We managed to lose one of our travelling companions before 7am had even passed, by dint of an out of date ESTA application. Ironic as he was the one who, only the day before had been chivvying us all to complete our various checkins, etc. Pete’s face, when told he would not be getting on THAT particular flight, was priceless but neither Andy or I had the wherewithal (or heart) to whip our phones out and snap it.
The flight was long and boring apart from the conversation which ranged across many business interests and ideas, then the film Filth which I’ve been wanting to see for a long time and while billed as a comedy, and which was definitely funny in places, was true to the Irvine Walsh book of the same name. A bit of light Disclosure played very loud) distracted me from the landing and boom!
We’re in Miami baby!
And our adventures were only just starting. Piling into a yellow cab brought the horrible realisation that not only should we have ignored Susanne J who told us Florida was 14 degrees and chilly, but that Miami was 27 degrees and HUMID. Our taxi driver smelled to high heaven, not so much B.O. as putrifaction and by this time, so were we!
Mark was promptly hanging out the window trying not to retch, the smell in the cab was so bad, even with all the windows open. I used the age old Mummy trick (for when changing nappies) of breathing through my mouth and I can only assume Andy did the same while trying to find a place for his right arm, the back of the cab being so small.
The heat/smell/space agony was only compounded by Gideon (for such was our recently deceased taxi driver’s name) revealed in slow stages that he had actually misheard our hotel name, incensing the boys who knew where we were going – I was still labouring under the misapprehension that we were going to South Beach, not North.
After refusing to get out at the Loewe Hotel, Gideon finally delivered us to the Eden Roc and after upsetting the boys by paying him full fare (which turned out to be the same as we would have paid on the Super Shuttle) I marched to the reception as ALL I wanted by then was to get away from the heat, smell and general grumpiness that comes with a international travel.
My room is the size of a small apartment, on the 20th floor and has a magnificent ocean view and a panoramic view from the balcony.
I’m a bit stumped by the plugs though, they look nothing like the adaptors I’ve bought so I’ll have to buy some before my tech runs out of power!
We repaired to the bar and said hello to some cruisers who we recognised, it’s so nice when you see people year after year and get to know them.
Gia, the lumberjack lady from…Canada?) said hello and we caught up briefly, I remember talking to her at length about our businesses in 2009.
We finally met up with Minesh (with whom we had travelled, albeit him in first class and us in cattle) and then Sarah Staar and her husband David found us while all around in the lobby, other Brits including Matt Garrett, were arriving and checking in.
I was seriously flagging on the tired and grumpy front now – not helped by the boys’ constant joking about introducing me to some American who is looking for an all-female team and who had told this guy that I’m his ideal CEO candidate, just to have the fun of watching me deal with that situation. Just to be clear, this is a massive piss take and I’m very happy at ROARlocal, thank you! I shall kindly but firmly disabuse the hopeful team-builder of that notion as soon as I get the chance!
Andy assured me I had to make it to midnight or I’d suffer horribly with the jet-lag so I soldiered on, helped by a couple of very icy marguaritas created by our new best friend, Jesus at the Eden Roc Beach Bar.
Our lost companion, Peter, arrived on the next flight in, British Airways having done a fairly stirling job of helping him sort out his ESTA and getting him on the next flight and off we went for dinner.
I’m impressed with the amount of research that has gone into our schedule of eating establishments!
They all like to eat well, and Il Gabbiano was no disappointment – the food was DIVINE! Even the little appetite teaser (ours did NOT need teasing) was amazing flavours and took Bruschetta to a whole other level. Apparently there were several celebs in that night, but our waterfront view and the food took all our attention. Thanks to the Maitre D’ Stefan who looked after the hungry, rowdy, glassy eyed and slightly scruffy Brits as if we were the celebrities!
“Il Gabbiano, 335 S Biscayne Boulevard, Miami. Restaurants & cafés – Time Out Miami” – @timeouttravel http://bit.ly/1h86R2k
Back to the hotel, where we are enjoying our second – and for some – third winds, meeting Sharon Worseley on the way, and we discover Jesus is still on duty at the Beach Bar so off we go till 6am UK time (around 11pm local?) before retiring to my huge and very comfy bed with the sound of the sea coming through the open balcony doors.
Awake on the dot at 7.45, I unpack and repack my suitcase, to get my coat and scarf in the bottom and my new cruisewear wardrobe in again. For the first time ever before a holiday I’ve gone out and bought an entire new wardrobe and I am fully equipped with matching / co-ordinating swimsuits, maxi dresses, floaty trousers and a whole new set of underwear.
I’m missing only a hat and beach bag, and possible some comfy beach shoes / flipflops as mine are killing my soft winter feet!
Well, I must sign off now, as we have a breakfast booking somewhere nice apparently! I might have to give at least one meal a day a miss this week, or my goal of coming home the same weight or less, ideally, will have to go right out the window.