Thursday, May 30, 2019

Our First day in Florida Was a Test of Our Resolve

I am writing this from beautiful Miami Beach, Florida. We are enjoying the hospitality of our friend Doyle, who has allowed us to stay in his condo while we look at boats and try to decide if we will buy a sailboat or not.

The amazing view from the condo in Miami Beach
We were concerned when we arrived at the Springfield Airport. There were thunderstorms in the area and other flights were delayed or cancelled. The good news is that our flight on Allegiant Airlines left on schedule. We arrived at the Orlando Sanford airport a little late, but it was a good flight. I hate to fly, so I can't say I enjoyed the flight, but it was not an unpleasant experience thanks to having Kim by my side.

After getting our checked bag, it was after 6:00. That turned out to be a big problem.  We had looked at Car Rental Rates on the airport and they were over $500 for two weeks. I could go off the airport to Enterprise for about $200 less. I guess I am cheap, so that is where our reservation was. We took a cab the 6 miles to the Enterprise office, but when we arrived they were closed. I called and no one could help us. The company directed us back to the airport and we would pay the higher rate. I decided to take an Uber to the Miami International Airport. The rates at the rental car agencies were much less. The Uber cost about $50, but I found a number of rental car companies that were advertising very low rates. I arrived at a place called NU Car Rental. I thought, How bad could it be? Well, after standing in a non-moving line for almost an hour and listening to customers complaining over and over, my question was answered. When I finally got to talk to someone at the counter, they told me they would not honor the on-line rates and they wanted over $500 for the rental. I said, no way and walked out. Just as I did, their shuttle driver was headed to the airport. Kim and I hopped aboard. I did not have a plan, but I knew I did not want to rent with them.

We tipped the driver and headed to the long line of rental car counters. I looked up and down the line and saw an available agent at National. In the many years that I traveled almost weekly, I always used National. I can honestly say that I almost never had a bad experience with National. I asked the guy if he could help me and he took GREAT care of us. He gave us a full size car for $342 for two weeks and we are set up to return the car to the Orlando Sanford airport. SCORE!

It was now after 9:00 PM and we had still had a 2 hour drive to Sarasota. I was a bit tired when we arrived at our hotel, but we got it done and were ready to put that day behind us.

We got up this morning with a new enthusiasm. We had an appointment with a broker in Palmetto to look at Island Packet Yachts. I really like this broker and wanted to give him a shot to show me something that fit our wants. As it turned out, we did not see anything that fit our needs in our price range, but the time with Mike was excellent and he listened to our plan and told us that we had a good one. That felt very good coming from a guy with his experience.

So, now it is on to tomorrow. We will go take an in-depth look at the boat that is first on our list and then comes the time to decide what we are going to do next. Come back to see how it goes and what we decide to do.


  1. What a disaster trying to find a rental car! At least it ended well. Good luck on the boat search, hope all goes well!