I made it to Florida!
OK, so I made it to Florida in 1993. But that doesn’t count for the purpose of my scratch map since I wasn’t blogging anything at the time, and my main memory is getting yelled at by my parents just because I tried to stick my hairbush into the electrical socket. So last week I tried again, visiting Randi’s cousins in the Miami area. Special thanks to Sandy, Corey, Logan and Landon for hosting us, especially as their back garden looks like this:
As always, places which are luxurious to visit do not always make for practical living. On the first day we lazed by the pool until lunchtime when we decided to pop out for a bite. The nearest restaurant was an hour’s walk away, during which we saw precisely zero other people on the pavement. (To be fair, at least there was pavement the whole way… I’m looking at you, Skokie.) On the way back, the security guard at the entrance to the estate looked astonished that anyone might turn up on foot, waving us through the gate built for cars with the uncertain salutation to “walk safely, I guess…?”.
I call it the milk test: never live anywhere which isn’t a 10 minute walk away from a shop selling milk.
The next day we hung out in Miami Beach, which is technically a different ‘city’ to Miami but is (a) just over the bridge (b) probably what most tourists think is Miami anyway. Unsurprising it is warm, sunny and wonderful to walk down the public beach, admire the historic art deco hotels and wash down Cuban food with a pitcher of sangria. Much more surprisingly, but somehow even better, is the fact that the city is dotted with free public suncream dispensers! Suddenly this seems like the most obvious thing in the world, and I am surprised I have never seen it before.
Miami, you’ve impressed me with your public health programme.
More soberingly, we also visited the city’s Holocaust Memorial. There isn’t much to say abut this other than it’s worth seeing if you are ever in the area. (Especially if you have a job in the Trump administration.)
Later, we briefly stopped by Miami-proper to visit the Wynwood Walls before going home. On Saturday, it was time for a brand new American experience: the high school ‘track meet’. I’m starting to doubt myself, but I’m pretty sure this is not the norm for the UK. I mean, sure, there was a low-key school football team and I’m sure some of their parents and friends turned up for matches. But this is a different level of school pride, which is both kinda nice and rather strange. (Doesn’t school stop at the weekends?) Either way, we got to see Landon’s relay team triumph in their race (go Sharks!) before recuperating from all of this vicarious exercise at the beach club.
Wait, who is that adorable child up above? She is Randi’s newest cousin, and reason enough to visit. As a bonus we got to spend our final day with her and her dad Greg at a free Dr. Seuss festival, hanging out with the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2. I’ll be honest: as a child, I wasn’t a fan of their anarchic ways, and was very much on the side of the law-abiding fish instead. But I suspect we have both mellowed over time, especially now that the Cat in the Hat has all of these public appearances to make.
Florida = done. Again.