Listen to the beat - Garfield and Tango Travel the Long and Winding Road - CycleBlaze

February 13, 2022

Listen to the beat

Gainesville to Fort Lauderdale, FL

I couldn't believe the temperature when I got up this morning - it was 68 degrees at 5 am! But it was also raining and had done so all night long. Sigh......that was going to make for a messy, sloppy packing up. 

Today we're doing one of our crazier moves as we travel to Fort Lauderdale where we'll be staying just one night. The prime purpose is to attend a Valentine's dance at a ballroom we had found. 

The rain tapered off while we ate breakfast leaving water dripping from the trees, wet leaves and mud. We were able to get unhooked, bikes loaded and the trailer hitched up by 9 which was good as we had a long drive ahead of us. Boy - the things we do for a dance!

To avoid the toll road into Orlando, we took a route that stayed closer to the east coast on I-95. I would have liked to drive closer to the ocean, but we had quite a few miles to travel with no time to linger anywhere. 

As we traveled south, the rain and grey clouds cleared leaving some sunshine, but it was a fairly boring drive. Other than breaks at rest areas, we didn't stop anywhere except at a Buccee's C-store. 

I hate to even call this a C-store. It's so large that it's more like a super Walmart! But it came at the right time for my bladder and they have a big parking lot so we can easily park the trailer. We both visited the facilities and Don picked up a sandwich for lunch. 

We've visited Buccee's in Texas, Alabama and now Florida, and I've discovered that many of the items they sell like clothes and home decor, are geared to the different states. But no Mardi Gras merchandise in Florida.

Don had been able to find us a reservation at an RV resort in central Fort Lauderdale - Paradise Island. Well, it wasn't any paradise or even a resort by any stretch of the imagination! Lots of run-down looking sites with many long term campers. Even the park models were older. Not at all like at our place in Mesa.

Our site was very hard for Don to back into as it was short and angled such that it took quite a while to get the correct angle to park. He had to try not to hit a basketball hoop, a couple of cars and some trees. I helped as best as I could and finally we got Tango tucked into her new berth. 

The spot backs up to a Walgreens and a couple of very busy, noisy roads. Not a pleasant place to stay for very long. Don had just enough room to open our hatch to get our bikes out and locked up by the hitch. 

It was our speediest settling down as we had arrived by 4 and by 5 had the bikes out, table back up, floor cleaned, and shore lines hooked up again. 

Dinner was quick salad, then we both showered and got dressed for our night on the town. When I had researched this facility it showed that it had several social dances a week, including one on Sunday. The music was DJ,  and started at 5 and went to 11 pm. From 5-8:30 it was strictly Latin then changed to ballroom. 

This place was only about 15 minutes from our park and for whatever reason, Don had wanted to arrive by 7:30. As we walked up to the front doors we could hear thumping Latin music and saw flashing lights coming from inside. It was like a nightclub with a crowded dance floor filled with writhing bodies! Hmmmmm - not what we expected or maybe wanted right now.

There was a woman sitting outside so Don asked her about the music. She confirmed that it was strictly Latin until maybe 8:15 or 8:30 when it switched over to ballroom. At that time the Latin dancers left and the ballroom people arrived. So we decided to go ahead and go inside to watch the dancers until our turn came. 

As all of the tables around the floor were filled, we opted to sit in the small lounge area. I saw that there was dance clothing displayed for sale which looked interesting so poked around while Don watched the Super Bowl on the tv. 

The clothing was very nice and a little pricey. But I ended up finding a cute skirt that I liked and Don bought it for me as a Valentine's gift! 

We enjoyed watching the dancers gyrate on the floor doing lots of fast salsas. That's one dance we haven't learned yet. Maybe at some point. 

At 8:30 on the dot, the DJ played a hustle followed by a foxtrot. The Latin dancers immediately scurried out the door like roaches escaping a burning building! That left us a table to ourselves and an open dance floor. 

We danced quite a bit and stayed later than we should have so that by the time we gassed up the truck and got home, it was nearly 10:30. But we both said that we doubted that we would come back here to dance. Even with the ballroom music, it was so loud that our ears were ringing when we left. I think we both felt assaulted from both the loud music and being at such a new dance experience.

There were lots of younger people there, although plenty that were our age - even dancing to the Latin music. Few people were wearing a mask and you just never know about vaccinations, especially here in Florida. 

Eventually we both relaxed enough to fall asleep. Tomorrow we move on again.

I'm not sure I would hire Dumbo Moving Company to move my treasured belongings!?
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At a stop at Buccee's, I saw that not only could you buy your lunch here, but that you could pick up a Buccee's custom mask!
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Definitely "Lady in Red" tonight at the Gold Coast Ballroom.
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Another scene from the Gold Coast Ballroom dance.
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