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? Check this video on clubbing in Miami

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Edited: 9/7/17 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Salvador Dali Museum moves to its new home in St Pete, Florida

I was so excited to be in St Petersburg when it all happened. This morning (1.11.11), the public was invited to the grand opening festivities at the Dali museum. A surreal procession departed from the old Dali location to its new home 8 blocks north, and Her Royal Highness, The Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía of Spain had the honors to cut the ribbon to officially open the new Dali museum in downtown St Petersburg.

The sleek building with a geodesic dome is designed by Yann Weymouth who was the chief design architect for I.M. Pei's glass pyramid addition to the Louvre museum in Paris. Twice the size of the old museum, it houses the largest collection of Dali's work outside of Spain.
The New Dali museum in St Pete, Florida
Salvador Dali look-alike
Try your creativity here
The museum faces the waterfront and is next to Mahaffey Theatre
Visitors outside the Dali museum

Read more about the grand opening here.

So, if you find yourself in in downtown St Petersburg , pay a visit to the Dali museum!

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