Friday, February 24, 2012

Babymoon Flashback, Part 3

For those just joining us, I've been reposting my husband's account of our somewhat surprising  vacation to Miami Beach. Our first night in the other hotel was fine, if a bit short, considering we'd decided to go to 10:00AM Mass at a nearby church.

We got up, and I was all set to head down to breakfast when Liana suggested we get clarification from the hotel we were supposed to be staying at regarding what, exactly, "free breakfast" meant. I was confident that we could just bill the breakfast back to the room and they would take care of it...but I was wrong. Turns out they wanted us to check out and drive back to their hotel to have their breakfast for free. The breakfast was edible, but...well, let's just say I would've been annoyed if I'd paid $9 for it.

Since we couldn't check in yet and had some time, we decided to walk the mile or so to the church. The weather was sunny with temperatures in the 70s - a VERY welcome change for February. We also got to take in some of the sights of the more touristy areas of Miami Beach. It probably wasn't much longer walking than it would've been driving; traffic was horrendous. The cars themselves were not, though. Probably every fifth vehicle was a Mercedes. We later heard radio commercials for Mercedes and BMW contrast to Rochester, where you either get one at the one dealership in town or (if you're most of the populace) just drive past and dream. I also saw a Lamborghini in person for the first time (illegally parked, of course). We couldn't really see the beach as we were walking because of the large hotels, but it was still nice to enjoy the weather.

The church was in a more residential area, across the street from a park where what looked like a soccer league game was taking place. At 9:30 AM on a Sunday, in February! The church service was mostly normal, though I bring it up because, immediately prior to the dispensation of communion, the ushers walked up the aisles shouting, "PLEASE STAY IN YOUR PEWS UNTIL YOUR ROW IS DISMISSED!" I'm not sure which was more jarring: the shouting, or that it was immediately followed by a few people trying to run up to get ahead of everyone! (After we got back, we mentioned this in a meeting at our church to several middle-aged folks, who all reacted "Oh, the Communion Police! I haven't seen them in a long time!" Which suggests to me this used to be more common. I'm glad it's uncommon now.)

After walking back and doing our grocery shopping (eating in the room was quite a bit cheaper, and it was a bit of a stretch to even take the trip), we needed to take a nap. That was probably the worst part of our escapades the previous evening, since by the time we woke up, the temperature had dropped and it had clouded up. We still decided to make our way to the beach for a little while. There were a bunch of beach chairs set up, and we sat down in a small faux hut with cushioned, wooden seats. After a minute or so, a hotel staff person came over to us and asked if we were staying at the hotel. We told him we were, and he informed us that, if one wishes to sit in the faux huts, one must rent them. $20 for the privilege of sitting there, and another $5 for the cushions! We declined, and moved to the regular, plastic chairs (which we both actually found more comfortable, and were free to hotel guests). We stayed for a short while before heading back to our room. It had a Jacuzzi tub, which was quite relaxing, and we got to watch some of the Olympics. It was supposed to rain the next day, so we checked the Internet for a free or cheap Plan B. The best option seemed to be Biscayne National Park, which was about an hour and a half away, so we decided that would be what we'd do if sitting on the beach wasn't an option.

Next: The weather, the mall and downtown Miami.

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