Saturday, May 13, 2023

April 22, 2023 – Ft Lauderdale, FL – 89F – Partly Cloudy

A hot day in South Florida.

Not a bad night – still got up real early and saw the sunrise.

At 6:30AM, I went down to the breakfast room.  The breakfast in the hotel is modest.  I had two buttermilk biscuits (really good) and some of their reconstituted eggs.  I also had one tiny maple syrup waffle.  The decaf coffee was ice cold so I had the real stuff.

Today, the plan is to get over to the River Walk and stroll the New River.  

The River Walk is very nice – maybe about a mile of restaurants and shops on both sides of the New River.  Lots of boats, large and small, run up and down the river (there are drawbridges that open to let the taller ships pass through the river).  The day was perfect even though shade was hard to find, and it was very warm.

We spent some time in Huizenga Park (found a bench in the shade), 

a beautiful green space surrounded by modern condos and businesses.  One building that I thought was a condo was actually a fancy hotel, the Hyatt Centric Las Olas Hotel located on Las Olas Boulevard.  

Las Olas Boulevard is one of the more well-known streets in Ft. Lauderdale, containing restaurants, shops, and people watching opportunities.   

We were originally going to get Fish and Chips at a place called the Downtowner Restaurant (I did my research). They did have some very nice fish items on their menu but we decided to try something more exotic instead, so we crossed the river to see what options there were on the other side.  I got some great shots of the New River from the bridge.

It didn't take long for us to end up as a restaurant called “Pura Vida”, which is, of course, the national saying of Costa Rica.  This restaurant, which had nothing to do with Costa Rica, had outside seating and a most interesting entrance (you enter through this woman's pried open chest (kind of weird) to get into the restaurant).

The menu - I would call it "California Healthy" - offered a variety of wraps and salads.  We started off with an Ahi Tuna wrap and a fancy Tomato and Lettuce Salad.  The salad was OK – fu-fu lettuce – but the tuna was essentially raw (the description didn’t say it was raw) and was also filled with other unidentifiable flavors.  When the waitress came by to ask us how it was, I told her I didn’t like it.  She said she would swap it out for a tuna salad wrap, which was much better.  I also ordered a passionflower iced tea for $5 which did not include refills (?).  Anyhow, it was “exotic”.  Here are some shots of "Pura Vida".

While we were eating, we heard some music and discovered that there now was a singer near the entrance - she sounded pretty good.  She seemed happy to get her picture taken.  

We went from the restaurant to the river and found a bench in the shade.  We watched the boats move up and down the river and even saw the drawbridge open a few times to let sailboats through. 

Back at the hotel, we spent a little time out by the pool, but it was warm and there were skeeters. 

After that lunch, we ate the leftover bagels from the plane for dinner.  Still good.

We found out from the desk that the hotel offered transport to the cruise port for $5 per person (about a third of what other hotels charged) so we signed up for a Noon shuttle.

We spent the rest of the evening reading and hanging out in our room.

We didn’t unpack much so our suitcases would be ready to go in the morning.

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