We flew to Ft Lauderdale on Monday Oct 17th - it was warm but very overcast. The humidity didn't seem too bad. It was rainy when we headed out to dinner that first evening but not too bad. You can imagine our surprise when we watched the news that night and saw the coverage of the tornado that had hit in Ft Lauderdale. We didn't worry - its a big city...until Ed got online and discovered that the tornado had hit less than five miles away from the Hampton Inn we were staying at! I guess all in all about 20 homes were demolished. A few people were injured but thank Heavens there was no one killed. About the time we were trying to go to sleep I heard a low rumbling outside and jumped out of bed expecting to look out the window and see another tornado heading towards us and it was barely raining...it was a truck going down the street.
Since it was too rainy the next morning to go sightseeing or to the beach we decided to drive down through the Keys. It was a fascinating drive. It took us all day long but was definitely worth it.
This is one of the many bridges - we are heading up and over the bridge to another key. I had no idea there are that many different islands...some are big and some are teensy.
This is one of the teensy ones~
There were some gorgeous homes right on the ocean - I can imagine the cost of property anywhere along the keys. One thing we did NOT see were any beaches.
I heard that the keys got about 21 inches of rain Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. There was water standing everywhere we looked.
If you look closely you will see that 10:28 am that morning the temperature 78 degrees. By 2 o'clock that afternoon it was still looking like this (heavy heavy rains) and 84 degrees. Everytime we stopped the car to get out we expected it to be cold but it was soooo warm instead.
We Finally got to Key West about 3 1/2 hours later - found a cute little restaraunt and had some fantastic sandwiches. We walked down Duval Street to the end - Ed took a picture of me in front of marker showing the most farthest South point of the continental United States. Of course - that picture is on HIS camera. There was a little bitsy beach with actual sand there...but we figured they probably brought it in.
So then we walked back to the car and drove the last two blocks a different direction to the end of US Highway #1....note the green mile marker showing "0". We finally got back to the hotel about 8:30 that night ....long day!
Wednesday morning it was still rainy so we called Ed's brother Allen and got the phone for our niece and her family. Melissa and Beau moved to Naples Florida this last Spring. Looking at the map of Florida we realized that Naples is almost straight across the state from Florida. We talked to the Manager of our hotel and he said it would be a straight shot due West across the State. He said it was not a pretty drive and we just looked at each other and said - how many times have we driven across Utah or Idaho. We talked to Melissa and decided we would aim for about 5 pm. We had some time to kill before we headed to Naples and with the wet weather we wandered through a huge mall in Ft Lauderdale.
We drove the two hours due West across Alligator Alley (didn't see a single alligator the whole day!!) and had a fun visit with Melissa and her girls and Beau. Avenley and Paisley very quickly as another set of grandparents. They had a beautiful apartment and we were quite impressed with the areas of Naples that we drove through.
We took them out to dinner at Moe's which is very much like Cafe Rio only without the barbacoa pork ---but it was delicious anyway. We had a wonderful visit with all four of them and they seemed tickled that we would take the time to drive to Naples and see them.
After dinner we headed back to Ft Lauderdale and got back to to hotel about 9:15. Long fun day.
Thursday we checked out of the hotel and headed North to Palm Beach where we had reserved a cabin at a resort. It was sunny and in the mid seventies and it was hilarious to hear the complaints of all those around us concerning how cold it was!! To us it has been just perfect - not too hot, not too cold.
Thursday was quiet and Friday much more busy. Friday night I got to go to a 'gong temple' and have a sound wave relaxation therapy. It was relaxing and quite beautiful. I lay on a massage table with a huge gong on each side of me and the couple that did it created some gorgeous tones with the gongs. I could feel the stress roll out of my toes!! Quite interesting.
Saturday Kitty and Larry and Ken and Jane and Lee all showed up at the same resort. We knew they were coming. All of us are from Utah - and we are all going on the cruise together. We will all head back to Ft Lauderdale tomorrow - the cruise is on Tuesday. We haven't decided what we are going to go do or see tomorrow - it would be nice if we could find an LDS church to go to.
More to come....