December 28, 2012

2012 Florida Road Trip (Day 1)

Back in the fall, my sister and I considered the idea to spend Christmas break with our family in Florida. Soon, we roped in my sister’s boyfriend and my fishing friend Michael to join us on the trip. Since we were all on limited budget, we decided to do a road trip to Florida instead of flying.

We had planned to depart Toronto at 5am for a long day of driving ahead. However, when a winter storm blew across much of the US and part of southern Ontario to create treacherous driving conditions, we had no choice but to sit at home to wait for the highways to be cleared of snow. Finally, the roads were plowed by 12pm and we headed on our way to Orlando. We alternated drivers every 3 hours and drove straight for 24 hours. We were hoping to arrive in Orlando around noon on Dec 28h so my sister and her boyfriend can spend most of the day and evening at Magic Kingdom. However, a traffic jam slowed our progress and an afternoon storm also interrupted the day. In the end, my sister gave me the OK to head to Tampa to do a little fishing with what was left of our day.

As we were headed to Tampa at 3pm, the sky darkened and looked to threaten our chance to fish. Indeed, about 30 minutes from our fishing location, it started pouring! Oh boy…what a way to start this trip.

Luckily, the rain let up a bit on our arrival. It allowed Michael and I about 30 minutes to find our target species. Jack Dempsey was established in a little creek and we quickly found them hiding among vegetation. They were willing biters and often rush out of the dense vegetation to grab our worms.

Jack Dempsey (Cichlasoma octofasciata) – new species #1

Rio Grande Cichlid should also be established in the system. We didn’t find them this day. Before long, we lost daylight and had to continue our way to Orlando. It started raining again and we had never seen so many accidents! There were collisions and cars spun out. Even a transport truck drove into the ditch! Being Canadians who driven on snowy roads or blizzard conditions, we laughed about how poorly Floridian handled the little bit of rain and the slightly wet road conditions.

We arrived at my cousins at 8pm and went out for some Korean food. Since we had a long day of driving, everyone went to bed pretty quickly after dinner.

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