Bienvenidos a Miami

What does one do when Jet Blue changes a flight to Florida ?

Well, one calls one’s traveling companions and books an extra night

At the Fountainebleau in Miami Beach

I’ve never been

If it’s good enough for James Bond; it’s good enough for me

One night in Miami Beach might be fun

And, if it’s not, well, it’s only one night

Little did we know about the Spring Break riots to come and curfews and crackdowns

“Largely peaceful protests”

Oh well, we’d already booked our tickets

So, it was up at 4:45 a.m. and straight to the airport on a Saturday morning in March

Sailed through TSA for the first time since Oct. 2019

Felt a little weird, TBH

We landed in Ft. Lauderdale at 8:23 in the a.m.

Straight to get the rental car – mini van naturally

The two teenagers were mortified

The four adults were o.k. with it

The girls were starving, so we stopped at a Waffle House

In Miami Gardens

A wee bit industrial

The manager of the place was originally from Batesburg-Leesville, SC

Always good to find a fellow Sandlapper

Even amid the strip clubs of Miami Gardens

A quick trip down I95 and up and over a bridge or two and there we were

Not much traffic that early on a Saturday morning

“I think I see Crockett and Stubbs,” one of our party said

“I think you mean Crockett and Tubbs,” one of our party corrected

Where is Philip Michael Thomas these days?

Pulling up to the Fountainebleau by 10:00 a.m.

We were sure the rooms would not be ready

As we stood in line for the front desk, it was clear we were no longer in Kansas

I travel in a blazer/sport coat/jacket

I was the only person in blazer/sport coat/jacket

I was also the only person with a Yeti cooler strapped across his chest, too

You can take the boy out of South Carolina

Clerks always treat customers better

With the Yeti cooler strapped across said customer’s body

No, not really, but with the blazer/sport coat/jacket


Try it

Saying “Yes, Sir” and “Good morning” to the nice man at the desk, we were told our rooms were ready

By 10:25 a.m.


And, welcome to the United Nations

All kinds of accents, languages, visages

Place was packed

Man in line behind me had just flown in from Tel Aviv

“We finished the Seder and got on a plane. We weren’t able to do it last year. We’re so glad to be back”

“Everyone in Israel is vaccinated”

As we waited to go to our rooms, we stared in wild amazement

So much bling

Have you ever seen a Gucci romper on a man? I have

Have you ever seen a Louis Vuitton romper on a man? I have

Have you ever seen a Goyard bigger than the lady carrying it? I have

Have you ever seen a Rolex so tacky you were embarrassed for its wearer? I have

All in the lobby that morning

Along with a lot of ink

Room was amazing

Full view of the beach and Kingman turquoise waters beyond

We went down to the sundecks/beach/pool where almost every chair was occupied

Attendant found us a spot and said, “Man, you’re lucky. You have to get out here by 6 a.m. usually to reserve a spot”

So, we began to break spring

We lathered on the sunscreen

We roasted in the heat

We watched influencers influencing


What mask?

Drank a couple of cold beers

Got the children some drinks

We got snacks from the hotel shop

$40 for almonds

What a bargain

We still explored the place

Morris Lapidus’ design holds up

Goldfinger….the man with the Midas touch

The pool with boompcha boompcha boompcha tsss tsss waaah waaah boompcha boompcha boompcha blaring was not for us

We hung out in the sun for a while, but it was really hot and we had all gotten up really early

Astroturf retains heat

We were tie-uhd

Extended rest period needed

The girls fell asleep actually

We all showered and refreshed and agreed to meet in the bar around six

The Bleu Bar

Bottle service available

Ice cold martinis, margaritas, old fashioneds, and Shirley Temples

Cocktail service available

Ice chunks floating on top

So necessary

“You know what we call a Shirley Temple that we add vodka to? A Dirty Shirley”

Learn sumpin new every day

One martini, two martini, three martini, floor

After the drinks, we summoned our ride for the evening

$95 Uber to Joe’s Stone Crab

Worth every penny

When they brought out the bag of warm bread, well, it was like no one had ever eaten before that moment

Six people destroyed the entire offering in just a few seconds

Foil wrapped butter pats never saw such abuse

Then came the stone crab bisque and cole slaw and stone crab claws with the famous mustard sauce and creamed spinach and hash browns and lobster macaroni and cheese

Worth every penny

We came, we saw, we devoured

The waitress was shocked to learn we catch stone crabs round these parts but always throw them back with one claw

“That’s what we do here, too. Season ends May 1”

Guess we made it just in time.

A storm was blowing up when we summoned our second $100 Uber ride

We had some time and milled about the entrance and closed bar

The manager began talking to us and offered a tour

The numbers they pull in are astronomical, even during a pandemic with a closed bar

Places can’t be legendary for over one hundred years unless they’re doing something right

So damn good

Eat at Joe’s


Eat at Joe’s

When our Uber driver, Miguel, finally arrived, he was across the street

No big deal

When we crossed the street and got in his min-van he said, “Oh, man, sorry. Didn’t know you were at Yo’s”

Miguel was a literal trip giving us a run down of Miami Beach over the last 30 years

He should quit driving an Uber and open up a tour service

“My friend was stuck on the bridge from like 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. the other day because of the curfew. It’s rough around here some times”

I guess he wasn’t lying

We made it back to the hotel and watched people for a bit in the lobby

I called my parents to advise all was well and that we loved eating at Yo’s

“You do know your grandparents went there to see Frank Sinatra?”


How on earth would I know that?

“Yeh, they went to that hotel a couple of times to see him”

I had no idea my grandparents were that cool

“Daddy thought it was full of Yankees but Mama thought it was wonderful with all the people watching”

Not much has changed

These may have been the most Miami people I ever did see

Slide slide slippity slide

Mask? What mask?

The next morning being Palm Sunday, I got up early and went to the beach to watch the sunrise

All Glory, Laud, and Honor!

And this guy

“When I’m out walking/I strut my stuff/And I’m so strung out”

He was listing to starboard and still on something from the night before

“I slept out here, dude…. what time is it?”

He rubbed his face so hard I thought it was going to peel off

Meth is a helluva thing

“You got a cigarette?”

“No, Sir,” I replied

He then went up to the next sunrise gazer and asked the same question

He had to move on down the beach as the tractor raking the sand was a coming

Eat your heart out Frank Zamboni

Back to the room to pack and get the hell out of dodge and head on down to the Keys

More my speed

Our elder daughter tried to warn us

She had just spent her own spring break there

She had way more than one night

But, she is young and fun and the target audience

Guess I just don’t bounce in the club where the heat is on

But, really, eat at Yo’s

It’s damn good

Bienvenidos a Miami

Adios Miami

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