Vacation Diary-Day 1- Fort Lauderdale

Hey everyone!!  Happiest of Thursdays to you!

I still cannot believe we’re back home. It has been an amazing twelve days out of reality, and I am still feeling good from it ..though once in awhile I feel a bit of the boat swaying though I am on land. Hah.

Our vacation…

We started off our vacation with a quick overnight in Fort Lauderdale, where we were to meet up with our Aussie friends locally. We got to Ft Lauderdale at around 4PM; we booked The Reef hotel, which was a block away from the main strip/beach.

Fort Lauderdale was interesting.  Lots of strip malls driving to the beach area. The actual beach/strip was huge. Lots of shopping and tons of restaurants AND masses of people.  Lots of whom loved plastic surgery…holy hard looking chemical balls (most not even that attractive imo).  But anyway, It was a balmy 80 degrees, palm trees, lots of beautiful people, beautiful ocean and open skies. So lovely. I was, however, surprised at how small the actual sand footage the beach had, it was quite small compared to our beaches.

But it was unique, and oh so Florida!  Woo, I liked it a lot.

We quickly checked into our cute little hotel, which was real clean and had a humongous room with kitchenette!, then ran to put our feet in the sand!  There wasn’t any vacation type feelz till we took off our sandals to feel the soft sand and warmth on our feet. We all breathed a sigh of relief, which felt amazingly good. (We earned a relaxing trip with all the insanity lately.)

We walked about five blocks along the sand, then rushed over to the restaurant where we were meeting our friends for dinner, Casablanca Cafe.  I was anticipating this meet up since we decided to join them on the cruise last year.  It was absolutely surreal. My family and I were having a drink bar side when they pulled up. I could see their shadows from their Uber, and I just ran over flailing my arms, with tears gleaming in my eyes. Finally!! After twelve years, I get to hang out with my friends and meet their children I have only seen growing up through FB!  We hugged and hugged and hugged and smiled and hugged.  

Absolutely gorgeous. What beautiful people inside and out.

We enjoyed our first meet up immensely. Our children attached themselves to one another quickly, and had a ball catching up on what they wrote through emails and playing games. Us adults had a great time saying ‘oh my God, I can’t believe it’s happening’ about sixty times while enjoying great conversation, wine, beer and awesome food.

Thumbs up to the Casablanca Cafe. They were able to pull together a table for nine through a busy Saturday night on their small (facing the ocean) outdoor seated patio that just held us privately. It was perfect. The food was just as perfect.  My husband and I rarely get the same dish, but we both went in for the lightly seared (raw) tuna steak and it was tdf.  If I ever get back to Ft Lauderdale, I will surely make another stop there.

After dinner we went to our hotels to get ready for the next day.. the cruise embarkment! WOOHOOO!!
As you can see, the kids got along super great from the initial meeting!! lol  


What a Trip!

Hey everyone!

Hope this is finding you well and warm!

I am writing from the plane, on our way home from a truly amazing trip. I can’t believe it is over, and that reality is back in full swing. This one hurt a tremendous amount to leave. The tears we all had, still feeling achey.  We had done so much in a short time and with some amazing people, that I am not sure where to begin or what to describe first. Really, it was just so immensely wonderful that my mind is still spinning.

First, I guess I would like to start with talking about who we vacationed with… My Aussie penpals, aka, my Southern Hemisphere besties. 😘  Now family.

Let me start from who and how we met.  Back in 1998, I made a super fun penpal from Australia, Patrick, during my stint working at The Museum of Science. I worked Tuedays thru Saturdays in the membership department back then, and during down times I would chat on this fun Italian speaking board to gain more writing ability, and well, I am a social hutterfly so also to passtime talking through boring moments at work. Sorry MOS!   Pat and I hit it off right away, along with another friend, Eric. Always full fun cultural discussions, music, food, life,  so after months, we exchanged info to become penpals through post. Then email, etc etc.  Pat visited Boston in 1999, with another buddy, so we had the opportunity to hang out and he got to meet my now husband and all my family and friends. It was wonderful. What a special guy. Then in 2004, he returned to visit, stayed with me and my husband in our apartment in Medford, but this time he brought along his new bride, Mel. It was a fantastic week getting to know these two very special people showing them all of Boston.

We had always had a ton of fun keeping in touch on email, exchanging packages, or phone calls, but with Facebook it made it easier. Fast forward twelve years, we all have children. Us with the two girls and them with two girls and a boy.

Time sure does fly.

Last year, they called us to say that for my pal’s fortieth birthday they would be taking a tour of the states. They wanted to come up to Boston, but March is weather wacky in our area during the start of Spring, so they told us they were also thinking of taking a cruise out of FL during the trip if we would want to come with.


We have wanted to take a cruise a year before, but work timing and weather got in our way, so we jumped at the chance to go. We researched a slew of cruises last year, so we were ready to make the jump to make these plans with them. We had never been on a cruise ship before, so we were all excited and nervous.

Ok, we are about to descend now so before the wifi is gone, I will stop here.  Next time I write I will share more anout the actual trip and what we thought of it all.




UPDATED: Since the trip is all online, I thought to post the days here to access them easily…  enjoy!! xoxoxo

Day 1 – Fort Lauderdale

Day 2 – Embarking the Ship

Day 3 – Day at Sea (#1)

Day 4 – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Day 5 – Grand Cayman

Day 6 – Costa Maya- Mahahual Mexico

Day 7  – Cozumel, Mexico

Day 8 – Day at Sea (#2)

Day 9-12 –  Up to Orlando, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter