Thursday, 20 January 2011

Miami Beach

I had a mission: to find a boat to hitch to the Caribbean.  So on my first full day in Miami Beach (yes, it's a different place than Miami) I made the most of the free breakfast given at the hostel, then walked down the beach towards the marina.

By the looks of things Baywatch is starting up again...
Free breakfast and free boat rides...yes I'm a cheapskate.  Saying this, an hour or so later I went in a travel shop for a (free) map then ended up paying $50 for something.  Oops!  I guess this can be an award for finding £50 in an old bank account at home.  It was a trip to the Everglades.  And just so I would definitely buy, I was given a free bus tour and free boat tour for the day.  The bus tour was pretty good, I learned a few things about Miami and Miami Beach as well as let ourselves into the most famous hotel in Miami for a toilet break...

Straight after, we went on the boat tour.  It took us around the islands of the rich and famous.  I took a few photos but can't quite remember who's house was P.Diddy's, Sylvester Stallone's, or Madonna's...

Anyway, me being me and not just doing things the normal way, I made friends with the captain of the boat and ended up driving it through bridges and passageways.  It was a lot harder than you imagine!

The next morning was my Everglades tour.  It's the biggest national park in the USA as well as having more species of birds, mammals, fish, anything you can think of, than any other park in the USA.  We were driven to where we would have the airboat tour.

                     And then I held an alligator...

I met up with Anna after the Everglades tour.  She's an Australian nurse and has been working out in Miami for just over a year.  Her roommate (or flatmate!!) Lavada had recently moved from New York...because she needs some sun!  Had a dinner of chicken chow mein, carefully prepared by Anna (thankyou it was lovely) whilst watching "Wipeout" on TV.  For those of you who don't know "Wipeout", YouTube it, it's AMAZING! --- ""8.30, Wipeout time!!""

Went with the flow the following day (because I'm too lazy to make a plan) and ended up getting the bus to downtown Miami [oooooooooooo!].  Wandered around a market which was really touristy and took a few pictures of a man jamming to a reggae band.  I don't know why, he just looked pretty.>>>

Decided I wanted to see the real downtown so I hopped on the free shuttle-train-thingy and got off at a stop which I chose by singing "Eenie meenie miney mo".  I found the real downtown Miami. Wow.  Homeless people everywhere.  Some had shopping trolleys filled with who-knows, some had ten jackets on even though it was sunny, one had an umbrella, and one had a pigeon on his head...just to name a few.  Hmmmmm...where to go? The tallest building I could see, why not?!  Planning on using my I'm-a-stupid-tourist- card if I got caught, I headed up three different lifts (or elevators if you're American) and found myself in a lawyers office on the 47th floor.  I used my British charm on a lady in an office to ask if I could take a picture of the skyline from the window. She was very confused. So I did it anyway.

After a very complicated way back (must have taken a wrong turn somewhere) I made my way back to Anna's place; stopping by at Miami Ink Studios [on the DMAX channel on Sky in the UK] and meeting Yoji.

Once Anna got back from work, all three of us went out for cocktails. More specifically Mojitos. More specifically alcohol that will get you so drunk in three drinks that you eat the whole menu in a taco cafe.
A great few days spent with Anna and Lavada, thankyou very much ladies!