So Thursday was my last day of work at Ameriprise. After some tearful goodbyes to the folks at the office I hopped in my car and drove back to Brooklyn that evening. Got lost pretty bad on the way and the 2 and half hour trip turned into a four hour trip. Finally arrived and hit the sack soon after to rest up for my big weekend.
Friday morning I got on the subway and made my way over to JFK with plenty of time to spare for security (following warnings of three hour long waits due to the London terrorist plots). What I saw at the airport was pretty bizarre – longer lines than I have ever seen before at the check-in but shorter lines than I have ever seen at security. I was actually able to bypass the long lines by checking in with skycab outside, so that was nice. Since I had so much time to kill I sat down to lunch at Chilis in the terminal and read a little bit of the book I am currently reading, Gates of Fire (great book by the way – about the Spartans stand at Thermopylae against a much larger invading force of Persians). After that I got on the plane napped for about 30 minutes and then watched Thank you for Smoking on the little TV in the back of the headrest that allows you to get On-Demand movies for a simple swipe of the credit card. The movie was hilarious – if you haven’t seen it, see it. I got into Fort Lauderdale at about 4:30 PM and my buddies Ricky and Jon (both in Psi U with me) were waiting for me at the baggage claim.
It is quite hard to accurately portray through writing the craziness and fun that ensued for the next two days since nothing really notable even happened. We arrived at Ricky’s grandparents’ condo shortly after they picked me up and immediately started joking around, catching up on how are summers had been, and watching TV. The last member of our weekend festivities, Carlo, showed up about an hour later. He also is in Psi U, but transferred to Harvard last semester. We ordered a few pizzas and just sort of hung out for the rest of the evening. Apparently my buddy Jon had taken up a recent interest in cooking and baking and was dead set on us trying some crazy cookie recipe he had found. I do have to admit that they weren’t half bad either.
We woke up pretty early on Saturday since we had gone to sleep early the night before. We had breakfast at a local place called the Floridian which is I think where we started noticing the absurdity in how full time Florida residents dress. We joked that a typical Florida wardrobe probably consisted of twenty sleeveless shirts on hangars and then another twenty Hawaiian print shirts for the “nice occasions”. We also saw quite a few Bentleys on the way to breakfast which is when we started calling things “baller”, which would be a common theme for the entire trip. The baller reference is from a recent Chappelle’s show skit in which he mocks MTV cribs. Again if you haven’t seen it, see it. For the rest of the day on Saturday we walked down the main strip in Fort Lauderdale and hung out on the beach. When we got back to the condo we decided it would be interesting to see if we could launch a water balloon from our 17th story condo all the way across the street and try to land it in a pool at another hotel (which did not have any guests in it, in case you were wondering). We had one of those balloon sling shots and after a few attempts we realized it was futile since each balloon was exploding before it left the balcony. That evening we actually ended up getting separated from each other and Carlo and I ate at a restaurant pretty far down on the strip. The restaurant was pretty good, they had live music and some locals even came out to do some freestyle breakdancing across the street. Carlo decided it would be “baller” to order a $80 bottle of champagne, and it was, until the check came… The rest of the night was pretty fun, we went out to this trendy, somewhat sketchy night club which was interesting to say the least and then called it a night and went back to the condo. Throughout the evening we were very inquisitive of the other patrons we ran into, I think we all just wanted to soak in as much of the Fort Lauderdale culture as possible. Before going to sleep we also watched DMX: Soul of a Man which provided some unintentional high comedy for us – this is not a series I would say deserves TiVoing, but it is fun to run into while flipping the channels if you are bored.
Sunday I woke up quite early to catch my 9 A.M. flight. The flight again was pretty relaxing, no issues at security either. I got back to Brooklyn around two or so in the afternoon, packed up all my stuff, and drove to Ithaca. I am back now doing orientation week for the incoming Naval ROTC freshmen. I will update this in a few days to let you know how it is going.