On the Road at Home…Hanging out in Florida Part I

I have a treat today! My mom and aunt are making an appearance in the blog!

It is so odd being back home in Florida. South Florida – it’s become an absolute madhouse. Or was it like that when I lived there and I was so conditioned I didn’t realize that I should fear for my life on the highways!? Perhaps I was once a crazy Miami driver and didn’t know it. Broward County (where Ft. Lauderdale is located) is where you went for a slower pace. Well not anymore!

After I landed, got my luggage and picked up my rental car I drove west on the 595 toward my aunt’s house. My mom and she were eagerly awaiting my arrival. So I could drive us to the Josh Groban concert. It was frightening.

One hour and thirteen miles later, I arrived with all of my limbs still in tact. I headed up to my aunt’s condo and was greeted by a cute little gecko. Very Florida!

 Terrible photo with my camera phone:

We hugged and chatted for awhile then headed to BB&T Center to see Josh Groban. The box suite was great and it was a fantastic time all around. The mini gourmet hamburgers were divine as was the shrimp cocktail and pot stickers. I was starving and it all hit the spot.

Before the masses rolled in:

My aunt, me and my mom. You can tell I had been up since 0345 (3:45am). I was dragging.

After the concert, I dropped off my aunt and my mom and I headed back to the hotel. Beautiful night view – I have to download the better photos from the camera. It was well past 0100 (1:00am), we washed up and hit the hay.

Then got up to a lovely view in the morning and had some errands to run!

So I have been married just over four months and don’t have my Military ID yet. Long story short, I lost my birth certificate in the fire, called to ask if I needed it, they told me no. I brought my passport, social security card, marriage certificate and driver’s license into the ID Lab. They asked for my birth certificate and well after a few “words,” I left with no ID. I ordered one and $50 and four months later, it never showed. It was time to finally get my birth certificate!

We stopped downstairs, grabbed some muffins and tea then took off to the Broward County Department of Health.

I walked in and $15 and 5 minutes later I left with my birth certificate WOO HOO! A military ID is in my near future now!


After celebrating my birth (ha) we took off to send a box to my abuela (grandmother) in Colombia then FINALLY… it was time to eat lunch. And not just any lunch. We were having Colombian food. As a Colombian living in San Diego oh how I LOOOONG for the food of my people. I have yet to find a place – closest is in L.A.

I used my trusty Yelp app and voi la. Within minutes I saw the beautiful yellow, blue and red colors of the Colombian flag.

Birth certificate was not leaving my sight:

OMG Empanadas…they were AMAZING. And do not be fooled by others. Colombian empanadas are the best. Yes, I may be a little biased: 


After chatting with the restaurant owner, Angela, we took off to the hotel so I could get ready for my event. I am here working, after all!

I answered my emails and started getting ready. My mom went to the gym. At about 1800 (6:00pm) I headed out. The event itself was awesome. What an amazing job everyone did! At about midnight or so I rolled back to the hotel. I.was.tired. Washed up/brushed and hit the sack.

I woke up ready to hit the road for Tampa Bay! We got ready, packed up and took off. I furiously searched for alligators along Alligator Alley and did not spot one. Good grief. I always see alligators. I wanted a picture for the hubs, but no such luck. If you don’t know what Alligator Alley is, it’s a long stretch of road through Florida Everglades connecting the Southwest and Southeast parts of Florida. There are canals on either side of the road full of alligators and wildlife. A lot of birds today, just no ‘gators.

Photo courtesy of Kirk Florida Blog

I had mapped out four Harley Davidson stops along our route. The minute I hit Alligator Alley I breathed a sigh of, relief, if you will. It was so nice to be out of the traffic and congestion. I think my husband is rubbing off on me. BIG TIME. LOL

First stop was in Ft. Lauderdale/Sunrise just before hitting the Alley, then off to Naples, stopped for lunch then Sarasota and Brandon. The Brandon dealership is seriously one of the most beautiful I’ve visited!

Chester’s Ft. Lauderdale:



In between dealerships, we stopped for lunch. Another treat since there are none of these in San Diego!
Haha a bad selfie. I totally missed the sign.

 We were photo bombed!

After we left the Brandon dealership, I needed gas. I was laughing so hard because I can’t believe it’s only $3.05 for gas here. $3.05?!?! How can that be? I chatted with a Southern guy who complimented my shoes. I complimented his truck (it was a nice truck). I told him I live in San Diego and haven’t seen this kind of a gas price there, oh, ever. He was in a bit of disbelief and I just laughed some more and then I told him I can’t wait to get my husband out here. My mom was like, “Yeah that WAS a nice truck!”

We headed to my parent’s house, unloaded the rental and we’ve been hanging out ever since. I’ll head out to my event early-ish tomorrow morning and then get back to ride with my dad. He has a Goldwing… more on that to come.

It’s nice to be home instead of at a hotel while I’m traveling. Not so bad to have this little treat once in awhile! I am off to bed soon and wishing everyone a fabulous weekend! Before I go – don’t forget to check out Justina Wong’s November Project Giveaway. I am sponsoring it this month and it’s a great one! Check it out by clicking here and enter to win! (Must be a military spouse to enter).

Til next time…travel safe.
Vendor Links:
BB&T Center
Hyatt Regency at Pier 66
Paisas Pues Colombian Restaurant and Bakery
Chester’s Ft. Lauderdale Harley Davidson 
Naples Harley Davidson
Cracker Barrel (Ft. Myers)
Rossiter Harley Davidson (Sarasota)
Harley Davidson of Brandon