Thursday, June 6, 2013

June Trip - Day 3 ~ Ft. Lauderdale

We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale around 11 pm Sunday night, so I guess, technically, the following photos were taken on Day 2 of our trip, but they fit here best, so here they are!

Big Daddy had found a deal on a hotel called the Pelican Grand Beach Resort on  He said it had great reviews and was pretty excited about staying at this hotel.  The kids were excited about the pool and the lazy river!

It's a mandatory valet parking hotel, so it turned out to be lucky for us that the bellhop was with us to unload our luggage.  We were originally given a room on the 5th floor, but the keys wouldn't work.  The bellhop went downstairs and had the keys rekeyed and they still wouldn't work, so he called the front desk and we were moved to the third floor.

The hallways on each floor were adorable!  So cute!  Each entrance looked like a little beach cabana.

I loved the inside of our room too!

Can you believe that is wallpaper behind the beds?  Adorable!

I was hungry before I climbed into bed, but decided to just go to sleep I was so exhausted.  Big mistake because by 5 am I was wide awake and starving!  So I made myself stay in the room until 6 and then headed down to eat breakfast.  I was SO super de duper sad to find out the only restaurant in the hotel didn't open until 7.  There may or may not have been an "Are you kidding me?!" directed at the front desk man.  Poor guy.  He had no idea I'm one of those folks the "Sorry for the mean words I spoke when I was hungry" ecard was designed for - ha!  :-)
I asked about a Starbucks, Denny's McDonalds, an-y-thing.  It was a no go.  Nothing within walking distance. 
But hey, on the back porch they *could* offer me *this* view:
(In my best Joey from friends voice:) Niiiiicceee.

Carolina capture:

Please oh please open up!  What's that?  It's only 6:30?  Well, sigh.  

I'll be forced to walk on the beach.
It's a tough life, but someone's got to live it!

Eventually I got my wonderful ($20!) breakfast all by myself and was headed upstairs to check on my (still) sleeping family.  But now I couldn't sleep because I'd had my coffee.  Darn.

Oh well, they were soon up and ready to have their own ($20!) breakfasts and head to the pool:

Tubin' up!

And he's going,



Beach time!


All too soon we had to shower and dress for lunch.  But we weren't too sad because we were headed to lunch with the group leading Big Daddy's trip to Haiti!
This was the only (bad) cell phone pic I got.

As soon as lunch was over, we headed toward Sarasota with my MIL.  We drove 75 aka "Alligator Alley' the whole way.  Alligator Alley is a desolate stretch of road.  There are many other drivers out there on the road with you, but really not a single town or gas station exit to be seen. There were all these 'recreation areas' we kept passing, so we finally decided to stop and check one out.
Yep.  Alligator Alley lives up to it's name!

Some time after that stop, the check engine light came on in Big Daddy's truck.
The REASON we were in Big Daddy's truck was because when I took my car in for an oil change on Friday, they told me my car needed a new radiator.  Neither Big Daddy nor I is big on sitting on the side of the interstate with an overheated engine, so we left my car in the capable hands of the mechanics to be repaired while we were away and we drove off in Big Daddy's totally fine and RELIABLE truck!

At the ONE AND ONLY gas station along that stretch of 75, on the Indian reservation, we were able to stop and check out the oil situation on Big Daddy's truck.  We were a little low based on a (slightly  elevated voice level on my part) conversation and a few blurry photo texts.  :-)
So I bravely walked into the gas station and purchased oil like I'd totally done it before.  And then opened the lid (what's that thing called again?  The hood?  Oh right.  The hood.) all by myself, with just a little help from that man leaving the men's restroom who saw me struggling and cursing the day the truck was made out of the corner of his eye.  :-)  Just a little.
Luckily, I DID know how to check the dip stick and put in the oil.  My dad taught me all that.  :-)

Finally we were in Sarasota.  Love it here at the condo!
Our final excitement of the night was JR finding 'Prince Charming' outside.