June 03, 2006

A quick jaunt to Florida

Just got back tonight from a quick work-related trip to FL - flew into Ft. Lauderdale and drove a very short distance to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood (technically on the Seminole Reservation). Even though we were there on business, we had plenty of time to explore the casino, eat lunch at Hooter's, and take a dip in the very shallow pool (which is more like a lagoon with a water slide).

Thankfully I didn't drop too much money this time around - I was enjoying watching my coworker gamble while I held tightly onto my money. I did blow some cash playing some slots that ended up very boring (including Monopoly and Enchanted Unicorn, shockingly not a magical experience for me). Didn't get to try my luck at Hexbreaker which was the highlight of my Turning Stone casino experience, but that's OK.

The rooms at the Hard Rock are great, and there's music playing everywhere. When I checked into my room they had the stereo already pumping music, just waiting for me to arrive. Plus there's memorabilia everywhere, and a huge blown up photo of Stevie Nicks hanging over the front desk.

We had the latter portion of Friday night to ourselves so we went dancing at Pangaea, which mixed current hip hop and R&B with some throwback hits from the Monsta Jamz era. On our way back to our rooms we popped into Tequila Ranch, but once again I was in no shape to ride the mechanical bull. Yet another missed opportunity...

Somehow managed to get ourselves up this morning and go on a quest for Waffle House, which wasn't too far in neighboring town Dania and where I had the best soft-scrambled eggs with cheese I have ever had (besides in my own kitchen). And of course a waffle and a cup of famous coffee.

With a few hours to spare before our flight back to NYC we went in search of a mall, only to find that the Millenium Mall was definitely not from this millenium, and it was totally abandoned (I now wish I'd taken a picture). After also chasing down the dog races and a couple other malls which turned out to be strip malls, we drove to Miami for the Aventura Mall. Too bad we were too full to eat at the Cheesecake Factory there.

Took the necessary run through the local Target store (just on the other side of the Miami-Dade county border) and then drove through a brief, thunderous downpour on our way to the airport. My driving was stellar for the sake of my coworker, but I still made several illegal u-turns while getting lost. Serves me right for not getting the GPS this time.

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