Fort Lauderdale : Did we almost get shot?!

Fort Lauderdale had yet another wide sandy beach, and several canals running through the city.  We took a water tour and had one of the funniest (and most surreal) experiences of our stay. The tour itself was fabulous – we sat back and cruised around Fort Lauderdale, seeing all the mansions, complete with yachts moored on the canals at the bottom of the garden. The tour guide explained which houses belonged to celebrities, or that a certain mansion belonged to a top lawyer, plastic surgeon, or owner of a chain of gyms etc. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour, however the main reason to remember it was the antics of the tour guide.

When we got onto the boat he didn’t charge us, so we sat down, assuming he’d take the money later on. He did that for everyone who joined the tour after us also. Then, half-way round the tour, he asked us who hadn’t yet bought a ticket. Everyone put their hands up and he seemed exasperated at us all for not having a ticket?! If you want people to buy a ticket… SELL THEM! His behaviour got more erratic, varying from being funny and buoyant to falling over and appearing stressed. We were giving each other funny looks. Eventually, he phoned his boss in front of us and QUIT HIS JOB!!! I thought this was highly entertaining at first – you can’t keep a straight face with this drama going on! But as he continued to talk to his boss (in front of us), I found out that he hadn’t been paid for a while and had been working since 7am that morning without a break. The poor guy 😦

Mansions and Yachts in Fort LauderdaleI confess that we didn’t really get into downtown Fort Lauderdale but instead stayed in the beach area. We enjoyed swimming and the sea was clear and warm, but I freaked out when I came face to face with a fish! The beach area was very busy and there was a police presence, including mounted police.   Fort Lauderdale is also a turtle nesting area, so the streetlights have black bags placed over them in turtle nesting season (which you can just see on the next photo). This is so that the turtles don’t follow the streetlights and end up being run over, poor babies, instead of following the moon to the ocean.

Police in Fort LauderdaleOne night we went for a walk near our hotel and ended up at a Burger King late at night. The restaurant was closed but the drive-through was open. Sadly they refused to serve us as we didn’t have a car. We mimed driving a car up to the serving hatch and made “Vroom vroom” noises but they said no. The only option was to walk back to the hotel and get the car and drive back … No chance!! My boyfriend asked the man if he would serve us if we were on horseback. The man wasn’t sure of the burger king policy on that. It was all in good humour – although if I was ravenous I would have been less than impressed! Close escape there, Burger King!!

Another thing that happened in Fort Lauderdale which was less funny was we were walking in the residential area behind the beach, when I realised that a red laser was being aimed at us. Obv my first though was “OMG, someone is aiming a sniper’s rifle at us”. I thought we had 2 choices – turn and run, or keep walking. I thought if it really is a gun and we run, they’ll shoot us anyway, so probably the best thing to do is keep calm and carry on walking and pretend that they don’t phase us. This we did, and after a while the red dot was aimed at some other people. No-one was shot or anything! But it did scare me, and it scares me now to think about it, given that guns are legal in the USA. It was probably more likely to be an idiot with a toy laser trying to scare tourists, but there are some fruit loops out there and you never know…

Overall, we enjoyed our jaunt to Fort Lauderdale. One day I looked out the window of our hotel room and saw a small monkey in the tree outside! How many places can say that? 🙂 Next, we made the short drive back to Miami and returned our car in one piece (yay!), and then flew out!

Next blog: Las Vegas, Nevada!

Previous blog post: East Coast Florida

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