Florida Vacation Details

Current mood: content

Thursday I had to work a few hours at Chino Valley for the Emergency Department meeting. Afterwards, Melissa picked me up from the hospital and dropped Rosie and I off at Ontario Airport. I had done the internet check-in before I left work, but it ended up making it harder to check our bags. Luckily the Delta terminal line was pretty short. Rosie and I shared a smoothie and chicken chipotle salad in the airport before getting on the plane. The flight to SLC was pretty uneventful, but more turbulent than I’ve experienced in a bigger plane in recent memory. I was happy that Delta serves some healthy snacks and Sprite Zero (my current soda of choice.) We met up with my dad in the baggage claim for our 90 min layover. He brought me a Café Rio salad, which made me really happy. We chatted and got caught up until we had to head back through security. We had another boarding pass hiccup trying to go through security because our passes said ONT to FLL, and didn’t mention SLC because it was a continuing flight on the same flight number. I had to go back to the Delta check in to verify my boarding passes, then have the Delta employee escort me back to the front of the security line. Rosie realized that she forgot her MP3 player back in CA, but wasn’t too sad because there were plenty of radio stations to listen to on the plane. The in-flight movie was Freedom Writers….eh, it was okay. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale just after midnight. After picking up our luggage, we met Taylor out on the curb with a big hug and kiss. It was about 15 minutes back to FXE, which is the airport that Jet University is located. The dorms aren’t terrible, but we realized that the room that Rosie and I were staying in was practically a closet, and it did not have a bunk bed. Rosie sleeps on the floor, and I’ve got a twin bed. We stayed up until 2:00 am, and then Taylor headed back to his dorm room.

Friday morning we went to the gym for a really intense workout. The 24 Hour Fitness “Sport Shaq” was the most impressive gym I’ve ever been to. I did 35 min on the elliptical and about 25 minutes of weights. I showed Taylor some of the workouts that I’ve been doing with my trainer, including the correct way to do crunches on the stability ball. We had lunch at Chick-Fil-A, relaxed at the dorms for a while, ran some errands, then headed off for the beach. We went to Fort Lauderdale Beach, which is on A1A… “beach front avenue!” (Like from the song “To the Extreme” by Vanilla Ice) This beach was so beautiful….free parking, showers, clean sand. The water was sooo warm compared to California. We swam, played water games with Rosie, and took lots of pictures. The weather was just perfect….upper 70s so not too hot, just HUMID. We relaxed on the beach for a half hour, then went back in till we’d had our fill of salt water. We cleaned up reasonably well at the showers, then drove to Kyojin. This is an upscale Japanese and Sushi buffet. It’s the most pricey buffet I’ve ever eaten at ($20 a person) but it was delicious! The sushi was fresh and expertly prepared, there were lots of fresh veggie dishes to choose from, the gyoza was amazing, and the Japanese ice cream was marvelous. I had the biggest meal I’d eaten in a long time, but at least it was super healthy! We then went to see “Meet the Robinsons” at the local Regal Cinemas. We came back to the dorms, watched an episode of Roswell, and went to bed fairly early (it was a FULL day of fun!)

Saturday we spent most of the day in the car (approx 300 miles). We started the day out with a moderate (45 min) workout at the 24 Sport Shaq and got some trip food at the Winn-Dixie, including fresh pineapple chunks and peach soda. I was trying to navigate with some travel brochures (not to scale) and a 10 year old atlas. Taylor wanted to avoid the toll roads (which are everywhere here!) so we went a pretty roundabout way to get down to the Florida Keys. We were going to visit the Micosugee Indian Reservation and take an Everglades airboat ride…but once we’d gone about 10 miles, with multiple freeway changes, into a 45 mile trip, wasting almost 2 hours, we realized that the map was not to scale and it would take forever to get there. We did a little shopping, including the most clean thrift store I’ve ever seen (It was the Goodwill Megastore LOL) Throughout the day, I got a new memory stick for my cell phone, a cute new kimono-looking dress, some tanks, new swim bottoms, some souvenirs, and some clothes for Rosie….including a cute pink shirt with a skull and crossbones that says Pirate Princess.

The Florida Keys are beautiful!!! The water is all sorts of amazing colors, and the kitschy little old resort towns were entertaining to travel through. There weren’t a lot of beaches to stop at…most were rocky or had no parking. We drove about 45 miles into the 120 mile drive towards Key West, but the drive already took much longer than we expected. We got dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, and then paid a whopping $1.25 to take the toll road to a more direct freeway towards home (which shaved off about 90 minutes off our drive back.) After stopping for some groceries and a blanket at SuperWalmart, we came back to the Jet U Dorms to chill for the evening.

Today we’ll try to hit a sacrament meeting, and then do more sightseeing with Taylor before he’s back into the focused-student thing again. We might go to a different airboat Everglades place that is much closer, and maybe Flamingo Gardens today. Taylor will be in class tomorrow, so Rosie and I will do Wannado City and Sawgrass Mills mega-mall. Heidi Zender, our old neighbor from across the street in Balmoral, is flying in on Monday too. We’ll probably eat dinner with her and Rob that night.

Currently listening :
Little Wonders
By Rob Thomas
Release date: 19 April, 2007
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