Club Wyndham Royal Vista is in beautiful Pompano Beach, FL. I am happy to get a chance to go back down to Florida before the end of summer. It is now mid-September and some days the temperature is more reasonable already, especially at night time.
As I get ready to travel down with a friend, I am prepping my bags for a ride down in my mustang convertible. Hopefully I can convince my friend to go at least part of the 12-hour trip with the top down. You do not want to go the entire way with the top down, because if you did you would burn like toast.
Video by Travelista Teri
Day One Travel & Arrival
My trip down interstate 95 went well. Since I had a co-pilot on this trip, we chose to just take turns driving and do it all in one go. Stopping just a few times for gas, food, and necessities.
I used to do this drive or even drive to Orlando solo without an issue. But these days 12+ hours is pushing it on my energy level and attention span. So, switching out drivers around lunchtime worked well. The night before she slept some in the car in the early morning hours.
The wild thing you sometimes run into is a literal line of deer close to the road for miles once you reach South Carolina or Georgia. It seems that there are natural water holes that form near the interstate for about 50 miles along the route. This brings the deer in from everywhere. You will not see this on every trip down, but at nighttime when the water levels are lower else where you will see all those eyes in your lights as you fly past at 70 miles an hour or more. Just hoping none choose to jump out on the road.
After making it through that section in one piece I chose to stop and get a Pepsi and top off the gas tank. On this trip, I will use about a tank and a half in each direction. My mustang does OK on gas but they have small 12-gallon gas tanks.
Later after a stop again for breakfast, we changed drivers. Then we switched back after lunch. Just in time for our drive into the area of the resort. One great thing about staying on the beach is that it makes the resorts easy to find. You just drive along the beach road and pay attention when you are in the area.
Now one thing that has changed these days is that with GPS the search for your travel destination is now easier than it ever was 20 years ago. Sometimes the GPS will take you right to the driveway into a resort.
As you drive down S Ocean Blvd you see an interesting line of resorts and condos. A1A is a fun road to drive down because there is so much to see here. I came down I95 until the Deerfield beach, exit then came to the rest of the way down A1A or South Ocean Blvd mostly for fun. I knew it would give is a good feeling for the area.
The resort is close to 12th street so if your GPS is not working or is packed away. Just look for 12th street then take the next right you can not miss it.
After parking, we headed into the resort. We were early for check-in but figured we might see if they had something ready, and if not, we would just hit the bar here since we made it, and maybe rest by the pool.
Understandably (since we were 2 hours early) they did not have an early room for check-in but they were kind enough to let us go to the pool and bar to relax. We could have just gone to another local restaurant but we were not hungry, and after over 12 hours neither of us desired to get back into the car.
One of the staff said they could just call the bar when our room was ready and that sounded great to me.
Less than 1 hour or two drinks later they had something for us and we came back to check in and then grab our bags. I never expect this level of service but it is nice when you get great people.
Here the villas are either 1 or 2 bedrooms. I had booked a 1 bedroom for us. They are a great size at about 900 sq ft. At many resorts that might be a 2-bedroom so the size was very generous.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- DVD Player
- Ice Maker
- In-Room Safe
- Jetted Tub
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Activities Center/Desk
- BBQ Grills
- Walking Trails
- Business Center/Fax
- Beach (On-Site)
- Fitness Room
- Concierge Services
- Hot Tub
- Indoor Pool
- Internet Access
- Kid’s Activities
- Live Entertainment
- On-Site Security
- Gift Shop
- Computer With Internet (Shared)
- Pool Bar
- Game Room
- Sun Deck (Rooftop)
- Picnic Area
We had a deluxe room with a view of the ocean. Not all rooms here have a view of the ocean. Some have views of the intercoastal or the pool area instead.
The room was well laid out and after a night of driving, I turned down the AC, and the covers on the bed and went in for a nap. The drinks did not hurt in that regard. If anything, they had stopped that feeling of still moving in the car that you can get on long trips. Much like the feeling of being on a cruise ship on calm seas.
After our nap, we woke up and both took turns in the shower. The shower was an old-school enclosed octagon which was very large. I love a large shower as a bigger guy they just make me more comfortable.
Once we had both freshened up it was time for dinner out. A reward for our long drive down. Nearby there was Houston’s which is a nice restaurant for a couple. A little pricey but I remember from my last trip to the area that the food is great. If an expensive meal is not on your menu never fear there are many great options in the area, and I will share other restaurants with you that are affordable as well.
For a couple here, however, you will not get out with a bill under $150 with a tip. By the time we added to wine, and an appetizer our bill was over $100 per person just to give you an idea. I could not have done that when I was a younger man financially too often. It also does not hurt that I saved so much on my accommodations through TZort.
After our great dinner on the water, it was time to head back to the resort for some more rest so we could get up early tomorrow.
Day Two Beach Fun
We started our day by going for breakfast. I chose the Hen and the Hog a place that was very well reviewed on Google that I had not been to before. Their breakfast menu told me right away this was a serious breakfast place. It had just about anything and everything you could imagine. In my day to day, I often do not get the chance to enjoy breakfast. So, when I do, and it is done right it makes me a happy man.
Take a look at the menu on their website and you will see what I mean. This place has it all. I designed my own omelet and then also added a stack of pancakes. My right-hand gal chose waffles and we were both happy, happy. Top those meals off with some fresh Florida orange juice and man you have a breakfast fit for kings and queens. Another great thing is that even as wonderful as the food is here it is affordable. Last night was good but it did sting a little when I put my credit card down.
Once we had stuffed ourselves, we headed back to the resort and to the beach. Spending a few hours on the beach and watching the ocean was great. We were often drawn into the pool area and bar, then eventually moved to the pool for the afternoon. The pool area with the palm-covered room and tables provided the perfect cover from the sun to cool off with an ice-cold drink.
Today there was a gentle breeze but I could imagine the heat here if we did not have this area to retreat to, and the beverages to cool us down.
With a full day at the beach, and two coats of sunscreen on we retreated to the villa to shower and change then go for an early dinner.
A Great Greek Meal
We chose a new place for our early dinner It’s all Greek to me. Each of us chose the Mousaka. I picked it because I had an aunt that used to make it for me on trips to her DC apartment when I was young. So, it was a treat to have that same taste again. For a simple dish, it has a ton of flavor. We also grabbed the Athenian shrimp platter which was 3 shrimp skewers hot off the grill with some Greek toppings. It just felt right to have some seafood while in Florida.
After the meal that included feeding each other some shrimp it is fair to say that things might have moved in a more romantic direction than I would have expected. Starting as friends is always a great place to begin.
Day Three Seeing the Area
This resort’s location on the beach could have you stay the entire time on the beach and that would be a wonderful vacation for anyone. When we woke today, we both felt like exploring some, promising then to come back to the beach later in the day for more fun in the sun.
My friend wanted to see the Butterfly World so the request received that is where we headed first after a light breakfast. They offer a 3-location pass on their website that I took advantage of. For $45 you can get access to Butterfly World, Flamingo Gardens, and Sawgrass Recreation Park and it is a season-long pass. This might be a great thing for people to do before they come to the area. Purchase those tickets and just come to Butterfly World first to pick them up.
I think Butterfly World would be something a young daughter or granddaughter would just love. This is over 3 acres of butterflies and gardens. It was peaceful and I enjoyed seeing my friend smile and ooh and ahh over it all.
Next on our list was Flamingo Gardens yes if the ladies at home reading this are counting, I am scoring a lot of guy points or credits here. This site has 60 acres of gardens but it also serves as a nature sanctuary for many animals. On site is also the Wray Home which the website shares.
The Wray Home Museum nestled in the botanical garden was built in 1933 by Floyd L. and Jane Wray as a weekend residence and is the oldest residence in Broward County west of University Drive. It has been restored to provide visitors to Flamingo Gardens with a glimpse of life in South Florida in the 1930s.
Okay, the next thing is not something that fits every budget but at this moment I wanted to max out my guy points or credits. I called and booked a last-minute private cruise on a local sailboat. Now do not be like me and cost yourself a hefty tip by booking last minute. Call ahead and arrange a sailing trip of your own. You can also rent jet skis or parasails there is plenty in the area to do. I chose sailing because I used to sail fairly often when I was young, and even tried sailing competitively in my 20s. I had not been myself in at least 18 months so I thought chartering would be the way to go so I could focus on our time together versus sailing the boat.
Then if the captain needed a hand at any point, I could jump in to get credit for my knowledge and experience for any guy knowledge points that might offer me.
Vacations like this one are planned and booked through TZort every day. Yours can be next.