Back home from Ft. Lauderdale.
The following are the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from our vacation....
1) The weather, overall, was much nicer than I anticipated. Highs in the upper 80's, with not a lot of humidity - well, at least not the kind of humidity that keeps you up at night here in Knoxville. The only bad spot was Friday when lightning storms rolled through and we had to scramble off the beach into the condo before we all became so much crispy bacon strips on the sand...
2) We were treated to a 6+ hour Fourth of July fireworks show, courtesy of the entire city of Ft. Lauderdale. I'll probably have photos to show later, but the balcony off our 8th floor, 3 bedroom condo wrapped all the way around from bedroom to living room to kitchen to other bedroom (the third being windowless). We were able to sit outside on the deck and watch fireworks go off all over town, from up to beach toward West Palm Beach to across the entire town, to down the beach toward Miami. The actual Ft. Lauderdale "official" fireworks were behind the condo, thus hidden from us, but we could see everything else.
It was a continuous 180-degree concert of light and sound, everywhere you looked there were fireworks going off somewhere, either nearby or in the distance. And it lasted from just before sundown to finally tapering off close to midnight. Even then you could see random bottle rockets and Roman Candles going off. Fantastic.
3) My brother got engaged! Congratulations, little guy :)
4) We got to take an airboat tour of the Everglades, and saw three alligators in the wild. Very, very cool. The boat just drifted up to the old gator and every once in a while the captain would throw a piece of wadded up vegitation at it, causing it to roll and thrash. Nicely thrilling. The boats were very loud, and we had to wear earplugs.
Which I later regretted throwing away while riding with kids back home to Knoxville...
5) I've found my new profession. I'm chucking website design and theatre, and I've decided to apply for the manager's job, or creative designer job, of one of these places. If they ever come to Knoxville or Pigeon Forge.
Wannado City in Ft. Lauderdale was amazing - just take a look at the website and browse at the geekiness of it all. If one of these had been around and nearby when I was a kid, you would've never gotten me out of it.
If they ever decide to franchise and open one in this area, I want to run it. I want to run the whole thing, from design, to HR, to corporate sponsorship opportunities to advertising. That's it, I'd retire a happy man.
6) No sunburn. For once. And a decent tan, to boot. Cool.
1) There we were - stationed at a park in Titusville, FL, right across the little bay from Cape Canaveral. We had a great viewing location, and could even see the Space Shuttle Discovery launching pad from our viewpoint. A number of menacing clouds had drifted about all afternoon, but about an hour before launch there was an official "no-go" unless weather conditions improved. They waited until only about T-10 minutes to launch to decide to scrub..
We were right there!!! *sigh*
Then we had over an hour of mega-post-UT-game-type traffic to get through in exiting the Cape area. I'm not kidding, it was bumper to bumper, stop and go getting out, so we finally started exploring by taking back roads around Titusville.
2) Didn't make it down to Key West like we'd hoped - the drive was just going to be too long, and bad weather was threatening the Keys. So our visit to the original Margaritaville didn't happen. Yeah, all together now, awwwwwwwwwwwww...
But buck up, little twooper... we did get to eat at one of these places in Ft. Lauderdale which is almost the same. So all was not lost.
3) Punked out in the Texas Hold-Em Tournament. Ah well. Good thing it wasn't for money...
1) I love my fellow man as much or more than a lot of people, but there is only so much of that obnoxious New Jersey/Bronx/Brooklyn attitude and that !*@^%^! accent that a man can take. The two only complement and feed on each other. The more obnoxious the Yankee, the more screechy the accent. Oh, my, I love you all, but please go back home and leave the South to the Southerners...
2) In a similar vein, it becomes all too clear that when you are in America, your primary language around others should be English. And if you are a clerk and other clerks are around you and the customer (me), don't speak together in Spanish while I'm standing there. It's too much like the Seinfeld episode with the Korean manicurists talking in Korean about Elaine. It's just unnerving - don't do it.
3) Speaking of Korea....oh, never mind.