After many years of protest, I finally agreed to attend a Baltimore Ravens away game in Ft. Lauderdale/Miami, Florida. Six months in advance, we began planning our trip. We decided to make it a group event; one of the members of our group put an event on Face book. Although there was more initial interest, in the end five couples committed.
I am fortunate that my cousin loves to plan travel (she isn’t a professional but should be). She found a terrific boutique hotel in Ft. Lauderdale just a block from the beach, shopping and dining – The Granada Inn. I hesitate to disclose this place because I want to save it for myself!
Let me assure you, it is not easy to get five couples with different tastes, expectations and budgets to agree on a place to stay! In fact, we had a difficult time agreeing upon the city in which to stay. Key West, Miami and Ft. Lauderdale were all contenders. But, once we discovered the Granada we were all pleased – it seemed to fit all our needs.
The staff and owner of the Granada were so accommodating and welcoming. By booking so far in advance, we were able to select which room we wanted. My husband and I selected room 6 – a luxury suite with a full kitchen, living room and king bedroom. Room 6 is on the ground floor with direct access to the pool.
Whether it was just good timing on our part or some other factor, I am not sure. But, our small group seemed to have the inn to ourselves – at least the pool. We took full advantage of the privacy of the tropical court yard and pool. We were there for five days and most afternoons you could find our entire group lounging by the pool sipping our beverages of choice.
Ft. Lauderdale Beach is beautiful. Several years ago, Ft. Lauderdale was renowned as a party beach – frequented by college students. In recent years, the city has undergone a transformation. Today, the resort is chic destination with shopping and dining dotting the beach front.
The contingent of Ravens’ fans in Miami that week was awesome – everywhere we went we encountered purple clad tourists in town for the game.
My husband and I found a terrific place for breakfast a short drive away on Las Olas Boulevard – The Floridian Diner. Highly recommended. On our second visit, the manager gifted us with ball caps to bring back to Baltimore.
Most evenings, our group split up opting to dine on different schedules and at different restaurants. However, one evening, we piled into our cars and headed at to a popular taco joint we had heard about. What we didn’t expect was the two hour wait!
Next door to the taco place we found Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza – no waiting even for our large crowd! Parking was a challenge because their lot is small and they do a good take out business but we found street parking – no worries.
The food at Anthony’s was wonderful and the service terrific. The next time you are in Ft. Lauderdale, visit Anthony’s!
I have to tell you; tailgating in Miami is a world different from tailgating in Baltimore. First, it was 90 degrees that Sunday compared to cooler temperatures in B-more. In Baltimore, regular folk like us cannot get anywhere near the stadium to park – at Sun Life Stadium we could have – but didn’t – purchased a pass and parked in the stadium lot. Instead, we parked across the street.
We (I) was surprised at the party atmosphere outside the stadium. Music, food vendors, and other fun things were available before you even entered the stadium. We had a blast and, for the most part, Dolphin fans were congenial.
The Ravens pulled off a win that day making it an all around wonderful time.
We spent that last evening relaxing, recovering, packing for our trips back home and planning our next away game trip! We plan to catch our Ravens in Miami, Tampa and New Orleans next year! Stay tuned here for updates!