We flew into Fort Lauderdale last night (Dec 28, as this isn't getting posted until we return from the trip), the flight was uneventful, aside from the capitan singing to us at random intervals. (Much appreciated, and I seem to think I may have flown with him before. I love Westjet.)
We picked up our baggage, met the shuttle (Fort Lauderdale Shuttle Inc). I recommend them, but don't recommend using their website to book anything. It accepted my booking, but never actually 'placed' the order, making for much confusion the morning of the flight when I called to confirm. They did offer free car seats (usually a $15-25 charge each at other shuttle places) and they were the least expensive compared to the other shuttle companies I got quotes from.
The driver and her fiance were great. She had most of her facts about the area backwards/confused, and he had no problem correcting her. It was very amusing for me. Having been a local cop, he knew a lot about the area.
We got to our hotel (Crystal Beach Suites and Health Club) and checked in. Nothing eventful. Got the crib, pulled out the sofa bed and listened to the Turtle scream and cry because of how over tired he was. We ended up in bringing him to bed with us, where I sang a few rounds of the 2 songs I could think of. 'I've been working on the Railroad' and 'Skin-a-marinky dinky dink'. Wouldn't you know that it put him to sleep.
This morning I got up, got dressed, took the Toad to the grocery store with me and picked up groceries for a few days. We returned to have breakfast and plan the day. Our first stop was the beach.
The beach is literally about 60 meters from the front door of the hotel. And the sand is white, and it has very blue water. And it had two people sleeping on it. They were either homeless or drunk, or both. We avoided them.
The Turtle loved the sand. The Toad loved the sand. There are two rules of this vacation we've decided.
- Everyone needs to listen to Mommy and Daddy.
- We need to go to a beach every day.
After playing on the beach, wading in the water and collecting shells and uttering "We still have 13 more days of vacation. You don't need to keep every shell.", we came in for lunch. The grocery store (a Publix) is an entire block away. Maybe the length of a football field. And they had no fewer than 30 brands/flavours of pasta sauce. I was overwhelmed. Who needs that much selection?
After lunch we had some downtime where the Toad played with her Leapster2 (Christmas gift win!) and the Turtle had a much needed nap. My wife and I planned out the next few days. Tomorrow is a visit to Miami Bayside, Friday we're going to meetup with Keith and his family at the Miami Children's Museum, and I think that Saturday with be split between the beach and a tour through South Beach.
After our downtime, the Toad and I headed back to the beach for some fun in the sand. Building walls, digging holes and standing in the surf. On our way back, I did notice something I'm glad the Toad never noticed. Two people having sex on the beach while fully clothed and while 'working' at renting beach chairs and umbrellas. I guess business was slow.
In the morning she had noticed a topless sun bather. I've previously only experienced them sunbathing face down, not face up. I'm glad she didn't say something to the lady. She has a habit of doing that.
Before dinner we went for a walk down 71st street, crossed over the inner costal waterway and found a fountain. On the way back we 'cheated' for dinner and grabbed cheeseburgers for dinner (with carrots and apples and grapes from our suite). At 59 cents each, it was pretty cheap. Tomorrow we're having wagon wheel pasta with meat sauce. I cooked up the ground sirloin tonight. I do like the way that they mark the fat content on the labels for the ground meat. Regular (90/10) ground sirloin is 90% meat, 10% fat. Lean ground sirloin is 93/7. Not much difference for a ground meat 1/3 more expensive.
The kids are now asleep. We've just discovered that we get a faint wireless signal from the lobby in our suite, so looking stuff up on the Internet just got much easier. The Toad has the double bed to herself, the Turtle is sleeping in a cot in the bathroom, and we're going to be on the lumpy sofabed again tonight. It has me wondering if I can make a bed on the floor out of the sofa cushions.