Ok, if you are not interested in hearing every last detail of my trip to Florida, then stop reading now. I was able to get through the flight to Fort Lauderdale with some ativan and wine. It was dark outside when we took off so once we reached cruising altitude, I had myself reasonably convinced that I was on a tubular shaped bus. I was amazed at how easy the flight felt and how quickly the time passed. Mission accomplished.
We walked into the Westin at about midnight. The lobby was filled with palm trees and tropical flower arrangements and smelled absolutely glorious. The ceiling was glass and roughly three stories high. How did I get lucky enough to land in such a place? We got to the room and immediately walked out onto our balcony which overlooked the ocean. We could scarcely see the white caps but the sound left no question as to the large body of water that was directly below us.
In the morning the view was spectacular. The day started with a walk along the hotel grounds. The pool areas was two levels and included 2 pools and a hot tub. There is an outdoor bar and restaurant that faces the ocean. Wait staff will take your order poolside or you can sit at tables. We had breakfast at the “cafe.” A breakfast entree ran roughly $16 dollars and a glass of juice $3. We were quickly beginning to realize why it takes so much money to live like the rich and famous. Our breakfast totaled $75 when all was said and done and that was without alcohol. No Bloody Marys or Screwdrivers for this bunch.
After breakfast it was clear that none of us were in a position to make a habit out of eating hotel food for the duration of the trip. We were happy to discover a 7-11 within walking distance. Deli sandwiches and salads were the primary staples that got us through the remainder of the trip. We ate one more meal in the hotel the day before we left. What the hell how often do you get to sit next to the ocean sipping the restaurants signature drink with your two sisters. Lunch with a tip was $105. Good thing it was our last day because we were plum out of money.
The staff of the hotel were beyond nice. I have to say it was weird and a bit uncomfortable to be catered to. What struck us was the other patron’s lack of regard for good manners. Towels were left on chaises despite containers available for their disposal. Beverage cups were left on tables in the lobby. Clearly there is a certain clientele who expect to be waited on hand and foot. I on the other hand was cleaning the hotel room in preparation for the cleaning lady.
Our trip was extended by one day due to the cancellation of our connecting flight out of Atlanta. We were able to spend one more 85 degree day walking along the beach and adding to our shell collections.
What amazed us was the number of foreign languages we heard spoken. French was the most frequently heard. Betty hated to leave the pool to go to her conference. Cathy and I were happy to keep a chaise warm for her.
Cathy and I buckled and ordered our first poolside Pina Colada without waiting for Betty. The white drink was topped with a shot of dark rum poured over the top. At the time I couldn’t think of anything that I would rather spend $15 on. If it seems like I am focusing on the cost of everything it is because we continued to be blown away by how much people are willing to pay. We stared at strangers vacationing with their spouses and children and wondered just what a person had to do for a living to be able to afford this type of lifestyle. As I predicted I felt like a Midwestern bumpkin compared to the glamour that surrounded me over the past 5 days.
My flight home was uneventful. I got by with “mother’s little helper” and wine of course. Cathy asked if I wanted to try and get through the flight without the ativan. I said no. I have nothing to prove. I went to Florida and that is all that matters not the crutch I used to get there.
The view directly below our balcony.