Monday, May 09, 2005

We hit town this morning sometime between 12:30 and 1am. First we unpacked my car. Then came the unpacking of the bag I was using (it was Jim's) and the re-packing of my bag. I probably got to sleep sometime between 1:30 and 2am. I anticipate falling asleep on Jim's couch at around 6:30 tonight.

Ok, about the trip. I'm not going to detail our daily schedule, but I will share the highlights. Friday and Sunday we hung out in Ft. Lauderdale, and Saturday was Miami-day. We went to the beach a total of 6 times in three days. Three different beaches. Strangely, we found a nicer beach in Ft. Lauderdale than the oh-so-popular South Beach in Miami. And it was a LOT less crowded. I did not see any famous people, although Jim thought he saw Vin Diesel (is that how you spell his name?) three times over the course of the trip. We did a whole lot of relaxing, checked out some random eaterys (one named Casablanca!) and played some pool. One of the best parts was going to Starbucks yesterday afternoon and just sitting there for over three hours just talking and drinking our de-caf iced mochas. The weather was perfect-warm but not humid. And the wind that was down by the water kept us from even breaking a sweat. We both got some sun (I have flip-flop tan lines-it's officially summer to me now) but neither of us got fried. Our motel room was great. The air-conditioner wasn't the best, but we kept the windows open and it stayed pretty cool. But our door led us right out to the pool, and we just had to walk behind the motel and we were on the beach! It was very nice and you couldn't beat how private it was. And our room also had a full kitchen, so we were able to save money by just going to the grocery store and actually making our meals. It was wonderful.

I guess the most surprising moment of the trip would be when we were eating outside of a Johnny Rockets and a girl walked right by with her ENTIRE left nipple hanging out of her bikini top. I wanted to say something, but I suddenly went mute. Jim did a triple-take. It was hilarious. The best part was about 20 minutes later when she walked by again, coming from the other direction, and just noticed and corrected the problem as she walked by our table. Wow.

And now for the of the trip. We got to the beach in Miami at about 1pm Saturday. We were walking back to where we had parked at around 6, and our car was gone. As in not where we'd parked it. It was at this point (as opposed to 5 hours earlier when we parked the car there) we noticed the plethora of "Residential Parking Only" signs. Uh oh. We were towed. So we walked the half-mile back to a random hotel and asked them if we should call the police or the towing company directly. They said we could walk to the police station (like we had any other option at this point) because it was only about a quarter-mile away. So we did. They gave us the towing company's phone number. Thus began our use of pay-phones for the day (we used many). We called them, found out where they were, and took a taxi (my first taxi ride-whee!). We got there and as Jim was talking to the impound guy and finding out that we owed $185.00, I was reading the sign next to it that says they accept cash or money orders only. Uh oh. As Jim was taking out his credit card, the following conversation takes place:

Me: Um...Jim? (points out sign)
Jim: (reads sign) Shit

So then we tried an ATM to see if he could borrow on a check that hadn't cleared yet. No luck. And my ATM card was in my wallet back in the motel room. Now what? We were stranded in Miami with no car, no cell phones (they were also in our room in Ft. Lauderdale), and no money. Our next idea was to try to get a cash advance on Jim's credit card. So he called his credit card company to set up a pin number. But he couldn't-because it's a corporate card and they had to confirm it with his company. GREAT. Their suggestion? Find a bank and take out a direct cash advance. Well, that would be fine if it weren't SATURDAY. So we went to the local grocery store to see if he could buy a money order-which he could-with cash only. Suck. While there, we saw a faint glimmer of hope-a Western Union sign. Now all we needed was to find someone to send us the money. It just sucked, because Jim had all this credit on this card, but no access. More pay-phone calls. Jim tried his mom to get his sister's number-no answer. I tried my mom, who in turn tried my sister, brother, two aunts, and a friend-no luck. I tried Angie-her home number and her cell. No answer. I may or may not have cried a little at this point. And then it hit me-the Daughertys!!! I've had Josh's home number memorized for almost a decade now, so I called Tony. YES. He'd do it. So then came the waiting process. It was actually kind of picturesque-sitting on a box of paper towels with Jim in the middle of the supermarket reading an issue of Cosmopolitan together. But the money did finally come through. As the guy was confirming it (this guy became quite used to seeing our lovely faces by the end of the night) he said to Jim, "There's a secret question. You need to know both the question and the answer." Jim was flabbergasted, and I think a little scared that after all of our struggling, we wouldn't be able to actually get the money. I blurted out, "Is the question, 'What's the name of the band'?" It was. THANK GOD. Jim filled it out, and we got the money. We then walked the few blocks back to the impound lot and retrieved our car. About a half-hour later, we were back in Ft. Lauderdale-sometime between 10:30 and 11pm- almost 5 hours after discovering our car was gone. So we didn't get to Coconut Grove-sorry, Allison. :)

Even taking that "adventure" into consideration, the trip was truly wonderful, and I'm very thankful that I was able to go. And now I'm back to reality. Woot.


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