March 19, 2005

Days Three and Four; Thanks for the Mammaries

The girl loves the beach

Day One at South Beach
Day Two at South Beach

        Despite staying out past 3 AM the night before, we got up and got out to catch the Avalon Hotel's breakfast spread.  By 10 AM on a weekend morning, most of the real late night partiers have made it back to at least near their hotels and a few of these stragglers were strewn about the streets.  Yes, I said 10 AM.  Hoang and I chowed down, changed into our beachwear, and I slathered on the SPF 30 sun block.  I failed to mention that back on the first day, that half hour in a t-shirt with no protection on earned me some nice bright red arms and neck.  Ridiculous.  As this was "Hoang's trip" (She deserves a few, after all of these), this was going to be the longest beach day of my life.  The plan?  No plan - just go find some sand and lie around all day.  I wasn't complaining... I had my magazines, my hat, my sun block, and a nice view.  Not only is Hoang gorgeous, I'll wager than no one else was reading (and enjoying!) Theodore Dreiser's "Sister Carrie" on all of South Beach that day.  Or all of Florida's beaches.  Or really, any beaches anywhere for that matter.  What a nerd... And I love her for it.
        As the day progressed, the beach got more and more crowded.  The late night partiers began to show up around 2 in the afternoon and with them, came the creepy sexual predators.  We seemed to be surrounded by topless women (you actually get pretty bored of it after a while) so I couldn't help but notice the same older guys who circled like vultures; walking back and forth, back and forth, just STARING at these girls, over... And over... And over.  They must get beat up on a fairly consistent basis by jealous boyfriends. 

Creepy Old dude ruins nice scene

I'm not usually a fan of wanton violence but in this case, I wouldn't mind a little.  A group of Spaniards (real Spanish Spaniards) congregated next to us and immediately started downing a 30 pack of cheap beer.  They seemed like nice guys so we paid no attention to them.  A crowd of collegians were doing beer bongs a little ways away, a random homeless black dude was exposing himself from time to time - scenes like this were popping up left and right... Good times. 
        I took a walk to find some food to hold us over until dinner and settled on a can of Pringles and 2 Bud Lights.  Hey, you don't get my body simply by working out!  It's a whole lifestyle thing.  Total cost for this healthy lunch?  12 bucks.  I've been to Kauai, Nice, Monte Carlo, Manhattan (check back here for those reports!) ... And South Beach is right up there in the expensive category.  But when some guy loudly referred to the naked breasts of some girl behind us as "dewdrops," I realized it was all worthwhile.  By 4 we were finally tired of all the boobies and drunks (the Spaniards got totally out of control by day's end, almost falling on top of us at one point), we went back to our room for another siesta. 
        Once we were refreshed and showered, we headed up Ocean Drive to find Bongo's Cuban Cafe, a joint recommended by a couple guides as the best top quality Cuban food experience in Miami.  The downside was that a few hundred other people read those same reviews, so we'd have a good hour to wait.  Once again (like every single other place we ate), there were no TV's in the bar areas tuned to March Madness.  I still can't wrap my head around that.  I can't imagine, for a second, any bar or restaurant in Connecticut not showing the tournament in March.  Yet another reason to hate Florida, I suppose.  We sipped on a couple 7 dollar Corona's, sat back and started realizing our little getaway would soon be over.  Just as we were lamenting our plight, the hostess seated us at a tiny outdoor table, right out in the middle of one of the country's busiest sidewalks.  Great.
        The table location wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but the food wasn't as good as I thought it would be either.  I have no idea what all the hubbub was about regarding this place; the food was very pedestrian and the prices certainly weren't justified.  The highlight of dinner was another one of those uniquely South Beach scenes that can't be accurately described in words.  Bear in mind that after a few days down there, you get used to seeing tons of women in the tiniest skirts, the highest stilettos, and the sheerest tops you've ever seen.  So it would take a pretty incredible (and ridiculous) woman in a pretty incredible (and ridiculous) outfit to get your undivided attention.  In this case, the woman in question caused the entire block to stop in their tracks.  The valet area was very near our sidewalk table, so we got to see all kinds of expensive cars all through dinner.  When a balding little nebbish emerged from a brand new Porsche, no one cared.  When the valet opened the passenger side door though... Wow.  A six foot raven haired beauty emerged from the sports car like a perfect praying mantis emerging from a perfect chrysalis.  Her skirt was more like a thick, tight belt and her top was just two strips of fabric draped artfully over two of Miami's best works of silicone art.  Sure, she and the car were both jaw-droppingly attractive, but what stopped everyone in the middle of their conversations was the fact that she was with a George Costanza look alike (albeit George Costanza with a lot of money).  She was about 20 years his junior, about a foot taller (with the heels) and way out of his league.  Hell, way out of everyone's league.  Snickers and sneers were immediately heard from every woman within earshot, which almost drowned out the jealous grousing coming from every guy around.  Yes, this was a perfect ending to our last day in Miami - a beautiful plastic woman, an ostentatious car, and a rich person.  That, my friends, is South Beach.
        Dinner concluded late, and since we were getting a 5:45AM wake-up call, we simply went to bed.  Our slumber was interrupted a couple times by an amorous couple next door (I had noticed they were attractive earlier in the day, so it didn't bother us too much) and the pre-dawn alarm roused us all-too-soon.  Now was our chance to annoy the crap out of the louts next door, so we took extra care to make as much noise as possible.  We packed up, slammed our door VERY loudly, and met some random guys from LA eating chicken wings in the lobby.  At 6 in the morning.  They looked fresh and happy, so we didn't even bother asking them if eating wings at dawn was a normal thing for them.  Now that I think of it, that was a perfect ending to our trip.  This place is seriously wacked out.
        Normally, I'd end the trip report here, but I'd be leaving out several memorable things.  Such as the guy at Miami International Airport in the check-in line with us who could not shut up about how much he hated the airport.  Thanks to him, I hate it now too. 
        Such as the family behind us on our first flight loudly preparing the barf bags for the daughter because she "always vomits on flights."
        Such as landing in St. Louis in time to see first half of Uconn's second round game against Louisville - they weren't looking good and ultimately were upset. 
        Such as the ridiculous whiny witch seated behind Hoang on our flight to Hartford who complained about EVERYTHING.  Like how she, 3 minutes after the stewardess apologized for the excessive cabin warmth, asked why the cabin was so warm.  (She was wearing a jacket, a sweatshirt, and a shirt.)  Or how she couldn't imagine why we sat on the runway for so long instead of taking flight.  (We took off right on time.)  Or how she started freaking out about the plane's small size or how she would never fly American again and they ruined her whole life and she was looking forward to seeing her son she had left for a week of partying and she was hot and she was thirsty and she was scared and she... It would have sucked if we crashed and died, but at least the world would have been rid of that girl. 
        Such as the clinically insane shuttle driver back in Connecticut who took it upon himself to give us a tour guide’s view of the airport's parking lots and crappy fast food restaurants on the way to our car.  Just after very nearly rear-ending a car, he served up this nugget: "Up on your left up here we have a new restaurant that serves a pretty good burger, Ruby Tuesday's it's called and they just opened a couple months ago. I recommend it highly, as the atmosphere is good and food is the best on this strip."  I did not make that up. 
        Ah, home sweet home... Flurries were falling from the thick gray clouds, Uconn had lost, we were tired, we had to clean the house and pack for our impending move, and we had to go to work the next morning.  Time to immediately start looking forward to our next trip: Maui in May.
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