A December 2002 trip
to Weston by Mary Dickinson
Quote: World-class golf course with waterfall, Everglades within view, and Panamanian architecture in this tropical setting make Weston a perfect vacation.
Finally we got a unit with a balcony facing the everglades on the fourth floor. Bird watching from this point is amazing. Even with the naked eye you can see the lines of flying birds oscillating through the sky.
Friendliness is sitting around the huge, freeform heated pool or hot bubbly jacuzzi for 20 and chatting with people from around the country and around the world.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 22, 2003
Vacation Village at Weston
16461 Racquet Club Rd.
Weston, Florida 33326
Attraction | "The Shops At Las Olas Boulevard"
Picazzo’s, on the corner of Las Olas Blvd. and 9th Ave., has great coffee, but if you planned on being seen in a sidewalk café, start walking west. There’s Brio’s, Café Indigo, Café La Bonne Crepe, or The Cheesecake Factory are all in the same block. There’s more across the street or east of 9th Ave. They have their menus posted outside and looking them over is fun, too. Yes, they have frog legs.
Those artsy shirts that cost a fortune because they have beautiful things appliqued and embroidered on the front come in children’s sizes at Flora Ottimer’s. You can find a full size realistic statue of a giraffe at the Regency Gallery. For teens who can’t find the ultimate outfit that’s really far out, try Deco Beach. You’ll probably find matching shoes in their boot store across the street.
The blown glass balloons at Seldom Seen Gallery looked real. They even float in the air somehow. If you’ve been looking for a full size brass statue of a nude girl reclining in a lounge chair they have one at Paradise Art for only $14,500. They also have a water fountain made from hand blown blue glass in the shape of lily pads in graduated sizes and that was a mere $3400.
I was thrilled to see what Chico’s have. Most of their clothes are made with spandex. I’ve been experimenting with that fabric and I love it. The fabric stretches like elastic but it looks like silky velvet and hangs beautifully when you move. I have a few pieces and feel great in it. At Chico’s a tank tops cost $38 and matching pants cost $68. Not bad. Most of the collection was in black but they did have colors and even prints. For accessaries they were doing fantastic things with red Chinese print shirts and jewelry.
We only spent two hours there so we saw very little. They have wonderful art galleries with excellent paintings and sculpture, unbelievably gorgeous jewelry, and clothes that you wouldn’t believe and its all within four or five blocks.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 16, 2003
Shopping At Las Olas Boulevard
Las Olas Boulevard
The museum has displays describing nature and ecosystems on the first floor, and space, ecology, and interactive displays involving how the mind and body works on the second floor. If you don’t have the time to read and observe what the displays are all about it might be a good idea to go back when you have more time.
Tanks for the exhibits on the first floor look like they were made from mounds of coral. Behind thick acrylic panels, live coral, fish, algae, alligators, and turtles live in their natural habitat. How they survive in an everglades and ocean invironment is explained on panels embedded in the coral like walls. There are live snakes, armadillo, gopher turtles, and even cockroaches. How the native flora is taken over by trees like the Milalluca, Strangler Fig, Brazilian Pepper, and other offensive plants is explained. One display shows how the alligator holes in the everglades support all the other animals during draught.
On the second floor you can operate a remote arm inside a glassed in case. You can find out how escape and remote velocity works to launch space crafts or ride in an assimilator to Mars or hear light waves with the Doppler effect. Find out why three pendulums swinging together are unpredictable when one or two are predictable. Find out why you think you’re moving when you’re not or how two pendulums swinging at the same time but in opposite directions will form a circle.
Have you wondered how calories work in your body and how Florida gets rid of trash safely? As you can see that’s a lot to learn so go with enough time to enjoy it. Don't miss the gift shop off the atrium. It's great.
There is a parking lot on 2nd Street next to the museum. Hours are 10am-5pm Monday thru Saturday, and noon to 6pm Sunday.
Museum of Discovery and Science
401 Southwest Second St
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312
Attraction | "The Blockbuster Imax Theater"
We decided to see Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West. There is another dimension to watching a movie on that type of screen. I really felt I was going up the Missouri with the expedition, it is so encompassing. When their bundles started tumbling away from them I wanted to get up and help them redeem them. When Lewis started falling down a cliff I knew exactly how he felt in that predicament because it seemed so real.
Being confronted with the Continental Divide and then the Rocky Mountains I could see what Lewis and Clark saw 200 years ago, insurmountable mountain peaks as far as the eye could see. I would have liked to have seen more of the Great Falls and the river going to and from it, but I could understand the difficulties of portaging around the falls and riding the rapids, especially for Sagajawea (their Indian guide) with her infant baby.
We have flown over the Columbia River going into Portland, OR. The river, captured on the Imax screen, looked very much the same. Visiting Fort Clatsop (their fort near the Pacific Ocean) on a cold drizzly day would look just like it did on the Imax screen.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 17, 2003
Imax Blockbuster 3 D Theater
401 SW Second Street
Fort Lauderdale 33312
When we were there in December of 2003 there were six buildings in the group. Only two were open, the New River Inn and the King-Cromartie House. The New River Inn (1905), listed on the National Register of Historic Places, featured twenty-five guest rooms and a dining room in its day. Now it is a museum. There are exhibits about the Seminole Indians featuring their lifestyles and their crafts. Shirttail Charlie is a nickname given to the men of that tribe because of the knee-length shirts they wore.
More displays show how the town developed in the hotel industry following the installation of the railroad in 1896. Then, during WW I and WW II the area was used as a training camp for recruits. After the war a lot of the men came back and settled there. One display explains how close the Germans came to our shores during WW II. Their submarines were blowing up our shipping within sight of land.
Then Connie Francis starred in Where The Boys Are and college students all over the country found out about "Spring Break" and came to be part of it. They loved warm in the winter and came back and settled there. It seems once anyone experiences the climate they want to stay no matter how they found out about Florida.
The King-Cromartie House (1907) is an example of the way the early settlers in Fort Lauderdale lived. The six-room (150-ton) house was moved down the river by barge to its present location in 1974. It was built by Ed King out of Dade County Pine and wood from old ships. The walls are made of plaster and the floors are the original wood. The house is furnished with items used by most people in the early 1900s.
Riverwalk, another Fort Lauderdale tropical attraction, maintains fantastic old landscaping and runs right in front of the old "village".
The New River Inn is open 11-5 Tu-F and 12-5 S-S. The King-Cromartie House is open S-S. The admission price depends on if you guide yourself of if someone else gives you a tour.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 21, 2003
Old Fort Lauderdale Village and Museum
219 South West 2nd Avenue
Fort Lauderdale 33301
Attraction | "The Stranahan House"
Frank Stranahan came to Florida from Ohio in 1893 because he had lung damage. He bought ten acres along the New River in an area known as Fort Lauderdale for $1 an acre and started a trading post. At that time there were only four white men living in Fort Lauderdale (named after a fort that was located next to the New River during the Seminole Wars).
In 1896 the railroad came through and brought a lot of settlers into the area. They needed a teacher for their children. A young woman named Ivy Cromartie was hired for the job. She married Frank. He built their lovely home along the river in 1906. The interior walls are still paneled with the original Miami-Dade Pine but the floors have been replaced, according to Docent Claire McMahon, who gave our tour.
Frank acted as postmaster, banker, realtor and merchant as the young town began to grow and flourish. Claire showed us a safe in the wall that was Fort Lauderdale’s first bank. A kitchen was added and in 1915 a bathroom was installed in the house and is still there.
Things went well for Frank and Ivy and they became very wealthy. Then in 1928 a terrible hurricane hit the area and in 1929 the stock market crashed and it was the beginning of the Great Depression. Frank went broke, and in despair, committed suicide. Ivy took in borders to make ends meet. At one time a restaurant was opened in an addition along the river. In 1969, Claire and her husband went there for dinner and someone pointed out the aged Ivy to her.
When Ivy died she left the house to the 7th Day Advent Church. They sold it to the Historical Society. The house is believed to be haunted. Admission to the house is $6 for Adults, Sen. $5 and $3 for children. It is opened W-Sat in winter with tours on the hour from 10-3.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 21, 2003
Historic Stranahan House Museum
335 SE 6th Ave at Las Olas Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
954 524 4736