I hope you all had a very merry Christmas. I am traveling again. Today I had a nonstop flight from Indianapolis to Fort Lauderdale. Below is a picture of my plane arriving at Indianapolis.
It was a two and a half hour flight to Fort Lauderdale. It was a nice smooth flight. It is 80 degrees here in southern Florida, but very gloomy today. I picked up my rental car and drove to downtown Miami. I am staying at the Intercontinental Hotel right here on the waterfront in downtown Miami. At midnight a giant orange climbed the side of my hotel and when it reached the top it was 2015. In the picture below it was 5 minutes before midnight. That's a countdown clock on the building to the right.
Below is a close-up of the orange at midnight.
There were fireworks over the bay at midnight.
I am going to spend two more nights here before boarding my cruise ship for a two week Caribbean cruise. I will write more later.
I left the car in the garage today and spent the day around the bay. I woke up late and headed out around noon. My hotel is adjacent to Bayfront Park. Below is a picture of my hotel and the downtown area from Bayfront Park.
On the other side of Bayfront Park is Bayside Marketplace, a mall and entertainment complex. I had lunch at Five Guys Burgers here. After lunch I took a boat cruise. The picture below is from the boat as we left Bayside.
The weather forecast for today was for mostly sunny skies, but as you can see in the pictures above and below that's not exactly what we got. It was nice and warm though, 80 degrees.
We had a brief shower between the picture above and below. I got a little wet on the boat. Below we are sailing around Miami Beach. A lot of expensive yachts parked here. The first one parked all the way to the left belongs to the owner of the Miami Heat.
We sailed past a lot of millionaire homes. The home below belongs to Puff Daddy or whatever name he is going by these days.
The huge estate below belongs to a pharmaceutical tycoon.
And the picture below was Elizabeth Taylor's modest little shanty.
We sailed back toward downtown Miami next. Below is the Miami skyline from a distance.
We sailed around my hotel, the Intercontinental when we got back to town.
Below is just to the left of the picture above and shows the beginning of the Miami River.
This was the end of the boat cruise. We docked back at Marketplace next.
After leaving Marketplace I went back to the hotel for an hour or so and then went back this evening. The place was packed tonight. You could barley walk through the place. I stopped and watched the band at the amphitheater for a while.
Then I had dinner at Chili's and headed back to the hotel for the night.
Very warm and humid in Miami today. The sun even shined for most of the day. Below is a picture of downtown Miami from my hotel room. Below and to the right is Bayside where I spent most of yesterday. That's American Airlines Arena where the Heat play near the center of the photo.
Late this morning I drove down to Vizcaya. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, is the former villa and estate of businessman James Deering, of the Deering McCormick-International Harvester fortune, on Biscayne Bay. In the picture below you can see one of the local residents watching over the mansion.
Below is another picture from the other side without the lizard.
It got kind of warm walking through the beautiful gardens. I know you all must feel very sorry for me that I had to endure these warm temperatures.
I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside the mansion so I can't show you any pictures from that. I had lunch at the Vizcaya cafe before leaving. I had more things planned for this afternoon but after walking around the grounds here my feet weren't up to it so I headed back to the hotel. I watched a movie on pay-per-view that I had been wanting to see. It only cost three times as much as it would have in a theater. How reasonable.
I will be boarding the Ruby Princess tomorrow and spending the rest of my trip on the high seas. We sail away tomorrow afternoon at 4:00. More to come,
It wasn't a very exciting day today. The only thing I did was board my cruise ship, the Ruby Princess. I returned my rental car to the Fort Lauderdale Airport and then walked downstairs to baggage claim and caught a ride to the pier with the Princess people. They said things were backed up at the pier so we waited around the airport for nearly two hours before we left. I finally got on board the ship at about 2:00. Then at 4:00 we sailed away. Below is a picture of the cruise port from my balcony shortly before we sailed away.
Sailing away directly in front of us was the Caribbean Princess. I have a reservation to sail on her this coming October in New England and Canada.
Our first port is tomorrow in the Bahamas. The picture below is us approaching the breakwater before heading out to sea.
Below is the itinerary for this 14-day cruise.
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