On our 2003 cruise to Alaska  we sat at the dining table with two American families who lived in Florida. They were Curtiss and Cathy and Sal and Edie shown below.

Both families invited us to stay with them at their homes should we want to holiday again in Florida. We kept in contact by Email and after they encouraged us to go over there we agreed.

We stayed for five Days with Curtiss & Cathy at Fort Lauderdale and this is what the front of their house looked like when we arrived:-

Curtiss was a policeman and Cathy a part-time nurse which provided them with an American standard of living much better than you would get in the UK. This was the rear of their house:-

They had two Siamese cats called Shyloh and Sassy  that would leap up on the furniture and on your knee when you weren't expecting it:-

Cathy had a hobby with which she was obsessed- Collecting Dolls! Their house was full of them; every cabinet, every room, dolls everywhere. She bought most of them off Ebay and whilst we were there many more arrived by post:-

The dolls were beautiful and nearly all in mint condition.

The highlight of our stay there was the boat trip they had arranged for us. To see details of this go to Number 88 in the list of 100 Things to See and Do. Whilst we were in southern Florida Curtiss took us to an attraction that we had not previously seen:-

This was a boat trip on the Everglades and a chance to see the crocodiles been  fed. This was the type of boat we were in.

A crocodile came up to our boat and the guide fed it. Afterwards we watched another chap handle some crocodiles in a compound. Alligator meat was on sale which we sampled- it tasted like chicken.

Cathy had arranged another surprise for us- a visit to see her brother Ralph and his wife Diane. We were amazed when we got to his house and saw their standard of living:-

The house was colossal and there was a $250,000 RV (mobile home) in the driveway. They had 4 dogs called, Miss Shabby, Q Tip, Mr Doodle and Little-bit. At the rear of the house was a 61feet by 31feet garage above which was a self contained flat. There were other expensive vehicle including a quad bike and a Hummer. To see this Hummer go to Number 87 in the list of  Hundred things to see and do.

We had a great time staying with Curtiss and Cath in Fort Lauderdale and they gave us some lovely meals:

In the photo above we dined on pork, chicken, salad, fresh pineapple and wine. Curt showed us a sign on the kitchen wall on which was written- "Mi casa es llama casa". Translated this means " My house is your house". Well, thanks you so much Curt  and Cathy because you certainly looked after us and we felt so at home with you.