Miami skyline

Consider me pleasantly surprised. The decision to spend a couple of days here was one made at the last moment. Granted, it did take us ook us two hours to get off the plane once we landed as the airport had been shut down for three hours due to heavy rains and our plane had to wait in line. But the pilot had taken us all around the big bad scary clouds and touched down without as much as a tremble despite promises of heavy turbulence, so the wait was not a big deal. 

Waiting for a taxi after a three-hour airport shutdown

We decided to get a taxi instead of renting a car and boy did that turn out to be the right choice! It would have taken forever to get the car plus the taxi driver knew how to get around heavy traffic to the place in South Beach where we were supposed to stay the night. Except that our room had been flooded. We ended up getting a room five blocks away and although it’s just about the worst dump you can imagine, it’s relatively clean, air-conditioned and only a block away from the beach.

Oversized mojitos

After a 24 hour trip starting in Brussels, getting fingerprinted in Chicago and thanking the pilot for the smooth ride around the cumulus nimbii (?) we really felt like a walk down the Ocean Drive. Yummy lobster salad with avocado and mango! Should have checked the prices of cocktails as they could have served as a hint that the humongous glasses placed on our table easily have constituted a dinner all on their own. Considering they contained about four regular mojitos each, the $25 price tag wouldn’t be excessive. Had I been able to drink that much. Apparently, another diner that evening had consumed three of those with his food. Things that make you go… hummm.

I was under the impression that was where the sun don’t shine? Note the sun umbrella in the back… South Beach may well be the gay capital of the world.

The beach is something else. Aptly described by our tour guide as South Florida’s Silicon Valley, it’s the place to swim, sunbathe, watch and be seen. We took a bus/boat tour of the city and learned about its roots. The art deco buildings are beacutiful as is the entire Coral Gables district. Little Havana and Little Bahamas along with a number of other Littles, however, serve to remind that this is one of the poorest cities in the US.

Living the Good Life… or was that Livin’ La Vida Loca?

The stark contrasts were apparent this morning when I went out for a jog along the beach. Groups of semi-conscious kids finally heading back to their hotels yelling jibberish to each other from two-feet distance, tripping over homeless old men covered in newspaper trying to get some sleep, not disturbing the beautiful and fit ladies doing yoga and not catching a glance from the early morning joggers. Squirrels seemed unfazed as did the flock of green parrots.


Cappuccino and breakfast at the Cafe des Arts warmly recommended (I know, I know)