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How Clevelanders Kill Four Hours in Lauderdale

Because you are reading this blog, you are probably not stuck in the airport or trying to kill time before you fly back to Cleveland. But if you or someone you know ever find yourself in that precarious situation, Susan Glaser of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has some horrible advice in this travel piece about what to do with the time you'll have in Fort Lauderdale between the cruise and the flight home.

I was really hoping for some nice suggestions, since I actually found myself in this exact situation six years ago, just before a Spring Break cruise. I spent four hours in the Denny's at Federal and SW17th, unsuccessfully teaching my friends how to play blackjack (yeah, we all lost a little bit of money at the tables that year, but looking back, it was probably for the best).

For most of the three-page article, the author discusses what to do with your bags: "Pulling a suitcase through the sand can really kill the mood," she says -- which she could have concluded from a scene in Spaceballs.

After securing her luggage, the author takes a quick boat tour and falls in love with the captain, who points out where Nick Nolte used to live and where Johnny Depp keeps his giant boat.

Then she walks over to Las Olas for lunch at the Riverside Hotel. She leaves out the part where she Oooohs and Ahhhhs on the phone to all her friends in Cleveland with her mouth full of shrimp.

After lunch, it was time to check out a museum, where she learned about the great culture of South Florida - as depicted in Marley and Me.

Before she makes it back to the airport for a flight back to the bitterly cold Midwest, the author decides she needs a stroll on the beach. Because you know what makes a long, uncomfortable flight in coach even better? That's right, sand. Everywhere.

Before closing, she reminds readers to check their watches: "You don't want to miss your flight," she writes. "Then again, maybe you do."

Personally, I don't have a major problem if people like this never miss a flight out of town.

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Michael J. Mooney

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