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Florida rants and raves - non fishing

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I posted a fishing report of the trip in the main forum at this link:

 

http://www.stripersonline.com/surfta...d.php?t=746626

 

Now for my rants - I hate Orlando Int'l Airport. The most disorganized airport I've flown into...actually it was the outbound flight where I discovered the problems. We flew JetBlue. It took 20 minutes to print out our boarding passes, 45 minutes to check in our luggage and 45 minutes to get through securitymad.gif The place sucks (not Orlando in particular, but the Airport).

 

When we arrived a week ago from this past Thursday, it was already getting late and by the time we picked up our rental car, it was 11:00 PM. We headed out on rt 528 (the "Beach Line") towards Int 4 on our way to the Disney resort we were staying at. After getting on 528, we reached one toll (the 1.00 toll), which was set up in a more obvious, typical configuration with a toll gate across the entire highway along with individual toll booths.

 

It was the second toll that caused us problems. This road has toll both where you have to actually exit the highway to pay. If you stay on the actual highway and don't have a 'Sun Pass', you will have blown a toll...And what do you think happened to us?redface.gif When we checked the car back in to the rental company, we asked the agent about it. Evidently, we have a small chance (as long as it was only one time, which it was) of not seeing anything come of this. But otherwise, we'll get billed from Thrifty for $25.00 as well as the .75 we didn't pay. I kind of wish they mentioned these crazy tolls when we picked up the car, although I understand it's not really their job. But we are fast learners, coupled with daylight driving to where we could see better...and we were able to avoid subsequent blown tolls.

 

Last Rantcwm27.gif ...The hotel in Naples tried to double bill us. They charged my credit card after I had mentioned only put a hold because I was paying cash when we left (this was in addition to the $250 security deposit that was required). I paid with cash when we left Naples (to Venice) on Wednesday and the lady at the counter did not mention anything about a credit card charge and simply took my money (she did give me a receipt)...On the drive to Venice, I called my credit card company to see where my balance was at (I'm always learyredface.gif ). It turns out that the security deposit was still on hold (which I expected), but then they also charged my card for the room. I called them to ask them to fix it (esculating to 'demanding' they fix it) and she gave me some song and dance about how that's how they always do it (charge for the room up front on your card) unless I mention I'm paying with cash when we leave - which I also had told them at check in. The folks at my credit card company gave me a merchant only 800 number and instructed me to have the hotel company call this number and have all holds removed. They were reluctant to do that. However, several moments after listening to my rant, they gave in and said they'd call. So we got that cleared up. But the experience sucked and partially ruined what was a nice 3 days in Naples.kooky.gif

 

Anyway, to the good stuff - we did Disney for a couple of days as well as the NASA/Kennedy Space Center thing and that was pretty cool. We spent almost an hour just in the 'rocket garden' alone. We then took the bus tour of the Cape Canaveral launch sites...very cool to see the place where so much history (mostly triumphant along with some tragic) occurred. One of the stops along the tour is the actual original control center that was used during the Apollo missions and in fact, they simulated an actually launch, starting from 3 min before lift off.

 

We then headed down to Juno Beach...bowever, strong east winds and a wild surf caused us to decide to leave after one day (the forecast for the week was for more of the same). So we chose Naples as our next stop. Instead of tolerating the ride straight across from West Palm to Ft Myers on state roads, we drove south to 41 and took the Tamiami Trail through the Everglades - in my opinion, any time you can see that region, it's well worth it. We were not disappointed as we periodically stopped to see alligators and other tropical fish (no I didn't actually attempt to fish there).

 

Naples was also very nice - despite the hotel experience after check out. Besides fishing, we took a ride down to Marco Island (just because we've never been) and other day activities. We found a nice beach, I forget the name except that it had 'Wiggins' in the name and cost $6 to get in. It must be the time where cownosed rays give birth to their young because both at that beach as well as the beach near Naples Pier, there were hundreds of juvie cownosed rays (like a foot wide in wingspan) cruising right along the shore line to where they almost beach themselves. Anyway, as mentioned above, aside from the hotel thing, it was a nice experience.

 

Venice was our last stop and that place never disappoints in terms of perfect floridian/tropical ambience...I love that place since I started going as a small elementary aged kid. We had relatives there who passed away around 10 years ago - we hadn't returned to Venice since until last year and I'm glad we 'rediscovered' this area. The highlight for my daughter (by a long shot) was spending time at Blind Pass Beach down in Englewood looking for shark teeth. Basically, you either look in the sand up near the high tide line or where the wash from the surf is currently running over the sand. Even without the right equipment, you should be able to collect several dozen teeth in a couple of hours. There are people who go there with the right stuff (including some time of rake looking thing) and they find shark teeth in the hundreds per outing. Also, watching the sunset from the jetties (for me, preferrably while fishingbiggrin.gif ) with the family is a soothing experience. Watching not only the sun set, but the cumulonimbus clouds turn pink on the gulf's horizon is on the level of being theraputic....awesome stuff:-) The last full day (Friday) was a bit of a wash out due to TS Bonnie. There really weren't any winds to speak of. But the rain came down in buckets at times.

 

So now we're back in MA and while we hear people talking about when the heat will break, our feeling is for us, it already broke. The air was absolutely refreshing, not that the heat in FL bothered us that much. But I will need to bring the talc power next time for the heatredface.gifcwm27.gif

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curb side check in..... 5 minutes $5 tip.... then you go deal with TSA... I have never had a problem at Orlando.... now Detroit is another storysmile.gif

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View PostI lived in Juno Beach back in 1987. Lots of great surf fishing on empty beaches. sorry to hear about your airport hassles.

 

 

The good old days.

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I lived in Jupiter back in '69 to '71. Some awesome fishing in that area. Juno pier was good also. The snook fishing was phenominal.

 

Per your liking I am going to visit Venice. thanks.

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View PostI lived in Jupiter back in '69 to '71. Some awesome fishing in that area. Juno pier was good also. The snook fishing was phenominal.

 

Per your liking I am going to visit Venice. thanks.

 

 

You won't be sorry - it's a great place. As far as Juno, I think I may have been able to make the fishing part of it work out. However, with the rough water and rip tides in the area, my daughter and wife wouldn't have been able to enjoy the water. So we took off. Although none were caught while I was on the pier, there were albies occasionally being caught during the past few days before my arrival...but very spotty. The only guys having consistant luck were the guys bait fishing for snook and even that was a little off by the standards of what I saw last year (and the bait thing really isn't my game - but if you chose to catch the 'white bait' with a sabiki rig, you'd probably catch some fish)

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View Postcurb side check in..... 5 minutes $5 tip.... then you go deal with TSA... I have never had a problem at Orlando.... now Detroit is another storysmile.gif

 

I was flying from Charlotte to Phoenix a few years ago. I had screwed up my back a few weeks earlier and my 2yo was cranky about something. Walked into the airport dragging everything, saw the line...no way I was clearing that anytime soon. I walked outside, saw the curb side guys. Gave them everything, they handed me back what I needed. Dropped them 10 bucks, walked by the long lines to the no baggage line. 3 people were in front, I was out of there in 10 minutes.

 

 

Best part? Some guy with luggage ran by the long line and cut in front of everyone...then took off running towards his gate. The National Guardsman who was there (this was 2 months post 9/11) took him down hard. That was pretty funny. Also funny was when the TSA person told me to take off my shoes...some old Merrill slip ons that I wear when my daughter goes horseback riding. They smell. Anyway, they were wanding me and when the guy got in front of me I slipped one off. I thought he was gonna upck.gif.

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