Miami Wrap Up

Sorry I missed a weekend there. My third weekend got derailed by a wicked head cold. Despite that  I still got out and did a couple of things.

The temperatures finally caught up with the me and broke 100.  Of course that’s also the weekend I planned some serious outdoor activities.  First on my list was the Zoo. It’s definitely a kid friendly place with lots for little people to do.  Several of the exhibits were great. I liked the amazon exhibit and the Asian aviary was nicely laid out too.  I was a bit disappointed in the Aussie exhibit though as I was hoping say hello to some old friends.  Coworkers warned about the lack of shade and wow were they right. I zigzagged my way from patch to patch and still felt like I got burned. Despite the head, some of the animals were pretty active so I got some good shots.

Fighting the head cold, I decided to visit the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. The grounds were lovely but I left my memory card at home (sad trombone) so the only pics I got were from my cellphone. The gardens are great. I highly recommend the tram ride. It’s included in the ticket price and is easy way to see where you want to walk around the gardens later. A WPA project from the depression, I wanted a bit more history about the design and building of the grounds but there wasn’t any.

The heat was bad and with my head killing me, I limited my visit to the orchid section and the butterfly house.  The kaleidoscope  of butterflies (really the term!) in the house was amazing.  There were so many Blue Morphos that I just wanted to sit down and let them swarm all over me.  I figured sneezing all over them was probably bad so I exited quickly.

My last weekend was spent running an ultra relay from Key Largo to Key West. Team Lucky 1101 consisted of six of us from work ran who the last 100 miles of US1 in roughly 3 mile stretches.  A coworker had to bail at the last minute so I stepped up and gave it my best.  It was hot (heat index of 100+), no breeze, and very little shade.  We finished in just under 18 hours which was great because it meant we did it in one day. I took a couple of pics at the various tiny islands we stopped on but didn’t bring my camera.  A wise decision since we were a bit cramped in the car. I had a great time and would consider doing it again if I’m ever back this way.

Pictures here as usual That pretty much wraps up my time here. Looking forward to being home.


Miami Weekend 2

Same as the last post photos can be found here.  Scroll past the updates from last time. Sorry for the lack of pictures. I’m working on it.

The weekend stared early this time; A Thursday night baseball game watching the Fish play the Diamondbacks.  I was thoroughly impressed by Marlin’s Stadium.  It was clean, the food was pretty good, and well laid out.  The clean might have been helped that it was empty.  I know the Marlins’ aren’t great this year but to see a stadium that empty is kind of sad. I guess I shouldn’t complain since I got great seats cheap but I’m always a little sad when the stadiums are that empty. As an aside, there was a huge bobble head display in the stadium which had both the original racing presidents but my baseball hero, Rollie Fingers.  Need to get one of those.

For Saturday I made it down to Everglades National Park.  I highly recommend stopping at “Robert is Here” for a smoothie along the way. My strawberry mango was amazing. Also, make sure you have gas. There isn’t in any in the park and Flamingo (the far end) is ~30-45 min one way in.  The park is full of little short hikes at very specific spots due to the marshy and unpredictable nature of the terrain.  I feel guilty but I enjoyed Kakadu more.  It probably has to do with the excellent company I had but Kakadu felt more organized and accessible than the Everglades.  I didn’t get a chance to take boat tour but I did get to see lots of wildlife which was nice.

Sunday was back to Miami beach for breakfast and a walk around the west side of the island.  If you’re in the area, Yardbird is worth the trip.  I didn’t get the chicken and waffles but will the next time I go back (totally worth a second trip).  After a nice stroll through some of the residential areas, I headed up to the St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church.  A cloistered monastery from 12th century Spain, it was moved whole sale to Florida and then taken over by the Episcopal church and serves as a parish today.  The building is amazing although small when compared to modern churches. They even have some of the original heraldic devices  in the walls. Strangely, this felt more appropriate than did Vizcaya. There was a service on going so I couldn’t get pictures of the sanctuary.   If you’re in the area (Coconut Grove is not) it’s worth the visit.

Again, pictures are here. We’ll see what next weekend holds.  Half way through my trip. Looking forward to getting back to DC.

Miami Weekend 1


Note: Google is being stupid and not letting embed my photos.  Go here to see photos from this weekend and the rest of the trip

I’m on travel to Miami for a month.  It’s hard to get used to living out of a suitcase and in a hotel for that long but I’m trying to make the best of it.  Officially I’m here to work but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to go exploring and see the city.   Because it’s the first weekend, I wanted to stay local so I started at the Villa Vizcaya. The villa is an interesting place.  It reminded me of Citizen Kane in the bizarre transplantation of old world French/Italian culture into the swamps of Florida.  There are no photographs allowed in the house but every room is completely decorated as in works inspired by or taken from late 18th and early 19th century Europe. I found the ground particularly odd;  Romanesque statues and mangrove trees aren’t usually seen together.  Still the grounds were nice to walk about in and are definitely a popular spot for wedding and other official photography type things.

Of course once you’re in Miami everyone wants to know when you’re going to Miami Beach.  Home to art deco hotels, clubs, and tons of people, it’s a huge hub of activity in town. For me, the hotels are the main draw. I love art deco design, particularly architecture and prints, and there is no better place to see it.  Except for all those people and clubs. The afternoon was unusually hazy compared to the morning which washed out a lot of the colors. I’ll be going back early some morning to try and avoid the crowds and get some better lighting.

I’ll try to keep posting about my weekends or anything that is of note. More pictures here.