I can still pretend I’m in Miami, even though I’ve been home for a couple of weeks now. I can imagine that I’m laying at the beach, sometimes disturbed by the (very) annoying sound of the coastguard’s alarm. I can imagine that I’m swimming in the pool, cooling off after a very hot day in the sun. I can imagine that I’m walking over the boulevard, barely protected by the shade of the palmtrees. I can imagine that I’m having to struggle with choosing a restaurant for dinner and trying to fit in all my plans in just a couple of days.
While I absolutely wasn’t in love with Miami, I wouldn’t mind going back again either, now that I’m at home. Even though we spend a lot of our time in Miami trying to go home with a tan and cool of in the pool afterwards, we did loads of things to see and experience the city too.
Let me just name a few of those things for you today, simply, because I can.
WE found the street art in Wynwood
Wynwood was one of my favorite areas in Miami that I’ve seen. Filled with beautiful, interesting and mesmerizing murals, quotes and grafitti paintings, we had no choice but to discover every street we could find. And I think we did a pretty good job at it – I definitely feel like we’ve walked through every street of the area. And in the end I definitely feel like we saw a lot.. a lot of murals. Wynwood also was the area where we found the other tourists. Yeah, I know, Miami is pretty touristic, but in Wynwood we had to be careful to not get run over by bike tours and photographers. It was busy, the atmosphere was good and the surroundings were better. Go Wynwood!
WE ROADTRIPPED TO KEY WEST
As if we hadn’t spent enough time in a car in Iceland, where we spent our week before we traveled to Miami, we decided to rent a car in Miami too and drove off to Key West. Now, please go ahead and Google the road to Key West, because that road (and obviously the view that comes with it) alone is enough reason to make the drive.
I am so glad we decided to head to the Keys. This was by far my favorite part of the trip, and in the end I am actually quite sad we didn’t have more time in this area. Key West is one of those magical places that doesn’t even make it hard for you to find the magic. I discovered that quite early on when we drove alongside the ocean and I spotted a dolphin in the clear blue water.
Key West itself is just pretty. Every house is pretty, all the streets are green. It really was my pleasure to discover this little, vibrant island.
We ATE AT AN ORIGINAL DINER
If there is one place and time I would like to have experienced for myself it would be The States during the 50s. I say: Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, polkadots and diners. While strolling through Miami Beach we found out that we could find an original diner close to our hotel. I don’t only love diners because they are so American looking, but I also love them because the food is so American as well. Also: an original diner is just fun. They are mostly decorated with photos from ‘back in the day’, and have old interior bits and pieces. You get a bit of a taste of what it was like in the States so many years ago.
And so, there we went, to get dinner at a diner. I say: fries, black bean burgers, wafels and milkshakes. Our day was made in an instant!
We watched the sunrise over Miami Beach
I am a big fan of sunsets and sunrises. But to be fair: I’ve never set my alarm clock for a sunrise, so normally I just feast on sunsets. However in Miami, when we found out the sun rises over Miami Beach we had to see it for ourselves. And so, on the fourth day of our trip to the city my roommate woke me up to alert me for the sunrise. I’ve never woken up so quickly before. It was a perfect little trip to the beach that normally is so packed with tourists and locals. Miami Beach never looked so quiet before.
We rented a bike
I’ve rented a bike before abroad (wow, go me), but that was in London. And while I’m not used to driving on the left side of the road, and me biking on the left side of the road in the center of London is probably enough reason to be scared to death – renting a bike in the States scared me more. Not because it is the States.. or.. well maybe, yeah. As far as I know Americans – their roads really aren’t adjusted to bikers. So yeah, I was quite scared I would have to bike the highway and would sooner or later end up as roadkill. However, Miami was actually a pretty good city to bike through, and believe it or not, but outside of Miami beach, and in the center of the actual center of Miami, it was pretty quiet on the roads. So we biked through Miami. And despite the heat we actually biked around 35 kilometers.
We didn’t intend to. We got lost. Yeah. Fun times.
We ate like a Cuban in Little Havana
Little Havana is filled with Cuban restaurants – no surprise there. So when we arrived, dehydrated and starving, after a long time biking we quickly found a restaurant to eat like a Cuban. Cuban sandwiches, wraps and local dishes all in the atmosphere of Havana, accompanied by the best music that actually makes you believe you are in Cuba yourself. Little Havana makes you feel good. The atmosphere is alive and friendly and even if you’re not a fan of Miami, Little Havana makes you believe you’re somewhere else!
When in America: visit an American Mall. I much more prefer shopping in Europe because the shopping streets mostly look nicer. They are always in the middle of the center, and once you’re done shopping you can end up in a pretty looking restaurant with a latte and watch everybody go by. However, thanks to the amazing stores of the USA that have yet to open in Europe and thanks to the currency, I can never resist a trip to a shopping mall. Miami has one of the biggest shopping malls of Florida: Dolphin Mall, named after the local sports team Miami Dolphins, located just behind the international airport. The day before we drove off to Key West, we drove from the Ocean Drive (how cool to drive here by the way) to the Dolphin Mall, just to explore the coolest shops and to take home as much as we possibly could!