we are back from our short and sweet trip down south where we escaped the cold and hung out a few days in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. i’m starting to think that short little trips are the ticket to a stress free mini vacay. if i’m gone too long from routine otto gets out of sorts, the farm work piles up as do the papers on my desk at the office. also i hate packing and unpacking and a few days is totally doable. we had a great 2.5 days in Fort Lauderdale florida soaking up the sun and playing on the beach. we had otto with us so everywhere we went was kiddo friendly.
we flew down and it was the first time flying with otto. it went better than expected! the flight down we flew out at 10am. we drove to Detroit so we could have a direct flight from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale. i took a lot of your suggestions but what ended up doing the trick on the way down was an empty starbucks bag and cup and an ipad. he fell asleep about 30 minutes into the flight and woke up with 30 minutes to go and had an epic meltdown. it was most likely his ears. but hey we made it. we picked up our bags and our rental car and we were off.
otto needed to stretch his legs and we were starving. we couldn’t check in to the hotel until 3 so we stopped at an outlet mall (sawgrass mills) (how convenient) and grabbed a burger and a glass of wine outside after otto fell asleep in the stroller. we wandered around for an hour or so before going to check in to the hotel. we stayed at the ocean beach club which i booked off of priceline. be very careful of when you go as we were checking out monday … all the frat boys were checking in. I will say though our hotel was very good at keeping the typical spring break madness to a minimum. other hotels though…. not so lucky. the hotel was clean and simple and a stones throw from the beach. just what we needed for the trip. it also had a small clean outdoor pool and fridges in the room which were awesome for formula. we were so tired after we checked in that we walked to a cvs and bought chips and dip for dinner. we were all exhausted and wanted to rest up for a couple of big days.
saturday morning we walked to a starbucks near the hotel and grabbed some coffee before packing up and heading to sweet nectar on las olas blvd. we had bottomless mimosas and brunch while we people watched. we spent the morning there as otto napped in his stroller. we went right at 10 and pretty much had the place to ourselves until 11ish. we walked around the street checking out the shops and getting ice cream. we decided around 2 it was time to head back and check out the beach. otto isn’t quite old enough for a full day at the beach so going from 2 – 4ish was perfect. the sun was behind the big buildings so we had plenty of shade to play in. he LOVED scooting around and feeling the sand. he burned off a ton of energy! he was not so much a fan of the wa wa (water) but we tried. we went for a short beach walk before heading back to the hotel to get ready for our friends wedding.
the wedding was held at the sample mcdougald house on the lawn. it was the perfect night for a beautiful outdoor wedding. we danced, we ate and celebrated. otto loved the music and all the pretty ladies. otto behaved so good for the wedding that we were able to stay out a little later than normal having fun celebrating the marriage of our friends.
sunday morning we woke up and headed back to las olas blvd in Fort Lauderdale to a place called anns flowers and coffee. it was a cute little coffee shop that had..you guessed it a flower shop in it. it also had a bar and an entire room of potted orchids. we grabbed a slice of quiche and a latte and ate outside while we people watched. we played at a nearby park and enjoyed watching the boats while otto got to scoot and play for a while. we decided to take a drive and head to Miami since we were so close. we went on the recommendation of our instagram friends and checked out the Wynwood neighborhood. what a suprise! we were not expecting it to be that cool. the murals were on every single building. graffiti everywhere and such cool shops and places to eat and drink.
we grabbed tacos at COYO and enjoyed a margaritas, guacamole and elote as well. it was busy and crowded but we still managed to eat outside with tot in tow. after that we walked around checking out the markets, vendors, shops and other places to eat and drink. it was a great place to explore and so much to do that i wish we had more time there. it was fun to see all the different street art and food trucks. i think this is where i put on a majority of my vacation weight haha. we headed back around 3:30 it took about 45 minutes to get back to our hotel. we decided to go for another beach walk and play in the sand. we walked the pier and back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. we went to a mediocre restaurant by the beach. it was ok, not that good but we ate and enjoyed a mini parade and more people watching. we ate outside and otto thought it was so fun to watch the golf carts and people. we walked back after sunset to the hotel and sadly packed up our things to head home early the next morning.
we left our hotel at 430 to catch our 8am flight. it took about 45 minutes to get to the airport from our hotel in Fort Lauderdale and traffic at the airport was a mess. we returned the rental car and made it through TSA by 6am giving us two hours to wander the small delta terminal. Otto loves walking around and watching the planes and it was good to give him a chance to “shake his sillies out”. we thought for sure getting up so early that he would fall right to sleep on the plane.
nope. he wanted to play for about 1hr 45 mintues. the saving grace this time was the easter eggs i packed into his little backpack that had little surprises in them like finger puppets and race cars. with 45 minutes left into the flight he finally passed out. all in all it was not bad. being prepared was good. we also flew delta comfort plus and the extra leg room was key. i’ll write more about our airport strategy later but in the meantime it was a simple and easy flight and trip from Fort Lauderdale back to Detroit.
read more about our vacations here2