Sunday, February 26, 2017

Miami Beach Dreaming for Our 2017 Vacation

It started off as a Christmas Vacation to Tampa or to Mexico.  But life got in the way and we had to postpone to February vacation.  And the destination changed too.  Just a couple of hours south and east to Miami Beach.  Let's get started judging the days and nights of our 2017 vacation!

Saturday.  Our Allegiant flight from Portsmouth was uneventful.  And when I say uneventful, I meant long and uncomfortable.  The airport was small - but we didn't have to pay for parking - and there was really nowhere to go for eats or drinks, nor were there any places to sit.  That affected Mom more than me since she could not drink her fear away and her bad back was not cooperating with the floor.  Not to be outdone, the sight of all of the military personnel returning home was unnerving to me.  After a three hour flight of trying to read/sleep, we finally arrived in Fort Lauderdale.  Even though it was midnight, we did like our hotel in Oakland Park.  This night was a success.

Welcome to Miami...I think it says.
Sunday.  We drove our rent a car from Fort Lauderdale to Miami Beach to see our hotel.  It was a beautiful spot, the Fontainebleau on the mid beach.  Situated on Collins Avenue and 45th Street, the hotel was instrumental to many movies, TV shows and music videos.  Scarface, Frank Sinatra, Miami Vice, the Bodyguard and the Miami Sound Machine all filmed here.  The hotel elevators reminded us every time we took one to our room.  Now the Fontainebleau is our home away from home.  But first things first, we check in and immediately take our rental car and go see the University of Miami play a baseball game.  While this game is subject to another journal entry, suffice it to say, it was a good time seeing what life might be like for C or G if they go here.  We return for the first of our dinners at Pizza and Burger, quite frankly the only restaurant that we could afford.  This night was a success. 

Monday.  This was the first day where we were able to enjoy the pool and the beach.  I started the day walking along the boardwalk toward South Beach while Mom and the kids hung out at the pool; we decided that we would go to the Keys for dinner.  It was a relaxing day, although it seemed that G was relaxing a little too much.  To our chagrin, his temperature was high too.  The flu?  We weren't sure, but we decided that the Keys were a little too far, so we would drive to a restaurant nearby.  Or would we?  We walk over to the valet and after a 15 minute wait, we start getting uncomfortable.  I see our car, but everyone seems to be buzzing around.  "Sorry, we can't find your keys.  Do you need a ride somewhere while we continue to look?"  Jesus, really?  C and DLG are excited to drive around in the hotel's house car (remember, G is in bed sleeping his flu away), but I just worry about the fantastic prices were going to have to pay to Hertz.  We get back from dinner and the keys still were not found.  Jesus, really?  This night was not a success.

Tuesday.  DLG and I go for a walk to get breakfast and carpet cleaner (unfortunate Gatorade accident from the night before) and we come back to find out that the hotel still has not found our car keys.  And the elevation begins.  First to the Valet manager, then to the front desk, then to an account manager.  Finally, one of the staff gives us the COO's email address.  Email written!  Granted we were sitting by the pool sipping on cocktails while we were fighting the hotel, but still.  They lost our car keys.  And even though we were not going very far since G could not really get out of bed, it was still painful to be stuck in paradise.   Finally, during our second dinner at Pizza and Burger, the Hotel Manager comes to meet us and gives us the moon and the stars.  I guess their Yelp and TripAdvisor ranking would suffer?  This night was a success.

Sunset after the 5 inches of rain
Wednesday.  Mom and I go for a 5 mile walk down to the Lincoln Street shops to get Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts - there are only 2 Dunkin Donuts on all of Miami Beach for God's sake - sadly, we get back in time for the heavens to open up on us.  Monsoon rain and 40 mile an hour winds.  (Shaking my head).  We go to a place farther north to eat lunch and watch the kids play pool.  We then let the hotel drive us around to get some souvenirs and drugs.  By this point, G just has a cough, but can get out of bed.  We bide our time at the beach when the sun finally comes out toward sunset and go to Pizza and Burger one more time.  But this time, Mom and I just had a drink and watched the kids eat.  We were going out on the town.  To Havana 1957 for some Cuban Food.  Two Uber rides, 4 sangrias and two meat and rice meals later, we can say that we had our Cuban food.  This night was a success.

Thursday.  Long flight home.Zzzzz.

So of our 5 nights in Miami, we had 4 successful nights and 1 unsuccessful night.  Not too shabby considering we lost our car, had a sick child and lost an entire day to the weather.  And the hotel told us to come back again and they would take care of us.  Anyone want to go back?

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