Friday morning started off rather damp and earlier than expected. My broken faucet of a nose kept me up a little the night before, once I had stirred a little before 5am, that was all she wrote. I was not falling back asleep as I had to keep dabbing my nose with Kleenex and begin getting ready to leave.
I needed extra time because of the millions of thoughts in my mind had been leading up to this day. After getting around, I made sure I had all my stuff that I needed including many medications I was taking or might need. I was really neither here nor there as far as feeling better, but I made sure I brought something to kind of help me along until things did improve (which they did, more on that later).
The ride to the Metro station and airport was not really fun and I was not brimming with excitement. I was anxious. I was also doing a little bit of second guessing but kept telling myself that this would do me more good than sitting around the house or trying to work. I had a slightly upset stomach and minor headache from either the meds I was on or anxiety. When they called for boarding of the plane, I could not wait.
While boarding the flight, I received a message from my friend Andrew who lives in Florida. He joked a little about wanting to go on the cruise as well, but I thought there might be some seriousness as well. With my situation I thought it probably would be cool to have him as a roommate, I told him I’d let him know for sure once on the ground in Florida. Right now I needed to focus on doing exactly what my doctor had told me to do with my sinuses before I risked having them do bad things to me at 30K feet. I had been seated in my favorite JetBlue row 1 seat A. For the longest time, I had nobody next to me and it was beginning to look like I could have a nice open row. At the last-minute though, a Filipino girl named March sat down next to me. After taking off, I struck up conversation with March. We talked a good bit about flight crews, tropical islands, food from our travels, and music festivals. My idea of sleeping the entire flight was swept aside as much of the flight I had good conversation with March. It was nice to have somebody sit next to me who wasn’t a bore, a screaming kid, or somebody who was uninteresting.
Upon landing in Ft. Lauderdale, we were greeted with nice warm air when the cabin door was opened. I was one of the first off the plane. I wished March a good time in Florida and headed over to the bag claim, where a surprisingly short time later I had my suitcase in hand. I made a few calls before getting a cab to take me to my hotel.
After a relatively short cab ride, I arrived at the Ft. Lauderdale Marina and cruise-port Hilton. I was a pretty nice place with a very large lobby. I had booked a cheaper non-balcony room in the main building overlooking Port Everglades (the cruise-ports of Ft. Lauderdale). My room was very nice with a very comfortable king bed, large TV, and comfortable desk. The bathroom was even better with an extra-large shower that had both hand and ceiling rain-nozzles. At the age of 33, this was the best shower I’d ever experienced. The only thing awkward was the shower curtain didn’t really keep the water from exiting the stall. I had to use one of the large towels as a mat because of all the water that would get out. After a nice shower, I laid in bed for a short while to let my anxious mind relax a little more. I wanted to explore and see some of the ships leave Port Everglades. I wanted to see what some local friends were up to and see if they were interested in hanging out. I also contacted Andrew and my travel agent, telling both it was okay to add him to my cabin. I felt better off with a roommate given some of my health issues and he seemed like he needed some time off as well.
After a short while, I made my way around the hotel property. It was actually pretty large. Out back were several loungers, a nice large pool and another row of villas. There was also a bar that backed a part of the marina. Several pretty large boats were parked around it. I left the hotel and walked around the area out front for a little ways. I walked up to the draw bridge to watch some of the ships leave. Being Friday, there were not many ships in port that day. A Holland America ship and Celebrity Equinox. After watching them leave, I called my local friends about hanging out and told them I’d try to get a nap in before trying to hang out. They were pretty-much only available later in the evening though so we had to play it by ear.
Having made contact with them, I found a nice large hammock in the courtyard behind the Hilton. It was mostly sunny out and it felt good to feel the warmth. However it was pretty blustery and it seemed like rain was on the way in
After a while of trying to catch some Zs and rays on the hammock, I headed inside to try to do the same. Even with the comfortable bed though, sleep wouldn’t really come as I had a headache and was constantly dabbing my nose with Kleenex. Giving up on sleep, I found myself hungry and went to the hotel’s main restaurant, Nanking. It was another one of Florida’s seemingly popular “Asian Fusion” restaurants. The food and view were both really good. I ordered some pot-stickers and Pad Thai. Both were great. The prices were a little high, but that was to be expected. Outside the window I saw a couple of dolphins in the marina maneuvering around some personal water crafts. Rain had come but only for a short while and it was not very heavy. I sent my friends a message that I would not be joining them and taking it easy that night. After dinner, I walked around a little more. I noticed that there seemed to be an automotive auction house across the street and looked over some of the cool cars on the other side of the fence. I was finally starting to get pretty tired so at 9:30, 10-ish I turned in for the night. I had a long day tomorrow.