Reflections from the road: 10 hours in Hollywood

waiting out the layover

I’m coming to you from a ten-hour layover in Fort Lauderdale. You read that right, ten hours at Hollywood International Airport.  Landed at noon, leave at 10pm.

You may be expecting to hear a travel horror story about being stuck in an admittedly non-glamorous airport (even though it is called Hollywood) for so long. I admit to having flashes of Tom Hanks in the movie Terminal at the thought of spending so much time in the ‘port.

Even a layover can have an upside

Instead, I’m doing my best to look for the upside. Really, how often do you have ten full hours by yourself, with pretty much nothing to do? The possibilities are – while not endless – pretty broad. 

Initially, I had an idea about holing up in the United lounge all day and hammering out some work. But alas, I ended up in the wrong terminal and that was not an option. Plan B was to figure out what I could do during this epic stay at FLL.

What can you do for 10 hours in Hollywood?

Things that made the cut: 

  • Finish writing end of year reviews that are due in ‘the system’
  • Make an appointment for a long-awaited facial
  • Find a new workout program and load into my workout app 
  • Sign up for Lyft’s new partnership offer with Delta (you get delta miles for using Lyft!)
  • Start planning a girls’ trip for next fall
  • Figure out how many times I need to walk end-to-end through the terminal to hit my 10,000 step goal – the answer is 5 times
  • Do a costume change – my flip flops were not the right gear for landing in Minnesota in January, so mid-day I upgraded to boots and a jacket
  • Catch up on work email that I missed while away, although the wifi connection made this one a bit tough
  • Reflect on my trip and capture some thoughts and ideas

Now, some of these are things I would have completed anyways – like those year-end reviews – but the extra time during my layover created space for others that I may have put off indefinitely.  Although not my preferred way to spend a Saturday, I’m grateful for the focused time. 

As a side note, I also had the opportunity to sample several of FLL’s finest restaurants and coffee shops. I spilled a good portion of my chicken salad lunch on my lap and improved the process for dinner by finding a place to eat with a real table. Spoiler alert, it was Chili’s. 

Appreciate the detours

The challenge here is to take a positive mindset to travel and explore the possibilities that open up in a different place and different frame of reference. Even if that different place is an airport terminal. You might be surprised by what you choose to do!