We woke up nice and early on Saturday morning, took the pup on a walk (thanks Laurel for watching her!), and made a quick breakfast before embarking on the three hour drive (Yes, three hours from Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale. Ryan is “efficient.”).
While Ryan opted for yogurt and a protein shake, I made myself a healthified egg McMuffin, using Laughing Cow light Swiss cheese, egg whites, Canadian bacon and a sweet wheat alternative bagel.
After a few rounds of 20 questions and lots of wedding talk (I can’t help it!), we arrived at our hotel.
I booked our room at The Pillars Hotel, a gorgeous, small boutique hotel about a block from the beach. Ryan and I instantly fell in love with the romantic, comfortably elegant atmosphere of The Pillars.
Our room overlooked the pool and had a view of the intercoastal waterway.
There were a bunch of cute lounging areas in various cozy spots around the hotel.
Outside our room was a gorgeous high top table and snuggly love seat.
I can honestly say this hotel was beautiful, luxurious, quiet and oh-so-romantic. Ryan and I both agreed it was one of the nicest hotels we’ve ever stayed in on a vacation. Boutique hotels are the best!
After checking in and getting situated, our tummies were grumbling, so we headed out to Las Olas Boulevard, where lots of cute shops and restaurants line the street.
In passing, Ryan selected Indigo, a restaurant located on the bottom floor of the Riverside Hotel to stop for lunch. In support of breast cancer awareness month, the tablecloths and napkins in the restaurant were pink. I loved it!
After looking over the menu, Ryan opted for a tuna salad sandwich and a cup of white bean soup.
I chose the marinated vegetable sandwich with feta cheese and sweet potato fries.
We both agreed that our lunch was just “meh.” Not particularly good, but not bad either. We left full, but not overly impressed with our food or the service at Indigo. At least the company was good!
After lunch we made our way over to the Rivership Cruises platform for a 90 minute tour of Ft. Lauderdale on the water.
On the tour we got to see lots of multi-million dollar yachts and homes. Wow, Ft. Lauderdale is one wealthy lil’ place. We saw the old homes of Sonny and Cher, John F. Kennedy’s mother, Farrah Fawcett and more.
After the boat tour, we headed back to our hotel and changed for a walk on the beach. The water was so pretty and the perfect temperature. We ended up on a part of the beach that was, um, male dominated… and Ryan got a lot of looks! 🙂 My fiance is a hottie!
We then jumped in the pool at our hotel and lounged on the chairs overlooking the water before showering and heading off to dinner.
Being on the ocean made both of us want seafood. We decided to go to 15th Street Fisheries Dockside Cafe, a restaurant that was pointed out to us on the boat tour.
We started off with an order of two dozen steamed clams and a dozen mussels steamed in a garlic sauce.
I LOVE steamed clams and mussels and these were absolutely perfect. So tasty. I think I could eat hundreds.
For our main dinner, I ordered peel-and-eat shrimp and Ryan ordered a Cuban sandwich.
Both options were phenomenal, though Ryan said my selection was “too much work.” 😉 His sandwich was the best Cuban sandwich I’ve ever tasted. (I’ve only had about two ever, but this was the best!).
His sandwich came with plantain chips which were super-addicting. They were attacked first!
As we were eating outside, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset and had a great time watching other diners feed the tarpon and fish near the dock. Those fish were huge! Very creepy.
(Yes, the above picture caption is a Deuce Bigalow reference. ;))
Though we were full, that didn’t stop us from hittin’ up Cold Stone Creamery for an extremely thick cookies ‘n’ cream milkshake. We slurped that puppy down before I snapped a picture, but it looked an awful lot like this:
Taaasty! Day one in Ft. Lauderdale was a success!!!
Ryan and I are both cursed with the inability to sleep past 7:30 a.m. on weekends, so we were up before the sun this morning and headed out to the beach to catch the sunrise.
Though light clouds blocked the view, we still enjoyed the refreshing morning air… and a nice sunrise kiss!
We also enjoyed watching a passed-out college kid wake up on the beach as the sand-churning truck was headed straight for him. Classic.
Today Ryan is playing in a soccer game at 1 p.m., so we packed up our bags and hit the road by 7:45 a.m., stopping at McDonald’s for breakfast (the first time I’ve been there for anything other than ice cream in years), and I ordered an egg McMuffin while Ryan opted for two breakfast burritos (and a Snickers bar at the next rest stop… thatta boy!). We arrived back in Orlando just in time for an early lunch. Our Ft. Lauderdale mini vacation was a perfect escape from Orlando.
Today will be relaxing. I plan to hit the gym and grocery store and run some errands with Ryan while showering Sadie with lots of puppy-love since I missed my lil’ girl this weekend. Happy Sunday!