Marcia and I spent a wonderful long Memorial Day weekend in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, piggybacking a little getaway adjacent to a work conference in which she was participating down there.
The weather was delightfully warm and dry, so we golfed a couple of rounds and walked a lot, both around downtown Lauderdale and out on the beach. We spent part of Saturday afternoon watching the Great American Beach Party with friends from a high balcony table at a conveniently-located Hooters, where we ate peel and eat shrimp, and kept our eyes above shoulder level at all times. Ahem.
As fun as all of our various outings were, the very best parts of the trip was generally when we retired to our rented digs for the weekend, at the utterly wonderful Villa Amarosa. We have rented a lot of vacation properties in a lot of locations over the years, and I would be hard pressed to name one that was more appealing — especially for a romantic weekend away for two — than this one.
The Villa’s private yard and pool were magical and gorgeously gardened, and the interior features, decor, amenities and furnishings were exquisite. Every detail was just right, and of exceptionally high quality, including some unusual aspects that pleased me to no end, e.g. as a political science and government geek, I was delighted to find complimentary copies of Foreign Policy and The Economist on the Villa’s reading table, rather than the usual summer vacation celebrity tripe fare. It’s nice to get stupider when you go on vacation, right?
Our hosts, Campbell and Dan, were gracious, hospitable and generous, and they went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that we felt welcome and comfortable. The booking process and all communications thereafter were smooth, complete and timely, as we like it. Campbell and Dan also offered great dining recommendations, and we were thankful for their insights after having a delicious birthday dinner at Cafe Vico on their advice.
We also had very nice meals at Grille 66 (excellent seafood and wine list, lovely waterfront view) and Cafe Seville (bustling Spanish restaurant with a lot of character and great, authentic menu), along with a tasty breakfast (grits and fried fish for me, yum) at the old school diner/counter-styled Floridian, an easy amble from the Villa.
I cannot recommend Villa Amarosa highly enough for your own travels to Fort Lauderdale or environs. If you know me personally or read my work online, then you know I’m kind of cranky and hard to please most of the time, so take this as the extremely strong endorsement that I mean it to be!