Last year, Christmas awarded us three mid-week days off, so by taking a couple of vacation days we managed to get a long enough vacation to seek sunshine a little further afield. Our choice was Florida and more specifically Fort Lauderdale. We had booked a flight for the 24th as this was clearly cheaper than e.g. the 23rd. As we had a super-early morning flight to Munich and further to Miami, we decide to splurge on a hotel night near the airport on the 23rd. We booked a room at Scandic Helsinki Airport. We checked in at the hotel in the early evening and had dinner at the hotel restaurant. The food was good and once our stomachs were full, we did a test walk to the check-in area to see how much time we would need in the morning (the walk took around ten minutes). The following morning, we had an early breakfast at the hotel (they start serving breakfast at 3:30 am, which is really convenient for early flights) and then proceeded to the airport. We will definitely stay at this or some other airport hotel again next time we have a super-early long-haul flight.
We arrived in Miami around 5 pm, collected our luggage and picked up our rental car. Before heading to our house in Wilton Manors that we rented through Airbnb we stopped by a grocery store to get some food and other essentials for our stay. We eventually arrived at the house after 8 pm due to some difficulties with finding an open ramp to the interstate (the navigator kept telling us to head to the same closed ramp several times), as well as in finding the house as the navigator refused to recognize the address. Once at the house, we got settled in, unpacked, familiarized ourselves with the house rules, took a shower and had a bit of a bite before hitting the sheets.
We had decided to spend the following day lounging at the house as it was Christmas Day and we assumed most places would be closed. We started the day with a hearty breakfast and then took a walk around the neighborhood to see where we had landed. It was a residential neighborhood that seemed calm and quiet. Back at the house, we jumped in the car and drove to downtown Fort Lauderdale to have a look around. We drove around for maybe an hour and then headed back to the house for some R&R. We spent the day reading, watching TV, making plans for the week, cooking dinner and enjoying the sunshine in the backyard. We had purchased tickets online for an airboat tour in the Everglades and that’s were we headed the next day, but more on that in my next blogpost.