As I mentioned a few days back, Sian and I have had a mental week. Between welcoming guests, being attacked by bees, hounded by nesting bats, and having two team members off for a few weeks, life has been pretty hectic.
Oh – and amidst all this, we flew out to Miami for 5 days on business with our awesome boss Gary.
We were in Fort Lauderdale for a couple of days, and then we popped down to South Beach to soak up some of that awesome ‘Sobe’ atmosphere. Sian had organised our digs in the awesome Catalina Hotel. It is one block up from Lincoln Avenue, which is without a doubt the heart and soul of South Beach. A million bars, and you just pick the one that looks the most comfy, sit down, order some beers, and let Miami walk past you. And it is made up of all sorts. If you like people watching, you have to visit South Beach.
On the first night, we wandered down the boardwalk towards the cafes and bars along the front. Gary had planted the idea of nachos in my head, and as we wandered we were bombarded with deals and offers, happy hours and bargains…we carried on down the front until we found ‘the bar’.
Eventually impatience got the better of us, and we just started asking the waitresses attacking us with flyers “Do you have nachos?” “Yes.” “Are you running a happy hour?” “Yes, buy one round, get the next on free”.
So there we sat, on the front of South Beach as the Ferraris and custom choppers drove by. There are all sorts of people here; there are also all sorts of vehicles.
Now, this is where the story gets messy. All the way down South Beach, we had seen these idiots with the most enormous cocktail glasses. Seriously. Put your hand out, spread your fingers as wide as they will go and you would still be able to put your hand in one of these glasses. Easily. We had quietly mocked these fools for their inability to order a correct sized drink along the South Coast…so imagine our utter dismay when our Mojitos arrived – the size of an arctic truck, and Gary’s beer arrived in the most enormous glass boot I have ever seen.
I would not normally dream of posting a photo on this blog from our little Nikon point and shoot, but I feel it’s important for you to see what we were up against here…
And the Mojitos were good. I mean, really good. So after we had a good chuckle at how ridiculous we had been, getting suckered into the obvious tourist trap, we felt even more stupid when we asked the price of the behemoth drinks we had been served.
Fifty five US Dollars. EACH. No wonder it was buy one get one round free – no one could possibly finish one of these drinks, and be capable of drinking another. The bar was running a pretty awesome scam here. But The Britishness in me kicked in, and I was damned if I wasn’t going to get my money’s worth.
I was in bed by 9pm.
And as I woke up again at 7am, I was amazed at just how fresh I felt. I left Sian in bed and had a wander around this amazing city. It was a ghost town. Miami is, without a doubt, alive at night. And as I wandered around the streets, baffled as to how I had avoided a hangover that I most definitely deserved, I felt like I was in some kind of post-apocalyptic film. No one. Anywhere. It was really quite special.
Grabbing some breakfast for Sian, I managed to pull her from her sleep, and we wandered around the streets together; but by now, that magic loneliness had been replaced with hungover tourists looking for their coffee, skaters, joggers, muscle men, dog walkers, big groups of blonde girls shopping together, big groups of flamboyant men shopping together, and I felt that Sian had been cheated from the site that I had enjoyed only a few hours ago.
But all the same, we had a blast. Thanks Miami, you were very gentle with me.