Day #21 - Pancakes, Bridges (again) Iguanas & Racoons!

Time to hit the road again today as we headed out of Key West and up to Fort Lauderdale. Most of the journey was along the route we took to get down to the Keys - along the Overseas Highway, which connects the Florida Keys to mainland Florida, is a marvel of engineering and offers stunning views of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

However, before we hit the road, we had time for breakfast and we reflected how American we were being this morning, with the pancakes, bacon, maple syrup and endless coffee! 

I talked about the bridges a bit in Day #18  and how they take you over some of the most iconic bridges in the world, through lush tropical landscapes and past charming coastal towns. For our return journey the weather was brighter (no sudden downpours) and the colour of the sky and sea was magical. Of course, no photo taken from a car can do the view from the bridges justice (the barrier gets in the way!) but I tried to capture a little of our route. We even got a military fly past along the way!

The Overseas Highway is made up of 42 bridges, including the Seven Mile Bridge, which is, guess wha? - seven miles long, making it the longest continuous bridge over open water in the western Hemisphere. Some of the bridges can be quite narrow and windy, but thankfully, in a car with automatic gears and cruise control, the two hour drive across them all was very pleasant. 

The road network changed dramatically as we neared Miami. Boy, do they do wide roads over here! Some parts of the highway hit 10 or more lanes wide and we had to keep our wits about us navigating all the intersection, expressways and toll roads. How people managed before sat-nav is a mystery! There is no way I would want to attempt driving around an area like that just using an old fashioned map.

We arrived in Fort Lauderdale after just about four hours on the road which was a good time we reckoned. We found out hotel which is our home for two nights easily and once settled in, made our way to the pool - which is right outside of our room - very handy. In fact it is one of about four pools and hot tubs dotted around the hotel, each having a lovely relaxed courtyard feel to them.
So relaxing are they that not only did we spot the usual lizards basking in the sun, but our pool deck had one very special visitor - a rather magnificent iguana!
Later that evening, the area was closed off because a rather aggressive racoon had made its presence known. Who knew that there would be an abundance of wildlife in a hotel!
We had a lovely evening out, dining in the local gay village area - Wilton Manor, south Florida's most famous gayborhood! As is the case with all gay scenes, the people were friendly, fun and fabulous!
Sam, George and James toasting my approaching birthday!