Thursday, February 25, 2016

"Ouch My Forehead!" Fort Lauderdale Vacation Recap

Sadly, my vacation is over and I am back to work today. I'm so happy I took this trip. I relaxed like I haven't it longer than I can even remember, sat in the sunshine almost every day, and was even able to spend time with friends! I vlogged throughout the trip (subscribe to my channel here!), but I thought I'd do a recap of my experience here as well!

Last Wednesday Rob and I packed up and flew out of Boston around 8:45pm. The flight was a little over 3 hours directly to Fort Lauderdale and we passed the time playing Mario Kart 7 on our 3DSes, coloring (because we're definitely in our mid-20's) and laughing over stupid inside jokes like "Boingo Wifi". We touched down just before midnight and were picked up by Rob's partner Michael who lives in the area! We instantly felt the temperature difference and were basically sweating in our long sleeves while Michael noted how "cold" it was in Florida haha. Michael dropped me off at my Air BnB at around 1AM and I totally crashed as soon as I made it in the door.

Thursday morning I woke up and wandered down to the grocery store to stock up on some fruits, veggies, and other snacks for my little cottage, and found my local Dunks (which were surprisingly common in south Florida and I was pretty excited about it!). Once I returned I sat out on my little patio (that I showed off in my previous Florida post last week) I sat down with a great book and enjoyed feeling the sunshine on my skin for the first time in months!

Rob stopped by my place around noon or so and we decided to take a long walk down to the beach! It was a gorgeous first day in Florida and we were *so close* to the ocean, so how could we not? The walk took about 40 minutes or so, but it was so worth it once we saw the white sand and gorgeous turquoise water! We immediately hopped right into the waves and the ocean was so warm. I don't know if I could ever swim in the ocean in MA again after this trip!

The Snapchat tag said Ft. Lauderdale Beach, but we were actually at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

After about an hour or so of enjoying the sunshine, we decided to venture off to find something to eat for a late lunch. We found this little divey place called Ocean's Grille and both ordered fish & chips (which is actually Mahi in FL!) which was super yummy. We then ventured up to Aruba Beach as there were a few more shops up there, grabbed some FroYo and some drinks and enjoyed the sunset. Michael (who was at work all day) picked us up a bit later and we headed home. I went to bed fairly early on Thursday night as I was still pretty tired from travelling (and walking all over Fort Lauderdale with Rob!) but it was a wonderful first day of our trip!

Friday morning Rob sent me a text and invited me to hang out with him and Michael for the day! They picked me up around lunch time and we went to this little Mexican spot for lunch. I ordered a GIANT quesadilla which was super delicious and I was happy I got to chat with Michael and get to know him a bit more (we had only met once before this trip for a very brief period of time!). Afterward Rob and I were craving ice cream so we went to a nearby Baskin Robbins and both got a mint chocolate chip fix, him a cone and me a milkshake. YUM. We were both ready to burst after that!

We stopped by a local park to walk around for a bit. It was the absolute perfect temperature for a stroll and we saw lots of Floridian wildlife as we were walking through, including lizards, birds, and a whole bunch of turtles! As we were entering the town we saw a sign that said "A Horse Community" and sure enough, we walked by a horse stable as well. After the park we stopped by the mall near my Air BnB and walked around for a bit before heading home for the evening, and a snagged some yummy mint tea! :)

Moments before disaster struck (which I won't repeat here but Rob and Michael will know what I'm talking about haha!)

Saturday was probably the most chilled out day of the trip. Unfortunately I woke up with a solid migraine which was zero fun. I took some medicine and hydrated for a bit, and once I felt a bit better I thought it was perfect time to get some Florida dust on my running shoes (runs sometimes help my headaches go away). I took a short 3 miler around the neighborhood and felt slightly better, but still wanted to just lie down after my shower to rest up and recover from the pain.

Note the under-eye bags D:

After a bit of rest, Brett gave me a call and let me know he could come pick me up for lunch! He and his head coach came to scoop me up and we went to a local diner. They told me about how their recruiting trip was going (their Florida trip is their biggest recruiting trip of the year so they were both quite exhausted) and we got some yummy food (I went for a burger and they both sprung for breakfast food)! It was really great to see Brett because I wasn't sure if I would be able to see him at all!

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and catching up on organizing my life, which I was totally fine with because it was a pretty cloudy and windy day and I didn't mind staying inside for most of it. I ended up finishing the book I was reading, playing some Nintendo 3DS, planning out a budget and getting my posting schedule prepped for March. I mean, not all of those things you expect to get done while on vacation, but I was so happy I had some extra time in my schedule to really get some things done I hadn't had time to accomplish in my normal routine! (I mean, look how pumped I am in this selfie! XD)

Sunday I got an early morning text from Rob letting me know the he and Michael were planning to hit the beach and wanted me to come with them! It was a super gorgeous day and we had a beach tour guide in Michael leading the way so I was happy to tag along! We met up at the Starbucks by me and after a quick caffeination break we were off to Hollywood Beach!

As soon as we plopped our towels down we ran into the water to swim because the weather was perfect and the water was so refreshing! As we laid on the beach we were graced with a gorgeous view of sailboats drifting by which made for an incredible backdrop good enough to get a "Stop it!" comment from on of my colleagues when I posted a photo to Instagram! XD

After a few hours our tummies started grumbling and we walked down the strip in search of some lunch. We found a pizzeria and stopped in to find the LARGEST SLICES OF PIZZA EVER. I ordered two cheese slices and basically was served half of a pizza. I knew I had to Snapchat the ridiculousness and give my hand as a reference point. Needless to say I was super stuffed once we were done!

I was pretty flabbergasted that I had been in the Sunshine State for nearly 4 full days at that point and still hadn't gotten a tropical drink, so I was definitely in search of finding a bar to really feel like I was properly on vacation! We were right by the Margaritaville Hotel and across the street from the 5 O'Clock Somewhere bar, so we thought that would be perfect to have a drink at. The bar itself was overlooking the water and we saw several very ~fancy~ yachts float by while sipping on our cocktails. I ordered myself a Port of Call Cooler (which was AMAZING) and sipping on this was exactly what a warm-weather-climate vacation should be about!

We walked back to the car and attempted to cap off the night by going to see Hail, Caesar! at the movie theatre by me, but it ended up being sold out! So instead we found this little gelato shop (called Alice's Ice Cream Emporium - how good of a name is that?!) and I got a nice large order of Snickers and Cookies & Cream gelato. I was basically in heaven.

Monday, unfortunately, was my last day in paradise, and I knew I wanted to spend it on the beach. It was also Michael's last day of his little mini-vacation so he took Rob and I to Fort Lauderdale Beach which was gorgeous! There was a work out area (with pull-up bars and jungle gym type of equipment), basketball courts, a nice wide beach, and views of cruise ships and parasailers floating by. The weather was probably the best it had been the entire trip and I was really appreciative of Florida for bring out the big guns for my last day. ;)

Michael brought along some boogie boards which was so much fun because the ocean was particularly wavy on this day! We had a couple of solid boogie boarding sessions and even came up with reverse boogie boarding where you're facing the waves while floating on the board and just basically letting the ocean waves toss you anywhere you want to go. So much fun! We had an absolute blast on my last day and I'm so happy I was able to spend it in the sunshine with my friends. :)

Monday night was spent packing up and I left for the airport around 9:30am. (My first flight wasn't until 1:30pm but my Air BnB check out was at 10am and I didn't really have anywhere to go in the meantime, so I decided to just go to the airport and hang out there.) I had a layover in Detroit (which, by the way, is an awesome Airport from what I saw) then jetted back to Boston, where more new friends, Rob's colleagues Trish and Von, picked me up to bring me back to my car! They are both so awesome for getting me and both awesome people in general. I had been hearing so much about them from Rob so I was very happy to finally meet them!

While I'm sad my vacation is over, I'm feeling rested and ready to get back into my routine. We're about to enter the busiest time of the year at work (you guys know this by know, but April in Student Affairs = no free time ever) so I'm really happy I was able to take this time to charge up my batteries before things get *really* craycray! I really loved my time in FLL and I hope to visit again in the future! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment