I think what I liked best about Lauderdale -- was the 500$ room for 80$. Thank Jeebus for priceline.com
. Scott had a client in Boca Raton, so we had to go down on Friday. We'd decided earlier in the week we'd stay somewhere around Miami and make a weekend of it -- so we took A1A Beachfront Ave from Boca Raton all the way down to Ft Lauderdale Beach.
Sheraton Yankee Trader -- not too impressed. It wasn't so bad either, but you'd hope for that kinda gold you'd have a really posh room. Of course, maybe they knew we'd priceline'd, so we were put on the 4th floor -- on one of the end rooms, so there really wasn't a view at all. The pool deck was pretty nice, this is where all the photos were taken from mostly. There was a catwalk over to the beach, which I found to be surprisingly narrow -- the strip of beach, that is.. I kept thinking.. wow, so this is it, the Spring Break dream destination of Youth of America.. it was clean, but it didn't compare at all to Ft Desoto on the west coast.
That night when Bighead woke from his fog -- we went south down A1A and learned the real attraction of Ft Lauderdale Beach -- the half naked women and shirtless baudy men swinging from posts outside all the little bars and saloons that dot the road.
Dinner at 15st Street was fabulous, best calamari we've ever had, and that's saying a lot, it's a staple in Florida dining. The upstairs section of the restaurant was for fine dining, looking out over the scenic marina -- the lower level where we were was way more casual and relaxed, and better priced too; it also had a great view.
Next morning we were up with the sun pretty much -- and on our way to the little Havana area of Miami to hit the flea market. Pretty much every other radio station you hit down around there with the scan feature in the car is this festive latin beat, or Cuban love ballads, so we cranked it -- finally found the flea market, walked around the entire grid -- people selling everything from lamp shades, to baby blankets, sunglasses, old mattresses, knives, adult DVDs, tropical flowers, fruit, and of course, sound systems for the cars, speakers, mixers, dubs, whatnot.
We were a bit confused about which direction we were heading when we left the market, and which was the best way back to the turnpike -- we swizzled around until we were on a strip of restaurants, nothing looked too appealing -- and then we spotted SE 15th street, one of the cross streets -- so we took it down to the marina, where we'd eaten the night before. This time, we didn't have to pay for the valet parking, which was nice, cause Bighead hates that crap -- and we were able to browse around the Boston Whalers -- all ready for sale at the marina.
And of course, after lunch, we went down to the pier and fed the Tarpon. We came home up the other way -- through Alligator Alley and the Everglades, got some gator photos -- and stopped in North Port and stayed the night with Bighead's Grandma and Grandpa. We made a stop at his parents house also, on Sunday, picked up the canoe for his camping trip next weekend -- finally home Sunday evening. Nothing is quite as relaxing as climing into your own bed after a few nights away.