Back to Sun & Fun in the Caribbean

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

For our 30th wedding anniversary, we decided it would be nice to celebrate it in the warm, sunny Caribbean. Swimsuits and snorkel gear packed, we were ready to head to Ft. Lauderdale to board the elegant Holland America Rotterdam – the line’s newest ship.

Pumpkin knew something was up this morning and went under the couch to sulk. Poor baby. I know he feels like he is being punished. He just doesn’t understand we’re trying to keep him safe.

Our shuttle left for the airport at 8:00. The traffic was heavy as usual, but we made it to the airport by a little after 10:00. Delta had many outside baggage check-in kiosks open. Really love that convenience.

Went through the Clear line and attendant said I had been randomly selected for verification. Had to show my ID to the TSA agent. Glad it wasn’t a big deal. No problem getting through the rest of security. At the gate by 10:40.

Ate some lunch from McDonalds before we boarded the plane. Much cheaper than the $62 hamburger meal we had at one of the airport restaurants before our flight to Chile in January.

Flight took off on time and landed 15 minutes early. I watched 4 episodes of The Good Place. Beautiful weather when we left. Beautiful weather here.

I called the Hampton Inn Cruiseport North for a pickup and the driver got there in about 20 minutes. We have stayed here before. The last time we were here they were remodeling. It turned out well. New floors, new color scheme, and new furniture and fixtures.

I had checked in with the app and selected the digital key, but it didn’t work. Went down to the front desk and had 2 keys made. The locked clicked and turned green but we had trouble opening the door. Had to really push hard to get it open. After another trip to the front desk, we found out you had to lift the door handle up, not push it down. Not a natural movement.

For dinner, we went across the street to Slackers Bar and Grill. There were several couples already seated that I felt were also cruisers. There were quite a few other people who had shown up for the Bingo hour to win free prizes from the restaurant.

We’ve eaten here before too, but they had updated their menu since the last time we were here. Couple of beers and a Philly cheesesteak for me and “Mom’s pot roast” for Chuck and we were ready to go back to the hotel, watch some TV, and say good-night.

Travel Trivia

Florida – The Sunshine State

Various Native American groups have inhabited Florida for at least 14,000 years. In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León became the first known European to make landfall, calling the region La Florida ([la floˈɾiða] for its lush greenery and the Easter season (Pascua Florida in Spanish).

Florida became the first area in the continental U.S. to be permanently settled by Europeans, with the Spanish colony of St. Augustine, founded in 1565, being the oldest continuously inhabited city.

On March 3, 1845, only one day before the end of President John Tyler’s term in office, Florida became the 27th state.

About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. It has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, spanning approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km), not including its many barrier islands.

Florida’s is the only state besides Hawaii to have a tropical climate and is the only continental state with both a tropical climate (at the lower tip of the peninsula) and a coral reef.

Florida has several unique ecosystems, most notably Everglades National Park, the largest tropical wilderness in the U.S. and among the largest in the Americas. Unique wildlife includes the American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Roseate spoonbill, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin, and manatee.

Central Florida is the lightning capital of the USA.

Florida’s Venice Beach is the shark tooth capital of the world.

If you’re ever in Tampa Bay, you should take a walk alongside downtown Tampa. The Bayshore Boulevard is the world’s longest continuous sidewalk being a stretch of 4.5 miles.

The Walt Disney World Resort is in Florida. It is the planet’s most visited and biggest recreational resort. It was established in 1971 and is about the same size as San Francisco, California.

The U.S. state of Florida is also home to the world’s most dangerous tree – the Manchineel tree. All parts of the tree contain strong toxins. Mere contact with the sap from this tree can cause blisters on the skin. The tree is also known as “the beach apple” and “little apple of death.

Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in Florida. It is also the third largest freshwater lake (after Lake Michigan and Alaska’s Iliamna Lake) located completely within the United States.

*trivia provided by Wikipedia

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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