Final Hours in Fort Lauderdale

My  Mexico cruise/ Fort Lauderdale adventure is winding down. I have one last thing to squeeze in and that is a visit to family.

I met my cousin at Lester’s Diner in Fort Lauderdale where we enjoyed a real good old-fashioned breakfast of pancakes and bacon. The diner is like a blast from the past, an authentic 50′s style restaurant and home to the infamous 14oz coffee cup. This signature landmark has been a family owned and operated business in South Florida for over 43 years.

My cousin told me she used to work there and met her husband there.  Another old-fashioned touch. She was a waitress, he was a trucker. Sounds like the basis for a romantic movie. 🙂

 My cousin is the outgoing one and she seemed to know everyone as we made out way to our booth.

After breakfast we headed to my aunt’s home which turned out to be literally around the corner from the Diner and after a short visit there we went on to the airport also  just “around the corner.”

That should have been the end of the story. Drop off rental car, get on plane , arrive home but it turned out it wasn’t quite that easy. I dropped off the rental and grabbed the shuttle to the terminal. I checked my bags curbside and headed into the security line. It was huge. As I stood there looking around I realized I didn’t have my coat! It was still in the rental car. I tried calling the lost and found but kept getting lost in the IVR prompts so back to the shuttle to reverse my previous trip.

At the Hertz counter they directed me to lost & found and there was my coat. Yay! Now back on the shuttle again  to the terminal and back on the line. It hadn’t moved much. I was in the same place as when I left. Slowly , very slowly the line began to creep forward.

In the Fort Lauderdale airport the security is on a slightly lower level from the check in counters. As the line crept forward I eventually reach a point where there was a ramp that led down to the TSA agent and security scanners. I wish the TSA had allowed pictures because at that point I could look out over all the travelers and it was a wall to wall sea of people all jostling and pushing for position! It was an amazing sight and I had lots of time to watch as I waited for my line to move forward again.

Once at the scanners the routine was the same…shoes off, lap top out of the luggage, walk through scanner, retrieve, put shoes back on and find the gate. Whew! from the time I got back on line the 2nd time until I made it to my gate it was over 1 hour! So glad I went early. My cousin had suggested I chat a little longer saying I’d be through security in 10 minutes.  Maybe if I was on an early flight but  apparently not if you are flying mid-day!

The rest of my flights were uneventful. I offered to be “bumped” in exchange for a $400 voucher but I would have to fly out the next day, not just a later flight on the same day so I passed it up.

My flight finally landed around 8:30 pm amid snow and sleet. The parking valet had my car warmed up and cleaned off when I got off the shuttle. The drive home was not too bad in spite of the weather and there they were. 2 little furry faces meeting me at the door.

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I love travel but I love coming home too.

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