Hobe Sound & Fort Lauderdale
Writing this on our cruise ship as we motor closer to the Azores, I can now look back on our last few days in the US. We’ve had an interesting, fulfilling and fun time working, playing and making lasting friendships in Silicon Valley California for 20 years, and now it’s time to begin a new chapter in our lives. We’ve spent 5 months driving across the US from coast to coast, met some fascinating people, and had some truly wonderful experiences.
Before we left California, Chris had the heart-wrenching task of selling most of his guitars. However, he really wanted to keep the beautiful Gibson 335, but was nervous about driving cross-country with it. Luckily our dear friends Don & Sue stepped in with a great suggestion: send it to their friends Marion and George in Florida, who will look after it for you, and you can pick it up before you board the cruise ship. Marion and George kindly agreed to this plan, and have been carefully looking after the Gibson for nearly six months.
As we neared Fort Lauderdale, they graciously invited us to stay with them for a couple of days, while Chris reconciled with the Gibson. What a delightful two days that was! We loved swimming in their open air, yet screened in solar-heated pool, and slept so well in the very comfortable guest room in their beautiful home. We had asked Marion and George to choose a restaurant so we could take them out to dinner, and we were delighted with the walk along the riverfront to the Sailor’s Return restaurant in Stuart. We had great fun watching the high school seniors out to dinner on their prom night!
The next day our hosts suggested a trip to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. We took a boat trip up river, and were thrilled to see so many ospreys, both flying, and sitting on their huge messy nests. There were turtles on the river banks, and a sleepy alligator too. We got off and were led through an old encampment settled by a fur trapper back in the 30’s. The ranger had lots of good stories about Trapper Nelson. Back on the boat,for a leisurely trip back down the river. This place is so beautiful and peaceful, green and lush. Florida has so much natural beauty, and we’ve only seen a small fragment of it. We’ll have to come back!
That evening chef George cooked up a delicious dinner for us. Starting with stone crab claws (yes again!) and drinks on the patio, moving on to blackened mahi mahi with all the fixin’s, and followed by George’s own recipe lemon tiramisu, which I have to say almost rivals my mother’s! After a lovely relaxing weekend with George and Marion, we drove the short distance to Fort Lauderdale, where we had booked an airbnb stay on yet another boat! We thought we needed to get used to boats, as the cruise was coming up! Jeff’s boat was a delightful 30 foot motorboat, well-equipped and certainly big enough for the two of us.
The marina the boat was docked in was rather luxurious, with an extensive air-conditioned clubhouse (with free wifi!) a nice pool and Jacuzzi, and a terrific restaurant and bar, that we ended up eating at every evening. We sold the car the very day we arrived in Fort Lauderdale, and didn’t see any need to get taxis out, as the Rendezvous restaurant had friendly people and great food!
Boat people are very friendly, and in between doing a final sorting through of our suitcases, and disposing of a few unwanted items, we enjoyed chatting with our boat neighbours. On our last morning, our airbnb host Jeff very kindly offered to drive us to Port Everglades, where we unloaded our suitcases and guitars, and had a smooth process boarding the Celebrity Eclipse, our new home for the following two weeks’ transatlantic crossing! Goodbye for now America! We’ll be back to visit for sure.
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