - and we had thunder and lightning (and we were wet to the bone)). The Japanese world was one of the best and largest.

So this is to you Junko! Welcome to Norway in November!

The rest of the worlds (England, USA, Australia, Canada…) was rushed past cause of the rain. So it’ll have to be something to see some other time. All in all, if you just want to go to a park to relax and not that interesting in rides, then get a pass to Epcot and stay there.

So after getting soaked by the rain we finally got back to the taxis and went on home. Tomorrow we get the car and we are making a run for it, away from Orlando. Driving north to Tallahassee.

October 6th, 2008 at 8:38 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

The magic of a kingdom or…

We learned the hard way that you don’t really get anywhere in Orlando without a car - which we wont have until the 7th - so what to do. Since we had to book a spot on the shuttle bus a day in advance (not easy when we got to the hotel at about 11 pm) our only chance was a taxi - this day was gonna be one expensive day!

So - to get into Disney to see this Magic Kingdom - adding a so called “hopper pass” that allowed us to visit EPCOT as well we were $250 add the $45 for the taxi = expensive (add the taxi back as well..).

Let’s cut it short and say that Magic Kindom is not at all worth it unless you’re in for the ride or loves to wear Mickey Mouse ears add a dash of 200 000 ppl and 90 F - if you love all this - go!

So what did we like? The place is well built - the streets are lovely and the shops are all air-conditioned (we went from shop just to cool down).

We also found these cute birdies that seemed to be all over the park.

There are a lot of beautiful spots around Magical Kingdom, but it’s ruined by all the ppl - and strollers (barnevogner man kan leie i parken).

Leaving this park with a few pics and some hints if you’re going there:

  • go early if you wanna go on ride
  • go round and get fast pass for all the rides
  • bring your own food and drink as the food is very expensive ($8 for a hot dog - that even expensive for Norway - also the water is $2 a bottle and there are no refill choice like they have in Universal studios)

 So after a few houres we said goodbye to Mickey and Minnie and left for the EPCOT pavillion - we’ll tell you more about it later.


October 6th, 2008 at 6:04 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink