We arrived in Miami as scheduled and without any major problems. We had reserved a seat on the bus to take us to the airport. The bus only goes to the air terminals, not the Car Rental Center. I love how the bus drivers describe how “easy” it is to get from the terminal to the Car Center when it is anything BUT easy.
If you have ever had the “pleasure” of trying to get from one of the terminals to the Car Rental Center, you know what I’m about to describe. Having had this experience previously I decided to leave Julieann at the terminal, guarding our bag, instead of trying to drag those bags all over hell and back. I had brought my GPS with me so I could mark the exact spot that I needed to return to once I had my rental car. I then walked (FOREVER) following the signs to the Car Center until reaching the Monorail.
The Monorail took us to the Car Center, but my rental company didn’t pay for a booth in the building so I had to wait for a shuttle to take me to their “off site” location. This extra traveling to off site is the price you need to pay to rent a car at a reasonable rate, otherwise you can pay extra for the privilege of using the Car Rental Center. I had a short wait for the shuttle which dropped me off at the rental location. I was happy to see that I was next in line.
Having had the experience of the Florida Toll Roads during our last visit here, I did not hesitate to accept the rental company’s EZ Tag option. For those unaware, it’s been a few years since we’ve visited Florida, but I think they spent the entire time just building more roads that required payment. I don’t mind, too much, to pay extra for roads that are well maintained and easily traveled, but I do have a problem with states that do NOT accept cash or credit cards for payment ---- you MUST have the EZ Tag. As explained to me by a previous agent, if I go through a Toll area without paying (by EZ Tag), the cost of the toll will be recorded against the license plate number, along with a fine for not paying. These costs would then be sent to the original car renter along with an additional FINE of $15.00 for each infraction. Based on the number of tolls I went through that did not accept cash or credit cards, I definitely saved myself a bunch of money by accepting the rental company’s EZ Tag option of $9.00 a day.
About an hour after leaving Julieann in front of the terminal waiting for me, I returned with our rental car. We then drove to our hotel and visited a local chain of Pollo Tropical for dinner. I knew Pollo is Spanish for “Chicken”, but I was interested what would make Chicken “Tropical”. I should have known. Making anything “tropical” is the same as making it “Hawaiian”; just add pineapples. So the chicken was grilled (and I skipped the pineapples), which is something different, and was pretty good.
We left the next morning to meet up with a dear friend from my Korea days in the 80’s, Monsieur Dave Benz. He was holding two of our bags for us while we were on the short, nine day cruise. We all went to lunch at the Golden Corral (love that place; we don’t have one in Hawaii), caught up on the latest news and retrieved our bags. We then drove to the condo I reserved for the remaining nine days until our next cruise.
I found this condo through RCI, our Time Share owner. After points and cash I figured that we got a fairly good deal compared to the actual price most folks are charged per night. The photos show the layout of our sixth floor unit that had a good view of the area. But, once again, we were missing something that we would really like to have. The last condo was missing an in-room Jacuzzi which we like to have, but now this one is missing a clothes washer and dryer (yes, we ARE spoiled). There are coin machines available down the hall, but Julieann doesn’t like those so she washes most clothes by hand in the sink.