A Vacation In Hollywood
I’m just back from a trip to Florida, in the Hollywood/Dania Beach area. (It seems the person who planned the area was originally from California, hence the name.) It was fun. Flying in and clearing security went smoothly, and we were through in less than half an hour. Just as I was thinking we’d be in the pool by 2, we hit a snag – the extremely lengthy Alamo car hire process. We had prebooked so it should have been smooth. Instead we had to wait for the rep to:
- double check our reservation
- try to con us into upgrading to a bigger vehicle (for more money)
- try to sell us insurance coverage which we already had
- get a GPS system
Finally, we had to be bussed to the Miami offsite airport parking lot to collect our car. Most of the time when I hire a car, the reps give me the car that’s available. With this Alamo rental, we had the novelty of walking to the appropriate parking lot section and picking anything we wanted – and all of them were quite big enough for our luggage, despite the rep’s dire warnings. We plugged in the GPS (later to be christened the ‘gremlin’ but that’s another story) and away we went to our hotel, one of the Marriott chain.
The room was spacious, though the bathrooms needed a refurb and we had a great view of the pool and a few palm trees. (Overall, we thought the hotel was a good choice, as it was close to places to eat, local attractions and Interstate 95 without being too noisy.) Free internet access and breakfast added to the value. By about 4.30 we were finally able to hit the pool, which was practically deserted. That’s what you get for traveling at the tail end of the season when most kids are back at school.
The next day, it was time for the fun to start. There was a local Boomers about five minutes away. This chain is one of several in Florida offering Pay and Play tickets, where you pay a flat rate and get to play as many video games as you want. If this sounds like your idea of hell, don’t worry; for an additional flat rate, you can play a couple of games of mini golf, ride on the roller coaster, go go-karting (more on those in another post) and take your kids through a mini amusement park.
We took that option and had a whale of a time squirting each other with water, tearing round the small karting track and playing mini-golf on one of the park’s seven courses. The well maintained courses are all themed, so there are sphinxes, windmills, and houses from fairytales wherever you look. This proved a great start to our holiday.
Check back on Thursday for part 2 of my Florida vacation roundup.