48 Hours in Fort Lauderdale
It was the the Friday before our 2nd anniversary weekend. We had absolutely nothing planned for the occasion. We talked about going to dinner, finding something to do in Dallas, the usual (boring) stuff. At the time my car was in the shop and Hillary was my personal chauffeur to and from work. As she dropped me off she made a casual comment like “where do you want to fly this evening?” I laughed, told her we couldn’t fly anywhere, kissed her goodbye and went off to work.
I could hardly focus at work. Her question just kept eating away at me….where could we fly that evening? Then it happened-the all too familiar search on Southwest Airlines for any affordable last minute flight deals. Sure enough, there were some! At this point in mid January, we were still in the planning stages of obtaining the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass (more about that soon!), so I knew it didn’t really make sense to pay for two tickets somewhere (even if they were cheap). If there’s one thing I have learned in my short 24 years, it is that if you always do what makes perfect sense, you set yourself up for a boring, monotonous routine.
We really didn’t care where we were going, we just knew we were not going to stay in 31 degree Dallas. A quick phone call to my sweet chauffeur wife started the frantic flight search. I considered New York, she was thinking more like beach…
Flights to Fort Lauderdale, Florida=booked.
I got off work at 5:00pm, ran home, packed some bags, and we headed to the airport. We made it through security around 7:00:pm and rushed to our gate to take off at 7:30pm. Wait for it….flight delayed! We finally took off around 9:30pm.
I feel like it is somewhat cliche to find the cheapest last minute flights and buy tickets, but I have never met anyone (besides us, twice so far) that has done it before. When we learned our flight was delayed, we asked a gate attendant what other flights still had available seats that were possibly leaving sooner than our delayed flight. She looked at us like we were absolutely out of our minds when we told her we were indifferent about location. (After thought-we had tank tops and swimsuits packed so it is probably best we didn’t end up in Minnesota or somewhere similar.)
Although research shows planning a trip and having time to look forward to it is really valuable in adding to your overall trip experience, I think that there is also something to be said about the rush and excitement of booking something last minute. We are not ones to plan out a big itinerary for our trips anyways, so outside of typically higher airfare, there isn’t a huge downside for us to book something last minute. If you have never booked a last minute trip, I encourage you to set a goal for yourself to take one this year. You will thank me later!
Sorry, I went off on a tangent there for a minute…
We made it to Fort Lauderdale around 1:30am, and to our hotel at 2:00am. We typically go to bed around 9:00pm (yes, we are in our 20s and go to bed before your grandparents) so this was an extremely late night for us.
After sleeping in we took an Uber down to the area in which we would spend Saturday and Sunday night. Our hotel was right off of A1A and across the street from Fort Lauderdale beach. With huge windows looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, the room could not have been any more perfect!
We spent most of the day Saturday exploring the beach and ate some pretty amazing food at Primanti Bros. We explored the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park where we saw this amazing banyan tree, along with the brightest iguana and some swampy waters. For dinner we headed to the Las Olas area where we enjoyed the nice cool weather and some even more amazing nachos. This type of area is not our normal type of stomping grounds (mainly because we aren’t fancy people). However-the walk along the streets was beautiful with all of the extravagant homes, tiny channels lined with yachts, and the sound of joyful live music on each corner.
Sunday involved plans to walk about 5 miles to this pier we could barely see off in the distance. A thunderstorm, a headache, and a long hour later, we found this:
(I wasn’t really this mad-we actually had a great laugh…and then quickly decided we deserved donuts, coffee, and fudge at the little shops nearby.) $5.34 later, we had Ubered our tired legs (and full bellies) home. We had Primanti Bros for the second time in 24 hours-we like our pizza.
Monday morning came too quickly and we began the trek back to Dallas, back to a 29 degree morning, and back to home base (for now). We cannot believe how refreshing it was to challenge the norm and travel on a whim. We’re thankful to have each other and our curious personalities 🙂
Keep it kinetic,
Greg and Hillary