I drove down to South Florida to visit my dad this weekend. He recently got moved-in to a VA nursing home in Pembroke Pines, and I hadn't really had a chance to see the entire facility, etc. So, since I had nothing else to do (yeah, right!), I figured I'd go on a little roadtrip/adventure.
Well, the visit with Dad went as expected. His Alzheimer's Disease
has progressed to the stage where he recognizes me, but only after I introduce myself. He looked really old to me. That was depressing. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I could only take about an hour and a half before I'd had enough and had to get out of there.
I didn't want to drive all the way back up to Central Florida after that ordeal. And, since I knew the King Tut exhibit was going on in downtown Fort Lauderdale (more on that later), I decided to make it an overnite stay. I found the North Fort Lauderdale Marriott
had a package deal. Reserve a room get free VIP tickets, audio passes, and gift shop coupons, etc. So, I signed-up online not quite knowing what to expect.
Let me just say that I had NEVER been to that part of Florida before. Anything south of Vero Beach might as well be a foreign country as far as I'm concerned. And, it had slipped my mind that they got hit by a hurricane a few months back. So, it was a bad dejavu experience driving around town and seeing all the blue tarps that we grew to know and hate in metro-Orlando back in 2004. But, I digress.
As I exited I-95 and approached the Marriott, I had a lot of misgivings. It had obviously been hit by the hurricane. (It was still missing it's marquee "Marriot" logo.) But, what could I do? I went in, got my keys and Tut passes, and braced myself for the worst.
I cannot say how pleasantly surprised I was to walk in my room to discover some of the nicest accommodations I have enjoyed at a hotel in a very long time. The front desk clerk told me after the storm they had to buy all new linens and redo the rooms. Well, they did a GREAT job. And, she was kind enough to give me a room on the 4th floor, with down-the-hall access to the pool, sauna, hot tub, and excercise room--all of which passed muster and offered a great view of the skyline of downtown Fort Lauderdale.
So, bottom line, if you find yourself down in that neck of the woods, I can highly recommend the North Fort Lauderdale Marriott
. . . and maybe they'll give you a room on the 4th floor, too!