Fort Lauderdale – Launch pad for the Great North American Road Trip
Bringing my newly purchased Destiny back to my home in Fort Lauderdale was a fantastic maiden voyage. But it was now time to move out of my apartment and prepare Destiny for the rest of the Great American Road Trip. Her hideous florescent lights and carpeted floors needed to go. With the help of my friend Chuck (aka “Antoine the decorator”), we installed Brazilian wood floors with strip lighting, a new stereo and lounge lights through out. The motor home was now the motor lounge.
The below video is a brief tour of Destiny – after the make over.
The new Destiny motor lounge was ready to party and travel in style. It was time to say goodbye to my neighbors and friends at “Hamilton Landing” – a small apartment community populated by laid back people on a sleepy canal in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
I grew to love this sweet spot and its down to earth inhabitants during the two years I lived there. Tucked away on a quiet canal near the ocean, this small community was a sanctuary within the boob job botox bloated money and toy culture of South Florida. Â I grew to both love and hate aspects of South Florida (see – Florida – A Love Hate Story). Â But I always loved this sweet community.
Fort Lauderdale, with its 300 miles of canals and river ways, is known as the “Venice of America”. But unlike Venice the water does not smell of raw sewage. It’s also known as the “Yachting Capitol of the World”. It’s a virtual water world on the ocean nestled twenty miles north of Miami and thirty miles south of Palm Beach.
Hamilton Landing’s Bistro -
Where the drinks, conversation and live music flow freely
On a good day I roller bladed in a nearby rustic park, grilled out along the inter coastal waterway on the West side of the park and then crossed over to the East side for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean. After that I’d return home to the dock in time to launch the kayak for a sunset cruise.
After Kayaking, Chuck and Jamie were typically on the edge of the dock at the “Bistro” with cocktails in hand and an open invitation to make me one. Neighbors drifted in and out of the Bistro and the drinks and conversation flowed.
Hamilton Landing Lifestyle
Unlike the typical condo association in which condo commandos battle over lawn maintenance and assessments, while residents got caught in the cross fire, as renters we really didn’t care enough to fight. So we didn’t.
Everyone helped each other out in big and small ways. When Ronnie lost her husband, Chuck and Jamie helped her redecorate her apartment to give her a fresh start – at no charge. Â When Chuck and Jamie went to Europe Ronnie watched their cats . . . it goes on.
They became my friends and my adopted family. It was a sweet life with sweet people in a sweet spot. Moving out and into my motor lounge and saying goodbye was not easy.
Christening Destiny with Champagne – Bon Voyage!
To move on down the road you have to leave behind what you often grow to love. It’s the real price that vagabonds pay for their travels.
But I know that like family and friends we will stay connected even when far apart. I know that our paths will cross again.
Next Stop – Leaving Florida