When we woke up in the morning, we were docked back in West Palm Beach where we started.
After our disembarkation from the Bahamas Celebration, we had plenty of time to return
to Fort Lauderdale, where we would spend the night at Comfort Suites. We had decided
to take the scenic route south on Highway A1A. To do so, a rental car had been reserved
at the airport Dollar Rental agency, nine miles away. To get there, we had to take
a taxi from the pier.
Not every person in a service industry is good at his job. That was never more evident
than our taxi driver on our ride from the port to the Dollar Rental car agency near the
airport. The driver didn't know where he was going and purposely drove slowly. Our
9-mile drive ended up costing us about $52!
You'd think with four A-type personality travel agents, we could at least verbally
beat up someone we thought was taking advantage of us. I guess this day we were all
on good behavior.
Nannette had made the arrangements for the mommy van we got, one of the few vehicles
that would hold all of our luggage without inconveniencing our riding style. We were
on our way before discovering we had checked out the van about 10:30 AM and they wanted
it returned in Fort Lauderdale around 9:45, not giving us our full 24-hour rental. So,
Laura called and had the rental office correct our paperwork for the return to be by
10:30 the following day. Yea, Laura!
Our plan with the rental car was to return to Fort Lauderdale via a leisurely drive
past the swanky homes between the ocean and the coastal waterway. These little white
egrets (I think) below walked around like grackles do in Texas.
We arrived at our hotel and checked into two lovely large suites, got the two air
conditioners in each suite cranked up.
Following a brief rest, we took our rental mommy van for a late lunch at the 15th
Street Fisheries & Dockside Café where we sat at a table outside.
After dining, Sherri and Nannette got some food to feed some nice sized fish in the
water below our table at the rail. Although the second photo doesn't show it, the
big red X is where a large tarpon was snatching at his share of the food.
After our late lunch and the rousing fish feeding frenzy, along with experiencing the
thieving seagull, we caught the water taxi that stopped at the pier.
Riding in the water taxi was like taking a tour of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
We only thought the yachts in West Palm Beach were grand. And to accommodate these,
this drawbridge gets regular exercise.
Here are a few of the homes and yachts.
And then, there were more birds!
We probably saw a billion dollars worth of boats and the homes cost even more. One
of the overpass support piers had a large iguana that had become accustomed to eating
an apple that the taxi driver provided on his way by.
Sherri, Nannette, and Laura stopped off at taxi stop #1 for drinks and to smoke a cigarette,
with plans to catch the next water taxi. I continued back to the 15th Street Fisheries
Café at taxi stop #8, about an hour's ride away, with plans to meet them at our rental
car (that I had the keys to) in the 15th Street Fisheries Cafe.
A little more than an hour later, when I expected them to return to 15th Street,
Sherri called to let me know the next taxi had not come, but was broken down, so
they took a real taxi back instead. I offered to pick them up, but because the rental
was in Nannette's name and because I didn't know which streets went around the
waterways, they thought a taxicab would be more efficient. Laura later called
the water taxi service and convinced them to refund each of us our $15 fare, even
though I wasn't trying to catch the incapacitated water taxi, we were all
inconvenienced. Yea, Laura! Girl Power.
We made it back to our rooms, PJed up, and played a couple of rounds of Skip-Bo. I
was multi-tasking and loading some software on Sherri's new MacBook Pro computer.
Laura and Nannette returned to their suite up a floor and we all got a good night's
sleep in preparation for boarding our next ship.