After just a few months together, it had become apparent that we had the same desire for travel. We had been on other trips, like overnight stays in Philly (where Laura is from), Atlantic City, Seaside Heights, NJ and NYC but this was our first excursion out of the Tri State area. Who knew that this one trip would be the catalyst for our new found lives. We did not put an extravagant amount of thought into our destination, it was more of a whim and a “hey lets go here” type of thing. So off to Miami we were, from 6/29/13 – 7/3/13. The dates were inconsequential for Bill however he picked those dates because Laura’s birthday is on 7/3. So as a birthday present, she got a trip to Miami.
Our first day was a long one. Our flight was an early one however it was delayed a few hours as Delta in their great wisdom overbooked the flight. The airline was asking for volunteers to forfeit their seats for a family who needed to be on the flight landing in Miami international airport. After a quick discussion between us and the airlines, we worked out a beneficial arrangement. We were each given Delta cash (which could be used any time for any Delta flight), seats on the next flight out to Ft Lauderdale, as well as paid cab fair from there to Miami International Airport. We were fairly pleased with our deal, as it ended up playing out that we would get to Miami international airport only an hour later than expected. We got to Miami around 2 or so and the free Delta cash meant we could book another trip and not have to worry about airfare. We got to Miami picked up our car and drove to our Hotel (which I will write more about in the next paragraph). Our room wasn’t ready so we went to the beach, however we were blessed with some wonderful Florida rain. So we ended up looking around the hotel for several hours. After waiting for hours in now wet clothes because we were caught in the down pour earlier, we were finally checked in. We showered and went to dinner. We were back at the hotel and in bed no later than 11pm.
Our hotel was the James Royal Palm beach hotel in Miami Beach FL. This was an extremely nice hotel. I only have two issues, 1: They only have valet parking that you have to pay for, so if you’re renting a car and staying a while, it gets expensive. 2. The original room we stayed in, had a window from the bathroom to the bedroom, it was in the shower so I believe it was meant to be sensual, however you could see the entire bathroom and not just the shower. On top of that the curtain that was used to block the window was on the outside (bedroom side), not on the inside, so the person in the bathroom could not pull it down. The original room did have a small balcony with a partial ocean view. Anyway, after complaining about how long it took to check in to our room, we got a free upgrade to an ocean view room. The balcony overlooked the pool and the ocean and it was perfect! All of the hotel staff were friendly, the room was clean, and the amenities and services were great. It was directly on the beach, and only a 2 minute walk to Ocean Drive and a few blocks from many more shops and restaurants.
Our entire trip we were up and out no later than 8am, on the beach, back to the room to shower, then out exploring Miami. Ocean drive at night, lite up by the hues of blue, green and red neon lights that ever so eloquently caress and set off the buildings art deco architecture. The bustling night life is unlike any other with its island feel and big city clubs and bars. With so much to take in during the day, relaxing on white sand beaches, swimming in crystal blue and aqua green water that was so warm it felt like a bath at times, we were left drained by sunset. We usually made it back into the room and in bed by 12 am. The last full day we were there, we decided to take the 4 hour drive through the keys to Key West. On one of the previous days, we made it to Key Largo, but were not impressed. We got up and left the room around 5am. Once in Key West, we parked the car and rented a scooter, as finding parking for cars down there was not easy. We zipped around the town visiting numerous beaches which left us feeling somewhat let down as to there very calm and relaxed nature of the surf, which is like this because of the great barrier reef that protects the beaches from violent ocean currents and waves. Museums, which are plentiful, including one dedicated to “Robert the doll” (if you do not know about him please look it up) and of course like any other tourist destination, the shops. Before returning the scooter I gave Laura a quick lesson on it and she was left to drive it around for a bit, which was very exciting being that she had never driven anything like that before. We were back in Miami by 6pm and able to enjoy the beach for about an hour before grabbing dinner.
We flew home on July 3rd, and headed right to Seaside, NJ for the Fourth of July weekend.
Our Dirty Little Secret Miami – The balcony of our room did not go unused 😉
Pool view from the balcony