Miami is a place we visit twice but really see little of. Our first visit, as a stopover between NC and the BVI is spent with just two nights, one full day, in the Coconut Grove / Coral Gables area of the city. We peek Downtown on the 'plane as it approaches, at the shimmering canals running across the city, and see glimpses of golden light reflected in the water and buildings - just like CSI Miami! Heidi had called and checked the cost of leaving luggage at the airport before we arrived, and we packed a suitcase each with all our cold weather and hiking clothes etc. in to store until we fly out to the UK, because from now until we fly home it is due to be hot weather all the way!
A cab takes us to a very welcoming Hampton Inn, and we stray only as far as a local Cuban restaurant on our first evening. Ron eats alligator, and Heidi sticks to her favourite, rice and peas, plantain and spicy chicken!
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Next day, probably through excitement of heading off to the Caribbean and because it is 90 degrees F, we have no great appetite to go rushing about and take a leisurely jaunt (stupidly towards the hottest part of the day) down to the shopping area that is Coconut Grove. We eventually find ourselves lunching at the excellent Señor Frog's restaurant on guacamole and other yummy Mexican fare - http://www.senorfrogsfla.com/
After lunch, it's a strenuous effort to wander down the streets looking to find a sight of the sea - we know it's over there.... somewhere!
We find it, realise that the reason no-one sits in Peacock Park is because the homeless and those over-indulging in drink and drugs inhabit the periphery, get back on the road and stroll along to the convention centre until we are just too hot. We spot a bus stop and get onto one that runs on a circular route with the intention of staying on the bus all the way round it's route, but the kindly bus driver, spotting from our accents that we were "not from round here" asked where we were staying and duly stopped her bus at the stop nearest to the hotel and called back to us to get off there! We missed the end of the conversation between a couple about his impending jail sentence (fascinating!) headed back to the blessed aircon and a nice cuppa at the hotel !
We decide to stay local that evening, adjusting our plans for where to eat after the gas station across the road is closed off by several police cars following a robbery. We eat at another local restaurant, great steaks, and chill out as we have two flights to take tomorrow morning to the BVI.
Exciting place, Miami, I think we were just too travel weary to take in more of it.