Monday, May 14, 2012

On Foot and Frantic in Fort Lauderdale

"Fort Lauderdale has a metro system!", I excitedly exclaim to myself while googling my airport transit options. I had just returned from the Bahamas and needed to find a way from Miami Lakes to FLL to make my flight back to Austin. A taxi was going to run ~$70 one way, so I was thrilled with my recent discovery. Always a fan of public transportation, I accepted the challenge. Bus to train to plane...easy breezy. I've successfully navigated foreign cities, how hard could Florida be?

I should have known the travel gods were forsaking me when, 15 minutes into my adventure, I was unable to locate the bus stop. Seriously. I had Google-mapped it and had my phone navigation set, but still couldn't find the dang thing. "No worries Amy, minor setback", I try to convince myself. "Skip the bus and walk to the train, you've got this." Game on.

Well, about 1.5 hours later, I'm still sandals...carrying backpack...pulling roller approximately 90 degree full on Florida sunshine. I'm dangerously close to missing the airport train, I've got blisters on my feet and the cab company I've called to rescue me can't locate the random (locked) warehouse parking lot I've taken a much needed shade break at.

I hung my head in shame, cursing my stubborn self for putting myself in this position, and prepared to wave my white flag. Just then I looked up, and that's when I saw it. My oasis in the hot, dry, pedestrian unfriendly desert of Ft. Lauderdale...a mortuary. Yes, that's right, I said mortuary. And I couldn't have been happier. I mustered up my last bit of energy and made my way to it's lobby. Its glorious, air-conditioned lobby complete with water fountain and an address that a taxi could actually find. Embracing the irony that a mortuary was my saving grace, I quickly re-hydrated and waited anxiously for my cab.

Fast forward 45 minutes later - one train ride and one incredibly slow shuttle ride completed - I book it to the check-in desk with seconds to spare before my flight is closed. Literally seconds. I beg for mercy and am escorted through security (so this is what first class feels like) while the plane is being held at the gate for me. Murphy's Law in full effect, my bag has to be re-screened "because the computer randomly glitched". Totally frantic at this point, I grab my stuff, head full speed to my gate (a few toes may have been wheeled over - my apologies) and step onto the plane an instant before the door is secured. I sit down and contemplate the lesson in all of this. Next shoes!


  1. Mass Transit in Ft Lauderdale is a "best guess" situation. The motto that scrolls on our busses "Our Best & Nothing Less" Well, if thats the best, start walking.