Saturday 13th December to Sunday 21st December – South Beach, Miami

On the Saturday I woke up with a rather fuzzy head and packed my things so that I didn’t have to stay at the hotel in the airport area and could move to a different area of town. Having hastily packed my things I dragged myself and my bags to the local shop to get a much needed juice and some cigarettes. When I was paying for my things a guy recognised my accent as English, probably noticed that I looked like death, and asked where I was headed. I told him that I was going to South beach and showed him the address of the hostel. When he offered me a lift I decided he wasn’t too dodgy and accepted. He was actually relatively sweet in a kind of bloke with pictures of his family everywhere way, although I wasn’t quite as impressed when he seemed disappointed I had shoes on and commented that he had a thing about feet! So, having survived the foot fetish guy’s lift, I arrived at Miami Beach International Travellers Hostel which I had Googled the day before. I went in and checked into a dorm. The place seemed cool and, if anyone’s interested it’s on 236 9th Street, South Beach, Floride, 33139, 305 534 0268. I headed out of the hostel and down the main street full of fun shops and way too many tattoo parlours. I say way too many as I spent a lot of time resisting heading into them. After hitting the internet I headed back to the hostel. One of the cool things about the hostel is the patio area out the front which always has people hanging around and, in the evenings, fills with people chatting and drinking. As it was a Saturday the hostel had organised a club night with free entry and discounted drinks. After chatting to a few friendly sorts I decided to head to “5th” for the free guestlist do. I went along with Matt, a fellow Brit, Guido, an awesome guy from Germany and Stuart, the most hilarious English guy. The club itself was trendy without being pretentious and it was a great night with $5 vodka combos, dancing and frolics. When we left, Guido and I decided to go for one last drink before bed time and headed to a place just around the corner from the hostel. At the door a guy told us that there was a cover charge of $80 for blokes and $60 for girls. We told him that we wouldn’t be paying that and eventually he suggested we give him a tip. Somewhat bizarrely from $140 he seemed quite okay to let us in when I gave him a $5 tip. We walked in and my excitement at having got some kind of bargain quickly faded as I saw a stripper and a punter from an angle I’d rather I hadn’t. Having nearly walked straight out again I ordered two gin and tonics which appeared to be made with some kind of toilet cleaner.  We spoke to a few delightful sorts and wondered why the place was suddenly filling up with more larger ladies before realising that they were the next act. At that point we decided it was probably a good plan to call it a night!

The following day I headed down to the beach with Guido and Stuart. Miami beach is as you would expect, although there was slightly less plastic on show than I had imagined there would be. There was a group of really entertaining guys dancing though and I got a funky photo of them making a human tower with some poor unsuspecting girl on top, so to speak. Guido and I ventured into the sea and then quickly ventured out as we saw some positively huge purple jellyfish. Although I doubt they were dangerous they would no doubt give you a nice sting.

After the beach we went to one of the bars on the strip where they had two for one mojitos on offer. After a while I headed to the toilet and Guido evidently did too and when we arrived back at the table Stuart was giggling to himself. As we had been drinking our first mojitos we had been mocking a rather camp couple who were drinking mammoth drinks out of these kind of bowls and it turned out that Stuart’s laughing was due to him having switched our order for the rather larger kind. The strawberry mojitos were divine but they didn’t seem to go down very quickly, if at all. At one point a guy with an albino python arrived and we took the obligatory, holding a snake type photos. It was all in good taste until the guy came over to Guido and I and put the entire snake’s head in his mouth. I was somewhat shocked by this as a, rather unattractive, photo will evidence. After six hours at the bar, yes I did say six (we managed to get through three waiting staff) we headed back to the hostel. Having chatted to the crew on the patio Guido and I went for a wander and found a funky hotel type bar. We had a drink and Guido asked for water which arrived in what could best be described as a large thimble, half filled with ice. After one alcoholic drink and several thimbles of water, we headed back to the hostel and called it a night.

On Monday we headed to the beach again. It was Stuart’s last day and it was a bit sad to think he was leaving. From the beach we headed back to the hostel where we had a few beers to send Stuart off. In the evening we went back to the two for one mojito bar with a couple of people from the hostel and Matt and Andrew, two Brits from the hostel. Having heard our stories about the monster mojitos Matt and Andrew decided that they could manage two large ones, despite our warnings. They did but then spent a little while looking like they were going to fall asleep at the table! I also had the most amazing chocolate mousse which was seriously divine. I wonder how healthy a diet of strawberry mojitos and chocolate mousse would be….mmmm! After the mojitos we headed down the main strip and found a karaoke bar where everyone seemed to be doing hip hop tunes which was novel and entertaining. Guido and Andrew did a couple of tunes and then we headed back to the hostel. In the morning I had woken up to find a note on my door asking me to report to reception. As I was unsure how long I was going to stay I had been paying by the day and telling them each morning. Unfortunately I slept in and, not knowing if I was staying or not, they had booked my bed out. Fortunately the hostel owners also owned apartments so I was given a room in a shared apartment a few blocks away. There was a Brazilian guy there who didn’t really seem to get my accent, or me for that matter, but he was friendly enough. When I headed back to the apartment we had a bit of a bizarre conversation about Oprah before calling it a night.

The next day was Guido’s last day before heading back to Germany. We went to the beach during the day and then went for the obligatory mojitos. I think it was the switch to a vodka tonic that finished me off as when we got back to the hostel I was slightly worse for wear. This wasn’t helped by people giving me more drinks which resulted in drunken dancing in the reception area prior to a rather wobbly walk back to the apartment.

The following morning I struggled back to the hostel with my bags which felt rather heavy, and a head which felt even heavier. I was given a bed in room one which was right next to the reception area. I spent the day around town and on the beach. In the evening I played poker with a few of the girls from the hostel. I actually did surprisingly well and, in the end, it was down to one hand between me and Paulina. I won, of course, well technically, although the game didn’t run its full course. During the poker game Chuck arrived. Chuck had introduced himself whilst Stuart was still at the hostel, although we had both thought that he had introduced himself as Sean. We had also thought he was rather rude as he was slightly terse and then left shortly after. He was actually really sweet though and observed my poker prowess. After the poker I played pool with Chuck and got slightly freaked out that he had almost identical interests, likes and dislikes to me.

Friday was meant to be my last day in Miami before my flight. I spent the day wandering around the town with Chuck and said goodbye to all the guys at the hostel. Having packed my stuff I stayed up really late trying to change my flight.

In the morning, early, we went to the airport and spoke to a guy at the desk who kept us for around twenty minutes prior to telling us that the “computer says no”. Actually that’s not quite what he said but it may as well have been. Basically we had to go and queue at a different desk which was not yet open. With Chuck asleep on the floor I managed to change my flight to a later date and re-route it to Los Angeles so that I could meet him there and then travel down to my onward flight from San Fransisco. After the airport ordeal we headed back to Chuck’s house and crashed out. We got a gorgeous cream cheese and smoked salmon bagel for lunch and then, in the evening, headed out with a couple of Chuck’s friends who had been doing a club night. It finished early so we headed to “Dreams” club. Unfortunately they weren’t impressed with Chuck’s dress, attire I mean, he wasn’t actually wearing a dress, although I’m guessing that wouldn’t have gone down too well either! From Dreams we went to another club. En route, the girls who were walking with me were most entertaining with one of them catching her shoe in a drain prior to losing it and doing comedy stumbling. The club itself was cool and we had a few drinks prior to getting a cab back to Chuck’s house.

The following day Chuck brought me breakfast and we went over to the other side of Miami with Chuck’s friend Chris (from the night before) and his girlfriend Sarah. We decided we weren’t really into the Chinese buffet, or rather Chuck did, and we headed back to his house and had an early night.

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One Response to “Saturday 13th December to Sunday 21st December – South Beach, Miami”

  1. A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.

    Sent from my iPhone 4G

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