Party in the city when the heat is on, all night on the beach til the break of dawn
08.04.2009 23 °C
Our plan was to spend 6 days in the Miami environs to thoroughly explore the Everglades, drive down to the southernmost point of the US - Key West - via the famous 7-mile road over the sea (the one that's always blown up in films), kick-start our tans on the beach and dance through the night at the Winter Music Conference parties.
And what did we actually end up doing? Not much. The plan above would have been great if we had been going for a week-long holiday, but after nearly a month on the road we were pretty shattered. Hence, we now know we need to build in a rest break every so often. This is a good thing to discover fairly early on in our travels – and we also need to remember that a) we're not as energetic now as we were in our early twenties and b) our tastes have changed: our preferred habitat is now sitting in a nice restaurant where we can chat, eat good food and slowly sip well-made cocktails. Ah well!
Instead, we hung out around South Beach for the entire time and made a brief half-day trip to the Everglades (which will be covered in our next post).
Miami's South Beach is exactly like you see on the TV – all pastel art deco architecture, turquoise/teal ocean, golden sands and palm trees. At the end of March the town hosts the annual Winter Music Conference so the place is crawling with clubbers, djs and partygoers of every stripe. The vibe is pretty similar to that of Ibiza Town: beach-side bars and restaurants pumping out the latest house choons at all hours, girls going clubbing in tiny bikinis and wedge platform heels, bronzed and buffed 'Marios' flexing their muscles on the beach and the ubiquitous 'Brits Abroad', easily identifiable by their lobster-like complexions and garish football shirts. In addition, it's the start of spring break so American college kids come down to South Beach in their droves to get waaaaasted, maaaan!!
We went to a Miami booty-bass night and a club girl taught me how to shake my tush: “you just throw your fat around”. Jon = happy.
We also went to the 2-day Ultra Music Festival and saw a few good DJs/bands – Reprazent, the Ting Tings, the Freestylers, the Prodigy. On the plus side (for us, anyway), the British acts weren't very well known so we got right to the front of the crowd for every act we wanted to see. On the down side, everything was VERY expensive ($7 per can of Heineken, excl. tips! And bottles of water for $5! We also weren't very impressed by the cliques and tribes of American festival-goers, they didn't make for a very fun crowd. They were pretty self-conscious, with no sense of irony or silliness, so there was none of the tongue-in-cheek loony-ness that English festivals do so well (e.g. Bestival). And of course, we missed our friends – festivals just aren't the same without you guys!
Apart from that, we just chilled out on the beach and at our hotel, and ate a lot (quel surprise!). We found a whole new school of cooking - Nuevo Latino - which mostly involves really really good ceviche (raw fish marinated in citrus or chilli or something else that slightly sears it). Very yummy.