After getting up from the previous night's (and morning's) celebrations, I had enough time to check some email before heading out to the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport to pick up some friends returning from visiting family.
The Ft. Lauderdale Airport used to be a decently designed airport—three terminals in a U-shaped configuration, with a parking garage nestled between the terminals. It was an easy matter of parking, and walking to the appropriate terminal. The airport itself is accessable directly from the freeway (exit 11B on I-595 east). Nice. Simple. Easy.
Well, it used to be.
Since I last picked someone up, they've started construction on a new terminal (renumbering the original ones) and a new parking garage, in front of the old one. Driving into the airport there was one of those large digital signs used for construction pointing the entrance to the new garage was this immediate left turn from which a few cars were trying to leave the garage. Just a mess.
Once parked, I found it impossible to find a way to actually walk out of the garage and to any of the terminals, and from what I could see, there was no way to get to the terminal I needed to be at (the one farthest back) except to leave this garage, and drive to the original one next door.
Fortunately, I wasn't parked long enough to accrue a charge, but still, I had to circle back around the airport, in which I missed the pickup lanes (I ended up on the upper level reserved for dropping off passengers). I did manage to find entry to the original parking garage but that did mean I was several minutes late in picking up my friends.
I walked into the airport and immediately found Paul. Which isn't hard when you're looking for a 6'4" bald guy. His wife, Lorie was on the upper level where the gates are, looking for me. So I told him to stay put and I'll go find his wife.
I head upstairs and I don't see her. Walk down the entire length of the terminal, head downstairs and walk back to Paul.
“Didn't find her,” I said. “Which gate did you come in?”
“The one above the stairs over there,” said Paul. I took leave again, rode the escalator up and found Lorie waiting for me at the top.
“I was worried you forgot about us,” she said.
“Nope, I just got stuck in the parking vortex of Hell,” I said. We then proceeded to walk downstairs, to collect Paul and the luggage and then headed out to my car.
I drove them home, then we went out for a nice dinner.