Miami Beach Adventure Apr. 21 - 25, 2008

Miami Beach Travel Blog

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Miami Beach Sunset

On Miami Beach blue skies, parks, palm trees, colorful street life and art deco buildings combine with a tourist phenomenon that is, as best as I can describe it, Vegas, beach side. Ocean Drive, with its traffic of convertibles and hummer limousines is lined with such a plethora of bars harboring semi clad dancing girls and bikini contests that one begins to ruminate at length on the very likely existence of a vast behind the scenes infrastructure of Scarface style gangsters engaged in less than friendly relations.

Miami is precisely what I expected Los Angeles to be like - full of beautiful, tanned, fashionable people. The weather is gorgeous.  The women here definitely know how to work it - they strut down the streets in impossible high heels, perfectly groomed, wearing designer figure-hugging clothes, really showing their stuff.

Miami Beach
  It's the best place for people watching.

The city of Miami is actually separate from the area where visitors spend most of their time, which is Miami Beach (4 miles away and on a separate 'island', joined to downtown by a couple of main roads).  My conference happened to be here in Miami Beach this trip.

I only took a handful of photos of Miami this time around (as opposed to the at least 100+ I usually capture every trip I take). For one, I've taken so many before and really didn't find much new (in terms of structure, attractions, or physical surroundings) to photograph, minus my diving experience.  Secondly, it's difficult to take photos that capture the place properly.

Lifeguard tower (a la Baywatch)
  I think it's the people here that make the place cool and interesting, rather than the beach or the architecture.

Miami is classy and quite understated really.  The white coral beach is fronted by (mainly white) hotels that are either not named on the beach side or done so discreetly.  There are no tacky tourist shops lining the beach, neon signs or people selling stuff on the beach.  Even the bars on the beach are just simple, unlabeled straw huts.  Just gorgeous people everywhere.  I took my book to the beach but didn't read a page - I just love staring at people.  And they love to be stared at!

Miami Beach is not a quiet place in any way. But even this 24/7 place has some spots you can find peace and quiet in. I found my serenity in the beach - just lying around on the sand warming up, breathing the ocean.

Diver Soup (I'm the 3rd one to the right on top)
And also just walking around, finding some tranquility in my iPod.

One side note for this trip (and the twist I mentioned in my intro):  I found a surf shop on Washington Ave. that takes you for dives in one of the Florida Keys. Since I have no qualification for diving, I took the introduction dive. They take you to a pool, give you all the basics, how to use your equipment, how to signal and everything, you practice a little in the pool and then you head off with the rest of the (qualified) guys. This is something I had been longing to do for most of my life.  So I grabbed an underwater camera and off we went to Key Biscayne, which is the first of the Keys I think. The dive itself was breathtaking - lots of fish, corals, sun (don't forget your sunscreen) and decent people.

Miami Beach at night
  It was amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone w/even the slightest interest.

Anyway, the club scene here is massive.  Planes fly over the shore line pulling banners advertising top DJ acts on that night.  Clubbing is a bit pricey though; you often have to book in advance, and dress for it in my opinion.  I don't think sandals would make the cut.

There was a nice Irish Pub on Lincoln Rd I found though - a nice street by itself, always full of people, stores and of course, sunshine.  It's a small world - I bumped into someone I knew from the North East in this pub.  We had a few brews there and caught up on life (as well as a buzz) and then headed back to the beach to check out the scenery.  Afterwards we ended up going to a Miami Heat game that evening at the American Airlines Arena and then played a few games of pool the rest of the night.

Coral Heaven
  Now, I thought I was a shark and so did my buddy, but when we played a couple of the locals they beat us even when they played left-handed!  I think we got scammed - BIG time.  Or, just perhaps, we weren't quite seeing (or shooting) straight.  But the former is my story, and that's what I'm sticking to!

To take the last of it all in before my departure the next day, we stopped at a very nice, though expensive and slightly ritzy, beachside cafe/restaurant with alfresco seating from which vantage point we could people watch. And of course, at this time it became increasingly apparent (again) that the very wealthy and beautiful members of the Miami Beach community are all very much inclined to display it. Convertibles cruised by, hoods down, revealing perfectly proportioned blond beauties, their heads held with an air of disinterest, sporting sunglasses to hide what I, being inclined to clich├ęd thought, assumed could only be dark windows on to very shallow souls.

Beachside Cafe/Restaurant
  Stereotypical, I know.  But just my opinion.

Anyway, as you can probably tell, I've got surprisingly little to say, considering the fact I was there for 4 days...again.  But I've done Miami (and FLA altogether - East, West, Central, Southern, and Northern) a few times over, it was for another work conference and I'm rather bored w/it.  I basically hung around, enjoyed some half-decent meals and cocktails.....and watched people. Although the dive was most definitely the highlight of my trip.  That's about it.  I caught a nice bit of color and just relaxed in my spare time.  Spent a bit more money here than elsewhere - it's hard not to really.  But it was on my employer's dime, so it was all good.  This place would be paradise if you've got a serious amount of money to spend.

North Beach
  Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed myself.  I set out to attend a seminar, get out of my office in Vermont, kick back and chillax otherwise, and did just that. Miami (for business or pleasure) = it is what it is.

Vipin says:
nice blog and very cool pics!
Posted on: Mar 22, 2010
kokfoo83 says:
nice blog...beautiful pic....i love miami...i heard there is a lot of crocodiles
Posted on: May 14, 2009
GSTAgnt says:
Great article! Isn't Miami beach an awesome place for vacation? I found another cool article with some excellent ideas for visiting the area here:
http://blogs.lib.ncsu.edu/page/springbreak?entry=5_miami_beach_oceanfront_condos

You should check it out!
Posted on: Oct 27, 2008
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Miami Beach Sunset
Miami Beach Sunset
Miami Beach
Miami Beach
Lifeguard tower (a la Baywatch)
Lifeguard tower (a la Baywatch)
Diver Soup (Im the 3rd one to the…
Diver Soup (I'm the 3rd one to th…
Miami Beach at night
Miami Beach at night
Coral Heaven
Coral Heaven
Beachside Cafe/Restaurant
Beachside Cafe/Restaurant
North Beach
North Beach
Palm Trees and Sandy Beaches
Palm Trees and Sandy Beaches
Coral Gardens
Coral Gardens
Miami Beach
Miami Beach
Miami Beach
Miami Beach
Miami Beach
Miami Beach
Swarming Swimmers
Swarming Swimmers
Miami Beach
Miami Beach
A (very) rainy evening
A (very) rainy evening
Another Seagull
Another Seagull
Chails Reef Landscape
Chails Reef Landscape
Clown Fish
Clown Fish
Coral fan with diver
Coral fan with diver
Coral
Coral
Coral Gardens
Coral Gardens
Entering Prom Deck
Entering Prom Deck
Feeding Time
Feeding Time
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Another Lifeguard Tower - Miami Be…
Another Lifeguard Tower - Miami B…
Lion Fish
Lion Fish
Miami Beach
Miami Beach
More Palm Trees
More Palm Trees
There are some quite funny airplan…
There are some quite funny airpla…
The Ocean
The Ocean
Ocean
Ocean
Reef Play
Reef Play
Reef Diving
Reef Diving
More Seagulls
More Seagulls
South Beach Nighlife
South Beach Nighlife
South Beach
South Beach
The Clay Hotel - I think this was …
The Clay Hotel - I think this was…
View from the Hotel Room
View from the Hotel Room
Waiting at the deco stop
Waiting at the deco stop
Ocean Drive
Ocean Drive
A Pelican soars over the water.  S…
A Pelican soars over the water. …
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photo by: B-Town