DAY 3 - Monday 9th June - Busch Gardens Although tired, I have another broken night, waking at midnight (Did I hear a noise? Wife stirring?) which (at my now advanced age!) requires me to have a drink and visit the bathroom! I wake again at 1:50am (the earlier drink needs to get back out!) and, weary sigh, again at 3:50 - this time it's definitely down to Amanda, who is intermittently snoring and whimpering! I fail to drop off again and give up at 4:30. The beauty of a rented house is that I can creep out of the bedroom without disturbing Mrs J and make myself a coffee. I take it outside (deliciously warm even at this silly hour) and post some Tripadvisor reviews. Amanda wakes naturally at 5:15 and joins me outside. It's humid, after last night's rain, and there is a bit of a breeze, but the temperature must be high 70s already. Rain is forecast again today (in fact the forecast for all 4 days here is a bit grim, however I will let slip in advance that all turns out well!) but we are off to Busch Gardens regardless. Our first draft itinerary had Busch on our 5th day, on our way to Orlando after leaving the cottage, to save some driving, but we became nervous about leaving our gear in the car all day. Opinions from various sources suggested that should we be robbed, our insurance would not cover the losses, so we decided to fit it in today. Anyone who 'knows' us (in life or through Facebook or forums) will be aware that Amanda and I are very early risers at home. We get up at 5am every day to walk our Staffie, Ruby (who has her own FB profile, search for Ruby Staffordshire-Jones) up a local hill. One of our joys is watching the sun rise, knowing that 90%+ of the population rarely see one, so we intend to be up early enough to squeeze in as many as possible during our Florida visit. After showers, we walk to the nearest beach access at 6:15 and stroll along the edge of the surf, watching the pelicans and smaller sea birds taking advantage of the dawn light to harvest their breakfast. On our return leg, heading to the Village Cafe, we come across a small lagoon where a large number of different species are clearly pigging out on a captive stock of marooned fish and shrimp. This beautiful, almost art-deco house is right on the beach as we leave for the café… who lives in a house like this? Arriving at the cafe as they open at 7:00am, we are greeted like old friends by the same server, who remembers our drink choices. Although we are adjusting to the richer, holiday diet, we both feel like a change from bacon and eggs today. Pancakes and fruit seem to fit the bill, and we both add banana, blueberries and strawberries to the basic cake... And I go for the Mr Greedy option and have two! They are truly delicious! The bill is $25, we leave $30. We are back at the cottage by 7:45, and in the car, heading for Tampa at 7:50. We enjoy an incident-free, roof-down journey along busy but free-moving roads and arrive at Busch Gardens at 9:15... … to find a line of cars waiting for the car lot to open. First time I've ever queued to get in a car park in Florida! A notice advises that the lot opens at 9:30... in fact it's a few minutes earlier than that, due I believe, to the line of cars starting to back up onto the main road. We pay our $17 parking fee and follow the usual cone lines to a spot near the tram stop. The temperature is already 87 Celcius. A short tram ride later, we are admitted through the turnstiles and we join the rope drop line near the front. My aged bladder starts talking to me, and, seeing other guests nipping under the rope to use the restrooms in the entrance area, I regress to 10 years old, and stick my hand up! "Miss" let's me in, with a smile, and I deal with matters outstanding. After the National Anthem has been played (I'd forgotten they do that at Busch and Seaworld) we are admitted and speed walk to SheiKra. Which doesn't open til 10:30. (Deleted expletive!) Sigh. We head back to Gwazi, a wicked, wooden roller coaster, stow our gear in a locker (chargeable, which is a bit annoying) and are loaded within 5 minutes. Wow! Double WOW! Had forgotten just how wild this coaster is! It looks like it will be fairly exciting, but unlike the original, traditional wooden Midway coasters, this one has banked curves and modern engineering skills included at no extra cost.. It is fast, it is thrilling, and do NOT under any circumstances ride it if you have a weak core or dodgy back or neck. It WILL bite you! We leave the ride, recover our gear and head back to Stanleyville to see if SheiKRa is open. After re-stowing the bags (another 50c) we wait in a short line for the ride (which is still being tested, with empty cars running) to open. It does, and we are admitted at 10:35.