In early May Brett and I took a road trip to the Fort Lauderdale area to visit his relatives. It’s just a quick 4 hour drive from our house in Oldsmar. We always pass this old historic spot at Yeehaw Junction. The old Desert Inn Bar was built in 1889 and has been standing in this spot since then. In 2019 a tractor trailer truck ran into the side of it and did a lot of damage. Original word was that it was going to be restored but that hasn’t happened yet. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.
The new hotel addition of the Hard Rock Hotel can be see from almost any of the main roads through Fort Lauderdale. We passed it on the way to a restaurant during our stay.
We were in our hotel room before heading out to dinner and Brett was looking out the window and saw this large iguana walking towards the hotel. I jumped up and grabbed my camera and ran down. He was already in this palm tree when I got to him. That doesn’t look like a comfortable spot.
I saw a lot of these lizards everywhere we went. It was the first time I really noticed them around.
A sun halo high up on our way to lunch.
We were checking out of our hotel and Brett went to get the car. I looked over and saw a tiny bird sitting on the sidewalk. I walked right over to this black throated blue warbler and he let me pick him up. He must have hit a window. I put him on top of the bushes and by the time Brett came and we loaded the car he flew off.
Heading home over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. They were repainting the yellow cables. I can’t image being high up in those little boxes painting while cars are whizzing by. The view is probable amazing though.
The Flamingo Gardens near Ft. Lauderdale takes in a lot of permanently injured animals to live their lives out here. As I was walking around the aviary this pelican came right up to me as if to say “Come hang out with me.”. It looked like he had an injured wing.
A barred owl with a missing eye.
A few other birds in the aviary.
The white pelicans had very distinctive faces.
The pelicans were nesting and swimming around.
A pretty cattle egret posing for me.
All taken in the permanent injured aviary.
I’ve been recently posting a lot of older pictures on Instagram. If you are over there you can find me at @dinaj1.
On the road to south Florida, this famous eyesore sits at the Yeehaw Junction right before the Florida turnpike exit.
Sitting poolside at Brett’s aunt and uncle’s winter condo, we had a nice dinner with the family, watching the dinner boats go by.
Construction cranes are everywhere here, including next to our hotel.
On the road to Hallendale Beach sits a big statue in the parking lot at the horse race track. After the statue, we turn right to head over the bridge to the beach.
We stopped by Hard Rock Hotel to see the new guitar shaped hotel going up. The last 2 are shots from the top of the parking deck. You can barely make out the skyline of the beach.
The road back to Tampa, we headed across Alligator Alley (I75). We never see alligators on this road though. Just miles of the above view.
Late afternoon on Hallandale Beach, north of Miami. A quick walk before dinner.
Things on the beach. The beach was littered with Portuguese man o’ wars. I would not want to come close to one of these in the water. They are known to have a painful sting.
Tile on the walkway and hibiscus near the parking lot.
Big boats are common along the inter-coastal waterway.
Heading home before crossing Alligator Alley.
Some parting shots from our quick trip to south Florida to visit Brett’s relatives.
Every year in the winter Brett and I head down to the Miami area for a long weekend to visit some relatives before it gets too hot. This past February we were looking for something to do with his aunt and uncle and were going to be close to Homestead one afternoon so we stopped at the Fruit and Spice Park. We were way down south of Miami right before heading to the Keys. Lots of farmland down there. The park is a farm that grows different exotic spices and fruits that you can tour. We took a long tram ride with a guide who explained all of the different plants that are farmed there. We got to taste and smell some of them. It was a nice way to relax and spend the afternoon outdoors and I took a ton of pictures.
The above Rainbow Gum tree was very cool. As the bark peels off, it exposes different colors. It can only be grown in frost-free areas of the country.
There were lots of critters crawling around from the pretty green lizard to the big iguanas. The kids on the tram went crazy over them and we stopped and were allowed to get pretty close.
More to come on this trip down “south”.