Sunny Isles: Day 1
Today is a travel day. But it’s a pretty relaxed one, so very low stress. We woke up and made breakfast. Mandy made it, not we. Credit where it’s due. We packed up all our stuff pretty slowly, and went over to the grocery store on foot. We wanted to pick up a couple things for snacks at the airport and on the plane. We’d been told to arrive to the airport 3 hours early because we would go through customs twice. This was a little unorthodox, but it’s because U.S. Customs and Border Protection has an office in the airport on Aruba. So you “leave” Aruba and “enter” the United States all inside the same building, before you fly across the Gulf of Mexico. The line was not long at all, and we moved through much quicker than the 3 hours we planned for. So we had plenty of time to chill in the airport before takeoff. We saw some of our party in the airport, and a few of them were even on our flight. We said our “his” and “byes”, and eventually made our way through the gate onto the airplane.
Once we got situated on the craft, we heard the occasional baby noise, and didn’t think much of it. Once we were up in the air and climbing, the noises became more frequent. They were emanating from the seat immediately behind us. At cruising altitude, we listened to nearly incessant screaming for the entire remainder of the flight to Fort Lauderdale. I’m pretty sure this is the least enjoyable flight I’ve ever been on. Someone probably told the parents at some point that having children would be ‘fun”. They were pretty nonchalant about the whole situation. Not that there was anything to be done about it, but they expressed no discomfort whatsoever. In fact, they chuckled at the thought of how many people around them were probably annoyed at their hellspawn’s antics. When the plane finally landed, we couldn’t run up the jetway fast enough. We booked it all the way outside the airport, ecstatic to be in the stifling heat, sweating almost immediately. What a relief!
We caught an Uber to our new temporary home in Sunny Isles, Florida. The ride was nothing noteworthy, and we arrived to our place around 6pm. We checked in and turned the air conditioning down. Or is it up? We never know. What do you call it when you make the setpoint colder? We dumped our bags and hit the street on foot. We found a restaurant online yesterday that we were excited to check out. It was right across the street, so it was pretty easy to get to, although Google Maps was trying to take us some roundabout way. We found a footbridge over the highway that Google apparently doesn’t know about, and that saved us about half of the distance.
We got to Chayhana Oasis in about 10 minutes, walking. We opted to sit outside on the sidewalk, since the weather was perfect. We chatted with our super friendly waitress about different types of Georgian wines they had, and she picked us out a bottle of sweet red that we could not read. But we could taste it! And it was quite good. We ordered some Uzbeki bread and one pumpkin samsa and one beef samsa. They’re sort of like empanadas, but not quite. We’d never had them before, but they were fantastic. The beef was so tender that we had to have more of it. So we ordered a beef kebab. And we figured we should have one with chicken too, just because. They were served with pickled onion and a sweet sauce. We also ordered a plate of pilaf which is cooked with lamb. When the food came, we feasted. It was the best meal we’d had on the trip yet! The chicken kebab uses thigh meat, so it’s naturally tender. The beef was even better than what was in the samsa! And the pilaf was awesome, too! We even enjoyed the pickled onion! We probably ate a tad too much, but we couldn’t help it. We people-watched a bit, and wondered if we were perhaps a bit early. As we were cashing out to leave, around 9pm, there were still people arriving to dinner. We walked a bit of the food off, but not nearly enough. We relaxed in our place for a little while before we crashed.
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"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.