Log Book: Miami Beach - Florida - June 3, 2004
We eventually leave the marina after filling up to
bursting point with all the water we can hold, and motor through
the maze of bridges and lifts to anchor somewhere quiet, though
not far from Miami Beach. I am anxious to get to the library and
tell everyone we've arrived, but Maciek has to ponder over the anchors
for another hour, as this is another first in a while, being within
few feet of another boat. Skip assures me it's much more important
to make sure we don't swing into our neighbors than it is to get
on the internet for the first time in months. I know I'm not qualified
in these matters, but I'm not sure I agree...
Finally we get underway and walk to the supermarket, where I can, oh bliss! buy anything I like and get some peanut butter at last! We sit outside and chew on baguette and meat and garlic dip (how can you ever forget your first meal back in civilization?), then make our way to the library, which is shockingly air conditioned. At last we check in with that wonderful wide web and I send out deliriously happy emails about our "landed" status and catch up on news that's been waiting for over a month. We make our way wonderingly back along Lincoln Mall, through a circus of well-dressed, gay and straight, exotic and plain people. Nightlife is king here, and there are at least 30 cafes and restaurants all squashed together on the outside walking Mall. I am overwhelmed and can't take it all in, it's overload after the barrenness of Cuba. We are so tired I can't sleep when we get back, but mercifully the night is not too hot.
The next few days were spent mostly between the library and the grocery stores. (Tobi's long-denied consumerism, in the form of grocery shopping, was not to be denied) Miami was fascinating. Some fun things about Miami Beach:
- a great Cuban eatery that made some of the best heated ham and cheese AND pork sandwiches and the most authentic Cuban coffee.
- the Cuban influence that was only about 100 times the prices of the original back in Cuba i.e.. the same cardboard 'state recipe' bread for $1.50 and guarapo, cane juice, for $2.00 a glass
- the 45 min drive around the Art-Deco area in a pink shuttle bus
- the endless parade of humanity, in a hundred different hues and varieties, in every type and character imaginable. Italians, Spanish, Cuban and Mexican, English, German and Swedish, American American and more American. There are the frothiest, summeriest, pinkest and most sherbet-hued girls, even the women of 50 and 60 are girls still. There's a pair in bikini tops and Hawaiian minis, then a couple in black dinner clothes, then a pair of hip designer gay men, then a fat Cuban with 2 companions, then a street bum, then a woman-frosty of 40...
- a museum studio of contemporary artists, with everything from super-realistic Simpsons and Toy Story mixed with real life items, to blurred tree and light photographs to landscapes of earth and sky in monochromatic colors, then plastic surgeons gloves made to look like cows udders and pictures of underwater pools in all their cool blue beauty.
During this week, we had some heavy decisions to make, as I felt I was at the end of my travels on this little boat 'Blue and was anxious to get home, and Maciek was trying to decide if it would be worthwhile selling the boat there and flying home, or shipping it, or to just stick it out for the month and a half it would take to get back. He knew it would be sticky getting back alone, so a lot was riding on the Anchor Wench's decision. I solved this problem by inadvertently using one of this century's sneakiest decision-making tools: Happy Hour. Somehow I got us to stop in at a certain restaurant that we had passed every day on our way to and from the library, and it just happened to be Maxim's Happy hour and due to some lack of frontal lobe activity on the part of our waitress, we end up with 4 beers instead of 2. I think it was under this influence that I decide that if we can make it back to Toronto in a month, I will stick with Maciek and the Blue. The walk back via Lincoln Mall was successfully navigated and Maciek had the satisfied air of a cat who bought his canary for a very good bargain.
NEXT (Leaving Key Largo)
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