Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2006: 7

  We left Disney World at around 9:30 AM on Saturday, March 18. It was sunny and very warm. We stopped near West Palm Beach to get lunch from a Subway and to shop at a Publix. Then we got back on I95 and drove to the Breezy Hill RV Park in Pompano Beach. The office was closed until Monday, but there was a trailer sitting on our assigned (and prepaid) campsite. We set up temporarily in an asphalt lot with six barren campsites with full hookups. We walked toward the ocean but got into a maze of neighborhood streets and canals. We saw a lot of residual damage from Hurricane Wilma. We had tried all day to rent a car and had to ask our son-in-law Tom to look up some phone numbers for us. We finally reserved a car at Thrifty for Sunday morning. Cathy cooked a very good meal of Tortellini. We watched a lot of NCAA basketball during the afternoon and evening. On Sunday morning, the Thrifty driver picked up Bill and he drove a little Dodge Neon back to the campground. We arranged to meet Jack and Sue Beatty at their Marriott Beach Place at 11:00 AM. We decided to drive down A1A on the barrier island strand all the way down to Fort Lauderdale to see the landscape. After 12 miles of beach, we passed the Marriott and then drove over the harbor inlet bridge to view the cruise ships at Port Everglades. We turned around and parked at the Marriott We sat at poolside for a while with Jack and Sue and Sue's brother Jay and his wife Marge. Later, Bill, Cathy, Jack, and Jay took a long walk down to the Fort Lauderdale harbor. We climbed up on the harbor bridge and viewed a group of cruise ships in Port Everglades, where Bill and Cathy will depart on a Panama Canal cruise on Good Friday. Then a comedy of errors ensued. We were trying to catch the 4:30 PM River Cruise, but Spring Break traffic and a scarcity of cabs delayed us beyond the launch time. We took a van cab to dinner at Charlie's Crabs on the Intercoastal waterway. We ended up wasting $74 in cab fares, but we had a great dinner at the best table in the place, reminiscent of a dinner in Cancun two years ago. We toasted Jack and Sue's daughter Kim for supplying a gift certificate to cover part of our expenses. On Monday morning, Bill went to the campground office and received a new campsite assignment for us. We were neighbors to a friendly couple who have been living full-time in the campground since 1985. Bill discovered that the electric power had an open ground. He went to the office and asked for a repair which was quickly done by the campground electrician. We went to an RV supply store to get an electrical adaptor and some leveling blocks. Then we went to the Marriott The six of us went on the 2:30 PM River Cruise. This cruise was similar to the one that we took in Miami in January, but the yachts were much bigger in Fort Lauderdale. There were dozens of yachts similar to the one that Bill saw while kayaking off of Higbee Beach. After the cruise, we got a bite to eat and then said goodbye to Jay and Marge as Jack and Sue drove them to the airport. On Tuesday morning we walked around the trailer park for an hour after breakfast. There are 1000 units in our park and several more trailer parks in the surrounding area. It appeared that 95% of the vehicles in our park had Quebec licenses and any spoken language overheard was French. We recalled our summer at Lavalle University in Quebec City and decided that these dour Canadians were from Montreal, where New Yorkers appear polite. Jack and Sue Generously invited us to stay with them in their Marriott Beach Place suite. We didn't think about it too much and accepted their offer. We drove down to Fort Lauderdale around 11:00 AM and joined Jack and Sue at poolside. We moved our things into the second bedroom of the suite and then ate a light lunch by the pool. Jack and Bill took a walk along the beach while Cathy and Sue browsed and shopped. Sue cannot walk for long distances since she has a sore hip. We took a cab to an area on Los Olas Blvd that is lined with upscale shops and diverse restaurants. We looked at several menus and then decided to eat outside at the Italian restaurant, Cafe Europa, where our meals were great On Wednesday, Cathy and Bill took a morning walk north up the beach, where they had lots of company on the sidewalk. We all sat at poolside and talked for a while. Bill and Jack took a walk to the back bay and looked at some of the mega-yachts that were located there. While we were eating lunch on the balcony of the suite, a bus caught fire on the street below. It was interesting to watch the activities as police and a fire truck arrived. The fire seemed to go out by itself, but at one point there were flames shooting out of the engine compartment. Later, we drove to the King Tut exhibit at the Art Museum. The artifacts were very well presented in several galleries. The audio commentary by Omar Sharif added to the enjoyment. Bill finished his visit about an hour before the rest of our party, but that's usual. We walked around on Las Olas Blvd for a while and then settled on Mangoes for another great dinner. On Thursday, our last full day at the Marriott, we did some walking along the water, some talking at poolside, and some thunderstorm watching from the balcony during late afternoon. Jack and Sue's friend Dick Schofield drove down from Vero Beach to join us for cocktails and dinner. We walked to Shula's on the Beach and dined outside in the tent-covered patio. Our waiter was either a bouncer or bartender pressed into waiting tables for the evening. He was a nice enough guy, but no waiter. We really enjoyed the food and the conversation with Dick, who is an extremely interesting man. He regularly travels to interesting places and does interesting things. We had a lot of fun on our last night in Fort Lauderdale. The last time we were in a Shula's restaurant was in Indianapolis, where Bill had a lousy piece of mahi-mahi. Bill's Yellowfin Tuna au Poivre this night was excellent. On Friday morning, we all hustled to move out of the Marriott. We drove in two cars to the Galleria mall on Sunrise Boulevard, which is a very upscale and sprawling mall. Cathy and Bill would love to have this place to walk in during bad weather back home. The women did some shopping while the guys went to Brookstone to browse the toys. We all met and had lunch in the food court, which is identical to the one in the King of Prussia Court. Then, Jack and Sue headed for the airport and Cathy and Bill headed back to Little Quebec. After moving our stuff back in the rig, we dropped off the rental car and walked back to the trailer park. We did a load of wash and settled in to watch NCAA basketball, where Villanova began a three day seminar on how to play basketball without making any field goals. They were trying to prove that defense plus foul shots are the winning combination. We broke camp on Saturday morning and headed to Ft. Myers.

        Bill and Cathy