April 10-11, 2010 (At Sea & Ft. Lauderdale)


After leaving Barbados we headed northwest towards the east coast of the United States.


My fondest memories of “Ft. Liquordale” are from college. We came here every year for Spring Break and a brief respite from the blanket of snow in upstate New York. Hot Sun. Cold Beer. Cheap Motels.

We had no agenda today, and took the shuttle to the Galleria Mall as a step towards becoming reacquainted with our home country. It was the first time I fearlessly drank tap water in over 3 months. Oh a whim, we walked to the Doubletree Hotel and boarded a water taxi for a two hour trip along the busy canal system. The Chamber of Commerce calls it “The Venice of America”. Obviously, they’ve never been there.

The taxi was full of Queen Mary passengers from around the world. Our guide, Larry, (retired here from Laconia, New Hampshire – but still working to pay real estate taxes) entertained us along the way. He pointed out the mega mansions and yachts owned by celebrities (past and present ) as we motored along…

“Desi Arnez and Lucille Ball used to own that house.”
“OJ Simpson tried to buy that one last year, but the neighbors stopped him, somehow.
“The Yankee Candle people own that boat, called Paraffin. It’s 140 feet long.
“Sonny and Cher lived there a long time ago”. It just sold for 17 million.
“The famous TV Show, Miami Vice, was filmed in that house”.
“Remember the 6 Million Dollar Man? Lee Majors? He lives there.”
That’s Jane Fonda’s house. I think I see her, near the pool”.
“The taxes on that house are $340,000 a year”.

As I sat there, watching the mesmerized faces, I thought of the warped perception of America these foreigners would leave with. I wanted to suggest a taxi ride inland, about 15 miles, to see how the other 99.8% live.

Two more days at sea, in the North Atlantic Ocean we know and love, before arriving back in New York on April 15th. I hope we get some decent waves as a parting gift.

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