Honeymoon Part 1: Fort Lauderdale and Miami
Holy cow! I may have to split this post up into different posts because there is so much to write about that I’m not sure I can do it all tonight before I pass out. Today was an insanely busy day, and I had a lot less time than I was expecting to have.
Erin and I had an absolutely fantastic time on our honeymoon, but getting ready to leave ended up being a lot more daunting of a task than we originally expected it to be. Erin and I have quite the zoo at our house. We have five cats, one of them with special needs and another who is just a handful, two dogs, two rats, and three ferrets, one of which is pushing the upper limits on ferret age and has insulinoma.
We also have two different cacti plants (three different species), a mum, four orchids of two different species, a yellow flower I can never remember the name of, and a vine… When I started writing the letter to the guide to the running of our house, it took up three full pages, and that was only after I shrank the font size to make it all fit and fiddled with the margins.
We had a house sitter because that’s really the only way we were going to be able to go anywhere. Once I got the letter completed, Alex and I started to run our errands, which included filling Elijah’s prednisone that he takes for his insulinoma twice a day and filling up my meds for my PCOS so that I can re-start the fertility process once Erin and I are both out of graduate school (or at least Erin; I’m hoping to go back sooner rather than later, and plan on looking into and possibly applying to Clemson for a Masters of Science soon).
We went to the library and picked up the fourth Harry Potter book on CD to listen to in the car on the drive down and back because we knew it was going to be a long one. This turned out to be the single best decision for the journey that we made. We (meaning I drug Alex along with me) also went to the church to make sure that Lucy, who is our office manager, had everything she would need for the next two weeks worth of lessons while I was gone. I set up my “I’m out of the country” e-mail response and then we headed home.
At this point, I hadn’t even started packing… We dropped Alex off at the train station that night, and it was super, super sad to see him go. I really wish we lived closer to each other. He’s been my best friend since I was 16 years old, and it sucks that he lives so far away.
I basically just threw everything I owned into my suitcase and prayed that it would shut. We got up super early in the morning, packed the car, and were on the road by six in the morning. I started the driving, and we switched back and forth every couple of hours… around lunch, when we were just inside Georgia before making it to Florida, we noticed that our AC wasn’t working in the car. It got so bad that we caved and took the car to a shop at a nearby exit.
The guys were fantastic. They took us straight back, checked out the car, fixed the AC in about 45 minutes, and sent us on our way. And we had a comfortable rest of our drive down to Fort Lauderdale. We used a lot of our gift cards on the trip down for gas and food, so we didn’t really pay for anything the whole day. We listened to Harry Potter and took turns napping, and the drive went by super fast and it wasn’t boring at all. We will be getting books on CD from now on for our long trips. They are fantastic.
If you have never heard of AirBNB.Com before, then you are missing out on life. Staying in Fort Lauderdale or Miami for two nights was looking to cost us almost $300, but I went on AirBNB and found a beautiful room for $52/night. They had a private pool, real comfy beds, and a quiet neighborhood. I’m telling you… as long as Erin and I are pre-children, we will use AirBNB… and maybe even afterwards too.
The next day, we drove down to Miami, which I am glad we visited, but neither of us have much of a desire to return any time soon. There’s absolutely no parking, and we spend most of our time trying to find ourselves a place to park. Eventually, we found one of two garages (the one that didn’t cost $40), and we just parked and walked everywhere.
We started by going down to the beach so we could see the white sand and clear blue waters. Neither of us had bathing suits, so we just waded out into the water in our clothes. After that, we walked to the Holocaust monument and explored there before walking back to our car and deciding on a place to eat.
After driving around for forever to find a place to park so we could get food, we drove back to Fort Lauderdale, got food at a nice seafood restaurant (I had frog and alligator and scallops and shrimp. YUM!), then headed back. We spent some time in the pool, but we were so exhausted and the next day was cruise day, so we did a lot of sleeping too.
The next day, we got up, packed our stuff up, and headed over to the port. I dropped Erin off at the curb and went to park the car. When I got back, our luggage was taken care of and all we had to do was wait in a line that seemed to go on forever.
Erin ended up holding my carry on bag while I had hers and in each of our bags, we had a bottle of champagne, which we were allowed to bring on board, but Erin suffers from baby face and looks like she’s 18 or younger… 12 is the average, it seems. When she put my bag through the X-Ray, they made her go over to the luggage claim and show the bottle to the security agent (they didn’t do this to me).
When I came up, the agent looked at me and said, “Where’s your alcohol?”
I had a bottle in my bag, but I didn’t feel like opening it for him if I didn’t have to, so I said, “Oh, I’m with her.” I motioned to Erin.
“And you didn’t bring alcohol?” He said.
I laughed, “Yes, I did. That’s my alcohol.” I pointed at my bag in Erin’s possession. “She’s carrying my bag and I’m carrying hers.”
He shook his head, disappointed. I think he thought we should both have alcohol in our bags (which we did, but I didn’t feel like going through the trouble of opening my bag and letting more people get in line in front of us). He let us go.
Then we got in the line that never ended; I lost our tickets; Erin found our tickets, we waited more…. Finally got to the front, got our picture taken, got our room keys and walked on board. Our rooms weren’t going to be ready for another hour so we went up to deck nine, which is where most of the action was… It included the pool, most of the food, and two bars.
They offered us lunch, so we got food (which was included in the cruise) and then afterwards, we got drinks, took our stuff to our room, relaxed and waited until we took off.
Our room was on deck ten at the end of the hall in the middle of the deck. You could take five steps out of our door and be right in the middle of all the action, AND the room was so well sound proofed that you could never hear any of the action going on outside. We were super close to drinks, food, entertainment, and fantastic views.
We spent two days at sea before getting to our first port of call, but I’m going to have to do more of this tomorrow because I’m exhausted… Tomorrow, I’ll write about how we scored a lot of free alcohol on the ship and how we kept the costs down on our partying while at sea. Lots of good tips if you ever plan on going on a cruise, just sayin’ 🙂