Cruise wrap up

Above is a pic Joseph took when he and Andrea went Snubaing in Key West.  From what I understand there would have been more pictures but that day but  the surf was rather choppy and Andrea felt it would be better to feed the fish than swim with them.

So we arrived back in Miami on Friday morning and had to disembark.

Our driver from the prior week, John, was there to pick us up in his 12 passenger van, which worked out great until we picked up a 13th passenger. Needless to say the ride back to the Ft. Lauderdale airport was not as nice or spacious as the ride to Miami.

We picked up a rental car and headed to the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Port Hotel. They were very nice and allowed us to check in early for no extra charge. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone cruising out of Ft. Lauderdale. It is very close to the port and the airport, there were also plenty of restaurants in walking distance though we chose not to walk.

After resting up a bit we headed out in search of lunch. I had my mind set on shepherd’s pie so we headed to Maguires Hill 16. Unlike all those sissy places that warn you the plate is hot, at Maguires they let the stupid people figure it out on their own. So after I burned my fingers adjusting my plate I dug in. It was a very nice place for lunch and the shepherd’s pie was very good and very hot. I am sure I will have recognizable fingerprints again at some point in the future.

For dinner that night I wanted to take Joseph and Andrea someplace nice and not just because Andrea had offered to buy. When we had gone to Pittsburgh with the kids on spring break in 2007, we discovered a neat little chain called Buca di Beppos. So I looked it up on my handy GPS telephone and out we went. After a twenty minute drive we were sitting in front of an empty building that used to be a restaurant.  Not so easily deterred we called the restaurant and tried again.

We were driving along in our rented Dodge Charger when we noticed rain in the distance. It took me about a minute to realize, hey I  don’t know where the windshield wiper control is on this car. Then a frantic 30 seconds fumbling for it, followed by about a minute of sheer terror as we hit a blinding rainstorm while doing 70 in a strange city. Now there is nothing to get your heart pumping like pretending you’re Ray Charles and driving a vehicle.  Once we got the wipers on, things were much better, It did take another 10 minutes to realize that in the craziness that was driving while blind, I had turned off the headlights and we were driving with only the running lamps on. Note to self, in future when driving strange vehicle locate lights and wipers before embarking. After a couple more wrong turns and another call to the restaurant, we arrived at our location.

Dinner was good but would have been better if it had not been so late when we arrived. They serve stuff family style. Family style is really defined as unless you have a family of twenty or your family consists of an NFL offensive line, you will not be able to finish your meal. I enjoyed it, thanks Andrea.

The next morning I got up early and drove Joseph and Andrea to airport as they had an earlier flight than ours. Our departure did not go as smoothly as theirs. After packing, getting the car from valet and heading to the airport, I realized I was missing my wallet.  So after a frantic return and twenty minute search at the hotel, Laila discovered the wallet in with the dirty clothes. We were now going to be late returning the rental car and at risk of being charged for another day. To top it off we still had to fill the rental car. So while I desperately drove in circles looking for a gas station I called Alamo and pleaded my case with them. Pleaded basically meaning I told them what a crappy morning I was having and throwing myself on their mercy. They extended our rental by 3 hours at no charge and we were able to breathe easier.

Thankfully the flight was uneventful and we arrived safely home.

I had to get back to work to rest up from my vacation.

But I am ready for another one.




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