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Ryan and Megan's Florida Itinerary
Saturday, February 7, 2009 - Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Howdy, folks! In early 2008, we took a half-cross country trip across the northern panhandle of Florida. Originally, that trip was supposed to include a trip all the way down the coast to Key West, but that added too much time onto an already time-crunched trip. So, we decided to break it apart and take a separate Florida-only trip in 2009. So, here we go! We'll be down in the sunshine state for about 4 days to take in all of southern Florida. And to top it off, we'll be taking along some newbies to our wacky vacation! Megan's siblings, Colleen and Dave have both agreed to sit in a car for hours on end, just to get a break from a cold and snowy Connecticut winter. This should be a pretty nice trip - we would have liked to have done it about a month or so later to catch baseball's spring training, but with flights at $50 a pop for this weekend, we couldn't resist! So, with all that being said, onward to the plans...
~ Ryan

All times are local to the particular city. Florida is in the Eastern Time Zone, so there is no difference for most of our friends and family who may be stalking us.

Emergency Contact Information:
Phone (Ryan's Cell): 410-259-4180
Phone (Megan's Cell): 443-564-1301
E-mail: (will be checked as often as possible)

Once again, we will be bringing a webcam along with us for the ride. Signal will be sporadic and reliant upon good power to the laptop, but whenever we can, we will try to pump new images to this page every 20 seconds - no need to open a new window or refresh! If the picture doesn't update, then we are out of signal. Just check back later.

*** OUTBOUND ***

Ryan and Megan

  Flight #1/1: Saturday, February 7, 2009 -   TRACK IT!
  Southwest Airlines - Flight 2047 (Baltimore to Fort Lauderdale)
  DEPART Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 6:25 AM
  ARRIVE Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) at 9:05 AM

Colleen and Dave
  Flight #1/2: Saturday, February 7, 2009 -   TRACK IT!
  Southwest Airlines - Flight 2038 (Hartford to Baltimore)
  DEPART Hartford, CT (BDL) at 6:30 AM
  ARRIVE Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 7:50 AM

  Flight #2/2: Saturday, February 7, 2009 -   TRACK IT!
  Southwest Airlines - Flight 2038 Baltimore to Fort Lauderdale)
  DEPART Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 8:20 AM
  ARRIVE Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) at 11:05 AM

*** INBOUND ***

Colleen and Dave

  Flight #1/2: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 -   TRACK IT!
  Southwest Airlines - Flight 592 (Fort Lauderdale to Tampa Bay)
  DEPART Fort Lauderdale (FLL) at 4:15 PM
  ARRIVE Tampa Bay, FL (TPA) at 5:25 PM

  Flight #2/2: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 -   TRACK IT!
  Southwest Airlines - Flight 1041 Tampa Bay to Hartford)
  DEPART Tampa Bay, FL (TPA) at 7:10 PM
  ARRIVE Hartford, CT (BDL) at 9:55 PM

Ryan and Megan
  Flight #1/1: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 -   TRACK IT!
  Southwest Airlines - Flight 564 (Fort Lauderdale to Baltimore)
  DEPART Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) at 5:40 PM
  ARRIVE Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 8:15 PM

Hotel: Night 1, February 7, 2009
La Quinta Inn & Suites Ft. Myers - Sanibel Gateway
20091 Summerlin Rd
Fort Myers, FL 33908
Phone: 1-239-466-1200
Room Type: Pool View (2 Full Beds)

Hotel: Night 2, February 8, 2009
Best Western Hibiscus Motel
1313 Simonton Street
Key West, FL 33040
Phone: 1-305-294-3763
Room Type: Pool View (2 Queen Beds)

Hotel: Night 3, February 9, 2008
Days Inn and Suites Miami/North Beach Oceanfront
7450 Ocean Terrace
Miami Beach, FL 33141
Phone: 1-305-866-1631
Room Type: 2 OceanFront Balcony Rooms (2 Double Beds, each)

Car Rental: February 7 (9:00am) - February 10 (5:00pm)
Alamo Rent A Car
600 Terminal Drive
Ft Lauderdale, FL 33315
Phone: 1-954-359-2550
Car Type: Fullsize (Grand Prix GT or Similar)

Note: The numbers in the itinerary correspond to the map at the bottom. Hyperlinked items are from the book 1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die. For context, this section was written by Ryan.

Saturday, February 7
Click for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, Florida Forecast
Our trip begins with an early-morning flight from Baltimore to Fort Lauderdale. We are going to arrive about 2 hours prior to Colleen and Dave, so we'll need to find something to do while we wait. We could have gotten on the same plane as them, but that would have doubled the cost of the flight. I think we'll just wait [1]. From there, we drive north through Boca Raton [2]. We'll drive through Palm Beach and stop by The Breakers [3]. It's a bit too pricey to stay there, so we'll drive as far north as Jupiter [4] before heading west. We'll drive past Lake Okeechobee on our way to Sanibel and Captiva Islands [5]. Since we are traveling in the winter, it will have gotten pretty dark, so we'll head to our hotel, La Quinta Inn [6]. And we've racked up enough points to make it a free night - score!

Sunday, February 8
Click for Fort Myers, Florida Forecast
Today is going to be one of the longest driving days of the trip, so hopefully we'll all be fully rested when we get up at dark o'clock to compete for the bathroom. If we can get up early enough, we'll go for an early stroll on the beach in Fort Myers before heading south to Naples [7]. Although it may not be like traveling to the one in Europe, the early settlers in 1860 called its beauty "surpassing the bay in Naples, Italy." Well, if we ever get out there, we'll just have to do some comparisons! We can't stay long because we've got some alligators to check out in the Everglades. Depending on how fun the marshes are, we'll be heading out sometime in the late afternoon. From there, it's a very long, traffic-clogged drive to the home of Jimmy Buffett and Ernest Hemingway, Key West. Our hope is to get there in enough time to say farewell to the sun in the Conch Republic's famous Mallory Square [10], but knowing us, it'll almost be midnight and time for bed.

Monday, February 9
Click for Key West, Florida Forecast
There is so much to do today! We could go to the southernmost point in the continental USA, or check out Hemingway's house, along with his multi-toed cats. Or, we could go to Harry Truman's Little White House before grabbing some grub at Captain Tony's Saloon (the original Sloppy Joe's). And that's just for starters in Key West! We still need to drive through the Little Palm Island Resort and Spa on Little Torch Key [11], along with the Dolphin Research Center, as we make our way through the Upper and Middle Keys [12]. But we aren't finished yet! After we make our way through another load of traffic, we will end up in downtown Miami [13]. Although it might be fun to check out some filming locations from the TV show CSI: Miami, we can't do that on this trip since most of the footage is shot in Long Beach, California. Instead, we'll check out a ton of landmarks, courtesy of our 1,000... book, including the Biltmore Hotel, Norman's (well, when it was still open), Villa Vizcaya, the location of the Orange Bowl, and Calle Ocho. Finally, we'll head off to Miami Beach for our $21 beach-front hotel room [14]. I think there was a mistake on their website when we booked (like a decimal point in the wrong place), but nonetheless, we grabbed two rooms for that price! Let's hope the hotel honors it, else we'll be spending the night on the streets!

Tuesday, February 10
Click for Miami Beach, Florida Forecast
Today is our last day in the Sunshine State! But we aren't going to make it easy on ourselves... we've got a bunch to do in Miami Beach, including South Beach, the Wolfsonian, the Miami Hipster Hotel Trail, and lunch at Joe's Stone Crab. By the time all that is said and done, it'll be time to make our way to the airport to head home [15].

Don't have time to read all the nonsense above? I don't blame you. Just check out the map below to see our guesstimated route.

Just as before, these are some links where you might be able to track our flight. With all of these sites, be sure to hit refresh (F5) and click 'Retry' as applicable to view the latest information.

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