Part 1: Miami (South Beach), FL


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The Experience

The plan was simple: travel from San Diego to Miami on an afternoon flight and then taxi to our hotel in South Beach (Miami).  We planned on spending a couple of days in Miami before traveling on to Madrid.  Little did we know that the "Pride Parade" was in South Beach the weekend of our arrival.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

From the stairway to our hotel room, we got a view of a nice tree in bloom.  I am not sure of the species, but the blooms were nice.

The street outside of the hotel was converted into a pedestrian mall.  The roadway was in the process of being redone.  The cafe culture here is alive and well.  We ate on the street the night before and it was very pleasant.

One of the objective of our walk-about was to check out the Art Deco buildings in the area.  The building above has all the requisite attributes: shelves between floors, vertical accents and pastel colors.

I have no idea of the purpose of the balloon.  It could be an advertising stunt or a weather balloon gone astray or a mechanism to stabilize a wall using the opposite wall as the brace.  But, independent of the actual purpose (if any) it was odd to see.

We walked down the boulevard and got a close look at some of the Art Deco buildings.

This advertising plane flew past the beach towing this banner.  As Scarface said: "Say hello to my little friend..."

A powerful boat was making huge rooster tails close to the beach.  I assume it was a tourist ride, but never asked.

Whoa, check out the legs on this....guy.  One thing that Pride Parades bring out is the colorful individuals.

There was a variety of fair-food available.

There were huge platter of garnishes to go with your food.

Plenty of "chicken on a stick" if that is your thing.

Here is trouble on the hoof.  The gal in the bikini saw me as we were walking by and commanded "take our photo".  I assumed that she meant with her camera, but no.  She intended me, as a stranger, to take her photo on MY camera even though I did not know her.  So above is the photo.  Oddly, the gal on the left is Dana Something and the gal on the right Something Dana.  Common first-last names.  We would see them again later in the day.  Very curvy; very friendly.

Despite this being the Gay Pride Parade, there were no shortage of attractive gals.

THE hallmark of South Beach is the Art Deco architecture.  There is even a preservation society that attempts to enforce integrity in the original style.  There were plenty of examples of this style of architecture.  Most of these buildings were built in the 1930's.

Many of the hotels had restaurants on the ground floor, but the Congress did not.

A bit later in the afternoon these places were hopping with tourists getting food and cocktails.

Note the bright colors and ledges between floors which are hallmarks of the Art Deco style.

This was not crowded now, but give it about an hour.

A bit later the entire sidewalk would be a sea of tourists.

Note the bright colors and stucco filigree inlay.

This was something unexpected: a motorized unicycle.  This unit is like a Segway, but has only one wheel.  We spoke with the owner briefly and he had nothing but good things to say about it.

This stucco pineapple is a good example of the architectural style of the day.

While waiting for Kathleen to get some water, I noticed that the ferns had taken hold in the crest of a palm tree next to the street.  There must be sufficient moisture to support them.

Rather unexpected: a convoy of 3 Hummers came down the boulevard.  They were clearly military as there were no license plates.  What they were doing there was a mystery. 

We passed "The Danas" again.  The blonde Dana told me she was a Playmate "back in the day" and based on the bust-line alone, I accepted that statement.  She has some miles on her, but I have many, many more.  Hell, I should be a highway.

I passed this young beauty and asked her to pose with me.  I assume she is a "vagitarian" as her button says "I apologize if my legal rights get in the way of your bigotry".

We continued our walk north along the beach.  From the beach we could see a large cruise ship making its way out of the Port of Miami to points unknown.

On our way back to our hotel, Kathleen passed a place that was renting high-end cars, so she HAD to have a photo.

One of the nicer Art Deco hotels in South Beach.

South Beach Miami was more than I expected.  The beach was nicer, the girls were prettier and the buildings were very, very cool.  The Gay Pride Parade brought in all sorts of colorful folks to accent the area.  And, as a plus, we got to watch MPD bust a fellow for having a handgun in his belt.  Turns out he had a permit, but it caused a ruckus.  Some passer-by saw the but of the handle and texted the PD about it and they came right over en-masse on quads and had a chat with him at the next table.

Tomorrow is the actual parade, so we intend to go check it out as there will be plenty of "interesting" folks in costume.

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