Friday, January 28, 2011

Smelling the roses in Miami

Stiltsville with Miami skyline in the background
We are big on taking it slow. While many boaters run around trying to complete their Great Loop passage in one year, the 6300 miles trip that covers one third of the eastern United States, we have been tied up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For the last three years! We have our reasons: the high cost of fuel, and recently a part time job. But it hasn’t always been that way.

We used to cruise full time, traveling up and down the east coast, the Bahamas, and the inland waterway. During these travels, we would spend weeks or months at destinations we discovered and liked. There were many memorable ports-of-call. One special place was Miami.

When we arrived at Rickenbacker Marina in Key Biscayne in December 2002, we thought we had made landfall in a foreign country. Nobody in the marina spoke English! People in the slips next to us were from Puerto Rico and Brazil. We met boaters from Argentina, Cuba, Panama, Venezuela and France. At the bus stop, supermarket and even the post office, Spanish was the first language in this part of the United States. It was definitely a culture shock.

Our slip had a beautiful view of the Miami skyline, but because the marina is situated pretty close to the waterway and the inlet, we rocked and roll much of the time, especially on the weekends. Latin music wafted into the night. We enjoyed long walks along the beach and watched some stunning sunsets. In the food department, we were pleasantly surprised to find good quality and authentic Chinese food at several N. Miami Chinese restaurants, which served up sumptuous dim sum and seafood buffet at very reasonable prices. We also got a good dose of Latin American food at Calle Ocho (Little Havana).

We lingered in Miami for three months, long enough to catch two of its biggest events. Every February, Miami plays host to the Coconut Grove Arts Festival (Feb 19-21) and the Miami International Boat Show (Feb 17-21). Whether or not you are into arts or boats, you will be awed by the designs and creativity. So, if you are in town, take the time to stop and smell the roses!

Interested in seeing Miami in action? Here are some videos on cruising Miami, and clubbing in Miami.

You might also like:
Gone Cruisin’ Cruising Miami Floating down the Tennessee River
This post has been entered into the Grantourismo - HomeAway travel writing competition for January .

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for entering our contest again!

    Apologies for not saying so earlier - I did get here to take a read, along with the other judges, but it's been a frantic month being our last weeks of our Grantourismo trip, so I think I forgot to leave a message.

    The entries were all so good this month, so thanks for contributing such a high quality post. At last - at long last - we've announced the winners of our January HomeAway Holiday-Rentals Grantourismo Travel Blogging competition. Details here:

    Thanks again for your entry. We're announcing the February contest details a bit later today - the final contest is going to be a very easy one! Please spread the word :)