my sky - SouthBeach Edition

Waving goodbye to SouthBeach with this sky shot
taken from the 21st Street & Beach Walk

for more skies, visit hosts/hostesses Sandy Carlson, Louise, IMac, Klaus, Wren, Ivar & Fishing Guy at Sky Command Center!

the get-away weekend saga - day 3

I woke during the night thinking it was morning but it was only 3 a.m. so I went back to sleep. And at about 8:30 the sun through the window woke me again ... I sat up, threw off the covers and was about to stretch when I looked down and saw what seemed to be worms ... or ant-like worms on the sheet and pillowcase ... to say I jumped is an understatement ... I also put on my slippers and went directly, still in PJs, to the lobby to see the manager.

The guy at the front desk was not the weekday guy. This guy spoke English perfectly. I tried to be as calm as I could but I was angry and upset. The desk clerk was calm, he said he would send the maintenance man up to look. I said I have looked and I know what I saw. I want to see the manager. He explained the manager would be by 10, to let the maintenance man come up to see the ''problem'' AND he offered me another room.

The maintenance man and I went back to my room. He looked at the bed, the little bug/worm/ant whatevers and pronounced them termites.

I said skeptically: termites? In a bed?

He said yes.

I said I still want to see the manager.

He left, I got dressed and I packed. I had no desire to spend another minute there. I called L & K and told them what happened, told them to go get breakfast and I would wait on the manager. If I got things resolved before they returned I would call them otherwise I would wait on them to get back.

Meanwhile I started calling the other hotels in the area.

The Catalina Club was full.

The Shelbourne was full.

So were all the others I called. I was desperate so I called the Delano. Yes, they had a room but at $600 a nite plus all sorts of taxes/surcharges I decided it was too steep and said so. The reservation person asked if I wanted her to check The Shore Club.


They did have a room which she began to describe .. I interrupted: How much is it? She told me and I said I will take it. It was only slightly more expensive than three days at the San Juan would have been and I didnt intend on paying for a buggy room.

At 10:15 I went down to the lobby. The desk clerk said the manager was on his way so I sat down to wait. Within 1o minutes a young man entered the hotel, went to the office behind the desk and then came out and walked to where I was sitting.

He was handsome, had a very calm demeanor and genuinely looked upset/concerned. He offered me his hand and apologies immediately. And I calmed down immediately. We went up to the room and he looked around. He apologized again. He agreed these were not termites but he had no idea what they were. He explained the property was under renovation to upgrade it and with all the construction going on, maybe ... nevertheless he said he was sealing the room and having it fumigated. AND he said he was not charging me for my stay. I told him about the woman I met in the elevator on Thursday evening and he said he would look into it ... seems no one told him about it.

When L & K returned we took my suitcase across the street to the Shore Club where I checked in and they took my bag til the room was ready. They said go out have fun and we will call when the room was ready.

So off we went to put the yuckiness of the morning behind me.

We walked to the Bass Museum ... its an amazing place but no photos are allowed. Check it out online.

This amazing tree sits on the 'lawn' of the Bass Museum.

As does this two-sided sculpture
these 2 photos taken by L.

After the museum we decided to wander along Collins Avenue toward North Beach and the older bigger hotels that face the bay with private beaches behind them.

THIS is the low rent side of Collins.
this photo taken by L.

This tree and bench were alongside the bayside of Collins in the 30th St. block.
this photo taken by L.

We got to the Fountainbleu and I learned the reason we were on this walk was to go to a sports restaurant which I am happy to report was no longer in business.

But right across Collins was this:
Unfortunately, it was closed for a private party.

So we walked on and eventually found a little restaurant/bar where we had lunch.
this photo taken by L.

While we were eating the Shore Club called to say my room was ready.

We walked back and passed some interesting photo ops on the way:
The Mosaic on Miami Beach

We also stopped at the Delano to admire and take pix of the art

Both of these sit almost side by side in the Delano's "garden"
this photo taken by L.
We went to dinner at a nice Argentinian restaurant in the Lincoln Avenue outdoor mall.
Where these odd plants were growing

After dinner we walked back to The Shore Club and went to have a drink in their outdoor bar. The wind was blowing and it was late and I had to get up at 3 a.m. to get to Ft. Lauderdale Airport for a 6 a.m. flight ... K & L weren't leaving til midday Sunday so we said our good nights and goodbyes and I went up to my room where earlier I had unpacked and spent a long time in the amazing shower...

but now it was time for bed ...

I did wake before the 3 a.m. wake up call, dressed and went to check out, hopped a cab and when I got to the airport it was odd to see it deserted ... the baggage check and security dont 'open' til 4:30 .. so why do the airlines insist you arrive 2 hours prior to departure?

I sat in the waiting area, iPod'ing it ... til this woman sat down and asked if I would watch her bag which she assured me contained only her shoes while she went to find a bathroom. When she returned she started making phone calls and speaking LOUDLY .. I turned up the volume on my iPod and tried to tune her out.

When we started boarding she told me she was in row 8 .. I inwardly groaned, so was I. She saw my lack of enthusiasm and said 'don't worry, I wont bother you' .. to which I replied 'thank you' and she said 'oh you must live in Manhattan' ...

Dont you know she sat right next to me? I sat with eyes closed, earbuds in and slept while she talked the ear off the poor guy to her left.

Plane landed 15 min. early, car met me on time and I was home hugging Husband and petting cats and unpacking by 9:30.

BTW .. it was hotter in NY and the surrounding states than it was in South Beach!

I cant wait til next year .. I am lobbying for New Mexico ...

thursday in the hood/SouthBeach edition

some of the fabulous old neon art deco signs along Collins Avenue

the get-away weekend saga - day 2

Slept well and late .. it was almost 9 when L called to ask if I wanted coffee, she was making a run to Starbucks which was, according to my friend Wendy who I called the night before, two blocks past the intersection of Collins and Lincoln.

L never made it to Starbucks, she stopped when she got to McDonald's.

Fortified we set off to wander ... we walked up Collins to 23rd where Beach Walk begins ... that's where I saw this:

No idea what happened, no idea why it and two Miami police cars were parked there either but it merited a photo

We got to around 18th Street and stopped to shop ... everyone got earrings and I got a necklace that looks like a rosary ... I know, I am Jewish but I love crosses ... sue me.
Beach Walk is a lovely way to see the sand and surf and not get same in shoes
this is NOT Beach Walk, this is a path to the beach from the actual Beach Walk
By the time we got Beach Drive we were ready to have lunch
See those Bloody Marys?
They were $25 each.
The astonishment on their faces when the check came was priceless ... me? I had an iced coffee with my salad. That's K in the pink and L in the red.

After lunch we continued along Beach Drive past Gianni Versace's shrine home, which is now a rip off restaurant with a tour of the mansion .. for a fee

We bought souvenirs, we took photos ... it was a lovely day ... we ended up walking back to the hotel on Collins where every few blocks there are signs posted to help you find your way
At about 5 p.m. K announced she was a "sweaty betty" and we needed to get showered and dressed for dinner ... we had a 7 p.m. (I know it was ridiculously early but we're not teens!) dinner reservation at Creek28

Indian Creek Hotel
Creek28 outdoor dining

Does this look a bit out of focus?
Well, if it does its only because it was bottle #2
I had never before had a California Malbec but I can now say I have and highly recommend it
as well as the amazing food and dessert

No, I wasn't falling asleep, I was savoring the amazing taste
of this banana ice cream concoction

We cabbed back to our hotel and since I had so much to eat/drink I didnt go to bed right away. I sat on the bed after brushing off what looked like lint or dust motes and watched some TV and checked emails on my iPhone. K & L went out to the Catalina Club on 18th and had some more drinks before coming back to their room where they talked up a storm (which I could hear through the wall between our rooms!) and then it went silent so I assume they both passed out went to sleep.

Part 3 tomorrow ...

wordless wednesday

the get-away weekend saga begins

And so begins Part 1 The Recappage of my get-away weekend in Florida's SoBe (South Beach, Miami).

First a little back story.

Back in the late 1990s I surfed my way onto a soap opera message board (yes, I am addicted to All My Children) where over the next several years I formed friendships with several of the other posters. We began meeting once a year in April for a Gal Pal Weekend. So far we've gathered in NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Nashville, San Francisco and Cape May. Our numbers increase or decrease depending on finances, vacation days and/or family issues. We have been as many as 7 and as few as 3 but no matter where we go or how many of us go ... we always have a wonderful time.

This year: South Beach.

I jetted out of LaGuardia last Thursday morning on JetBlue to Ft Lauderdale where I would grab a cab to Miami.

After boarding and settling in I looked around to saw the cutest pup sitting a few seats away!

I kept trying to get a shot without being too intrusive and when that didn't work, I got up, camera in hand, walked down a few seats, crouched down and introduced myself.

Hi, I blog and I love dogs. Would it be okay to take your photo?
He looked to his person to see if it was okay
Wait, let me give you my BIG smile
My name is Archie, I am a service dog.
This is my person, Nancy Freedman, The Taskmistress.

After Archie was nice enough to pose and introduce me I went back to my seat to read.

But within a few minutes I noticed the flight attendant with a large cannister of oxygen followed by Nancy who stopped to ask if I would watch let Archie sit on my lap with me for a few minutes.

Would I! Sure.

So Archie and I settled in and waited as Nancy helped the flight attendant locate a doctor to help a sick passenger. Once the passenger was feeling a bit better, Nancy picked up took Archie and went back to their seat.

We'd determined she was also going to Miami too ... I offered to split a cab with them but she told me she was renting a car and asked if I wanted a ride, she said she would drop me at her hotel where I could get a cab to mine. I was totally fine with that.

We went to get our luggage and then to Hertz to get her rental car.

The sun was shining ... the temps were in the high 70s as we drove down to Miami.

It turns out we do the same sort of job.

She works freelance, hence the name Taskmistress, while I work for a large corporation.

I am including her website URL so if any of you ever need someone to kick butt for you over a bad bill or any other task you don't have the time or inclination to resolve on your own, call her ... I promise you will be glad you did.

Because we were talking, she missed her turn off and ended up driving me right to the door of the small, under renovation Art Deco hotel called San Juan which is located on Collins Avenue on the 1600 block.

We said our goodbyes, promised to keep in touch and off they drove.

I, being the impatient NYer I am, crossed against the light in the middle of the block dragging my rolling mini case behind me.

After checking in I got a text from my friend K advising she was unpacking in the adjoining room. We spent some time catching up waiting on our other friend L. Once she arrived and did a little unpacking we all headed out to take in the sun and check out the 'hood!

After a lengthy walk we went to dinner at an old, past its appeal, Cuban style restaurant .. K and L had Cuban sandwiches, I ordered a yellowtail fish sandwich which I thought was going to be tuna but turned out to be gross not tuna but some other fish ... deep fried .. tail still on! ... lucky for me I also ordered rice and beans and we all had Sangria.

When I got back to my room I saw that the phone's message light was blinking. Since no one knew I was there I knew the messages were not for me; I went to the front desk to ask them to clear it.

The desk clerk didn't speak much English and my Spanish is non existent, so I rang for the elevator. A woman got on with me and seeing me press 3 she asked how the rooms on 3 were.

I replied I was sure they were the same on all the floors.

She proceeded to tell me they had arrived at 5 pm, went to the beach and dinner before coming back to unpack and settle in. She said her sister was sitting on the bed talking to her when suddenly she jumped up screaming there were bugs!!! She said she reported it to the desk clerk who apologized and moved them from the first floor to a room on the second floor.

I was totally grossed out a little unnerved, immediately I knocked on K& L's door, telling them what the woman told me. We pulled off the covers and sheets to check both beds in their room. All clear!

Next we went into my room, made sure my room/bed were also bug-free.

It was.

Part 2 tomorrow

toonsday husbandisms

editors note:
Zach is a character on All My Children... need I say more?

Postcard Friendship Friday

I got this postcard from a cousin in 1999,
I know this because of a reference to
a trip I took that year
there's a stamp but its not been cancelled!

While I am NOT in Australia ...
I am in South Beach, Miami, Florida
enjoying the sun on a small vacation get-away
See you on Monday!

for more postcard friendship visit Marie Reed

my sky

This is my sky this morning,
I am in South Beach, Miami, Florida
through Sunday enjoying a little mini vacation

for more skies, visit hosts/hostesses Sandy Carlson, Louise, IMac, Klaus, Wren, Ivar & Fishing Guy at Sky Command Center!

thursday in the hood/the doors

The Henry Miller Theatre
built by & named for actor/producer Henry Miller,
sits between Broadway & Sixth Avenue on 43rd St.
The theatre was closed in 2004
and subsequently remodeled
to make way for the 57-story Bank of America Tower.
Its facade, landmarked by the city, remains,
the Durst Organization will include a 950-seat theatre
within the new structure.
In 2007, it was announced that the Roundabout Theatre Company
would operate the Henry Miller as its third Broadway house.

For more The Doors visit Authorblog


If you walk uptown on Broadway in the 70s
you can stop and get dimsum from
Rickshaw Dumpling Truck
before you get to the Van Leeuwan's Ice Cream Truck.

waiting, impatiently - special edition

yesterday I got to meet Buster.
He has his own blog.
He lives in Chelsea with his 'parents'
and I spent yesterday with his Mum, blogger/writer Elizabeth Wix ...
apparently Buster really likes the dinosaur chew toy I got him ...