Sunday, June 19, 2005

Back From Fort Lauderdale!!

Well, I'm back from Fort Lauderdale and I had an awesome time. I went from Tuesday, June 14th till Friday, June 17th 2005. The weather, for the most part, was nice. It was actually cooler than NY!

The flight on jetBlue was awesome, as usual. I flew on a newer Airbus A320, "True Blue". On time, comfortable leather seats, and live 36 channel Direct TV, plus awesome service at a great price. Really can't beat it. Got into FLL on time, what a nice airport. The rental car facility was really nice and convenient, a short inside walk from my terminal. And as usual with Enterprise, I got a free upgrade from a mid size car to a Ford Explorer.

The hotel, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in nearby Hollywood, was awesome. I've never been to a place quite like it. It's a 4-star hotel. Everything is musically-themed. Lots of rock-and-roll memorbilia throughout. All the doors have guitar shaped pulls. The room in the Hotel was AWESOME! Huge room. Extremely luxurious and comfortable bed with really nice mattress, soft sheets and comforter, and lots of soft plump pillows. Huge bathroom with double sink and HUGE shower and bathtub, with tons of soaps and bathroom accesories. Awesome Tivoli stereo system/DVD player in the room with large TV. Very well stocked minibar with snacks and such. Awesome view of the pool area from the room. In room safe and lots of cabinets and drawers. Nice bathrobe. Very well appointed and very nicely decorated room. The casino was nice, but all gaming machines and a poker pit. That's OK though, I don't know how to play the table games. Watched some of a Texas Hold 'Em Tourney, which was interesting. The one thing I didn't like about the Casino was the overwhelming cigarette smoke and odor that was present. There were tons of chain smoking old ladies, and old ladies that would push you aside with their walkers (literally!). But the casino was a good time.....I lost overall first time playing slots, and I learned when you are up, get out!! I was up, thought I could do even better, and lost. Still fun, my machine that I chose was firefighter-themed. And the other one I played was EMS themed! Very cool!! Outside the casino area is a large area with some nice bars and restaurants in a really nice plaza overlooking a lake.

The pool was HUGE, and AWESOME!! I spent most of my time just relaxing there. Very clean and warm water. It is horseshoe shaped like a lake/lagoon with waterfalls, hot tubs, and waterslides integrated throughout. You can rent a float to float around on. You can hear the music playing underwater. And in the middle of the pool, on an "Island", is a really cool bar/restaurant and all the waitresses are in bikini's. One notch up on the drink lady's of the casino!!

On Wednesday, a friend who lives down there who is a retired FDNY FF and Kitbashing celebrity (FFMartin) was nice enough to spend the day showing me around and taking me on a photo hunt, the awesome results can be seen in the posted photos. There sure are tons of nice apparatus in the Broward County area! I was really impressed by the Fort Lauderdale Quantum's, very well spec'd and very nice looking as well. I like the newly-redesigned Quantum's. The Broward County USAR/TRT Unit was AWESOME!! Has every tool imaginable, and very nicely laid out as well. All the work on that was done by the Broward Sheriff Fire-Rescue Firefighters. Yes, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue. The FD is part of the Sheriff's Department. The same Broward Sheriff's that were featured on many episodes of "Cops" was cool to see the actual department in person. I got every photo I wanted to get while I was down there!! Didn't make it to Miami, but there's always a next time!

Fort Lauderdale and area itself is a nice city. There are some really nice homes that have a waterway in their backyards for their boats. Kind of Venice-like. And the yachts down there are huge and amazing!! The beachs are really cool, very nicely kept and the water is so blue, I've never seen blue-r water!!!

On the way back, after we landed at JFK, I got to see on the runway at JFK an Embraer 190 Demo plane, which was at JFK doing some things with jetBlue. jetBlue is the E190's launch customer, and it is a 100-seater jet that jetBlue will begin taking delivery of soon. They have options to purchase up to 100, 7 will be delivered this year. It looks like an awesome plane. I wonder what new routes will be launched due to it's arrival? The E190 will compliment the A320's, and will free up the A320's from shorter routes for newer destinations and increased frequencies.

That's about it. Spent most of my time just relaxing and enjoying myself at the hotel. Overall, I had a really good time. Nice place to visit. It was a nice time which rejuvinated me. But as usual, I got a cold again now. Seems to happen every time I fly, lol. But after I get over the cold, it's back to my love of Paramedicine and pursuit of getting on as a career Firefighter.

And I actually managed to stay off the internet for 4 whole consecutive days!!!

The photos can be viewed at:

If you want to know anything more about the hotel or jetBlue, feel free to email me anytime at

So far this year, I've been to Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Fort Lauderdale. I wonder where I will go next???