Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sights to See: 5-Hour Layover Tour at Fort Lauderdale Airport


5-Hour Layover Tour at Fort Lauderdale Airport

When you book a cruise out of Fort Lauderdale, you might find yourself getting off the ship in the morning, and with a flight that doesn’t leave until late in the afternoon, like I did.  Cruise lines usually offer some kind of shore excursion to fill that time--perhaps Sawgrass Recreation Park, like my Holland American Line cruise did.  But I’d already been to that venue and wanted to see more of Fort Lauderdale.  So I planned my own itinerary, and it turned out that it worked very well.  Here is how I spent that airport wait time to see more of Fort Lauderdale. 

First up was dropping my luggage at the airport.  It is possible to check your bags for a fee, but since I did this after 10 a.m. I was able to check in my bags with my airline--Jet Blue--at no charge. 

I kept my carry-on with me and headed out to the transportation area, where I called an Uber. 

1.  I was dropped off at the NSU Art Museum (I was almost foiled here, because it didn’t open until 11 a.m.). 

Frank Stella show at NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Frank Stella show at NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale, Florida


2.  After viewing the show, we headed down a few blocks to the lively center of Las Olas Boulevard and strolled for a while, browsing shops and galleries.

Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida


3.  We stopped for lunch at Louie Bossi’s Ristorante for my husband’s birthday lunch.  We did some people watching and enjoyed a tasty meal. 

interior of Louie Bossi's Ristorante in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
interior of Louie Bossi's Ristorante in Fort Lauderdale, Florida


4.  Though I had wanted to tour the 1901 Stranahan House Museum--it is the oldest house in Fort Lauderdale--the timing was not right for us, so instead we rested on a bench under a huge sea grape tree in the front yard and called for an Uber pick-up.  We returned to the airport a little early. 

exterior of Stranahan House Museum in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
exterior of Stranahan House Museum in Fort Lauderdale, Florida


The Uber cost about $11 each way. 


More things to do in Fort Lauderdale.

More things to do in Florida.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world


images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Things to Do: Graycliff; Nassau, Bahamas


Graycliff  West Hill St.  Situated on a residential street and next door to Government House, this historic colonial mansion is set amid lush tropical gardens.  It features many attractions as well as a tranquil oasis of a hotel (20 rooms; 2 pools; fitness center) with an unusual amenity--one of the largest menus of bottled water in the world (guests have a choice of more than 50 brands of sparkling and natural bottled water).  It also has the Caribbean’s first 5-star restaurant.

dining room of Graycliff restaurant in Nassau, Bahamas
dining room of Graycliff restaurant in Nassau, Bahamas


●The Heritage and History of the Bahamas shore excursion tour fits in most of these sites; $45 per adult.

Graycliff Chocolatier chocolate factory  I have such delicious memories of this tour that while I was writing about it here, I had to hit my chocolate stash.  Pay attention to my hard-learned words of wisdom:  Always eat chocolate right away.  Apparently some of my stash had been stashed too long, and it actually didn’t taste good!  Was I ever disappointed!  The chocolate factory here provides the opportunity to see the entire process and to do some sampling.

Graycliff chocolate factory tour in Nassau, Bahamas
Graycliff chocolate factory tour in Nassau, Bahamas






Graycliff chocolate factory tour in Nassau, Bahamas
Graycliff chocolate factory tour in Nassau, Bahamas


chocolates on Graycliff chocolate factory tour in Nassau, Bahamas
chocolates on Graycliff chocolate factory tour in Nassau, Bahamas


The Graycliff Cigar Company  Production began here in 1997 with a single human roller working in the foyer of the restaurant.  That modest start has expanded into an award-winning boutique cigar company with 16 master rollers, or torcedores, each an expert in their various format.  This company now produces five cigar brands.  Guests can arrange to take a cigar-rolling lesson.

Graycliff Cigar Company factory tour in Nassau, Bahamas
Graycliff Cigar Company factory tour in Nassau, Bahamas


thumbs up on Graycliff Cigar Company factory tour in Nassau, Bahamas
thumbs up on Graycliff Cigar Company factory tour in Nassau, Bahamas





Bahama Barrels  Housed in one of the oldest and most historical buildings in the Bahamas--a charming little church built in 1937--this winery’s owner jokes that it “went from one kind of spirit to another.”  The first winery in the Bahamas, it blends wines from grapes produced in other countries.  Guests can taste in a small tasting room and can also arrange to blend and bottle their own bottle of wine to memorialize their visit.

wine bottles and barrels at Bahama Barrels winery at Graycliff in Nassau, Bahamas
wine bottles and barrels at Bahama Barrels winery at Graycliff in Nassau, Bahamas


tasting room at Bahama Barrels winery in Nassau, Bahamas
tasting room at Bahama Barrels winery at Graycliff in Nassau, Bahamas


charming pourer in tasting room at Bahama Barrels winery in Nassau, Bahamas
charming pourer in tasting room at Bahama Barrels winery at Graycliff in Nassau, Bahamas


The Heritage Museum of The Bahamas  Located within the historic Mountbatten House, this museum opened in 2014.  It offers visitors an in-depth look at the history and heritage of the Bahamas, ranging from the pre-historic times to today.  The majority of the collection is owned by British antiques collector Hamilton White.  It covers Columbus, the piracy era, slavery and plantation life, the days of the Duke of Windsor, and the Royal Air Force.  The oldest artifact is a piece of a meteorite that is approximately 4.5 billion years old.

exterior of The Heritage Museum of The Bahamas at Graycliff in Nassau, Bahamas
exterior of The Heritage Museum of The Bahamas at Graycliff in Nassau, Bahamas


colorful pirate mural at The Heritage Museum of The Bahamas at Graycliff in Nassau, Bahamas
colorful pirate mural at The Heritage Museum of The Bahamas at Graycliff in Nassau, Bahamas


whale bladder canteen at The Heritage Museum of The Bahamas at Graycliff in Nassau, Bahamas
whale bladder canteen at The Heritage Museum of The Bahamas at Graycliff in Nassau, Bahamas


The Graycliff Heritage Village Artists Studios  Set in the restored Sisters of Charity nun's dormitory, these independently operated studios permit guests to meet and interact with talented local artisans and purchase locally created art pieces.  Artists work in a variety of mediums, including jewelry, paintings, photography, and pottery, as well as shell-carved ornaments and sneakers made from straw.

The Drawbridge Patisserie  Located at Mountbatten House, this patisserie serves a selection of housemade pastries and gelato.




More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images and videos ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers