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I had points on Marriott Vacation Club that expired the summer of 2017 and lots of big vacations planned between the spring of 2016 and then. I therefore started looking around the MVC resorts in Florida and came upon Ft. Lauderdale. In the past, Ft. Lauderdale was always a beach and Spring Break destination, so this time I wanted to see the rest of the area. Of course, as luck would have it, it was the weekend of the cityís Great American Beach Party, so it felt a little like Spring Break. We did see some historical aspects of the city, though, and had a nice river cruise past all the yachts.

Mini-vacation in Ft. Lauderdale: 05/25/16-05/29/16

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We arrived in town and found our room up high above the pool. Madeline did a little sunning while I did some work. We then walked down to the Jungle Queen river cruise. We sailed by the rich and famous, seeing their yachts and mansions. There was the historic Stranahan House along the way. We stopped on an island for a big barbeque dinner, and of course I got picked to be in the show.


The morning sunrise from our balcony was great. We walked down to the Swimming Hall of Fame, which had treasures from Olympic swimmers old and recent. I worked some while Madeline enjoyed our own pool deck. I then joined her on the beach for a little stroll before we ate some oysters and sushi for dinner.

Our resort pool as seen from Floor 19 (above) and the resort as seen from the beach (right).


After lunch, we walked down to the Bonnet House, a historic home just north of our resort. The property was originally acquired in 1895 by Hugh Taylor Birch, a successful Chicago lawyer, and given to his daughter Helen and her husband, artist Frederic Clay Bartlett, as a wedding gift in 1919. Bartlett built a plantation-style home on the property and wintered there until Helen died in 1925. Bartlett then married Evelyn Fortune Lilly, ex-wife of Eli Lilly, and they continued to use the home as a winter residence until his death in 1953 and hers in 1997. She deeded the property in 1983 to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, which maintains the property as a historic house museum called the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens

Madeline went for a swim while I worked (above) and took a photo of me on the balcony (right).

We also toured inside of the house, which included a beautiful courtyard. Because Frederic was an artist, walls were painted bright colors and either his art, Evelynís art, or art from their world travels, were located everywhere. The house remains exactly as it was when Evelyn died in 1997.

One of my new favorite photos (right).


We woke up to a storm on the Atlantic in the distance. It didnít take long for it to come ashore and it stayed there, so we decided to drive north to get away from the front. The photo above is Delray Beach where we ate lunch, only 25 miles away, and it shows the south (Ft. Lauderdale) on the right and the north (Palm Beach) on the left. We continued on to Palm Beach and went to Singer Island, which has our home resort, Oceana Palms, for MVC.

We returned to Ft. Lauderdale and it had finally dried out. The street was closed in front of our resort and the Beach Party was on. They had lots of old cars, which were fun to look at. We ate at Hooters and had a good view of the street scene and a girl doing a handstand on top of a guyís hands. It was all good fun.

Sunday morning we got up and took our time heading home. It was a nice several days in a fun and lovely Florida city.