I just returned from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where I had the pleasure of seeing four beautiful new faces in the city known as "The Venice of America".
The first three faces were those of three beautiful babies. Granted I am a bit prejudiced (they are my great-grandsons), but I just had to share them with you. Please allow me to introduce you to my twin great-grandsons 4-month old Asher and Ethan, and their one-month old cousin Abraham.
ETHAN, ABRAHAM, AND ASHER WITH GREAT-GRANNY JANET STEINBERG
The fourth beautiful face I saw in Ft. Lauderdale was the result of an extensive facelift. No, it's not what you might be thinking. It was not on my Florida daughter's face or on that of one of my granddaughters. It was on the atrium area of my Ft. Lauderdale home-away-from-home…The Embassy Suites Ft. Lauderdale on 17th Street.
OUT with the old.
IN with the new! That is the hotel's 21st century mantra.
OUT is the old, tired aqua and coral sea-shelled carpeting that lined the atrium halls.
IN is carpeting with a chic magical meld of geometric stripes, and circles.
OUT are the flowery carved suite numbers on Colonial-style doors. IN are stunning grey and chrome suite numbers on sleek geometric doors, with door locks accessible through an app on your I-phone.
OUT are the yellow walls and the out-of-date flower boxes precariously perched on the atrium's railings.
IN are soft ivory walls and a new sleek look upwards in the hotel's atrium.
COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST SERVED DAILY IN THE ATRIUM
All this overlooks a verdant waterfalled atrium and the breakfast area with tasteful cane furniture plus a community dining table.
TROPICAL SETTING IN THE ATRIUM
OUTside of the hotel, adjacent to the bar, is a lush green area complete with colorful koi fish swimming around in their pool.
KOI SWIM IN AN OUTDOOR POOL
Like the koi, guests have their own pool complete with waterfall, deck chairs, and fluffy towels…all complimentary.
SWIMMING POOL AT EMBASSY SUITES FT. LAUDERDALE
Close to the airport and cruise terminal, Embassy Suites Ft. Lauderdale is one of the best buys in South Florida. In addition to offering a 2-room suite, complete with microwave, refrigerator and 2 flat-screen televisions, the hotel also offers a complimentary Business Center and serves a daily complimentary cooked-to-order full breakfast and a complimentary nightly cocktail hour complete with a variety of snacks.
Other best buys are some of the unique offerings at the Seldom Seen Gallery on Las Olas Boulevard. At the Harbor Shops, a two-minute walk from the hotel, you can stock up on treats from Publix and a myriad of other shops and restaurants. One of my favorite restaurants in that shopping center is Gilbert's, a family-run, reasonably priced restaurant with delicious homemade soups and food.
UNIQUE OFFERINGS FROM THE "SELDOM SEEN GALLERY" ON LAS OLAS BOULEVARD
Other old-time, affordable favorites (a short drive from Embassy Suites) are Ernie's B-B-Q, a glimpse back into the Florida of bygone days, and Lester's Diner (serving South Florida since 1967) where they bake the most incredible desserts right on the premises.
DESSERTS TO DIE FOR AT LESTER'S DINER
Another old tradition in Ft. Lauderdale is the Jungle Queen Riverboat that offers sightseeing and dinner cruises on the Intracoastal and the New River. Let your imagination run wild as you create the scenarios that might be taking place in the waterfront mansions as you sail past them.
WATERFRONT MANSIONS AS SEEN FROM THE JUNGLE QUEEN RIVERBOAT
Everything old is new again in Ft. Lauderdale. But, next time around, I will be seeing the city through the eyes of my three great-grandsons.
JANET STEINBERG is an award-winning Travel Writer, International Travel Consultant, and winner of 40 national Travel Writing Awards.