The Vacation Begins

The Vacation Begins

Sy @ | 5 minutes | #fort-lauderdale #boca-raton #coconut-creek #florida #travel

For our 5th wedding anniversary, we wanted to travel somewhere. This time we couldn't start organizing in time due to an unexpected and unfortunate trip to Hungary, but we didn't give up. Although not on our anniversary, but at least we managed to organize a last-minute trip a few weeks later.
We had several plans but finally decided on a Caribbean cruise (just before the start of hurricane season), which we took for the first time on our honeymoon and now for the second time.

There are so many ships and itineraries to choose from that it is very challenging to make a decision, especially when you have to act last minute and your options are already limited.

So we decided to take a 6-night cruise in the Caribbean. This time we traveled on Celebrity Cruises' Equinox. Celebrity is owned by the Royal Caribbean Group.

We departed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday afternoon, May 21. However, we decided to leave as early as Saturday, along the lines of "it's been a long time since we've been to Florida." So we booked our flight for Saturday morning. For this, we decided to fly with American Airlines. The flight cost $560 for the two of us.

The flight was early, leaving at 7:30, and Csibi scheduled the Uber pick-up for 6:10. We got up at 5:30. We live near the airport, but that was a bit late.
And when we logged into the Uber app, it looked like our car was coming from quite a distance away and would definitely be late. Later, the app updated, and we saw that another car was coming, which, by the way, arrived on time.
The driver and also the ride were a bit weird.
We arrived at the airport. We went inside where we quickly found the security checkpoint and of course the queue.
Luckily, the line moved fairly quickly, but it was really freaking crowded. We finally got to passport control and then quickly finished with the security check. Our gate was only a few minutes walks away. Luckily we didn't have to walk all the way to the other end of the airport. When we got there, boarding started, and Csibi said, "We timed it just right". And I think next time I'll pay more attention to when we get up! 😀


We flew about an hour and a half to two hours straight south. This time it was a 3 x 3 seat plane that was almost full.
At some point, there was some turbulence. Then we finally arrived. Hello, Sunshine State! 🌞 Good to see you again!

Fort Lauderdale, FL

To rent a car, we had to use the shuttle service. We found out where the bus was leaving from and then found ourselves at the end of a long line. We made relatively quick progress, and the bus arrived in a few minutes.
Since Csibi is a member of National Car Rental, we didn't have to wait in line (there was no line, only one person at the counter), and could go directly to the cars.
There wasn't a lot of choice at that moment, just a few cars lined up.
We wanted one with a trunk you couldn't see into, but of course, there was no such thing, not a single one. That would have been important because, as I said, we had a program, but I don't like to leave the car in the parking lot when all our luggage is clearly visible…
Usually, this is not a problem here, but we are from Hungary, and the devil never sleeps… So first, we made our way to the hotel.
Our hotel was in the neighboring town of Boca Raton, about half an hour from the airport. Interestingly, we found a room at a Residence Inn for the cheapest price, so we decided to stay that night (rate: $118).

We knew it was early and we probably, wouldn't have a room yet, but that was fine; we just wanted to leave our luggage there. They took our luggage to the front desk. In the meantime, the manager came out - as it turned out - and they did something. We didn't know if we could leave or what, because we always got a ticket when we left our luggage somewhere else.
The manager decided to give us a room upgrade, and suddenly we had a room. We even got a two-story apartment. We'd never been in a two-story hotel room before.

Residence Inn - Boca Raton, FL

We freshened up a bit because the sudden Florida sun was a bit much for both of us.
As we drove out of the airport, we saw a billboard for the guitar-shaped Hard Rock Hotel (and you could see the hotel itself in the distance). I don't know why I thought it was in Miami, but since it wasn't, we agreed to check it out. We agreed to go there the next morning.

And then the program: in 2017, when we were on a round trip in Florida, we visited a magical place called Butterfly World in Coconut Creek.
It was only about a 20-minute drive from where we were staying.
We parked and headed out. By this time it was about 12 noon, and the place is open until 17. We didn't have time to eat breakfast at home that morning, and because of Csibi's super-scheduled arrival at the airport, we didn't have time to eat there either, so we could have eaten around 12.
Butterfly World is situated within Tradewinds Park, which requires an entrance fee. The park also features a playground and grilling facilities. That is a fee of USD 1.50 per person. And, of course, there is a separate entrance fee for Butterfly World: $32.50 per person.

Tradewinds Park - Coconut Creek, FL

Map - Residence Inn - Boca Raton, FL