So the original plan was that I would do no driving after dark. When I booked my round trip Miami-Santo Domingo it was an Expedia package that included the hotel in SD. The deal was that I couldn’t make any changes but the airline could. They changed my morning flight back to Miami to an afternoon flight. They did this shortly after I booked so it’s not like I didn’t have much notice but I figured, OK, it’ll be fine. By the time we taxied on the runway after landing (I swear we taxied longer than we were in the air), waited 20 minutes or so disembarking, walked a mile and a half to get the Skytrain to Customs (which they call Passport Control), waited about a half hour for my shuttle ride, and got into my car ready to head for Ft. Myers, it was pretty much dark already.
What runs through your head driving in the dark down a two lane, barely lit highway through the Everglades when you keep seeing signs that say 60 MPH/45 nighttime, Drive Carefully? I’m not keen on alligators and I couldn’t help wondering if they ever came up onto the road. The GPS suggested my ETA in Ft. Myers would be after 10 pm and as I covered mile after mile of almost no traffic with everything pitch black either side of the road, I wondered if it might be best to take the loss on the booked room and get off the highway at Naples and spend the night there.
When I got to the turn that I thought would be a brighter, better roadway, it turned out that I was now supposed to watch for panthers! I didn’t even know they had panthers in Florida!! By the time I reached the major highway that went to both Ft. Myers and Naples, two things happened: 1) it seemed that Naples was only about 40 min from Ft. Myers, and 2) the GPS has revised my arrival time to 9:30 and it was now 8:45. So here I am in Fort Myers! Finally!! (Glad I had a nice lunch at the airport in DR.). I’m really loving La Quinta Inns — great rooms, breakfast included, and friendly staff. Oh yeah, and great TVs!
Many lessons learned on this trip where I needed to go through countries with different currencies and where people tell me things that I question but don’t speak up and actually question. For instance, the desk clerk who checked me in at the hotel in Santo Domingo gave me a sheet of important information pieces about the hotel and the first one, which she drew my attention to and read out to me was that there was a charge of $8.95 USD for the buffet breakfast. So I only went a few times and ate breakfast “out” most days. It was included. Just as well I didn’t know or I would have eaten too much. So my bill was less than I thought it would be but on the other hand . .
Here is my last weather photo from Santo Domingo.
Cheers from Ft. Myers, Florida!