The first city – Miami.
I’ve been so looking forward to the sun and beaches and finally we were there! Stepped out of the airport, I had to take off my jacket right away. Couldn’t find a shuttle bus – so took a cab. There were about 5-6 difference regions that you can get to with a flat rate. For Miami beach, it costed about 30-40 dollars. On our way, I saw a lot of palm trees, and low-rise buidlings. Just in 2-3 hours, I felt totally different – relaxed and a bit unreal. It seemed that I haven’t been to a getaway that’s so close to home – usually the flights are 8 hours or more.
The first hotel of the trip was at Miami Beach – very close to the beach (just 5 min walk or so). The beach wasn’t the most popular one (compared to the ones near the South Beach area). That was even better since we didn’t have to fight for a good spot to enjoy the sun, beach, the sound of the splashes. I can’t remember when was the last time I’ve tasted the salt water from the ocean (it was VERY salty argh! and it hurt when splashed into eyes @_@). It must have been a really long time. Suntanned a bit and swam a bit – good that I had learnt a bit of swimming earlier this year and also had company, who could save me if anything happened.
The hotel was about 1.5 miles away from the main Lincoln Road tourist area. There were buses that we could take, but we’d rather take a walk. Sometimes we walked back and forth between hotel and Lincoln Road twice a day – i.e. 6 miles of walking… which sounds a bit insane. But the weather was good, the area was nice, so why not just walk?
One thing that we noticed: Not sure if it was because of the off-season, we saw very few Asian faces there. Maybe 6 persons per day (max). Food-wise, there were a lot of Italian, Asian Fusion and Cuban food. The first day, we had a Cuban sandwich and a Media Noche. Both were good! The Lincoln Road area was full of restaurants and patios. There were also some galleries and workshops. One what caught my attention was the Britto Central – the colors of his works are just so… happy and bright. They all give you hope and good feelings.
Got tanned and got a bit of sunburn. But beaches wasn’t the only thing there. If you go further south of the Lincoln Road, there was a shuttle bus line called the “South Beach Local”. For 25 cents, you can hop onto this bus and get a tour of the whole South Beach area – very nice. Along Collins Ave. (which is the main road that goes from North to South), there were also some nice night scenes. While walking at night, we always saw lots of people dressed up for parties.
For Miami, we actually haven’t done a lot of planning for the sightseeing and things to do. Just walked around the area, explore it ourselves. Chill and enjoy the warm weather. Basicially that was what we were looking for. Without expectation, one night we walked by the Espanola Way – a historic Spanish village with shops, restaurants and galleries. The Espanola Way looked exotic at night.
Another day, we took a bus North, and checked out the Aventura Mall, a pretty large mall that just got built earlier this year. A few nice shops still weren’t even opened yet. Since we didn’t wanna carry more stuffs around, we didn’t buy many stuffs until the last 2 cities.
We ate quite a lot during our stay in Miami. (well… actually we ate a lot during the whole trip.) Remember. This is a budget trip, so most of the time the meal would be under 20 bucks (after T&T) per person. Sometimes we’d just grab a bite for a few bucks. Top of my head… we had the Cuban Sandwiches at Sobe Munchies, Pizza Rustica, Pasha’s (Fresh Mediterranean Cuisine), Sultan (very good Mediterranean food – 1903 Collins Avenue), Moshi 2 (Argh, will not go again – very slow service and not good Japanese food. I were just craving for ramen that night, but man… I kinda regretted going into that place!!), Tango Grill (Argentina @ Aventura Mall’s food court), Miami Grill (Fish and Chips near South Beach area).
Yup… We mainly sticked with the beach area this time. Didn’t have time to check out other areas in Miami. Maybe next time 🙂 Miami was a good warm start.