Getting Lost in Fort Lauderdale, FL

I’m a beach guy. I don’t live on the beach and I didn’t grow up on the beach, but I’ve always been a beach guy somehow. I often get asked if I’m a surfer or anything; probably because of my long blonde hair being a little beachy vibe.

Because I’m a beach guy, the title of this post might make you think I’m getting all spiritual with the terminology “getting lost.”

I promise you it has zero spiritual, emotional, or metaphysical meaning behind it. I truly just got lost while trying to navigate my way through Fort Lauderdale.

By now you probably know that I’m a flight attendant that just fell in love with travel and aviation, which inspired me to do what it takes to work my way into the flight deck. But for now, I’m still a flight attendant and reaping the benefits of that gig.

Most of the hotels we stay at are really close to the airport, and when we stay in Fort Lauderdale that means we are also really close to the beach.

Something you may not know about me, contrary to my distaste of cardio that I talk about when I explored Clearfork, I am a big health and fitness guy too. I am of the belief that a lot of people’s problems start with their health and nutrition, so I try my best to balance perfect clean eating with experiencing culture on my trips.

But my fitness focus also means I try to walk a lot to explore when I visit places on layovers for work.

In Fort Lauderdale, I normally walk to the beach because it’s like an hour or two walk and I kind of get a good mental space when I’m on walks like that. It gives me time to think and enjoy the outdoors while I’m working.

This trip, I had a super fun crew, and we were all aching to go to the beach. I’m a DFW based flight attendant, so my crew and I had just recently dealt with the big freeze, or Snow-pocalypse if you will, that wrecked Texas and we needed some sunshine at the beach.

The beautiful Dania Beach with no tourists.

You know, like the duality of man…first we freeze, then we melt.

I don’t think that’s really how you use that phrase, but I’m a simple blogger online so I don’t need to be a genius at everything (but I am for sure trying).

Anyway, my crew didn’t want to walk to the beach, especially since it was so hot and sunny and nobody really enjoys farmer tans, well sunburns in our case, so we got an Uber instead.

The Fort Lauderdale Area

Going through Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, Florida is a very interesting vibe. You get multimillion-dollar yachts and boats all throughout the town sitting in front of little bitty shack sized houses. There’s a lot of interesting historical buildings that show the evolution of the area, which is still growing, but it really accents the contrast between some of the bigger and smaller housing situations going on there.

One of my favorite things about vising a lot of different places while working in aviation is to see the differences in cultures. The housing differences this close to the beach really show where people put their priorities.

I thought of Andy Bernard sailing here.

I have met many very kind people in Fort Lauderdale. They like to just hang out and chill. There isn’t a hustle and bustle attitude that you get when you go to New York or Los Angeles.

I’ve noticed people living on the beach just want to have a good time. They live life for fun and friendship, not to get things done and accomplish a lot.

It’s a beautiful thing.

A super cool boat on a canal by the beach.

After we made the short Uber ride to the beach, my crew and I had a great time splashing around.

When I say splashing around, I mean I truly go full on child mode.

I love to get to about chest deep water and dig my feet in the sand to see how much I can bury myself without people noticing I’m being weird…which is kind of, really weird….

I love to run into the ocean and get to about knee deep water with waves rolling, then jump and have the waves flip me around.

I love just laying and sitting on the sandy beach and baking myself so much that my skin is nice and red before I even remember I have sunscreen that I forgot to put on despite being reminded by everyone around me.

Basically, I’m a little kid again when I get near the water and I don’t care who sees.

Getting Lost

We had a crew of 4 flight attendants, but 1 stayed at the hotel because she was pregnant and got some morning sickness. Then after about 30 minutes another of the crew members went off to have lunch with her friend.

So, that left just 2 of us.

After we had our beach bar lunchy (I had some super delicious Ahi Tuna Nachos) at Tiki Tiki on Dania Beach, we decided to try and save some cash by taking public transportation back to the hotel.

Ahi Tuna Nachos from Tiki Tiki.

Being such technologically advanced millennials, we used our fancy smartphones to search up the bus map and get everything figured out on how to get back to the hotel. We expected to walk a little bit from the last bus stop to the hotel, but that’s fine.

So, we waited at the beach bus stop and watched some come and go without them being the correct bus number.

I made friends with this little guy (or girl I don’t know) while we waited for the bus!

We finally hopped on the Number 4 bus that was supposed to take us to the hotel. But when exiting the beach, it turned left instead of right.

The crew member with me said, “Uh oh, my friend that lives here told me the county transportation is pretty rough, but I thought we figured it out.”

“So, now you tell me,” I said disappointed. “Maybe it just has to finish it’s loop going the other way before going back toward the hotel.”

I’m cursed with being eternally optimistic.

The bus just chugged along further and further from the hotel. Then it pulled a random right turn into a residential area, with more of those huge houses I was talking about. It was a nice area, but the bus kept picking up more and more people.

In the name of social distancing the bus diver had blocked off a few seats near him and used a seat belt to rope if off from getting too close. There were some signs on the seats that said “blocked for social distancing” but nobody paid attention to that.

My crew member and I were on a rant talking about everything from family to the pandemic to simply pretty places to live, and I swear we couldn’t finish a single thought without being interrupted by someone.

There was one instance where I was talking about a trip my wife and I made to Hilton Head, South Carolina and the moment I finished saying “Hilton Head,” a random dude (not wearing his mask by the way) put his head between ours and said, “Oh, South Carolina is just so beautiful!”

I agree it is, but sir, we are amid a global pandemic of an illness that is spread via the air, PLEASE sit back and put on a mask!

The good Lord blessed us by having the guy get off at the next stop.

After this little residential area, we were expecting a left turn back to the hotel, but AGAIN the bus turned right.

It kept on a path that we couldn’t find on the map even with the combined effort of 2 college educated flight attendants. I guess having a degree in biology like my colleague or in English like myself, does not translate to being able to read a map well.

I should probably figure that out before becoming a full fledge pilot.

Harbour Aviation’s Cirrus SR-20, equipped with amazing avionics and GPS (Avidyne 440 WAAS GPS and Garmin GPS if you’re curious).

Or maybe not, most airplanes come with GPS nowadays…

After being on this shuttle for about an hour, we thought the bus was going to turn around and go back the way we came then take us to the hotel, but to our surprise (I don’t know why we were surprised because the transportation had been so unreliable up to that point) the bus stopped, and the driver just got off the bus. He took the keys and just walked off.

The dude didn’t say a single word to anyone.

He just got off and went into a mattress store without saying anything!

My crewmember was texting her friend that lives there and asked about getting a ride, the 2 were going to dinner later anyway, so it wasn’t a huge inconvenience luckily.

But our dreams were crushed when the friend was in the middle of a hair appointment.

Like all good millennials, we again consulted Apple Maps to get us to the hotel. It said it’ll be about 2 hours to wait for the next bus at a different bus stop (because we were stopped in front of a random mattress store) and get back to the hotel with all the stops.

Then we checked Uber. It had jumped from being under $10 from where we started to roughly $40, so we opted to wait for hours on end to try the bus for the last time.

This time, the good Lord that blessed us by getting the maskless person with no understanding of personal space off the bus also blessed us by making this bus driver explain to us what happened: We were on the right shuttle but going the wrong direction. There is a north and a south route. We needed the north route, but we got on the south route…

So, this ride, although it took a while, was much more successful and got us almost to the hotel and we only had to walk a short distance to make it back safely.

What an adventure.

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