I’m probably going to break this up into 3-4 posts so that the pictures don’t bog down your computer/tablet/phone/whatever. Also, the saga of actually getting to the airport will basically take up this entire post; no pictures yet just a pile of word vomit.
Like I mentioned in my last post, we just got back from vacation not long ago. Originally, we wanted to go to Iceland but our vacation budget was limited this year so we decided to go on a Caribbean cruise instead and I am so glad we did! A lot of people have asked me what my favorite thing that we did on vacation was but we honestly didn’t really do much of anything which is why it was so wonderful. This is the busiest time of year for both of us at work so a solid week of relaxation was much needed.
We had our eyes glued to the weather a few days before we left because our flight to Fort Lauderdale was just a couple of days after Hurricane Matthew hit but it didn’t end up being an issue. Let me tell you, nothing makes you feel more like an entitled first world brat than the possibility of a life-threatening hurricane interfering with your vacation.
We pretty much always fly out of Atlanta even though it’s a 2.5 hour drive to the airport because I’m super cheap when it comes to flying. Our flight was at 8pm so we left around 2:30 because I always like to get to the airport 2-3 hours early, especially in Atlanta. Normally it’s not a big deal, usually a little traffic when we drive through downtown or sometimes there’s an accident or road work to deal with but normally we still get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Do you see where this is going? Minus some initial traffic woes trying to get onto I-85, the drive started off fine. At some point after we crossed into Georgia we ran into some major traffic. I’m talking stand-still, what-the-eff-is-going-on-? traffic. I can’t even remember where we were but it was still quite a bit away from the airport and even though we left in plenty of time, we started to get a little concerned since the estimated stand-still time was around 45 minutes. Once we edged close to an exit, we got off the interstate because we realized we could detour around and get back on the interstate about 7 miles south of where we were. The detour went great until we got about 3 miles in and then we started craaaaaaaaaawling along. Turns out, we weren’t the only ones who decided to detour and the part of town we were in had traffic lights ever quarter of a mile which kept everything backed up; a lot of it due to 18-wheelers, my favorite! We finally managed to make our way back toward 85 but we caught a glimpse of traffic and it was still TERRIBLE. We think this was due to road work but we’re not 100% sure. So anyway, we decided to continue our detour about another 3-4 miles south and our GPS brought us around to the road that the Mall of Georgia is on which is always busy. This area also has a million +1 traffic lights so it took forever to get back to 85 again. And guess what? It was still backed up. As in, it took us 30 minutes to get from the beginning of the on-ramp to the actual interstate. At this point we had about 45 miles left and 90 minutes to get there, park, check our bags, go through security, and get to our gate. We finally broke through traffic north of Atlanta but ended up running into more downtown and put me at panic level 20. We probably parked at the airport right around 7 and basically ran through the parking lot and into the ticketing area, checked our bags, went through the short (thankfully) security line, and made it to our gate 7 minutes before they started boarding. It wasn’t the most relaxing way to start our vacation but luckily it was the only really stressful part.
ANYWAY. We flew into Fort Lauderdale Saturday night and took the hotel shuttle to the Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale/Plantation which we cannot say enough nice things about. The hotel was nice and clean and the staff was probably the friendliest hotel staff I’ve ever encountered (other than Desiree from Hotel 1000 in Seattle who is my favorite hotel employee ever in the history of hotel employees). They also had a complimentary hotel and cruise port shuttle which was awesome. We missed out on our chance to stop and grab dinner on the way to the airport so we walked the half mile over to Smokey Bones for a late meal and then headed back to the hotel and called it a night.
In my next post we’ll actually get to the part where we were on a boat! I can’t promise less words but I can promise more pictures which I know is what most people really care about.