The morning before our cruise left port, we flew into the Fort Lauderdale airport and drove from Ft. Lauderdale to Tampa to visit a friend of ours from college. We flew Spirit airlines, which will be getting a review of its own and rented our car from Sixt rental company, who were great. We were a little confused when we got to the rental car area because we did not see a sign for Sixt, but we asked someone from another counter and told us there was a bus stop at the end of the sidewalk where they will pick you up and drive you to their off site center. We called Sixt when we got to the bus stop and they were there within 5 minutes. The car we rented was a Ford Fusion and it was clean and comfortable.
We did the drive to Tampa which ended up taking us less than four hours. It was a beautiful drive along the Alligator Alley through the Everglades. We kept commenting about how it looked like Jurassic Park.
Shortly after we got to Steve’s we went to dinner at the Columbia Restaurant in Tampa. This restaurant was built in 1905 and is the oldest restaurant in Tampa. We had mojitos made tableside (they were the best we had all ever had) and I had the Original 1905 Salad (minus the ham and olives) and it was delicious. If you are ever in Tampa, I would highly recommend it.
We then smoked hookah at an indoor/outdoor lounge while just people watching. Tampa had a lot of weirdos, like this guy….
We didn’t stay out too late because we were waking up the next morning for our 5:30 AM drive to Miami…to embark on our cruise!