Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Sunny, Warm – 88F

Distance from Charlotte Amalie to Ft. Lauderdale, FL: 984 Nautical Miles

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We are back in Ft. Lauderdale.  I was up early enough to catch a beautiful Florida Sunrise.

 20130224_Sunrise over FLL (Small) 20130224_back in FLL (Small) 20130224_plane leaving FLL (Small) 

Above (3) – Sunrise; Port Everglades; Someone going home

Our tour group was scheduled to meet at 8:45 AM.  By the time we left the ship, got through immigration, and got onto our bus, it was about 10:00 AM.  The bus took us to the

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which is run by the Hollywood FL Parks and Recreation Department.  The building had free WiFi, cold water, and snacks (various chips).  You could either stay there all day or walk along the main drag in Hollywood FL or the boardwalk and beach.  We also got a day pass for the “hop on hop off” trolley that takes you from one end of the main street to the other and also into the Hollywood Historic District and City Center.

We took the Trolley (actually a bus) to the City Center – a lot of stores were closed but several restaurants were open.  The food was pricey so we continued to look for a nice place for lunch.  We essentially walked the whole town – not that much to see.  I did get a nice shot of a Texas sized ring in Florida.

20130224_Big Ring in Hollywood FL (Small)

A million carat ring

We returned to the trolley drop off and started back to the Cruise Center.  We got off a few blocks before because we spotted several nice restaurants along the Intracoastal Waterway.  Maybe a nice fish lunch or something along those lines plus a view. 

We decided to have lunch at DiGiorgio’s Restaurant and Bakery.  The hostess and staff were friendly and we got a nice table on the back balcony facing the waterway.

 20130224_Intracoastal Waterway from DiGiorgios (Small)

View from DiGiorgio’s

We both ordered Tuna Salad Sandwiches – these were very unusual sandwiches – tuna salad plus feta cheese plus grilled onions and balsamic vinegar.  I like all those things but I’ve never seen them on a sandwich together.  Ellen had all those other items on the side.  The sandwich was great – all those flavors and textures playing a role.  We had half the sandwiches wrapped up for dinner at the airport.

We walked a few blocks (more than we thought) to the Center and then headed briefly for the beach – it was in the high 80s and very sunny.  The boardwalk was wall to wall eateries and bars and the beach was packed. 

20130224_Two mermaids Hollywood FL Beach (Small)

Ellen and Mermaid on Hollywood FL Boardwalk

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Hollywood FL Beach

Beach volleyball was being played by women – not quite Misty May caliber but they looked like pros.

20130224_beach volleyball (Small)

There were some pros on the beach and they were playing “Foot Volley” – a made up game that is volleyball using your feet.  There was a match going on at a stadium just down from the Cruise Center and it was free.  Before we returned to the Center, we caught some of the action – it was a bit bogus since the guys were using their feet while the girls played standard volleyball.  How do you make a “kill” with your feet?  Anyway, the girls were from Brazil and professionals so I took some pictures.

20130224_foot volley match (Small) 20130224_Pro Foot Volley (Small) 20130224_Foot Volley the Brazilian Girls (Small)

Foot Volley Match

20130224_view from Cruise center (Small) 

Beach from Cruise Center

The rest of the afternoon was spent at the Center munching on chips and drinking ice water.  The Cruise Center is a good idea and we will do it again if we run into this type of schedule in the future.

Our bus was due to depart for FLL at 4:00 PM and that it did.  The ride to the airport was relatively quick.  Checking our bags at the AA Kiosk was easy – there was no line in Security – and soon we were at Gate E2 waiting to go home.  The 90 minutes at the airport was spent reading or surfing – free WiFi (heads up O’Hare).  About 6 PM he had the rest of our sandwiches along with our $2.29 Airport Diet Coke.

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AA1110 Ready to go

We boarded right on time at 6:50 PM and pushed on time at 7:45 PM after a flurry of gate checking of bags (some of these carry on bags wouldn’t fit even if there were room).  The flight was bumpy as we flew across north Florida but pretty smooth and clear the rest of the way.  Pastries from the ship and coffee were perfect snacks for the short flight.  We landed about 10 minutes early even though we had unfavorable winds. 

Both our bags and the cab came quickly and soon we were home.

A short but fun (and warm) Caribbean Cruise…

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