Miami in the early hours

Trip Start Feb 28, 2009
Trip End Mar 10, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, March 1, 2009

We'd booked ourselves into a hotel near the airport for a night so after the usual Bun-Fight at the Luggage Carousel, the next leg of our journey was to grab the "Sofitel shuttle".
Except it hadn't arrived after 20 minutes' waiting, and we'd seen just about every other hotel shuttle pass by twice. So we gave up and joined the queue for the yellow cabs. And having waited there for another 15 minutes, were told that we need a blue cab over the road. We don't know if this is because there were five of us, because we were going to that hotel, or he just didn't like the look of us as the ever-so-helpful (NOT) bloke buggered off as soon as he saw Margaret's face. Wise move. She was on the warpath now, and was not going to let a blue taxi pass by; we had to stop her stepping in front of one in Chinese-Student-esque defiance.

The hotel, though, was fab. We were checked in and had a small person in bed in under half an hour.  
I thought it'd be wise, despite my fatigue (we're now at nearly 20 hours), to stay up as long as I could to wrestle my body into the timezone.  So I went to the bar :) 
There I got chatting with a bloke from Hamburg and a young couple from Pennsylvania, both of whom were boarding different ships the next day!  There we put the world to rights, especially the global economy, and made the American couple appreciate just how cheap their fuel is by calculating what we pay for a US gallon (this was a gargantuan effort on my part given the addled state of my brain, and was only made possible by my glorious G1 Android-phone and a free conversion app :) ).

I finally hit the sack at about 10pm, although I'm not sure if that was Chicago or Miami time!

True to form, Xander woke up at 4am. We convinced him to sleep (which for him means not bother us. Much.) until 5, by which time we were awake anyway. Top Trumps, "Hey, That's My Fish" and Mario kept him going until 7am for breakfast followed by "exploring".
We found a swimming pool. With waterfall.

Alas, it was too cold for swimming in, but OK for a splash.

That pretty much was it really. We were due to get a taxi at 1, so there wasn't time to do anything outside of the hotel (it's close to the airport and miles from civilisation). And to be honest, he was too weary:

I can't fault the Sofitel. Service was excellent, food was very good. Apparently there've been some bad reviews on the 'net, but from our experience it doesn't deserve them.  I wouldn't want to say there for more than a couple of days at most - it's too far from the rest of Miami - but for an overnight, it's excellent.

This time the taxi to Fort Lauderdale was both on time and huge. A 13-seater minibus with luggage trailer for just the 5 of us.  I think FL and the day 1 on the ship warrants a new entry :)
Watch this space!
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