Fall is fast approaching in the Canadian capital so there's only one thing to do at this time of the year - hop on a jet to the sunshine state. This weekend brings me to Fort Lauderdale, where I have the pleasure of attending the International Boat Show. I'm resting up at SPG classic, The Westin Hotel located right on the beach.
I arrive to Fort Lauderdale early on Saturday morning with West Jet, on a direct flight from Toronto Pearson International. I'm surprised at the generous legroom offered between seats and the genuine kindness of the flight attendants. The three hour flight flies by (pun intended), and I touch down in Florida in no time.
I jump into a cab at arrivals and head over to the WestIn Hotel to check in. The people in Fort Lauderdale are so friendly, each person makes an effort to stop and say hello - this is the kind of thing I appreciate when I travel. Despite waking up at 4am, I'm feeling uplifted by the spirits of the Floridians! The hotel layout is confusing at first, I'm over in the South Tower, which is a bit of a hike from the reception but I make it to my room without any problems.
Bags dropped off and time to explore! I walk out onto the pavement and over to the beach. The golden sand, blue skies, and sunshine - this is paradise! It feels good to wear shorts and Birkenstocks again, I'm no longer curled up with my blanket in front of the heater.
On my way to the International Boat Show, I decide to stop into Hooters for a quick bite of lunch. I've never been to the heavily publicized chain restaurant before but when in Florida, do as the Floridians do, right? I chow down on a turkey club wrap, which comes served with curly fries. The food is decent, and the service is great - it's exactly as it appears in the movies.
Fed, fueled and ready for the day ahead, I make my way down to the harbour to take a peak at the International Boat Show in the heart of the city. Various kinds of boats are on display, including express cruisers, super yachts, trawlers, and high performance boats.
The show is running until Monday evening and is the biggest and most frequented event of its kind. I take a gander at the HMY Yachts on display, it's my first time on a yacht, and from that moment on I start dreaming about a sailing adventure on board one of those beauties.
I wake up on Sunday to the most beautiful view, I practically jump out of bed at 6am and walk out onto the beach before indulging in breakfast at the hotel. Poached eggs on toast with a side of fruit and of course, a cup of freshly brewed coffee. I spend the day relaxing and wandering the side streets near the hotel, taking in the spectacular views and enjoying the cool summer breeze.
Lunch brings me to the Hilton Hotel, a terrace restaurant called Ilios on the sixth floor, with panoramic views of the city, where I place an order for my favourite hotel speciality - a classic club sandwich. The bread is a freshly baked brioche loaf, slightly toasted, with a filling of avocado, egg, turkey, and bacon.
I feel rejuvenated as I make my way to Fort Lauderdale airport on Sunday evening. A weekend well spent brings a working week of content! The flight takes off on time and I take a peak out at the birds-eye view from the airplane before closing over the window blind and drifting off to sleep.