Thanksgiving 2001 was coming and we didn't want to sit in the boring New Jersey again. So, we collaborated with our friend and agreed to visit Miami, by car. Why Miami? Because we've never been there. But it's so far to drive can't we choose something closer? Apparently all interesting opportunities close to home were already explored and we didn't want to fly on the plane yet. So four of us(Mike, myself, Denis and his girlfriend Natalya) took our friend's car (Infinity Q45, a huge sedan) and drove to Miami in 24 hours! Yes, folks, it's possible with 4 drivers and plenty of space to sleep on the back seats. It was interesting to go through so many states. The weather changed considerably only in Georgia and we started to feel south :-) And we saw palm trees and sun started to shine brighter! The photo above was made on the first rest area in Florida. It was very warm for November.
Of course we reserved a hotel beforehand right on the beach in Miami Beach because it sounded very cool. Apparently the hotel wasn't very cool but really on the beach and had a swimming pool as well.We arrived in the evening and had some powers to eat in a nice Mexican restaurant before going to sleeeeeeeep.
Next mornings we've spent on the beach. The water was blue and so warm as it rarely reaches such temperature in New Jersey. The beach is real nice and you can try water sports in summer I presume.
In the afternoon during first day we drove to the swamps west of Miami and swam in the air-boat. Our guide was a real Native-American who knew crocodiles very well. We've seen couple very close and even touched one. Wow, it was scary but exciting! We have a video and photos confirming this fact :-)) Also we've seen swamp birds and very cute raccoons who were eating from our hands.
Downtown Miami looks like usual city though Miami itself is very big and includes many islands. When you are driving through the island the view is gorgeous. Also the whole Miami atmosphere is very uplifted because of the bright sun, palm trees, white houses and beautiful people around. Yeah, all young people look very cool and easy.Big difference from New Jersey :*) You can wear anything you want!
Next afternoon we visited Key West, the southernmost point of continental US and we saw the end of Route 1 that starts in New Jersey (I suppose). It took 3 hours to reach Key West, we were kind of hoping for1.5 hours but there is only 1 road, many cars and low speed limit. The island sequence that goes to Key West is very picturesque too and has many dives clubs and water sports facilities. It's paradise in summer I believe.
Of course we've been in the Art Deco district. The shops didn't impress us, they are quite regular, but the restaurants that work almost 24hours sound cool. We had wonderful dinner once at 2am at night eating chocolate fondue at the end!
On the last day we visited Miami Sequarium that is kind of small Seaworld with dolphin, seal and killer whale shows, aquariums and etc. We really liked it and enjoyed the shows especially the killer whale&dolphin show. Honestly Miami is a very interesting place you can suck into it for a long time. It has many natural parks, zoos, tropical parks, museums and beautiful monuments. and I'm not talking about Disneyworld, Seaworld, universal Studios and dozen other attractions nearby. It's a real vacation paradise for children and adults!
Before taking off back home we've decided to have a nice dinner in Palm Beach. I wanted to see houses of reach people but they all are behind high walls of trees and security gates :( Palm Beach has a huge busy mall, Cityplace, and waiting time in the restaurant 1.5 hours! Can you believe this? We left the mall, drove to the downtown (5 mins) and had a gorgeous dinner in the Cuban restaurant called "Samba Room". I'd recommend to come with full wallet there.
Trip back wasn't very exciting because everybody was tired and finally New Jersey met us with hard rain and cold weather. Welcome home ...