Panama Canal Cruise travel blog

by the pier on Dania Beach

Janet on Dania Beach (Fort Lauderdale in background)

Sailboats on the Atlantic

Driving along A1A

Wednesday, January 16

Up early (4:15) in the cold and dark to make our way to SeaTac for the flight to Fort Lauderdale. It was a slower trip through security with the shutdown in place, but we made it for the cross country flight.

We landed in Fort Lauderdale at 5:00 pm local time, got our bags, and made our way to the car rental desk where there was no line! It is definitely different wrestling the bigger suitcase—good thing we won’t have to do that once we get on the cruise.

I put the hotel address is as being in Fort Lauderdale when it should have been Hollywood Florida. This caused a scenic tour via freeway until I realized my mistake. We stopped for dinner (good Mexican food) and figured it out. It was a rather short trip to the hotel once we got on the right track.

Tomorrow we will do some sightseeing around here before returning the car in the evening. It is nice to be in 70 degree weather!

Thursday, January 17

This morning we had our continental breakfast at the hotel, then headed out for the day. We decided the first priority was to find a beach, and we went to Dania Beach, not to far from the hotel. It cost to walk out on the fishing pier, so we just walked along the beach and picked up a few shells and got sand in our shoes. We had a view of large hotels further down the beach, lots of sail boats, and a couple of guys on paddle boards. The intercoastal waterway goes along the coast, and a long barrier island separates it from the Atlantic. This creates a lot of waterfront property! In some sections the wealthy own the full width of the island even though US Highway A1A goes through their property. There were some fabulous homes in parts, tall condo buildings in some places, and some smaller but very nice homes on the canal side. We found a little beach gift shop for some fun shopping, and had lunch (outside) at a little cafe.

We went north as far a Palm Beach before going inland to Highway 1 and heading back south. We dropped in at a Dollar Tree and a Walmart for a couple of last minute things before heading back to our hotel. Then it was time to fuel up the car and return it to the airport, one minute early. I had a bit of a wait for the hotel shuttle, but made it back in time to relax a bit and write before bedtime.

Tomorrow we have a lazy morning before catching the 11:30 shuttle to the ship. I didn’t unpack too much, so don’t have too much packing to do. Looking forward to unpacking on the ship—two weeks of travel with no bags to haul!

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