I felt a bit 'fragile' but good enough to go on our Land & Sea Excursion in Lauderdale this morning.We had a dynamic and peppy tour guide who loves history and told us all about the city though she's only lived here for a couple of years. Hector, our bus driver, drove us through the part of town where Mom and I used to live in the 50's but I didn't recognize a thing! When we got onto A1A and drove along the beach and hotels – still little looked familiar. The beach seemed narrower; all the neat hotels I remember were replaced with huge condos and towers. Las Olas Blvd. is upscale and attractive but unfamiliar. The finger islands (connected to Las Olas by little bridges) seemed to now have huge McMansions that I think must has replaced the older but lovely one-story homes of yore. Hector told me that the city did a major rebuild in the 1980s and he agrees it has lost a lot of its charm and is now just opulence.
We took a 90-min. narrated cruise on the New River and part of the Intercoastal Waterway on the Carrie B. Once again I was stunned by the size and value of the homes and yachts! Hard for us to comprehend just 2 people living in a 30,000 sq. ft. home while we live in a 400 sq. ft. apt! A gorgeous house with pillars on a huge waterfront 'corner' was for sale at $35 million! A 275 ft. yacht belonging to some billionaire is valued at $116 million! Over the top – and why? (Don't get me started...!)
Upon our return to the ship, we started the 2nd half of this cruise. We 'did' the Eastern Caribbean so now we head for the Southern Caribbean for the next 11 days.