Can you believe it? We are on our last day of the trip!
Our plan on this last day was to grab a rental car from the Fort Lauderdale cruise terminal then a quick road trip up to the Palm Beach Airport; making a stop in Delray to check out the pinball museum then grab some food before our flight back home.
Making our way off the cruise ship was very much like our first cruise experience. Two nights before, in our room mail, we were given disembarking information along with all the luggage tags. All checked bags were to be tagged and left out of the room door for pick up by 10PM the night before. These bags are first off the ship at the terminal then grouped together by number for pick up. They assigned us a number, 34, which correlated with a time to walk off the boat. Our time was 8:30AM.
We made our way to breakfast pretty early at the Oceanview Cafe. We grabbed a hefty breakfast, because we knew the day would be busy ahead of us. Throughout our meal we heard the luggage tag numbers being called out one-by-one, every twenty minutes or so, over the PA system. After breakfast, we swung by to grab one last coffee from the cafe. They were so good we had contemplated staying behind to have ..just one more. 🙂
While we were waiting on our coffees, we heard our names being called out! Not over the PA, but from a woman. It was Rosaria, our new friend from Australia! She immediately hugged me, crying as she hugged my girls. She was telling me how she was hoping to catch us before disembarking. She took us by the hand over to the dining room where her husband was waiting. There were a lot of people in the dining room. These were the guests who would be leaving with an excursion to get off the ship. Rosaria and Ferdinando were moving onto their next leg of their trip. They had a big few weeks ahead of them to go from Florida, NYC and off to Canada.
We said our goodbyes and snapped a few pictures together so she could share them back home with her family. We exchanged information, too, so we could email and visit in the future. Did I mention that she invited us to her farm whenever we visit Australia? They live about 7 hours from Sydney, which is far, but she said no matter how far away we are on their continent they would make the trip to see us. Which is more than anyone in my own family has ever said to me!! Seriously. What nice people!
Getting off the ship was super easy. Our number was called right around the 8:30AM timeframe. We grabbed our bags and went through border control without a snag inside the terminal. From the exterior of the terminal, we hopped onto the rental car shuttle, to grab our car.
Off to Miami?
My husband tells me as we were driving out of the rental company’s driveway how he wanted to take us on a drive through Miami. Which was awesome to hear! I have always wanted to check out Miami, especially Little Havana.
Along the ride, the clouds started to gather and cover the sunshine we enjoyed from Ft Lauderdale. We drove through Belle Isle over to Miami, lots of large beautiful buildings, one of which is Trump’s. I gave it the finger. But all you see is buildings, not much ocean front views. The grayness in the sky worsened as we drove through to Miami.
My husband then tells me he wants to check out a specific neighborhood in the area. I figured for architecture or something artsy, as he is an artist. As he is driving over to that neighborhood the rain begins to fall, and it falls so heavily right out of the gate. Just as bad as it was in Nassau, the day before. People are running everywhere to get out of the rain, these are apparently tourists, because a lot of people walked around like nothing was happening, getting soaked. We make our way down a street. I get this weird feeling I had been there before. I mean, I have never been in Miami, so I am not sure why I know this place. My husband asks me if anything looks familiar, which is weird. The buildings look familiar, the way the water follows along the houses looks like I had it somewhere. Then my husband comes to the end of the street where the water is passing by. All of a sudden I jump out of my seat screaming, “DEXTER!!!”. JUST AS HE PLAYS THE THEME MUSIC!! haha! He brought me to Dexter’s house from the show!! It looks like it does in the show exactly, and I couldn’t believe he took me all the way there to see it!
That is love, folks, that is love.
From Dexter’s apartment, we made our way towards Little Havana. Now, I wasn’t expecting all the people out this early (in the rain). We were driving through pretty early for a Saturday, around 10:30AM. We drove down Calle Ocho to find the street a THUMPIN’! Literally, the car was shaking from the bass playing out of every restaurant, and some were having live bands! Am I old for thinking that is early for beach life fun, or just not used to that kind of life on the beach?
Either way it was crazy awesome!
The rain started to let up as we made our way to grab a coffee and start our ride to Delray.
Silverball Museum Delray, Florida
Delray is beautiful. My gosh. We drove through the center of town, weaving down a few streets to check out the atmosphere. It was the perfect town. We had planned a fun afternoon for the girls…and uhm, us, to play pinball machines and some vintage games at the Silverball Museum. We bought tickets before we left for this trip, and the girls knew, they actually couldn’t wait to go the second we got off the ship.
This place was AWESOME! It was wall to wall vintage pinball machines from every era. Then there were other games peppered around like Skee Ball, table hockey, Pacman, Donkey Kong, shooting gallery games, table bowling, and just so many more things. They even had my favorite pinball machine, Monster Mash! YEEE – I played it almost the entire time. I need to own that machine!!
There was also a bar area set up on the side. We had a good laugh when we walked in because it was costume day at the bar. We walked in and my husband turned to me asking, “Want to sit next to Uncle Rico?”. Someone was dressed like Napoleon Dynamite’s uncle!! TOTALLY AWESOME!! There were many more costumes, which were clever, but his was the best because he looked just like him!
We played around Silverball for a little over two hours, then made our way to Palm Beach to grab some food! We were all starving!
Keeping with the vintage feel of Silverball’s Museum, we found Howley’s (all researched before our trip). Howley’s is a revived vintage diner, and it is not too far from the airport where we were headed next.
Super cute place with its original slogan from the 50’s, “Cooked in sight… Must be right” plastered all around the place. This diner is known for its TV dinners, and their sandwiches, so we were looking forward to trying them all. The place is super unassuming, so you just can’t tell what you will get.. till you go inside and the house is packed! We opted to sit outside. Well, I opted, knowing we were on our way back up to Boston, where we heard it was chilly, made me force my family to stay in the heat a few more hours. I HEART THE HEAT!!
So.. we were the only people who sat outside. haha I was fine with that.
We ordered some fun things to try. Our oldest daughter ordered the shrimp TV dinner. Our youngest ordered a cheeseburger with fries. My husband ordered the brisket burrito topped with an egg, and I ordered a BLT with onion rings. The food was all fresh and was pretty fantastic.
We spent a good amount of time here eating, talking and bracing our minds for the trip back home. Since we had a little bit of time between having to return the car and our flight, we decided to go on a drive to check out the area. So we drove around Palm Beach, which is also where my parents have a condo. I have never talked about that before on here. My parents have owned a house in West Palm Beach for a decade or more now; they are actually heading down to their house in a few days for a getaway. I have never been, but always say I will go. Just one of those things, I never think to go to Florida much.
Anywho. We took a mini tour of the area. Driving down Ocean Boulevard to check out all the ginormous villas and mansions. Which are just jaw dropping. Perfect hedges and manicured trees. We even drove by Trump’s Mar-a-lago, which faced away from the side we drive down I gave it the finger, but it was beautiful!
Now that we felt poor after driving around this city, we made our way to the airport to drop off the car to get to our boarding gate by 7:30PM. We could see the sunset from the airport terminal windows when we arrived. It felt like a colorful farewell before boarding the airplane, just for us. Our vacation was officially coming to an end. Which made us all frown; this vacation was one for the books! We relaxed. We laughed a lot. We swam with turtles and saw so many animals. We discovered new places, that we hope to visit again. We enjoyed every moment together, as a family. As a couple. We met, thankfully, a lot of wonderful people along the way. It was a great vacation.
But, we were also looking forward to going home.
We always miss home.
xoxo. Till next time, world! 🙂