“To Travel is to live” – Hans Christian Anderson
Aimee felt like she was coming down with a cold yesterday and unfortunately this was confirmed today and she felt rotten. We had a short bus ride today to Miami, Florida.
The first thing we noticed about Miami is how multicultural it is. If you didn’t know that Miami was in America, you could almost think it is in Cuba. Most people speak Spanish here, when walking around you don’t hear much English. It feels like a melting pot of Latin culture. The second thing we noticed was how hot and humid it is. It is disgusting weather. It was about 30 degrees which was okay but about 100% humidity. To be fair we have arrived on the first sunny day following 10 straight days of heavy rain. You’re sweating the moment you walk out the door. Of course we weren’t going to let that stop us from enjoying Miami as it is all a part of the experience. This combined with Aimee’s sickness is definitely making it harder for her to keep going hard.
We went to a food court at the top of an outside shopping centre which was slightly air conditioned and grabbed some lunch. It was strange, as you walk around the food court, people from every single store are trying to get you to eat a sample of their meat on a toothpick. It is an interesting way to try and sell their food. We tried a few and picked out a Cuban place that looked alright. We had teriyaki chicken with a brown rice/bean combo and a potato vegetable called Yuca. They deep fry it and it’s not bad, really not great though. We feel like we probably should have went elsewhere but it was worth a try.
Our next activity was a jetboat ride/tour around Biscayne Bay. We got a frozen cocktail and jumped into the boat. We zipped around Biscayne Bay at extreme speeds, hats flew off immediately. It was fun when it was zooming and relaxing when we were cruising.
We boated around Fisher Island which has the highest per capita income of any place in the United States and homes to such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey and Andre Agassi. The mansions looked incredible. We saw Ricky Martin’s house and Carmen Electra’s house and boat – all magnificent. Then we rolled over to near Star Island which is another ridiculously wealthy man-man island and looked at the fresh prince Will Smith’s. Super cool. Shaq and P-Diddy also have houses here.
It was cool. Them we cruised around the Atlantic Ocean a bit doing mad boat jumps over waves and cruised back.
It was quite fun and relaxing out on the water and offers a unique view on Miami. Would we recommend it? Yes. Is it a must-do? No. After we got dropped off we had half an hour to kill so we found the nearest Starbucks to enjoy the air conditioning and an icy cold drink. It was refreshing.
We then jumped on the bus through Miami and past notable locations such as Dolphins stadium and Miami Heat’s stadium which is pretty cool to see. One of the great things about America is sport. Seeing great landmarks like this is very enjoyable.
We arrived to where we’ll be staying for the next two nights in our Art Deco style hotel in South Beach, Miami. It is one block from the beach in what is called the Art Deco district. All of the building here are Art Deco style which makes it really unique. All of the buildings are white and pastel colours. Think of that scene in Scarface where he chainsaws the guy up in the bathroom – they’re like that, minus the murder, also well that building is here and we saw it.
It’s a pretty cool place but it is incredibly hot. Aimee was feeling quite ill at this point so so I went for a walk around by myself to check out what Miami was like. Everyone seems to be on holiday and are trying to show off, being topless and hiring flash cars. I noticed that a lot of people rent motorbike and scooters and cruise around on them with thongs on, no helmet and are taking selfies as they cruise, pretty dangerous.
We had an included dinner tonight which was a family style traditional Cuban meal. Aimee felt too sick to go she she planned to stay in the hotel room and rest up. I went to this little burger place called cheeseburger baby and bought her a big sloppy burger. Cheeseburger baby was pretty cool. It was a real American style diner, but also felt ghetto despite being on South beach. Aimee said the burger was amazing though.
I joined the group and we walked about six blocks to the restaurant. It was a pretty nice meal, basic but it definitely hit the spot. I couldn’t pronounce the name of any of the food, but it went down a treat. The dessert was like a sweet pastry with beef in it and a deep fried plantain. It was weird but I liked it. As soon as dinner was done, I had something else on my mind.
I had been thinking of going to the place where they filmed Miami Ink to get a tattoo. Earlier during that he day, I almost went but chickened out. After dinner I went in there by myself and talked to the girl at the counter. The people from the tv show were there, Ami the guy that owns the place and James who was another guy from the show. I was talking to them and they just have fun and are awesome people, as was the girl at the reception, Danielle. She warned me that this is a gateway tattoo and that it could be the start of an addiction. My tattoo artist was Jose. This guy was an absolute legend and world class tattoo artist. He completely nailed my tattoo and it looks amazing. I am so impressed with it. He is a gamer himself and we talked games the whole time. He said that he was super stoked on the tattoo. He called it a karma tattoo which he explained as being a great tattoo for a great guy. What an absolute legend!
I am not going to lie, it definitely hurt. People who say getting a tattoo doesn’t hurt are completely full of shit. The pain is definitely tolerable though. I am so happy that I did it. It was a great experience. One that I will never forget. I just got a tattoo at one of the most famous tattoo parlours of all time from a world class professional. A memory that will stick with me forever.
We have a full day lined up in Miami tomorrow.
Ronnie & Aimee.