Pre-Cruise

A Terrifying Flight and A Couple Nights in South Florida

Calle Ocho in Miami, Florida

I’ve detailed in previous reviews my fear of flying. I admit it’s irrational, but something happened on our flight to Fort Lauderdale that kicked my fear up to a whole new level. Soon after the initial climb-out, our plain took a sudden, unexpected nosedive. This was not turbulence, but a distinct downward dive. There were screams, obscenities, and the woman sitting next to Kathleen buried her head in Kathleen’s shoulder and screamed “oh, God! Oh, God no!” It was…horrifying. We got no explanation as to why this happened, but I devoutly hope it will never happen to me again.

We somehow managed not to die, and we eventually landed in Fort Lauderdale. Because I’m originally from South Florida, we stayed with my family rather than in a hotel.

On Saturday, we drove down to Miami to visit with some additional family and stay closer to the port in order to get an early start on Sunday. We had lunch at a fun Cuban fusion restaurant in Little Havana called Doce Provisions. It was a little more Cuban hipster than I was expecting (when I think Little Havana, I think of classic Cuban dishes), but we trusted the locals and enjoyed a delicious meal. The Cuban sandwich was very good, as was the chicken and waffles. For me though, the standout was the chorizo croquettes—a spicier version than the ham and cheese original.

The chicken and waffles at Doce Provisions in Miami, Florida
Chicken and waffles, Cuban style.
Croquetas at Doce Provisions in Miami, Florida
A delicious take on a Cuban classic.

We then took my 83-year-old grandmother to the iconic Miami bar The Ball and Chain, where we drank mojitos and listened to a fantastic combo play live music on a stage that looks like a sliced open pineapple. We also saw a carving of Pitbull out front—very Miami.

The iconic stage at the Ball and Chain in Miami, Florida
The iconic stage at this Little Havana institution.
A carving of Pitbull in Little Havana.
Mr. 305, watching over the streets of Little Havana.

Up next: Day 1 – Haven (or is it Heaven).


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