Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America
I woke up at 07:15 this morning, showered, dressed, packed my bags, and checked out of the YMCA at 08:20. I then took the subway from Columbus Circle to 74th/Roosevelt. I exited the subway station and waited for the Q70 bus to LaGuadia Airport. While waiting for the bus I saw some parked FDNY trucks and watched a couple NYPD officers escort a handcuffed man to their squad car. After a short while, the Q70 Limited bus pulled up, I got on and paid the fare, and we then traveled to the airport. The bus reached LaGuadia Airport at 09:40. I entered inside, checked-in for my flight to Fort Lauderdale (via Charlotte, NC), passed through the intrusive Homeland Security check point (having to pass through an invasive body scanner – I miss my beloved Europa already), and entered in to the terminal. I then snacked on two donuts and drank a cappuccino for breakfast. Next, I passed the time by reading some. Finally, I boarded the aircraft (an Airbus A321) at 12:40 and the plane took off at 13:05.
The flight lasted about two hours and we landed at Charlotte Douglas International Airport at 15:00. I then had lunch at a Mexican restaurant; I drank a Samuel Adams Oktoberfest beer and munched on a plate of nachos with chicken, diced onions and tomatoes, and a queso sauce. After lunch I had a Frappuccino and bought the latest edition of the ‘New Yorker’ to read while I waited for my next flight. At 18:00, I boarded the plane (an Airbus A320) and we took off at 18:30. For the record, I hate flying on U.S.-based airlines and I especially hate flying domestically in the States; there’s very little leg room and everything costs extra; gone are the days of free perks such as beer and wine, as well as complimentary meals and snacks (which are actually tasty) – I miss the rest of the world already . . . well most of it, there are some countries that were awfully trying such as the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Egypt, and Morocco – that’s right, I’m shaming entire nations based on my limited experiences in them, but you know what, someone has to in the hopes that some internal examination and possibly even some positive changes will occur. If we don’t point out the faults in others, how will they ever better themselves?
The aircraft landed in Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale at 20:20. I disembarked the aircraft, grabbed my bags, grabbed a taxi, and rode it to the hotel I reserved a room with on Booking.com. I reached the hotel, paid the taxi driver, and then had to walk to another hotel (owned by the same management) several blocks away in order to check in and receive my key. With key in hand, I returned to my hotel, entered my room, dropped my bags off, and then went out on the town to buy some drinks. I walked to a nearby market and bought beer, wine, and PowerAde. I returned to my room, proceeded to relax and drink, and did not go to sleep until 03:00. The next few days would be no more than rest days for me.
Note: Walking around South Florida brings back a lot of old memories for me since this was my old stomping ground – – – the grassy lawns, tall palms, tropical plants decorating everyone’s land, 1950s ranch-style houses with a preference for tiled-roofing and warm colors, expensive sun-white condominiums, Spanish-language spoken everywhere, smells of sea breeze and irrigation water (pumped straight out of the underground aquifer), terrible drivers, expensive cars, Cuban food, gross materialism, and self-absorbed imbeciles. It’s exactly as I remember it.