Tuesday, August 12

Florida pt. 1

Somewhere above Fort Lauderdale.

Currently sitting in the sweet ass lounge of our hostel in Miami Beach with a nice view of Ocean Drive opening out in front of us. I'll save that 'till next time though.... :D The first part of our Florida trip is now over, after two full days in Fort Lauderdale.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, which is where our hotel was.

We stayed at a cheap hotel called Avalon Waterfront Inns, which I can definitely recommend to anyone traveling in Florida on a budget. The location was perfect, nestled between Hiltons and Westins and the Ritz, a tiny little turquoise house right on the beach. We only paid $200 for three nights for two people for our own room. Maybe not a 5 star experience, but we knew that going in. The staff was excellent, so helpful and nice. They had great recommendations for getting around and where to eat :)

The corridor of our hotel, our room was at the very end. 
You can kind of almost see the ocean peaking out form in between the palm trees.

American food.... No doubt something I've been excited about, but at the same time a little worried about spending 5 months in the land of deep fried everything. Am I completely deceiving myself by saying that I'll try and eat healthy at college? And that I can splurge on whatever I want while on vacation? Probably. I'd checked out a bunch of restaurants to try out online ahead of time, which is how on our second day we ended up walking an hour in scorching heat for breakfast at the Floridian, which happens to be Rachael Ray's favorite 24-hour diner. We wised up in the evening and took a cab to Rocco's Tacos across the street from the Floridian. I like to think that I make good guacamole, but the guacamole they prepared right in front of our eyes showed me that I still have miles to go... Maybe one day! Our first breakfast, however, was at the Deck, just down the road from our hotel, recommended by the front desk. :)

Breakfast at the Deck, breakfast at the Floridian, guacamole at Rocco's Tacos.

The Floridian, how cute?!

On our first full day in Fort Lauderdale we caught a shuttle from our hotel to Sawgrass Mills Mall, the 7th largest mall in the States ;) I'm pretty proud that even after five and a half hours of walking around I only bought a pair of Nikes and a hat on top of the essentials I didn't bring with me from Finland (hair straighteners, shampoo, towel, etc.)

My super cute ice cream colored Nikes. You'll catch a glimpse of the hat later!

A good deal of the second day was spent walking to Las Olas for breakfast, after which we got the Sun Trolley back and went to the beach. There was an amazing thunder storm the night before, and they were predicting another one yesterday afternoon which is why we just wanted to stop by for a quick dip. There was actually no storm though, and we ended up spending a couple of hours swimming in water that you could almost call hot, and lying on the beach reading. I ended up burning my shoulders and nose. Not a very good look... Thank god for aloe vera.

1st row: Las Olas boulevard and an abundance of American flags, and some of the nice boats and houses we saw while walking down.
2nd row: How I spent a good deal of time on the beach (finally almost finished with 1Q84!), and sea turtle nesting areas on the beach. 
3rd row: Beach, and more beach, and some Joel.
4th row: The worst ideas of our lives. Mega cocktails, I was SO FULL after one of those, like I wanted to never eat again.

Now back to the beach!