Day Three – South Beach Hotel

Filed Under (hot deals, Vacation) by Jason L. on 23-05-2008

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Today we intended to wake up bright and early to watch the sunrise on the beach. That obviously didn’t happen. We woke up around noon again, and went to McDonalds to eat (again). Afterwards we walked back to our hotel on 22nd and collins and changed into our swimming suits. Our hotel is just a block and a half from the beach, so it only takes a few minutes to get there. Not having a car hasn’t been a big deal, we have made great use of our legs and the public transportation system.

We pretty must just hung out at the beach until it started to rain, then we headed back and change again, then walked to mcDonalds again to eat. We honestly need to find some variety. Afterwards we walked down a

different street, Washington. Down there are more options for us to eat, too bad we didn’t discover them sooner. Tomorrow we plan on waking up early enough to get breakfast so we can stop eating double bacon cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets.

This evening it was obvious that it was Friday night. Everywhere we went there were limos or shuttles unloading party-ers onto the streets. It is definitely black beach week as they call it. Rap music and fancy cars everywhere. I saw a couple Bentleys and Lamborghinis.

Tomorrow we depart on the Carnival Truimph for a 8 day cruise. We will be back on Sunday June 1st. I am pretty certain we will not have internet access because it is so expensive. Tonight I booked a deal on Expedia.com for the Catalina hotel just a few blocks from here. It was a steal at $53.00 a night plus $30 off coupon plus $50 mastercard by mail. Compare that to our hotel which I payed just over a hundred a night, and they quoted me $155 if we wanted to come back.

Its one AM here now, I don’t have a lot of time to blog since we are going to bed now. Nessa and K will be departing on their flight in about an hour. We are going to meet them at the port of Miami. I’ve got the bus schedule that should take us right there. We are taking the S bus for 24 minutes from Collins to N America Way. Wish us luck. We will try to take tons of pictures. Love ya –Jason and Mandy.

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Day Two – 1st Full day in South Beach

Filed Under (Vacation) by Jason L. on 22-05-2008

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Sleeping in our minimalist hotel room proved to not be as relaxing as we had hoped. The bed was pretty hard and besides sheets and three pillows, there was only a small throw we could use to cuddle with. The room temperature was acceptable, though it took forever for it to cool down, and we ended up really cold overnight. The walls were thin and we could hear everything. Being on the first floor right by the front patio, we were able to hear people talking all night and early morning.

I had a bit of trouble getting a wireless signal and later found out that it was only available in the lobby. We did get connected long enough to find information about where food was located, and proceeded to wonder the streets in search of food. This would be the first of many McDonald meals.

To my amazement, they did have a $1 value menu at the South Beach McDonalds. I really expected it to be significantly more because of the location. At this McDonalds the drive thru window is a walk up window, there isn’t a real drive through. Instead of the $1 double cheese burger, I opted to try something we don’t have back home. For fifty cents more I got a double cheeseburger with bacon. It was pretty good but doesn’t compare to Wendy’s whatsoever.

With our stomachs full of cheap greasy food, it was clear we needed to exercise a bit. We walked up and down Lincoln Ave, most of which is a pedestrian mall of sorts. There are many shops along these few blocks, including upscale restaurants which lined the sidewalk with large umbrellas. It was a pleasant relief to walk in the shade and enjoy the fans intended for diners. Most of the shops weren’t of interest to us, our time was mainly spent window shopping.

After our fair share of oogling at stuff we can’t afford to buy, we walked back to our hotel. It seemed like such a long walk in the sun, my forehead must have lost at least 4oz of sweat in the process. We then got our bathing suits on and left our room key with the front desk. The walk to the beach was very short. It was just across Collins Ave, probably a block and a half total.

The beach was a beautiful sight, there is a nice boardwalk area for joggers and walkers that runs parallel to the beach, just between the beachfront hotels and the sand and blue skies. Lifeguard towers are positioned up and down the beach, all of which were staffed and had flags warning of dangerous marine life. I’m not sure what they meant by dangerous marine life, but it didn’t seem to stop anyone else from swimming. All I could do it hope that if there were sharks, they would have closed the beach completely.

We claimed our square of sand in the area between the chairs and umbrellas and the water. Umbrellas and chairs are owned by the beachfront hotels, though I have heard you can rent them for $5 a day. We ran out to the water and were pleasantly surprised at the temperature of the water. It was warmer than most heated pools; it seemed more like a hot tub. We walked right in and stumbled across about 5 feet of sharp rocks and coral. After that area it was nice soft sand and even got shallower as we went out. There was a large sandbar that stretched at least 50 feet in either direction. This is where we spent most of our time.

I remember reading the review about our hotel and how some people were disgusted by nudity on the beach. I looked around expecting to see something since this was in fact South Beach, but there wasn’t anything more than the occasional g-string (nasty by the way). We spent the next few hours on the beach or in the water, just having fun relaxing and enjoying the view. It was pretty neat to see all the large hotels right against the beach, stretching as far as the eye could see. We did see a few crazy people running into the water with their tops off, and a few sunbathing. Most of them weren’t very attractive IMO, and for sure, nothing hotter than my wife.

The beach pretty much empties out around 6pm when it starts to cool off and the sun isn’t direct enough to make you look like a California raisin. We stayed until literally we were the only ones in the water for about a quarter mile. Making our way back to the hotel we discovered the boardwalk fills up with bums in the evening hours. If you are crazy, homeless or just obnoxious, this is your time and place.

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