26/9/16 – Bring on the pizza

Back to the more relaxed get-ups, since we didn’t have to check out till eleven. Slowly got ready and packed up before heading off to Fort Lauderdale. We’d gotten up and dressed a little late for breakfast, so we stopped off at a Taco Bell en route, as it was something I’d always wanted to try. Yet another disappointment, unfortunately. We all wanted a good nosey at the menu, since we’d never been there before, but we felt rushed because of the miserable cow behind the counter who clearly had no time of the day for tourists, as she was perfectly sweet to everyone else. Pretty sure that’s still racism. Stupid bitch.

I had a quesarito and a spicy potato taco from the savers menu. The quesarito was okay, but far too full of cheese sauce and got quite sickly. I had to pull all of the salad out of the potato taco and it wasn’t even a proper taco. It was just a tortilla shaped like one. I call bullshit. That is so not a taco, which is all I really wanted in the first place. Taco Bell experiment failed. Happily got back into the car to carry on and had a far more satisfying Red Bull.

Despite driving past where we’d already stayed in Miami, the drive up to Fort Lauderdale really didn’t feel that long. Only another hour or so from Taco Bell. We found our cute little apartment complex, Tropi Rock, which actually has its own pool for once. I most definitely favour pools over the sea. Something to do with the fact that I can actually get in the water at the pool, rather than just crisping up in the sun on the beach. We unpacked a bit, milled around a while and then headed out for a little wander around to see what’s about.

Apparently, not a lot. There was the beach, obviously, and it really was a beautiful beach. One thing you can’t flaw Florida on. It was also the first one we’d seen with protested turtle laying grounds. Lots of little triangles of sand were all roped off. We had a meander past some apartment complex and found that even above anywhere else we’d been to, Fort Lauderdale is absolutely lizard central. I even saw a huge one that was two feet long from head to tail. I thought it must have been an escaped pet as it was bright lime green and had a crest and a beard, but we saw more afterwards. Talk about exotic looking wildlife.

After the very hot walk that didn’t really enlighten us on much other than the lizard situation, we came back to the room for a longer while. I started reading my Kelley Armstrong book, showered (in the worst shower we’ve had so far) and downloaded a cool notes app for my phone that’s designed to look like a Death Note with the black pages and the same fonts and everything. Love it. That’ll do well for my writing notes. Got ready to then head back out in search of food. Mom had already researched it on her tablet, since there hadn’t seemed to really be anything around, so we were on the lookout for an Irish grill and bar called McShorley’s.

Unfortunately, this was another plan that didn’t quite work out. It had a truly lovely bar and atmosphere, but the barman Rob told us that they don’t serve food, although they’re happy for people to bring food in from the adjoining fast food places. Ah. We didn’t want to be rude and just walk out, so we all had a drink first. They actually had a few ciders – often quite a hard find in America – so I had a bottle of Magners. Mom had a pint of their draft cider, Woodchuck. It was actually really nice; so much so that I wished I hadn’t just gone for the one I was familiar with. Some guys then brought in a takeout pizza and sat at the bar with it, watching the American football. That just seemed like the best idea ever, but stingy Brits would never allow that back home.

We decided to follow their lead, so after we finished our drinks, we moved across the road to the pizza place, Primanti Brothers. I pretty much never fancy pizza as I’m not a pizza fan in the slightest, but the one the guys had got in the bar looked really good so for once, I was fancying. The smallest they did was a fourteen inch pizza – typical America – so I ordered one with sausage, ham, salami, onions and extra cheese. Oh my god. Best pizza I’ve ever had. Dad had two of the smaller slices since he’d only had a hot dog and I happily devoured the rest. Normally, I find pizza gets far too boring to eat that much in one sitting, but not this pizza. Serious hats off to the Primanti Brothers.

Since they hadn’t offered much in the way of alcohol, we went back to McShorley’s afterwards. I was delighted to have my own pint of Woodchuck this time. We moved into the side room, where they had a big fish tank, a pool table, darts, a few arcade games, checkers, giant Jenga and Connect 4, of all things. I played Dad at pool and almost beat him, but cocked up my last shot and ended up perfectly lining up the black ball for him. Boo. Him and Mom had a few games after that, whilst I entertained myself by making a tower out of the Jenga blocks and watching the tropical fish in the tank. They actually had one of those goofy yellow fish that looks like it has teeth, just like the one me and Kel were so amused by in San Antonio.

Came back for more drinks in the room afterwards. By this point, I’d moved onto Bud Straw-ber-rita Splash. Played with my Death Note app some more and then did what was becoming the usual wind-down of reading, playing Disney game and watching some Impractical Jokers. Larry!

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I could be talked into being a pizza fan after this. For size comparison, see the chair behind it.

21/6/14 – Turn around, bright eyes

First up, as usual. Though this time it was by quite a lot. Read, wrote and finished off my popcorn whilst I waited for the others to get up. We came down onto the main strip to check at the excursion centre for more info on the water parks, then went to the Robin Hood for lunch. Home away from home! My pick ‘n’ mix breakfast was a bargain at only three and a half euros – sausages, bacon, hash brown, scrambled egg and fried bread. Best price! The menu was adorably themed too, with sections like Will Scarlett’s potatoes and Sir Guy of Gisborne’s desserts. They spelt some of the names wrong but I appreciated the touch. They even played a weird male version of Bonnie Tyler (totally one of mine and Kel’s songs) which was hilarious.

Sat on the beach for an hour or so and had another Kopparberg. Also took some spy photos of Kel and Mel playing silly buggers in the waves. We stocked up on alcohol on the way back so we have plenty in the way of pre-drinks, then sat by the pool some more. Actually did some lengths (well widths, since I decided to break the mould and swim against Kel) and I think I managed to even up the tan on my back a little.

Got ready, had a quick cocktail at the bar, then back to Golden Beach. Had the sangria and mixed grill again. It’s just too good! They played the Greek Zorbas afterwards and got us up dancing and smashing plates. Of course me and Kel were only too happy to join in with both – I proper whipped my plate like a frisbee too! Greek Zach Levi couldn’t decide which shot of homemade liqueur to give us, so gave us all one of each – one peach and one rose. Not complaining.

Tried a new bar tonight called the Village. It was very cute and atmospheric in there. They had a jar of beach rocks with different cocktail names handwritten on them, which was totally adorable. I had a Paradise (gin, apricot, lemon, lime and soda) which came out done up all pretty with practically a whole garden – flowers and six different kinds of fruit. Too much fruit, Gaston. I did eat most of it though. That’s my five a day sorted! We caught the second half of the Ghana v. Germany game, which turned out to be dead good. Some German player even got totally clobbered at the end after smashing his face off someone’s shoulder. I was rooting for Ghana because they were way more enthusiastic after scoring a goal than Germany were.

Grabbed some ice creams from a supermarket on the way back (Galaxy, yum yum) and then I made friends with yet another dog. He was so happy! Crammed some more writing in before bed. Only four days into the holiday and I’ve already written a good chunk of Affinity. I feel my Flick and my prince Kay will approve muchly.

Mel's top twin and Greek Zach Levi. It's not just me, is it?

Mel’s top twin and Greek Zach Levi. It’s not just me, is it?

24/9/13 – Settling in

Body clock’s out of whack and still on British time, so I ended up getting up crazy early. Watched some more Tsubasa and unpacked our clothes to kill some time. We very slowly got ready and went down to the pool for a couple of hours. Came back up to the room around eleven-ish for our Skype date with Mom! Her camera wasn’t working and the sound was quite temperamental too, but it was still nice to get to talk to her.

Headed back down to Denny’s for lunch and had some loaded fries and then cinnamon pancake puppies. Both very yummy! Then went to the strangest supermarket to grab some pop. They played some bizarre classical music and most of the aisles smelt of hamsters. I did get a small tub of Apple Jacks to try though (which I’ve obviously wanted to do for ages) and they’re so good! I don’t eat cereal because I hate milk, so I just ate them like a bag of crisps!

Went back down to the pool again for another few hours. The sun had disappeared behind the massive hotel opposite, so we chose some sunbeds and waited it out. As soon as the sun did appear it was then swallowed up by the biggest black cloud that had come out of nowhere. Typical. We then had a huge clap of thunder that scared the crap out of Kel and it suddenly started raining. A lot. So we escaped back to our room. Had another quick Skype session with Mom and a longer one with Theresa. Then sat eating Apple Jacks and watching Adventure Time whilst waiting for the rain to stop (James would be proud).

Had tea at Tony Roma’s. Kel pointed out a pineapple cocktail that of course I had to have. Was lovely but I soon discovered it was non-alcoholic! Washed it down with a proper Cosmopolitan though, which made it all better. The manager then gave us two green blocks and the challenge to make a pyramid out of them for a free appetiser. Safe to say we failed. He still gave us the voucher prize though. Win!

On our return to hotel after food. Me “playing up” on the luggage thing!