Nov 29, 2021 – Travel to Atlanta
Tossed and turned all night. Was just glad to go on and get up with the alarm. Lots of last-minute items to do – the most important one was taking our proctored on-line COVID tests. If we failed those tests, the other items didn’t matter. But we passed!
It was soon time to head for the airport shuttle. Unlike the last time we rode the shuttle to the airport, this van was full. Once we made it to the ground transportation area, we only had to wait about 5 minutes until the Hyatt Place shuttle arrived. I used the Hyatt app to bypass the check-in process and the phone unlocked the door. Love technology when it works.
Ate at a near-by restaurant – The Burger Place. Wings, Burger, and drinks – $70. Welcome to the big city.
We were back at the hotel at 6:30 but it sure felt later. Spent the rest of the evening getting our stuff organized for tomorrow and watching some TV. Hope to sleep better than last night.
Nov 30, 2021 – Travel to Ft. Lauderdale
This was our first attempt at flying into Ft. Lauderdale. In the past, we have driven to St. Augustine and then the next day driving on to Ft. Lauderdale. We would leave our car at the hotel for the duration of the cruise. Coming home, sometimes we would try and make it all the way home but most time we would have to stop and stay somewhere near Macon. Always exhausting.
Today, after eating the hotel breakfast, we caught their 8:00 shuttle to the airport. We are CLEAR members, so we could by-pass the long general boarding line. The last time we flew, my backpack was diverted and searched. Today, my purse was diverted and searched. However, Chuck walked right through the machine with a pocket full of change and absolutely nothing happened. Go figure.
Flight was packed. Glad it was only a little over an hour. We didn’t have enough time for a movie, but I did get to watch three Simpsons episodes before we touched down.
After retrieving our bags, we followed the signs to the hotel shuttle pick-up. I called the hotel only to find out that the driver wanted to pick us up at Door 22. What is that? We had to go back to the airport building, go up one floor and back outside to find Door 22. The area is advertised for quick drop-off. I don’t know if the intent was to also pick-up but that is what he did.
It didn’t take long at all to get to the hotel about 1:30. I was glad the room was ready. The hotel is undergoing some renovations. It was noisy while they worked but the front desk personnel said the renovators finish each day at 5:00. The hotel and rooms definitely need some sprucing up.
We signed up for the hotel shuttle to the port tomorrow. Our check-in time at the port is 12:20 so we will catch the shuttle leaving at noon.
Once we got situated in the room, we decided to walk to McDonald’s down the street to get some fries and a Diet Coke. Then we walked across the street to the shopping center just to stretch our legs after all the sitting. One of the stores was a Dollar Tree where we were able to pick up a couple of things we had forgotten. We also found the Slackers Bar and Grill. We decided we would come back at 5:00 for the Happy Hour and get an early dinner. Also met a new friend.
Once we got back to the hotel, we sat outside by the pool and enjoyed the nice weather until it was time to go back over to the Bar. The water was too cool for swimming but felt great on my feet.
As we were sitting by the pool, all of a sudden, a flock of small green parrots flew overhead. I couldn’t believe I was seeing parrots until I Googled “parrots in Florida” to find out that they are not native but are common in South Florida as descendants from escapees from pet shops and homes. Learn something new every day.
Even though it was in a shopping center surrounded by hotels, the Slackers bar appeared to be popular with local people. Lots of people greeting each other like they see each other often. Maybe people who work at the other stores in the Center? Maybe it was just the happy hour. I found it interesting that the bar was decorated with Packers paraphernalia. I thought it would be decorated with Florida teams but no – just the Packers and some Florida State stuff. Definitely no University of Florida stuff to be seen.
Beer and wings for dinner – the dinner of champions!
Rest of the evening was spent watching TV. Tomorrow – Embarkation!
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Known as the Venice of America due to its extensive canal system.
Fort Lauderdale was originally not one, but three forts during the Second Seminole War. The forts took their name from Major William Lauderdale (1782–1838. He was the commander of the detachment of soldiers who built the first fort. Development of the city did not begin until 50 years after the forts were abandoned at the end of the conflict.
After the war, the Stranahan House, Fort Lauderdale’s oldest building, was built in the 1890s. The house served as a trading post for the area and quickly developed into the city center along the New River.
Fort Lauderdale was featured in a popular 1960s movie, “Where the Boys Are,”about a college spring break. Soon college students flocked to the area en masse for a sun and sand filled getaway and still do today.
Just offshore, following the 24 miles of beach, is a coral reef tract. These coral reefs are a part of the Florida Reef Tract that run from Dry Tortugas to St Lucie Inlet (360 miles), the third longest barrier reef system in the world.
Fort Lauderdale is a major manufacturing and maintenance center for yachts. The boating industry is responsible for over 109,000 jobs in the county. With its many canals, and proximity to the Bahamas and Caribbean, it is also a popular yachting vacation stop, and home port for 42,000 boats, and approximately 100 marinas and boatyards. Additionally, the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the world’s largest boat show, brings over 125,000 people to the city each year.
*Trivia provided by Wikipedia and information provided by the hotel