Monday, January 19, 2009

Travel Blog #3: Waiting in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is full of old people. They sleep a lot. They sleep in comfy lobby chairs. They sleep by the pool and start turning the most alarming shades of red. They even sleep in restaurants between courses.

Usually it’s the women taking care of the men. They pass them pills and hand them stuff their men have put down and forgotten. The women make arrangements at the front desk for the rooms while the men stand silently looking like mildly confused lizards and wait to be told where to go and what to do.

During meals the guys don’t say much. Usually they fix their attention on the plate of food in front of them. When they comment it’s usually just a few words, but they don’t look up.

This hotel looked ideal on the Internet. Great rates, breakfast and just minutes away from Fort Lauderdale’s cruise ship terminal. None of the pictures made it look like a holding facility for old people.

The problem is that it’s not close to anything. It’s parked in an industrial area and we get to it so late that it’s really not worth going out to take pictures since night is falling. So we decide, with very low expectations, to try the hotel restaurant. I usually hate hotel restaurants. They’re not exotic and they seem so awfully bland. This particular hotel restaurant is outstanding.
They offer a HALF POUND cheeseburger. Since I am about to get onto a cruise ship, and need to watch what I eat, this is what I order. And I eat it all.

Outside there are some very limited photo opportunities. A billboard catches my attention, not because of anything except the way the tree seems to have formed to suit the curve of a shark fin. I am bored enough to take several images here, much to the merry amusement of the hotel staff who have seen most things this world has to offer – but have never seen a guy in a great Tilley hat concentrate on eight million different angles to shoot a billboard. Little do they know.

I hate flower pictures. I really do. Yeah yeah – they are pretty. But there so many of them out there. I saw this red one (and no, I have no idea what it’s called) and started using my macro lens. I took several shots but they weren’t very interesting. So I took several different exposures and made it into an HDR image.

Tomorrow we get up early and board the cruise ship bound for the Amazon.

I am really excited about this.

Can you tell?

You guys ready to come along?