Ok here it is, finally posting this.
Miami Beach lived up to its reputation of having a crazy night light and HOT. Every day we were down there the temperature was above 85 degrees, no matter what time of the day. Nothing cools off Miami, not even the rain they get everyday. It was so beautiful down there, clear water and skies to enjoy, perfect beaches, tons of tourists, bars and clubs. One downfall for all this perfection is the prices. Boy was I not prepared at all for crazy markups on everyday items. I would have to say everything was generally 2 or 3 times more expensive then here at home. Not a real biggie, just an eye opener at first.
We spent most of the days on the beach or walking around taking in the sites and art deco style buildings they are also famous for. Scouting places to eat was fun since there are so many choices. There are a few main roads to go down on South Beach where everything is, Ocean Drive with all the clubs, bars, and restaurants, Lincoln Road which is the nice pedestrian mall, Collins Ave which many hotels and shops are, and Washington Ave which is even more shops and businesses. Most of our nights were spent walking up and down Ocean Drive picking out a place to eat/drink. I thought it was really cool how the whole street had tables on the sidewalk so as you walked down the street you were essentially walking through each restaurant and bombarded by hostesses asking you to look at the menus. After awhile it got to be annoying but we were pros at just ignoring them after a few days.
One part that did suck on this trip was the location of our hotel. The Fontainebleau is an awesome hotel, but its 30+ blocks from South Beach so we took a cab each day to get down there. That ate into our fun budget a bit too which ticked me off a bit at first. We never did go north of our hotel, we just kind of ran out of days really. Besides the partial nude beach up there, not sure if there was anything else we missed out on. I guess we’ll just have to go back.
Ok, back to Ocean Drive. The restaurants on there are average. They all sell about the same stuff for about the same price. Nothing really stood out. Eating down there is great because you get to watch all the different kinds of people walking by. Thousands of people walk by at night time, so you can just imagine how amusing it can get. Typically we would walk along the beach after stuffing our faces and then stroll back over and find a place to have some drinks and enjoy the Miami night life. We stopped at places like the Clevelander and Ocean’s 10. We also ate at some spectacular places like Emeril’s (yup, the bam guy), Gotham Steak, and Texas de Brazil (an awesome Brazillian steak house). I don’t think I have ever eaten in such fancy places before. All three had over the top service and the atmosphere was spectacular. If you go to Miami Beach, eat at all three places.
Our first full day there we went on a duck boat tour. I figured it was a good way to figure out where everything was. The best part of the tour was when we went into Biscayne Bay and saw all the islands. On these man made islands are all the famous people’s houses like Hulk Hogan’s house he lost in the divorce (ouch!), Puff Daddy, the Scarface house, the CSI Miami house (from the first season, they don’t even film in Miami anymore!), the Miami Vice house, Steffi Graph’s house, and some really rich guy that built a $50 million dollar mansion with only 3 bedrooms, each about 4,000 square feet, isn’t that nuts?. Back on land we learned where the Miami Ink tattoo shop was, the old boxing club that Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and George Foreman all trained in (it’s a damn bank now, don’t see how a place with that reputation would go out of business), and the regular old convention center where Muhammad Ali won his first Heavyweight Championship of the World title in 1964 and President Nixon gave his acceptance speech (blame the tour guide if I’m wrong). I’m glad we went on this tour because we would have never traveled to the Bay to see those houses, I didn’t even know they were out there! As you can tell I pretty much just booked a trip to Miami without bothering to do any research because hey, it’s Miami, how can I go wrong?
There is a bunch of pictures to choose from, but I tried to choose the best ones to show all of you. Hope you enjoy them!