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Here’s The Scoop … Day 1 In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea …

Dear Readers …Day 1 in LBTS for this writer was really a hoot… Waking to old familiar surroundings…but having plenty of “senior” moments over where things were after being absent so long … …Hmmm…Where did I leave this and that?…… What drawer holds the silverware…That kind of stuff …sad to say…

Made a few phone calls…and that too was a learning curve …especially to get it straight I did not need to add the 1 to the 954…as I have become so accustomed to in the last 8 months… I actually drove a car once again…first time since I left last March…In Chicago it’s cabs everywhere…

Once out  and about I drove up A1A to Washingtonia to drive by my house and check it out as well…Still standing..none the worse for wear…Did notice rocks were put around the utility Comcast box.. which was a big improvement over the climbing weeds that were regularly growing up and onto the sidewalk…Heading south on Seagrape Drive I saw Regis Brady getting his holiday lights up and pulled over to say hello… We chatted a couple of minutes and then I was lucky enough to catch up with Alana as well and tell her that I now get what she was talking to me about last year about granddaughters and that bond that comes!…She told me she can see the difference in the town since March …all calm and really pleasant once more…

I needed to stop at Dr. G’s Pharmacy and took the back way around …only to see coming my way in her convertible was Penny Dodd…I cranked down the window and said hello and told her she had no idea how great it was to actually see people I know as I traveled around!… Once inside Dr. G’s I caught up with Jenene not only about her own daughter who is now 18 months old but that baby # 2 …a boy is due to arrive in January …Another new arrival for Dr. G’s..They have redone the inside and will soon be opening a coffee/espresso/ cappuccino bar …The neon sign is already up in the front window above the door and they are just awaiting the final permits…So look for it next month …I told her about the exemptions coming for restaurants in town and she was happy to hear it…hoping it would help in her neck of the woods …We are sure the ByTheSeaFuture will cover this Grand Opening…

I made my way over the bridge…well almost…I got bridged!… Welcome back to living on a barrier island…

With my errands done I headed back home and missed the green arrow after being unable to get in the very long…long line of cars that was already waiting to make the  left turn at 2:30 in the afternoon!…I went forward…and around the decorated tree in Pelican Square taking El Mar Drive back north…..I saw the Ocean Reverie was fully decked out with their lights and a “no vacancy” sign…That could not be said for other hotels on either side of the median…I saw there’s a new sign up at the Blueseas…Hmmm…. a pole sign…replaced…was a permit involved?…Is a new pole sign allowed…under the current code?.

Packages dropped off ..I headed back out in 10 minutes flat and caught up with a good friend over the best meatball sandwich around…Yep, the best meatball sandwich is at..

Mugs Bar & Grill
2671 East Oakland Park Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306
(954) 566-7782
Open Mon-Thu,Sun 11am-2am; Fri-Sat 11am-3am

Of Note: …. to those who have asked this writer…Mugs is not coming to LBTS…as they seem to be thriving quite nicely at their year old location in Fort Lauderdale….. Sounds like some grumbling is going on ……but why?…Innovative …outside the box ideas are required …in this writer’s opinion…

After that I made my way to see the newest member of the Brandt family…Ethan… who at 4 months old is the same size 7 month old Lilly… He has gorgeous blue eyes and the cutest baby smile that popped up a couple times along with some decisive baby sounds that definitely call for a “play date” on Skype in the very near future between him and his gal-pal in Chicago … That will be something!…

Once outside saying goodbye…ready to head back home..I caught a glimpse of Ben Freeny driving one very cool looking new Porsche as he headed toward Commercial Blvd…

Walking up the street heading east I saw a familiar face from afar ….the BCbythesea younger daughter out in front of the house …After a brief back and forth..I caught up on a few calls as I headed back to Sea Ranch Club…and saw that a few homes are now on the market…as well as a few properties that look like improvements took place while I was away…and others that are well underway …

Once inside the building it was like old home week with those in the building and catching up on each others news…

The BCbythesea hubby and I made our way tonight to the Galleria and dinner at Il Mulino …We compared notes throughout the evening of just what brought us here to South Florida 16 years ago…We also talked about when we made the initial move to LBTS in 1999 when we bought our condo and full- time in 2002 when we sold our house in Pompano Beach and bought the house on Washingtonia…..We thought we were on the cusp when we bought there……..and that it would be just a few years at the most for all the properties around our house to be developed into an urban style… We saw that begin…and we saw that stall….big time….We talked about Mack’s Groves..Yes again… and what a loss it was when they pulled up stakes and were not replaced with something that offered a similar “feel”…. We spoke of what might have been if a restaurant had been there instead of a t-shirt store……In fact it was the same conversation I had earlier about the change that might have happened if no parking restrictions were in place and two restaurants (not Hooters) were allowed to be built where Wings is…offering a reason to cross the street once more!…

Now with the exemption we are assuming will be enacted sooner rather than later for restaurants and perhaps then hotels…….maybe things will get back on track.. We are hearing most “get it”…and understand the need…There is a big difference between stopping the restrictions long imposed on the restaurants and the revenue that will come from those who come to town to park and eat..as well as shop and buy….Success for the new restaurants and the stores that follow will come from having the plans in place that ensure this Town is here to assist those entrepreneurs from step one  and throughout the process……Add to that a welcoming business district … along with an innovative marketing campaign which is definitely required to get the word out about what separates us from other municipalities and assures those considering setting up shop here that they will find out firsthand we are a unique community that fully understands that tourism and hospitality are an integral part of what makes Lauderdale-By-The-Sea so special….and that’s why we set up “shop” here as well!…

More to come…

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