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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty    Now in our eleventh calendar year
    PCR #543  (Vol. 11, No. 34)  This edition is for the week of August 16--22, 2010.

"The Switch"  by Mike Smith
Will's 2009 South Florida Adventure: Part One  by William Moriaty
Series Retrospective: Legends of the Superheroes  by ED Tucker
Woking  by Jason Fetters
Movie Notes .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf by Mike Smith

Will's 2009 South Florida Adventure: Part One

First, On a More Personal Note:
Hopefully this article will mark a more regular return to La Floridiana after an almost three year lull. This lull was not created by any fear on my part that PCR was some type of a "dying" entity as some of the more malicious bloggers bloviated, but due to an immense personal crises involving my house and finances. This crisis began in the fall of 2007 and was alluded to in PCR #407.

Although the dust of that dreadful experience appears to finally be settling, there have been "aftershocks" that will result in a slow recovery from this depressing era. After this article I will finally share with the reader the enormous complexity and challenge that my housing problem created for me and my wife. Sadly, many, too many in this country are facing similar and even worse situations due to this corrosive and toxic economy.

Regardless, until I get all the bajillion house photos and documents together, here is the sharing of a bright spot in an otherwise dark period - - Will's 2009 South Florida Adventure!

Two Events Result in One Trip:
View of an adjacent tower of the Westin Diplomat.
During the Memorial Day week end of 2009, my wife Karen and I visited our dear friends Brendan and Anna McWilliams at their beautiful new house in Orlando not far from Universal Studios where Brendan works. Brendan and Anna and I, as well as my other dear friend Susan Hughes, share a passion for almost all things tiki and mid-century modern. It was during this visit that Karen and I found out that in addition to Brendan and Anna planning to make their pilgrimage to Ft. Lauderdale for the 2009 edition of The Hukilau, yet another dear friend, Lisa Clardy, also of Orlando, was to attend a contestant audition for the Jeopardy televised quiz show at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida.

Ever the gifted vacation coordinator that she is, the divine Ms. Hughes pondered, why not combine these two nearby events into one long weekend vacation? So reservations were made and Karen and I made the journey down to South Florida on Thursday June 11, 2009 to join our friends Lisa and Susan at the Westin Diplomat. Outside of the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World and the Park Plaza Hotel in Winter Park, Florida, this was the most beautiful hotel I had ever laid my eyes upon. The oceanfront views from our 16-story rooms were absolutely breathtaking!

I started out the first evening taking a six-mile round trip jog along East Hallandale Beach Boulevard and reacquainting myself with the South Florida sights, sounds and flora that I had not seen for close to two years when I last visited yet another dear friend, Susana Thompson. While jogging I discovered several remnant Miami Mid Century Modern or "MiMo" structures in the Golden Isles area. Upon my return from jogging, I showered up and shortly afterward Karen, Lisa and Susan and I jumped into the Night Stalker and drove up to Ft. Lauderdale to a wonderful steak house that Susan had dined at years ago when she used to live in the Ft. Laudedale area. At this same time Brendan and Anna were celebrating day one of the 2009 Hukilau which was taking place at the very 1950's/60's Bahia Cabana Days Inn on Ft. Lauderdale Beach.

A view of the main buildings of the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa as seen from U.S. Hwy. A-1-A.

Friday June 12, 2009:
This was Lisa Clardy's day to attend the Jeopardy audition being held in Westin Diplomat's Convention Center. As she was busy doing that, Susan swam both in the Resort's pools and the Atlantic Ocean while taking in the grandeur of this world class resort. After the audition, Lisa felt comfortable that she did a good job. The evening before I was tutoring her with a slew of Jeopardy-like questions ("I'll take 'Dead Kings and Many Things' for Two-Hundred, Alex!") to help improve her chances. Here's crossing our fingers hoping that Lisa may yet make the final cut and be a contestant!

That evening the four of us had dinner with my Florida Department of Transportation counter part and dear friend Susana Thompson. After dinner, the five of us returned to our rooms at the Westin and spent an hour or two blabbing on the balconies looking at the Atlantic below. Tomorrow morning we would be leaving the beautiful Westin Diplomat and heading to Ft. Lauderdale Beach where I would attend my first Hukilau event at the Bahia Cabana followed by dinner at one of my favorite places, the MaiKai restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. But you'll see more about that, as well as mid-century motel treasures along the Gold Coast in next week's PCR!

View of the Atlantic Ocean from the 16th story balcony at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida.View of the Westin's double deck pools from the 16th story balcony.
Lazing under beach umbrellas along the tropical Atlantic Ocean.A view of the bottom pool of the double deck pools at the Westin.
A view of the main lobby of the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida.Royal Palms surround this fountain overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa.

To comment on this or any other PCR article, please visit The Message Board. "La Floridiana" is ©2010 by William Moriaty.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.