Every time I travel, especially cruising, new adventures await. Thankfully there is a never ending supply of these experiences. The purpose of this trip was to attend the 3 day Travel Weekly Cruise World 2011 conference and expo prior to going on the Cruise Holidays annual convention cruise. One airfare, two important events for my business.
The current opportunities started with a red eye flight to Ft. Lauderdale. There is something that’s just not a good experience in flying (material for a future blog). We knew that we would be in way too early to check-in at the condo but why else were we going to do at 6:30 in the morning. On the map, Pompono Beach looked real close to Ft. Lauderdale so we got a cab and headed to the condo to see if we could chek-in early. I had scheduled a couple of seminars for that morning thinking that the convention center was relatively close to the condo.
Well, after a $50+ cab ride from the airport it quickly became apparent that I needed to go to plan B. I would have to make the trip back to Ft. Lauderdale convention center which is very close to the airport five or six times over the next our days. I’m not cheap but on the other hand I’m not stupid either. A car rental did not make too much seen either so what should I do. I guess I could just not attend the conference I had paid to attend and hang out at the pool and beach at the condo. That’s not what I cme to do.
This is where the first real adventure of this trip starts. In talking to the staff at the condo and a real friendly waitress at the restaurant across the street from the condo, they both suggested that I take the bus. Take the BUS. I haven’t been on public transportation buses in over twenty years, plus I had no idea what I was doing, where I was going, how to even approach it.
OK, it made some sense. What the heck, I’d try it. I was up for the adventure. Even if I got on the bus and thought it was taking a long time or gone a long distance I could always get off, cross the street, get on another bus and return to the condo.
I went on-line, downloaded the route map and figured out I needed just two buses to get to and from the convention center. I waited at the bus stop across the street from the condo and it finally arrived. $ 1.75 and on my way. At the stop to transfer I asked if you could get a transfer and was told no, (I remember that you could do that in the good old days at home), each bus was $ 1.75. OK, still cheaper than a cab ride. I got talking to another passenger and he said I could uy a day pass good for any bus ride within that day for only $ 4.00. Good to know for the next two or three days.
The experience was actually pleasant. It was almost like being on an excursion bus ride, getting to see the Ft. Lauderdale area. The buses went straight down highway A1A which went by the dozens and dozens of condos along the beach. At one point there is nothing but part of the 23 mile long Ft. Lauderdale Beach between the road and the ocean.
Unfortunately the buses do not adhere to the published schedules so at the origin and the transfer points there was a lot of waiting. I would say that the waiting time was longer than the actual ride time. On my return, the transfer point is right along this stretch of beach. The waiting was acceptable, sitting with a balmy breeze, waves laping onto the sand, the smell of ocean, and beach goers in various stages of scanty attire. Not a bad ending to a busy day.
By day two I will be an old pro at this. Am I ready o forsake my truck for public transportation when I return home. Heck NO, but still an interesting first adventure non-the-less.
Bon Voyage until tomorrow.