Day 11 - Ft. Lauderdale
Monday, March 10, 2014: We awoke before dawn as we were approaching the Ft. Lauderdale port.
|The Ruby Princess was docking behind us, ...
|... and Liberty of the Seas was docked across the parking lot, in the same place where we had been docked when we first departed.
|We disembarked, grabbed our luggage, and boarded a bus for our combination tour and airport transfer. With full cellular service, we both checked into the Noordam using Foursquare, which promptly declared that both of us were now the mayor of it. It turns out that only Tom was.
|Our tour guide, Steve, introduced himself to us and we were off.
|We drove past the cruise ship ports, ...
|... past the Sheraton Ft. Lauderdale Beach Hotel where we had stayed before our Panama Canal cruise the previous year.
|We drove along the beach ...
|... past this beautiful hotel with windmills on the top.
|Next, we'll show you a series of pretty scenes involving boats ...
|... and water ...
|... and both boats and water.
|We drove through the downtown area and got out at this park for a bathroom break and a short walking tour.
|After we visited the restroom, Steve spent 10 minutes telling us the entire history of the native Indians, while the woman behind him snacked on something. Dubbed "Fingers" for her disgusting cruise-long habit of eating food then licking her fingers while standing in buffet lines or walking through the restaurant, today was no different. When we returned to the bus, she dug into another snack. People like this are the direct cause of norovirus epidemics on cruise ships.
|We strolled through Old Fort Lauderdale ...
|... as Steve filled us in on the history of the buildings we were seeing.
|This little bush in front of the building caught our attention as it seemed to be swarming with bugs.
|They weren't bugs, though -- they were a bunch of the tiniest lizards you can imagine, and they were happily hopping from one leaf to the next.
|Speaking of tiny, here are some little mimosa plants.
|We got on the bus and drove to the dock where the Carrie B paddlewheeler was waiting to take us on a 90-minute cruise. We were one of several busloads of people, so finding a place to sit up top was no longer an option and it quickly got crowded down below.
|We got a couple of sodas and hot dogs from the snack bar and quickly ate at a cramped table before Tom got the brilliant idea to stand on the bow of the ship.
|So we did. The ship's tour guide told us all about the owners of the largest houses we passed by, including how much they paid and how often they stayed there.
|It was interesting for us, but it must be very creepy to the families who try to live here.
|But let's look at these crazy expensive houses and enjoy, shall we?
|This one's for sale.
|This one's being renovated. We both liked this one, while the women next to us fretted, "It's too modern. It just doesn't fit in here." Like this house was going to ruin the neighborhood somehow.
|This is the narrow end of a very big, very expensive estate.
|Speaking of expensive, here's a multi-million dollar yacht.
|We crossed into the port area and got another look at the Ruby Princess.
|Then we turned and looked at this house that features its very own Flow Rider. Lucky kids who live there!
|This beauty is the 7 Seas, a yacht belonging to Steven Spielberg.
|Here's another big house (with a glass brick outdoor entertainment area that really belongs in our backyard), ...
|... and another one, ...
|... and another one.
|We got a nice glimpse into the storage area for aquatic fun on a mid-sized yacht.
|Oooh! We both agreed that we want this one.
|Pelicans are fun. Always.
|Here's one yacht's logo, ...
|... and here's another, along with the guy whose job it is to make sure it stays spotless.
|We passed some more large homes before ...
|... returning to the dock and our waiting bus.
We were delivered to the airport with plenty of time before our flight, and we enjoyed some tasty food for lunch before flying home via Atlanta: chicken fricasee and jerk chicken with black beans and fried plantains.
** THE END **
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy