LOCATION: Airport Comfort Inn in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
WEATHER: Hot and humid. 95
We have a convoluted route due to using some refunded Covid-related tickets. Our friends took us to the McAllen Airport (about 10 miles from our house) and we caught a 7:00 AM flight to Houston. From there, we flew here to Fort Lauderdale. I happily watched the new Downton Abbey movie.
We are staying the night here, as I wanted to make sure we had a buffer with no tight connections.
Our hotel is near the airport and also near the cruise ship docks, where we will catch a cruise in 2023. Good to check it out.
After we got settled, I went online and thought it strange that we had not received an email from the airline saying “It is time to check in”. So, I went to the airline’s page (TAP Portuguese Airlines) and logged in. When I clicked on “check-in”, I got this message in big bold orange letters: YOUR JOURNEYS ARE NOT AVAILABLE. Panic!!!!!!! Of course, there were not any instructions of what to do. So, we found TAP’s phone number, and miraculously got an agent. She was helpful, albeit very slow, and hesitantly said things looked ok. Before we could finish, the customer service survey recording came on and cut us off. Aargh. So, I phoned again. This new lady said her computer wasn’t working very well, so we waited and waited, after I explained things once again. I asked her why I couldn’t check-in. She didn’t know, but offered to check us in. After a very long wait, she said she couldn’t, as we were on another airline! She said I would have to call Jet Blue to check in. I tried Jet Blue’s number and got a message that I would be on hold for 40 minutes. Aargh again! They did offer a messaging service. So, I tried that, but a robot answered with just a link to the JetBLue website. I tried checking in there, but it did not recognize our confirmation number. More panic. Finally, I just typed our flight number and name, and YAY it was there! I think we are checked in and ready for tomorrow’s flight, but will not be absolutely sure until we get to the airport. We are still not sure (and the agents couldn’t tell us) whether we go to the JetBlue or TAP desk at the airport.
After that 2-hour horror episode, we rewarded ourselves with a beer. This royal poinciana tree was on our way – so tropical.
And, as luck would have it, George found the Three Sons Brewpub about 25 steps from our hotel’s door step. It looked closed and the posted hours showed it closed on Tuesdays. We were really disappointed, and there didn’t seem to be much else around. We tried the front door anyway, and indeed, it WAS open! A very friendly atmosphere, great beer, and many many taps.
We returned to the room to watch the evening news (no PBS), then walked back to the brewpub for dinner. It has a surprisingly gourmet menu for a brewpub. And, it was trivia night! Here I am concentrating on the question….
We did miserably at trivia, but it was fun. We shared these two appetizers that were superb:
Scallop crudo: Fresh U-10 diver scallops, blood orange gastrique, finger lime gremolata, pickled watermelon, micro cilantro, and pickled jalapenos
Lamb sliders: Free-range ground lamb with smoked paprika, buttered challah bun, tzatziki sauce, feta chedese, lettuce, and tomato. Served with plantain chips.
Back to the room for an early sleep. We will see what the next two days bring. We are scheduled (maybe?) to fly from here to JFK in New York, then to Lisbon, and then on to Toulouse. All with long layovers. We will be tired travelers by then!!!