Fort Lauderdale, FL: Purple Mermaids & Drive-In Movies


After saying goodbye to the gorgeous blue waters of the Florida Keys, Guillaume and I scrambled to make it to Fort Lauderdale so he could fly out to host a Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in British Columbia. Because of this, you might notice the photography in this post is subpar to our usual. That’s because I lost my photographer to the snowy oasis of Vancouver…

Salies and I stayed with the tiny house parked behind a the lovely Sanctuary Church, only a few miles from Fort Lauderdale beach. This parking was possible thanks to deacon Lisa Doering, who came to our rescue when we reached out on facebook a few days before our arrival.

Our parking spot was secluded and peaceful. Salies even had a patch of grass to run around in, so every morning I would tie her long leash to the tiny house and we would watch the paddle boarders float by on the adjacent canal. I haven’t spent many nights in the tiny house alone, but whenever I do, I always become aware of how my dog is truly my best friend.


Fort Lauderdale allows dogs on a certain part of the beach from 3-7pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I found this out through googling “dog beaches,” but it’s obviously not a secret. Every time we went to the dog beach, there were plenty of other pups splashing through the waves. She would chase them and nip at their furry bums, and then come running back up to shake salty water all over me.

Salies and I also went for a few easy hikes in the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, where they have some gigantic Indiana-Jones-style trees.

Tiny Salies Giant Tree? At Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Friday evening I left Salies at home to recover from an afternoon of beach agility and headed to a mermaid show at The Wreck Bar. What’s a mermaid show? It’s where pretty gals in mermaid costumes swim up to underwater portholes located in a submerged bar. But, that’s not doing the show justice.


First of all, the costumes are great. The hair, the make up, the fins. They look like real mermaids! Second of all, they hold their breath and look really pretty doing it. They even smile, laugh and blow bubbles at you underwater! Lastly, these girls are not only performers, they’re athletes. Synchronized swimmers, posing and twisting with their legs constrained in a fabric fin. It’s impressive to say the least!

#mermaidshow #wreckbar #florida #fortlauderdale #thgj

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If you’re in Fort Lauderdale on a Friday evening and want to attend the mermaid show, I suggest getting there at least 30 minutes early. The show is free, but seating is limited. Try to sit at the bar for the best visibility. Also, it’s a kid friendly show, so just be prepared for a bunch of kids screaming “Ariel!!!” every time a red headed mermaid swims past the porthole.

The Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale is a massive flea market by day, and a multi-screen drive-in movie theatre by night. They play films that are currently in theaters and only charge $7 per ticket. I went to four drive-in movies in five days!


“Just one ticket?” asked the Swap Shop ticket taker on Saturday night.

“Yep, unless you charge for the dog?” I blushed, realizing how pathetic I must appear.

“He’s probably a better date that most men anyway!” The ticket taker chuckled and handed me a ticket.

I smiled and drove off. Dignity intact. If you’re wondering what movies I saw here’s the list: Into the Woods, Selma, American Sniper and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

On Sunday afternoon I held an open house, and to my surprise, at least fifty people showed up! It was an amazing turn out and everyone was really receptive to the tiny house. Lisa and a few other folks from the church were really interested on how tiny homes could be beneficial for the homeless. So, I did a little research and spoke a bit about tiny house homeless communities.

Fort Lauderdale, FL on January 18th, 2015
Open House in Fort Lauderdale, FL on January 18th, 2015

My mother, grandmother and aunt visited during the open house. They had just gotten off a cruise ship, which docked in Fort Launderdale that morning. My mother stayed with me in the tiny house for a few nights before Guillaume came back from the workshop. At first, she was a little skeptical about sleeping in the loft, but she tried it and had only positive things to say about it. I’m glad I went with stairs, because if I had gone with a ladder, I couldn’t have begged her to join me in the loft for all the fancy wines in the world (and my mother loves good wine).

Mother/daughter time, enjoying lunch on the canal

Next, we back-tracked a little, which is usually a big “no no” for our travels. But when you read our next post, you’ll see why it was absolutely worth it!

– Jenna








  1. Rachel Youngblood
    July 13, 2015 / 11:37 am

    We are starting to explore the Tiny House Movement seriously and I am also in Florida.Loved this story and would love to check out the drive in as I have never been and the mermaid show sounds amazing

  2. achicade
    January 28, 2015 / 6:31 am

    hey, regarding the affiliate link through Amazon to donate when purchasing… how do i know if it’s working, because I clicked on the link you gave, and it took me to Amazon, but there was no indication of an affiliate…..? I just want to make sure it’s working…….Thanks so much! I’d love to help! I enjoy your emails very much, what a life! 🙂 debbie in GA

    • User Avatar January 28, 2015 / 6:38 am

      Thanks Debbie, it’s really nice of you to do that and check that it works! It should be fairly invisible to you. The only indicator is that when you first click on one of our links, this should appear in the address bar at the top: tag=tinhougiajou-20
      Then go ahead and shop as you usually would. I can’t remember for how long Amazon remembers that you came through our link, it might just be 24hrs… I’ll have to check.
      Thank you though, we greatly appreciate it!

  3. January 27, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    This is an amazing post! Mermaids are my favorite and living in Florida has afforded me many opportunities to encounter them. However, Fort Lauderdale is not a place I had a chance to truly explore, as I was only there for a few hours once helping a family member move. I am going through your Keys/Everglades posts and you take such gorgeous photos! I can’t wait to see the rest of your adventures!

    Thanks for sharing.

    • August 31, 2015 / 11:02 pm

      this is a pretty cool adventure blog, I’d have to agree with you Sami! I’ve lived in Fort Lauderdale pretty much all my life. Its great to see Salies coming down and enjoying it! Next time your in fort lauderdale, be sure to stop by 15th Street Fisheries for a bit to eat…its my favorite place down here!

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