Thursday, September 22, 2011

Miami (south beach) - Day 28, 29 & 30

So at last we have come to the end. Had we still been on the trip this would have been a dreaded moment, but since as you who have followed the blog know by now, that we have been home for quite a while, I am happy to finally be able to share the last part of our road trip of 2011. 

Our departure from the keys brought mixed feelings. Part of me felt like I could easily do another month of the exact same thing over again. Another part said I cant do anymore take me home and hook me up on dialysis. We left with the feeling that this trip was already perfect. Already almost a month on the road and our expectations were surpassed at every single point of the trip. Miami at this point was just a bonus. A place to kick back with a cocktail with a last glimpse of the ocean before returning to a rainy Swedish summer. Having been in Miami once before in 2008 we already knew that we were aiming for South beach and nothing else. South beach is the southernmost part of the barrier island that has formed off the coast of Miami. It's well known for it's numerous stylish art deco hotels and also for being a party hot spot on the east coast. 

We arrived on a busy South beach in the afternoon. It's kinda funny that last time I was driving in Miami I was terrified of the traffic but five road trips later I was acing it. We pushed through the mad traffic jams and found ourselves a spot in one of the big parking garages. Parking in South beach is hard to find and expensive. In the big garages you can at least control the damage and it'll "only" set you back twenty bucks a day. 

After collecting as many bags as we could carry, we checked into our hotel. Riviere hotel is a good budget choice on Collins avenue with super clean and spacy rooms. We stayed there on our first stay in Miami and chose to stay there again. I wish i could post a link to it but a new luxury hotel with the same name has opened in South beach and no matter how hard I try to google it I cant seem to find it. It's on 1424 Collins avenue if you feel like looking it up. Right after dropping off our bags we walked a block down to Ocean avenue, Miami's famous bar strip on the Sea front. This is a great place to buy huge cocktails and feel out the vibe. Miami is a place for the rich and the beautiful people and sitting on one of the bars on Ocean gives you a front row ticket to the show. I find it more amusing then impressing but it is good fun! We had a few more drinks and then called it an early night.

Next day we got up early for the drive to Haulover beach. Haulover beach is the only "optional clothing" beach in Florida and though neither me or M consider ourselves naturists in any form, we saw a golden opportunity to get a perfect tan! Tanning is for Swedes the only accepted way to verify if someone had a good vacation. We show off our tans when we get back and we get judged by them. Might sound weird to the rest of you all but it has to do with the climate here. Let's just say that we don't get an awful lot of sun here. The beach was beautiful and felt a lot cleaner then the rather dirty South beach. After lying on the beach for awhile I got restless as I always get so I took a walk up and down the beach. When I returned M was all excited and pointed out to the ocean. I could see other people doing the same thing while others where hurrying up from the water. The reason of course a great white shark! It was the first time we've ever seen one in real life and it was mindblowing. At first you only saw a big shadow but when it turned around it's distinctive fin emerged above the water. M after this naturally refused to go swimming but after waiting for a good while I convinced her that as long as we swam next to other people we'd be safe. We also spotted two stingrays in the water before leaving.

We continued the afternoon with some last minute gift shopping and then ended up drinking more oversized cocktails. The early drinking took it's toll though so we went back to the hotel to rest a "bit" before the nights activities. Our little rest however lasted a little longer then we thought and it was close to midnight when we woke up. At first we were devastated that we had lost one of our last night, but after some internet research we realized that one of our favorite bars The Deuce was open until 5. Happy days!

If there is anything negative about South Beach I have to say it's that almost every bar & restaurant has a gratuity charge included on your tab. This means prices will be a lot higher then you expected and I'm sorry to say that service in South Beach is poor at best since they already get their tip without having to work for it. Knowing this in advance will save you the shock and still let you have a good time.

The deuce on the other hand is the opposite of this. It is the dive bar of all dive bars and even if the bartenders can come across as a bit reserved at first they are super nice and more than happy to share what they know about Miami. There are a lot of regulars in this bar and I can easily understand why. Staff is friendly and the decor is just what you need in a dive bar. A bar, a jukebox and a pool table. Nothing more, nothing less. We met tons of cool people and some of them invited us to come back drinking next day and we even got invited as special guests to a club. The door man at Club Deuce is almost a legend if you check out any forums in the web. A huge guy by any definition that spends the night playing pool if he's not at the door. Patrons are a mix of every kind of person you could imagine and as a cool trivia this is where Miami Vice had their wrap party at the end of the show. I rank this as the number one dive bar in the world!

It would turn out this would be our last night out on the road trip though. The last day we made it back to the beach again but after returning to the hotel I could a bad fever and that was kinda the end of the trip for me. I can't really complain though. This has been the best road trip or any trip for that matter I have ever been t. Every step of the way everything was perfect. I thank all of you who has followed this trip and I hope that you will stay with me as we plan for the next one. I am now looking forward to some shorter stories and points of interest I've been dying to share with you for awhile. Hopefully this will allow me to write more frequently as these long stories has taken quite some time to write down. 

Last of all thank you to all new and old friends we met along the way. Hope to see you all again in the future!

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru

1 comment:

  1. wellcome to plenty of best clubs in south beach that can top the list. The Miami Beach nightlife is know to also attract top DJ's from around the world!