3 June 2014, Tuesday, Key West, Florida
We had come to the most southern town of the USA with the hope of getting some Caribbean air and relaxing on the beach; however, in Key West, which is only 90 miles away from Cuba, we were greeted by tropical showers.
It looks like the weather conditions will not change for the next week either. At least, the boutique hotel, Traveler’s Palm where we are staying is nice (although there is no breakfast served).
As the tropical rain is not cold, we have decided to risk getting wet and explore the main street in the town, Duval Street. All the tourists must have had the same thought.
No one seemed to care about the rain. There are nice art galleries, variety of cafes and restaurants and houses carrying colonial and Cuban influences on Duval Street.
Ernest Hemingway’s house and the 45 cats with 6 toes, which are located on Whitehead Street (parallel to Duval Street) is a place that can be visited on a rainy day. What’s nice and unique to Key West is the free roaming wild chicken and roosters everywhere.
I really miss L. Her chubby baby hands, cheeks, beautiful face, little shoulders, curly hair are always on my mind.
5 June 2014, Thursday, Miami Beach, Florida
As the heavy showers stopped, we managed to enjoy the beach in Key West, even though it was still cloudy. Nevertheless, despite the cloudy weather, using sun protection and covering my face and body as much as I can, I burnt red like a steak. Even though Key West is a pretty and relaxing holiday town, I can’t say that I enjoyed it much. L. is always on my mind and I can’t seem to enjoy anything if she is not with me.
As we left Key West this morning, the sun was shining brightly with not a single cloud in the sky. This way, the pristine cleanliness and the blue of the ocean became clear as day.
As we approached Miami, the traffic, the complexity of the roads and the driving style of the locals became scary. Until we reached Miami Beach, where we are actually staying, we became very tense. I actually didn’t know that Miami Beach was a different place to Miami until I got here. I always thought that the streets we see on TV and films and Southbeach were in Miami but that’s not the case. They are in Miami Beach. Miami is just another big town. Miami Beach on the other is very nice. We settled in a boutique hotel called The Angles, which is very close to Ocean Drive. When they saw that I am pregnant, they gave us a better pool facing room with 3 floors and a gift for the baby.
However, parking is a major problem here and very expensive. And the sun is very strong. I either got too used to London weather or the sun and heat here are very different and much stronger than in the Mediterranean. It is very easy to get sun sick here.
Ocean Drive is the road closest to famous Southbeach and there are lots of nice restaurants and cafes here. At night time, they come alive with live music. Most hotels situated on Ocean Drive have Art Deco architecture style. Some have old style cars from the 1930s parked in front of them.
This view takes me to a Hercule Poirot novel by Agatha Christie. What I liked the most is the fact that Ocean Drive is not right on the beach. Between the Drive and this very large and long, white sanded beach, there is a park with palm trees and cycling pavements going all along the beach. This way, the noise and dirt of the traffic and restaurants don’t reach the beach. Even though, we went to the beach after 6pm, the sun was still burning. Only after 7pm, it was comfortable to lounge on the beach.
Collins Avenue, which has many high fashion shops, also boasts renovated Art Deco buildings. Moreover, the pedestrianized Espagnola Way and Lincoln Road Mall also have various shops and restaurants. They are nice places to stroll in hot summer evenings. However, I am feeling very bloated and unhealthy due the amount of sugar, corn syrup and fructose found in every food and drink here. As each portion is more like for 3 people, things get worse. I don’t remember this being a problem when we were in California but in the East Coast, it is a major issue.
Meanwhile, we are trying to find a name for the baby and really struggling with boy names. We cannot agree and I am getting very tense about it.
6 June 2014, Friday, Miami Beach, Florida
Besides cooling off in blue and perfectly temperature ocean water by Southbeach (even in the early morning hours, one feels the need to cool off here), there are also surrounding towns which can be visited. Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne, which are each about 30 minutes drive from Miami Beach, are among these towns.
In Coral Gables, Hispanic style villas situated in rich greenery have created a very nice world.
Of course, there are houses in very style. Some have gone overboard and some managed to keep elegance at the right amount.
Coconut Grove has Bahamas style villas set in large lands and a lot of tropical greenery formed during the times Miami was first being established as a city, besides nice museums built with a Hispanic style. Key Biscayne is an island connected to the mainland with long bridges. Besides the fact that it has white sanded, tropical beaches, the fact that whilst driving from one end to the other of the island, you can go through a tropical wood and park, makes this place very attractive and beautiful. However, even on this island there are skyscrapers full of flats.