Last Weekend in South Florida
Friday was a day of cheap, but tasty food with the Potatopia grand opening and a mystery shop at one of our favorite places. We followed up dinner with a walk along Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. I had read several times that it was a great thoroughfare to check out filled with eateries, cute shops, and art galleries. So we found parking and off we went. As we walked it became evident that we were not on the part of the road I had read about. Instead the segment of Las Olas Boulevard that we were walking was lined with views of million dollar homes and impressive looking yachts to match! We walked several miles oohing and ahhing at the homes and boats that lined the canals on both sides of the boulevard. We decided to head back to the car and we were treated with a view of a very large private yacht passing through the intercostal just as we approached the drawbridge. It was cool to be on part of the bridge as the drawbridge part came up. While our walk on Las Olas Boulevard wasn’t what we were expecting, it was definitely more our thing. We love walking around marinas and checking out waterfront homes. Once we got back to our car, we drove along Las Olas Boulevard as it turned into a shopping & dining area toward downtown as described in several reviews.
Saturday morning we spent planning the next portion of our road-trip with the final destination being Maine in May. We segment out the trip into sections and plan our route and stops from there. Next, we find campgrounds in the area where we would like to explore. Russ’ computer typically has a map that looks something like the photo below. The stops / stays go on our calendar in red until a reservation is confirmed. Once we have a confirmed reservation, the stay turns from red to green! That day, we successfully scheduled our itinerary for the next month. Now the fun of planning what to do during our stops can commence.
We finished the evening with a mystery shop dinner and a trip to the casino, Gulf Stream Park, next door to the restaurant. We wandered in when we saw a sign advertising $100 in free play. We aren’t much into gambling, but put the word “free” in there and we will consider it. Of course as advertisements usually are, they didn’t 100% mean you would receive $100 in free play. However, the lady offered us scratch-off tickets since it was our first visit. Russ received $10 in free play and I won a whopping $75 in free play. We took our chances on the Wheel of Fortune slot machine and ended the evening with an extra $43! Considering we had nothing to lose as it wasn’t our money - it really wouldn’t be considered a true gamble!
We ended the weekend with a visit to South Beach. Since our campground was about an hour from Miami, we felt like we should take a trip to check out the area. We lucked out with a good parking spot, right at the end of a block. Woohoo to not having to parallel park. We headed toward the water of the Atlantic and took a stroll along the walkway the parallels Ocean Drive. We came across a model volleyball tournament, one of those things that makes you think, “only in South Beach”. It was a cloudy, overcast day, but the blue water and sandy beach still was a great site to see.
We also took a stroll down Lincoln Road which was lined with restaurants & shops. It is a pedestrian only street, making it ideal for people watching. We enjoyed tasty arepas from a food stand that was part of the farmer’s market set up in the middle of the street. After a little snack, we headed for our destination of the Nespresso Boutique. We were planning for this to be our coffee break for the day, but ended up carrying our own Nespresso machine out of the cafe. We were planning to just gather some more information on their machines, but when they offered to price match the deal I found online (50% off), we couldn’t pass up the deal. In the weeks following, we certainly haven’t regretted the decision as we now enjoy our espressos & lattes on a daily basis from the comfort of home!
Since South Beach attracts the rich and famous, we certainly don’t belong in the neighborhood. However, we did appreciate the walkability of the town as well as the trendiness and quirkiness of the area. South Beach is definitely lined with buildings and homes that fall into the Art Deco style of architecture making it a cool place to look around. Forget about architecture, the name of a hotel caught our attention. Based solely upon its great name - “The Betsy”, it certainly has to be the best place to stay!
South Beach is just one of those places we felt like we needed to experience for ourselves. Mission accomplished.