Public Transport Marathon – to Fort Lauderda

Trip Start Sep 17, 2006
Trip End Dec 23, 2008

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Saturday, September 20, 2008

A busy day of travel awaited me as I got up from my Takoma bed for the last time. It all started with the 8:22am Red line Metro to the centre of Washington, DC. I made it in plenty of time and jumped on with my luggage. Once again the Washington, DC public transport system offering was very impressive. At the Metro Centre I changed onto a different line and travelled to Rosslyn station. I had heard that DC has a lot of dodgy neighbourhoods, and I was half expecting Rosslyn to be one, however it turned out to be a mini business district.

I then nearly had a major panic, as it was a weekend and I had been looking at the weekday timetable! The bus I had been waiting for didn’t run on Saturday, and the next one wasn’t due for 40 minutes! Luckily though I had about an hour to spare, so I reached the airport just in time. Checking in at the JetBlue desk was easy. Before too long we were up in the air and heading towards New York City.

All the JetBlue planes come with live TV as standard, rather than the usual pre-recorded or stored movies and television programmes. I believe this is via a satellite link-up direct to the plane. I managed to tune into a live broadcast of the Liverpool vs Stoke game, this was quite unique for me as it was a 3pm Saturday kick-off, which aren’t allowed to be broadcast live on UK television.

In New York I had about an hour to wait. The JetBlue terminal was fine and offered free internet access which is always welcome. The only significant event was paying $8 (4.40) for a milkshake drink. Compared to every other beverage I’d had in America this was extraordinarily expensive.

My ultimate destination today was Florida, specifically Fort Lauderdale, about 30 or so miles north of downtown Miami. The cheapest option had been to fly to New York first, then catch a second plane down to Florida. The second JetBlue flight of the day left at about 2pm, this time without live Premiership football, so I sat back and watched a live college American Football game.

JetBlue isn’t exactly a budget airline, as they offer free drinks and snacks on board. However it does have the same modern feel as say EasyJet or Virgin Blue. The day was proceeding exactly to plan as Florida came into view, my mind switched towards finding my hostel as I walked towards the baggage collection area.

At this point things took a turn for the worse. I watched as about fifty people collected their bags and walked away from the carrousel, I was left motionless as the environment around me cleared. It then dawned upon me that my luggage wasn’t anywhere in sight. Rather sheepishly I walked towards a JetBlue employee and explained the situation. They got me to fill out a form and sent me on my way, without my bags. Apparently my bag would most likely be found and then sent on to my accommodation.

Feeling rather lost and confused I decided to take a taxi rather than bother with two buses. The manager of the hostel was nice enough and promised to look after my bags if they were delivered later in the evening. I took a walk along the sea front and managed to get myself ‘trapped’ on the beach, with hotels to my left that provided no through route to the public. Finally I escaped and drowned my sorrows with a full-blown BK meal. Even late at night Fort Lauderdale was hot and humid. I had successfully found my way to Florida, although events out of my control had meant that I was in a somewhat sticky situation.
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