ALOHA FROM ALOHA

As a native Floridian, born in raised in Fort Lauderdale, you would think that jet skiing, sailing, and the like would be a regular activity for us locals. And for the most part, it is. We like to soak up the sun in as many ways possible and are always seeking new ways to do so.

On Christmas Day, my family and I became tourists in our own hometown and rented jet skis and a hobie cat for the day, and it was one of the best days I’ve had.

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Ready to ride!

Living in a beach town that thrives on tourism, there is obviously a lot of competition when it comes to excursions and watersport rentals. But I’ll save you the time and energy of searching which place is the best and tell you that there is only place to rent from: Aloha Watersports. You can find them in Fort Lauderdale at either the Marriott’s Harbor Beach Resort or on the SW Corner A1A/ Las Olas Blvd.

The service was quick and awesome, reasonable prices, and the employees all want you to have as much fun as possible. img_7316.jpgThey work so hard in getting you out on the water in the fastest, but safest, manner, and are all very patient with you. And, you have a lot of freedom when it comes to the meeting your need for speed! (Don’t go cray though, because they do have employees monitoring the waters on jet skis and will pluck your a*s out of the water faster than you can say “Aloha.”)
Make sure you bring your ID, and if you have a boater’s license bring that as well—you’ll have to pay and take (pass) a test in order to operate a wave runner without one. And make sure you’re riding with someone you trust.

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Sailing back into shore.

I was on the back of a double jet ski with my cousin driving and he is a speed demon. I got thrown off in the first five minutes and we jumped a wave and got some serious airtime. I was literally airborne, and I don’t just mean the jet ski – not a single part of me was touching the jet ski, not even a toe.

You can bet you’re a*s I was holding on to him as tightly as I could, fearing for my life and for what was going to happen when I inevitably straddled the seat. All I have to say is TG for the cushioned seat because I may have had a little extra pep in my step afterward if it wasn’t there.

IMG_0314Finally, make sure you get a good stretch before hopping on a jet ski or manning the hobie cat – they’re called water sports for a reason. I was so sore the next day from the jet ski because of all the leg work you do, similar to posting when riding a horse. And with the hobie cat it’s a lot of pulling ropes and ducking/switching sides and just being very agile overall.

So, as long as you don’t do anything stupid, you’ll have an awesome time.

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Success! Thanks, Aloha Watersports!

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TOTO, I DON’T THINK WE’RE IN FLORIDA ANYMORE

…or so I thought!

If someone had blindfolded me and dropped me off at The Alchemist, a hidden gem of a coffee shop in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, I for sure could have been fooled into thinking that I was at a local coffee shop in Austin. The style…the service…the vibes… everything.

As a Fort Lauderdale native, I was dumbfounded as to how I had never even known about this place (but was pleased to hear that it began to blossom about the time I moved to Austin, which would explain why). Tucked away in a residential neighborhood, on a quiet backroad, is this beautiful, artsy, and totally unassuming cluster of businesses, tastefully situated among an abundance of greenery and string lights, giving off a very bohemian vibe.

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Plenty of outside seating among all of the businesses.

Literally *the perfect* place for your morning coffee, your first date, your Sunday brunch, your book club meeting, your study spot, your taco fix, your photo-op spot, your go-to for flowers, you name it; it’s basically a one-stop-shop that you never knew you needed. 

The location and its entirety is referred to as the Eucalyptus Gardens, previously a garden nursery, and there are several different small businesses that all operate out of the Gardens. There is The Alchemist, which is a coffee shop, Voo La Voo Café, a French crêperie, La Frutera Garden Bar, a Latin restaurant, and The Wander Shop,

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The Wander Shop.

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The pathway connecting all of the businesses within the Gardens.

a travel-inspired mobile pop-up shop operating out of an airstream (unique AF). And my favorite part about the Eucalyptus Gardens: all of the owners are women. YAS *insert muscle emoji*

 

Since all of these small businesses operate on the same grounds, and are enclosed in the same gate, you can walk around with your food or drink and take a peek into the other places without actually leaving—a really unique aspect and a rarity in Fort Lauderdale. It is so awesome to see these businesses work together for business and customers instead of competing with one another.

 

TL;DR:

*note: my pictures do not do it justice, nor does this blog post; do yourself a favor and go see for yourself!*

The Alchemist– super chill, super hip, super delicious. They even roast their own coffee beans in house, have WIFI, AND have a cat. (I ordered the Alchemist,

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“The Alchemist” iced coffee.

which is iced coffee with brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk. 10/10).

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Coffee beans roasting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voo La Voo Café– a quaint French crêperie, serving crepes, omelets, paninis, quiche, pastries, and the like.

La Frutera Garden Bar– I didn’t actually order from here, but the food smelled amazing. I had the opportunity to speak with the owner, Diva, who was so kind and inviting- I will definitely be back! PS- she hosts private events here.

The Wander Shop– super cute and charming airstream-turned-shop, selling travel-inspired apparel and accessories; recently launched online ordering, so shop away! Click for Facebook and Insta.

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The Wander Shop airstream.

Honey’s Blossoms– newly added flower cart for floral arrangements.

 

 

 

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