Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shoobie for a Week

This past week family was visiting and I got to be a tourist in the city that I live in. From my knowledge of Rocket Power, tourist = shoobie. Sure I'm about 15 minutes away from anything and everything (the beach, Hard Rock, Sawgrass, Indians, etc.), but I never really got to treasure what some people may call paradise. I think for the first time in my 13 years of living here I actually enjoyed Florida. It seemed a bit absurd to take pictures next to things that I see on a regular basis, but someday I'll be able to appreciate these photos.

On Sunday we went to the beach. Fort Lauderdale beach isn't one of my favorite beaches at all, but we chose to go there because of the amenities and shaded areas. Early on, I went on a bit of a lactose overload and decided that I could eat cheese dip. Bad idea. I didn't feel well for most of the time we were there, but soaking in the sun and experiencing the tropical breeze made me feel better. We took a little walk to 7-Eleven since the hot dogs weren't packed, and no trip to 7-Eleven is complete without a slurpee. Actually, the only time I think I've gone to 7-Eleven without getting a slurpee was when we were in New Jersey earlier this year and it was snowing. After coming back from the slurpee superstore, I still wasn't feeling well enough to go in the water so I just sat at the shore and let the waves touch my toes while I watched the boats and parasailers in the distance.

On Tuesday we went to Sawgrass and did the normal shopping thing. For dinner we went to Rainforest Cafe, where I haven't been in ages...I think I was 8 or 9 the last time we were there. When at the mall we usually just walk around Rainforest because there are usually a bunch of tourists taking pictures everywhere, throwing pennies at the fake alligator in the little pond, observing the purple elephant reservation stand, or just crowding the store/playground in general...this time we did all of that. As soon as we were seated, which happened to be right next to the gorillas, a "thunderstorm" began. I forgot how real it all seemed. The rain and thunder sounded real, the lights flickered accordingly in perfect timing, and the animals all reacted. I'm sure my younger cousins enjoyed it more than I did though.

Wednesday we went to the Seminole Paradise (Hollywood Hard Rock) to visit the Okalee Village and Museum. It was horrible. Besides the fact that it was raining, the museum was tiny, so we didn't bother going. The outdoor portion could've been explored in about 10 minutes, but we stretched it out. There were alligators, bears, panthers, birds, skunks, raccoons and all those other animals that they showcase at Florida touristy places. The only plus of that trip was that there was a Wetzel Pretzel and they have the most delicious pizza pretzels and pomogranate lemonade.

more pictures with alligators

Thursday happened to be the most touristy of all. We went on the Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise, which took us around the Intercostal and New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The boats are docked near the Bahia Mar, right across the street from where we were beaching a few days previous. This was my 3rd time on the Jungle Queen, 2nd time during the day. I never had the opportunity to sit on the top deck, so I insisted that we sit up there. We arrived early so we got perfect seats at the front of the boat. I had seen all of this before, but it seemed so much cooler this time around. Regardless, we took pictures of all of the multimillion dollar homes of celebrities and other rich people, listened to the cheesy jokes, learned little tidbits about the area that were forced into memory during 4th grade, and kept hearing about Wayne Huizenga, the guy that apparently owns almost everything in South Florida. We passed by the museum, the prison, the downtown area, the las olas area, and lots of other big, expensive, important places.

The Museum of Science and Discovery + IMAX Theater

After a 45 minute ride we end up at a private island where there are animals, an alligator show, and touristy things to buy. During the night cruise there is an all-you-can-eat barbecue dinner with entertainment. I wasn't too interested in the alligator show since we'd seen alligators the day before and I saw a similar show before last year at Everglades Holiday Park when we went on an airboat ride.

There were iguanas and all types of birds (including peacocks) walking all over the place, but I enjoyed the monkeys most. For the first time ever I actually felt bad for caged animals since they all looked so sad and bored. After about 45 minutes on the island we returned the boat and set sail back to the other side of Fort Lauderdale. On the way back we took an alternate route and passed by Port Everglades to see the the Royal Caribbean [whatever] of the Seas docked. How I miss cruises... Shortly after the port we were back at the dock and it was all over.

just another cloudy day in Fort Lauderdale

On the flip side, yesterday we got a taste of Florida Snow...soot. There were terrible storms in the afternoon and I'm guessing lightening struck a tree out in the Everglades so there might've been a fire(there were no news reports; it might've just been small). We walked out of Walgreens only to see a hazy setting of low thick black clouds and smell smoke in the air. Little white ashes started flowing down, looking almost like snow. It was kind of scary and cool at the same time.

1 comment:

Bob Calder said...

Thank God for relatives.