Canadians love to hate our winter! Sure it’s beautiful sometimes, but complaining about winter bonds the nation and makes us Canadian, right?!
Over a million Canadians visit the sunshine state each year in order to warm up, experience some fun in Florida and enjoy the gorgeous lush landscape of the state.
This winter I was fortunate enough to be one of those Canadians! The Weather Network and Hilton bonded together to showcase some of the highlights across Florida.
Busy, fun, active – so many ways to describe the trip! It’s opportunities like these that remind me how our careers can truly enhance our lives and allow us to create some of the best memories.
Our broadcasts consisted of some pre packaged reports and live on location interviews. Our team traveled from Orlando to Tampa to Key West – and each area brought a new vibe, beach seen & vibrant culture.
If you are planning a trip to Florida there’s a ton of action in Orlando. Of course, theme park capital of the world and also a very affordable spot for many tourists. Here we explored some niche areas like the Orlando Brewery, Quantum Leap Winery & the super instagramable Audubon Park.
The Orlando eye was also a highlight! On a clear day you can see Cape Canaveral from the top! In Orlando we also rode a helicopter and jet ski, I told you these days were packed- with fun!
Our first live show was Monday morning at the Hilton Orlando and I knew we were in for some excitement with a sloth joining the show ! We also featured the golf Orlando has to offer, the amazing mixology that impresses tourists and the food scene at Hilton Orlando. Let’s just say the pastry display was a slice of heaven!
Just as we were getting used to the beauty of Orlando we were whisked away to the stunning beaches of Clearwater! These are some of the most notable perfect white sandy beaches in the US.
Tampa/St.Pete/Clearwater was about a 90 minute drive from Orlando. Here we explored Ybor City, checked out the Amalie Arena (Met Brian Bradley former NHL All Star) and had an incredible dinner at Columbia, the largest Spanish restaurant in the world!
When working on a destination TV shoot your days are long, adventurous and you are always moving! Our busiest day was likely spent exploring the Tampa region.
We started the day with sunrise segments followed by:
- Sky surfing
- Clearwater marine aquarium (Hope & Winter from a Dolphin Tale live here)
- Water taxi tour up Henderson River
- Culture of St.Pete waterfront
- Dali Museum
- Moreau Arts Centre for glass blowing
I was nervous to get up in that glider and sky surf, but so happy I stepped up to the challenge. That’s what these experiences are about.
We had another live show from the gorgeous Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa & then made our trip to the keys. We had one flight to Miami and the next to Key West. Everyone said I was going to LOVE it and now I know why!
The island is stunning. It has a vibe like no other. The seafood was out of this world and the weather was hot. I loved every second of being there. I even squeezed in enough time for a beach run.
Our bike tour across the island was something we all loved. Our guide Lloyd was fantastic. His personality kept you interested along every turn. He brought out the beauty of the island with his passion for the wildlife, people, beaches and culture. That’s something I’ll never forget!
We covered a lot across Key West, from the elegant scenes of Casa Marina to the fun conch train tour and even the eerie “Robert the Doll” story. This place has character!
Our week just flew by ! And we were already getting prepared for our last live show. The Casa Marina was our setting. This resort is a dream.
After so much planning and organization this entire week, I knew we had to cap off our show with something good ! So a jump into the pool on live TV seemed just right.
As I reflect on this week I’m so grateful that my life and career allows me to travel. The people I have met along the way are always the highlight of the journey. Our team from The Weather Network and Hilton fit together like a family!
Teamwork, organization and communication are 3 things I value! And this trip was full of it all. Our “wheels up” commitment to time management was also pretty impressive!
Now it’s back to Toronto! Where the air is cold… but as a Canadian I say, “bring it on winter”! It only makes the Florida sunshine feel that much better.