Saturday, April 23, 2011


We're back and sunburned in all the right places!

Finally, after 6 years of going pretty non-stop, I went on my first vacation. The last one was to Cancun in February 2005, so I nearly forgot how to be on vacation...I started to get confused about all the options for doing things, forgetting in the process that I'm not supposed to be stressing about that stuff!

Etienne and I settled on Fort Lauderdale for 5 days; short enough not to impact our vacation days at work (since one of the days was Good Friday, a statutory holiday for the Federal government, so we didn't have to take that day), but long enough to have more than just that "we've arrived and now we're leaving" feeling. Fort Lauderdale happened because it was cheap and easy to do in light of the timing. We'd actually decided on Costa Rica, but timing didn't work out in terms of deals and work schedules, and we didn't want to do it in a hurry or on the cheap...not for my first vacation in 6 years. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood and want a few tips...

The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort and Spa: I recommend it; it's reasonably priced, has great amenities, including a skywalk right to the beach, and a company on hand to rent chairs and umbrellas, and on the oceanfront side...the view is glorious. The staff is hit or miss, but who cares as long as you get what you want or need.

Spazio: an Italian restaurant on the beach strip, this place has decent food, and a fairly decent wine selection, but our server was incredibly useless. We watched as other tables were waited on by more attentive staff, while I toiled in hunger and travel fatigue, waiting 20 minutes for just a daiquiri.

Coconuts: a seafood restaurant right on the water (it's not on the strip, but rather off of it on one of the canals), it had great service, great food (I had a half chicken, Etienne had...a whole lot of vegetarian-friendly foods thrown on to one plate), great simply lived up to its great reputation.

Casablanca Cafe: Another "seafood-based" restaurant, it's a favourite of the locals. The service was great, the food was great (I had a giant New York strip and a wicked chocolate mousse, he had a pasta dish), it's a good location, and just a cool vibe.

Via Luna: Another Italian restaurant, located in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on the strip, it's slightly more upscale, but the service was excellent and very accommodating. I had the spaghetti pomodoro with the best meatball I've ever had, and Etienne was prepared to order a risotto and scallops dish, until the waitstaff suggested he could take the mushroom risotto side dish and have it made into an entree. And because our waitress thought our order took so long (which I don't think it did), she gave us this sublime hazelnut-chocolate mousse cake on the house. I most highly recommend this restaurant if you're ever in Fort Lauderdale.

Other than all of the food finds, Etienne and I kept things fairly basic: a little shopping, some swimming in the ocean, and *lots* of sun. We went out and got hideously burned on our first full day there, but even now as I sit on my couch in my apartment, looking out over a gloomy, cold spring day in Ottawa, with the burn swelling going down, Etienne and I are turning a lovely shade of gold. Normally a ghostly (sometimes even greenish) pallor, we look healthy for a change!

We spent a lot of time discussing the travel situation, and we both agree that there are lots of places we want to go. Plans are discussed, and I hope that in the coming year, I have more exciting places to blog about!


At 7:12 PM, Blogger Zhu said...

Good for you! The weathers still sucks in Ottawa so you didn't miss much here ;-)

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Gail at Large said...

Travel, YAY!


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