Day 10: Mission to Florida

Tampa to Fort Lauderdale by train.
Fort Lauderdale to Sunrise: 22km
Wednesday, April 9th
Partly cloudy, 21C

Awoke to an orange glow in our room a little after 7 o’clock this morning. I sat up in bed and reached for my camera to capture the sun peeking up over the horizon. After one day of serious rain, sunshine was a welcome sight.

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With our train scheduled to leave at 12:30pm we had some time to spend walking around. After breakfast we went out and saw a little more of Ybor City, a historic district in Tampa with a strong Cuban influence. Known for its vibrant nightlife, we figured it would be safe to explore it in the morning.

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After checking out of our hotel, we rode our bikes to the Amtrak station which was only a mile away. The bike boxes we got at the station were a perfect size and we were able to wheel our bikes inside them after we removed the pedals and turned the handlebars. Tampa Union Station is a beautiful building and we spent several hours there as our train was running late.

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At 1:30pm we boarded the train and departed for Fort Lauderdale. It was a pleasure to sit back and watch the world whiz by out the window. Both of us had a nap or two and we brought a few snacks with us to. We passed through Plant City, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Sebring, Okeechobee, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach and Deerfield Beach before arriving in Fort Lauderdale. Aside from passing by numerous orange orchards the countryside looked like it could have been Ontario in early summer.

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We exited the train and watched the baggage handlers heave our boxed bikes off the train onto a cart. I would hate to see what they would have done if they weren’t labeled Fragile. Our bikes survived the man handling and we had them back together within a few minutes.

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We chatted with the station master and convinced him to save the  boxes for us and we plan on picking them up in the morning because we’ll need them for our flight home next week. It was after 7pm by this point and we were starting to run out of daylight so we checked our route one more time and them set out for Sunrise. We rode through an industrial area and found our way out onto the city streets. By the time we made it to the New River Trail it was almost dark. We pushed on and made it to our hotel just before 9pm.

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Turns out there is a Publix grocery store nearby as well as Florida’s largest outlet mall. It was after 10pm when we got back with our supper, but it was another amazing salad. We ate in bed and will likely stay in bed until morning. We are spending two nights here in Sunrise so we will get to do some exploring tomorrow with the luxury of a familiar roof over our heads.

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