When I lived in Mexico City in 1996/97 I did my very best to get absorbed into the culture, learn Spanish, etc. But after a while I did come to miss the complete lack of English in my life. One day, while browsing through a bookstore I came across a few books by John D. MacDonald about a fictional detective in South Florida named Travis McGee. Once I read a few I got hooked and just had to read the entire 21 book series dating from 1964 - 1985.
Think of Jim Rockford (James Garner's famous TV character) living on a houseboat at the Bahia Mar Yacht Club in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Travis is a rough & tumble fellow but with a good heart heart. Yet he can't seem to avoid the trouble that keeps coming his way!
The dining rooms on the Navigator of the Seas were named after famous ballets: Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Coppelia. Each dining room has costumes from each ballet in display cases as soon as you entered. I'm not a big ballet fan but I thought it was nice. Liz on the other hand is a big ballet fan (she was a ballet dancer from the age of two) and loved the costumes and accents throughout the rooms.
Markham Park is one of the nicest recreation areas in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to grassy areas and jogging trails, you'll find a shooting range, a model airlplane field and a mountain bike trail. Don't expect too much in the way of uphills though. The park is used often for 5k races, which take place pretty much every weekend from October through May. Several small man made lakes are available for boating and fishing. There is also a separate dog park, although animals are permitted in the other areas as well.
There is a charge for entrance, which is about $3 per vehicle, unless there is a special event.
The very last day of my trip, Jason took me to his mother's spa for my morning of pampering. It was a wonderful experience. I had a facial, eye brow wax and a foot massage. Even if I didn't know the owner personally, I would come back here. The staff were very friendly and courteous and the prices reasonable (although I didn't have to pay). Joeanne gave me great skin care advice that has really helped improve the look and feel of my skin. If you get a massage request Jason, he has hands that work magic.
Monday-Friday 12noon – 6:00pm
954-630-1975 (Fax) Mornings, Evenings and Saturdays By appointment only
Sally O' Brience is an Irish Pub located on the first level of Beach Place. its a nondescript kind of place, but the band is fantastic and the service is friendly. In addition to the indoor restaurant and bar, there's an outdoor bar area for those who want to get away from the music and people watch.
You have to get there pretty early to see it, but the sunrise at the Fishing Pier in Lauderdale by the Sea is beautiful.
And if you like to fish, you can do that here too. They will rent you all the equipment you need - even bait!
They have a coffee shop, vending machines, and restrooms.
As often happens, I suppose, the area didn't look at all like I envisioned it would but c'est la vie! I was overjoyed to have found it!
If you're at all interested in how Florida has changed since the early 1960's then I'd strongly recommend you read some/all of the series. Some people might discard John D. MacDonald's writing as mere "pulp fiction" but it goes much deeper than that. It provides a fascinating expose of how Florida has drastically changed at the hands of developers over the past many decades.
So when I finally visited South Florida for the first time in May 2002, I just HAD to see if there was a Bahia Mar, if there was a Slip F-18 (where Travis' houseboat was reportedly docked), and if anyone there new about this now not so famous series of books.
Approaching the area my excitement grew to a fever pitch. I felt like a detective discovering the final clue in a long sought out puzzle. And finding the plaque was extra special.
One of the yacht owners there was an older fellow named Bob who was most impressed that I had tracked down this literary hero of mine.
If you have every wanted to see South Beach in Miami, here is your chance . . . Miami is only 30 minutes or so from Lauderdale . . . South Beach is not for everyone, so this would be a great chance to try it out
Naples, Florida is about 2 hours from Lauderdale . . . If you have never been to Naples, here is your chance . . . fun little town . . . Go to the beach and have lunch at the Ritz . . . You won't regret it
If you have never been to the Florida Keys, here is your chance . . . Take a day trip down and see if you like it . . . About a 4 hour trip if you go all the way down to Key West . . . Beware, the Keys can become an addiction
Saw a lot of these signs all around Ft. Lauderdale. Maybe they got sick of scraping flattened drunk Spring Breakers off the sidewalk....
Maybe it was the Humpback Ale. Maybe it was too much sun but I wandered into Bulldog Tatoo Parlor and well.....
A most unusual sight in the western area of Broward country and specifically a semi-agricultural municipality of Davey is this Hindu Temple.
It is located on Griffin Road, just east of I-75.
We spotted this rather unusual looking Duck and her duckling drinking from a puddle in a parking lot in Las Olas. Had to snap a picture!
like having your own house in Fort Lauderdale. Attentive, but unobtrusive staff. Clean/free...more
My parents and I had a great time staying here in 2007. We had a 1 bedroom (room number 4) unit and...more
I waited way too long to book a hotel, last time we cruised from here I got the Hyatt Pier 66 just a...more