Florida 2001 - Bienvenido a Miami

Miami Travel Blog

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with a group of friends

This was my first actual trip to Miami. I have been there for layovers, and passing through the city whenever my family went on a cruise. But never really got to see this city, until now. I went there from January 3rd to the 9th.

I've heard good and bad things about Miami. But I guess that is the case with any major city. Even some people thought I was crazy to visit, which probably came from watching too much "Miami Vice". More recently, there was a song about it from Will Smith (hence part of the journal entry title). In any event, I had to check this place out, as this was another place I considered moving to, after graduating from college. In fact, my #1 choice.

I arrived into Miami at night, and rented a car.

by Biscayne Bay
Learning my mistakes from the last time I rented a car, I was able to get one without any problems, and had it for the entire trip. As before, part of the reason for this trip, was seeing people that I met before, and others that I only knew through a message board. I was able to see them, even if it meant driving from one part of the city to another.

The weather was really nice, and much to my surprise, I was able to get a great deal on airfare from Priceline. I thought this would be the more busier times of the year. It did get a little chilly at times, but I thought it was funny how some of the people that I was with, felt that 50 F (or 16 C) was freezing cold, as it was around 20 F back home. Even would lend my coat to someone for the night.

I did walk around downtown, and got to ride the Metromover.
by marina at Bayside Marketplace
I had to pay 50 cents for it. I saw the Bayside Marketplace, which is an outdoor shopping mall and a marina, along Biscayne Bay. It looked really nice. I walked around for a bit, and ate a meal there. I also went to the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, which is a history museum on Miami, the Everglades, and the Florida Keys. Very informative and interesting.

From downtown, I took a bus to Little Havana, home of the Cuban community. I walked around for a little bit. I did not stay long enough, as I was running short on time that day. Then took the bus back, as this was one of the very few times I relied on public transportation in Miami.

Another interesting neighborhood was Carol Gables. But it was the most frustrating, as I had a hard time finding my way around, as I was trying to follow a tour in a guidebook.
by Vizcaya Museum
The street signs are on stones on the ground, which are hard to read. I did find myself squinting and taking my eyes off the road, which was very dangerous. But seeing the different styles of architecture from around the world, was interesting to see. And I did stop by University of Miami, a school that I may consider going to. The campus looked gorgeous, and I hoped to move there in the near future.

I did get to visit South Beach, but only walked around in the daytime. And I did not stay long, as it did not seem like my type of place, thus never visited at night. I also drove further north, to North Miami Beach, which looked like a resort town from the past. I did not stay long, as I drove back and forth between Miami and Miami Beach (which are considered 2 separate cities).
by Biscayne Bay from Vizcaya Museum
The drive itself is very enjoyable, seeing the skyline and Biscayne Bay.

I also visited the Vizcaya Museum, which was the home of James Deering. I quickly walked around the inside, then outside in the back, for nice views of the bay and downtown. There was also the gardens, but I did not get to visit that. And before the end of my trip, I did stop by the Spanish Monastery, and walked around the grounds.

I ended up returning the car later than planned, and cut it close with catching my flight. It was back to the freezing cold weather in Philly. I was able to see and do a lot in the short time that I was there. A great city, and hope to relocate to, after graduating from college.

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with a group of friends
with a group of friends
by Biscayne Bay
by Biscayne Bay
by marina at Bayside Marketplace
by marina at Bayside Marketplace
by Vizcaya Museum
by Vizcaya Museum
by Biscayne Bay from Vizcaya Museum
by Biscayne Bay from Vizcaya Museum
By Metromover
By Metromover
by fountain
by fountain
Miami
photo by: ellieperla