Lately, I’ve adopted the mindset of doing things for their own sake, of asking “why not?” And I will say, the adventures have been increasingly superior.
The other day I was given the opportunity to hang out in Miami. Just by myself, doing whatever I liked. It was my day off so I had the option of a day trip to a new place, or do laundry and clean up my house after the disaster I had incurred from my last trip (two days prior I was in Colorado). Of course, I opted for Miami.
The Plan and the Plane
I had never been to Miami, Florida. So I did about two hours of research the night before and planned out my trip. The agenda was centered around coffee shops, beaches, and food. Pretty simple.
When it was time, I woke up earlier than anyone really should and headed to the airport.
I got onto the plane with no hassle. This was also my first time flying standby so I was a little nervous about the plane filling up and having to hang out at the airport for hours. No such problems arose, however.
Being the first one seated in your row is like the lottery. You immediately play the game of “who’s going to sit next to me?” Him? Please, not him. What about her? Human after human comes walking down the aisle. Then the moment arrives. That person you least suspect touches your shoulder and gestures to your row. Today it happened to be a Brazilian lady and her grandmother. No complaints here.
At long last, everyone was on the plane. We could head out. Or could we?
The pilot voiced over the intercom, “Well, guys, we’ll be taking off as soon as possible, but the ramp is closed due to the weather conditions. We’ll keep you updated.”
Great. This was not going to be as fun as I thought, perhaps. Ten minutes later, “We’re ready to taxi out to the runway. Please buckle your seatbelts. Flight attendants, prepare for takeoff.” Hey, not too bad. Glad the weather was clearing up. Also, I realized that grandma didn’t speak English. So I wouldn’t be bothered to speak on this trip. Let the sleep come.
“Um, excuse me, guys, well, we need to go back and refuel.”
What? The plane started moving again. In the wrong direction! Everyone groaned. The flight was already 45 minutes past departure time. We sat there as they refueled. No one talked. I closed my eyes. About an hour later, we were moving once more.
But now the intercom crackled again, “Well, the ramp is open and we are ready to depart, but there are about 15 planes in front of us so we’re going to fly out as soon as possible.”
Here came the groans again. I tried to keep my eyes shut so I wouldn’t fully awaken. Better to take this one in a sleepy state of being. After another hour, and after everyone had lost hope of ever getting out of Dallas, we took off. It was 3 hours later than scheduled. But it was okay. I was on an adventure.
Lunch at the Deli
Immediately upon arrival at the Miami International Aiport, I pulled out my iPhone and opened the Uber app. From past experience, this was the best way to get around in a strange city by far.
By now, I was ravenous. Time for lunch. I located a small deli in Miami Beach that looked promising and I pressed “request Uber”.
On the drive over, I noticed two things I would never see in Dallas. One, the abundance of palm trees on either side of the road. Two, the amount of times we crossed bodies of water. Apparently, half of Miami roads are really bridges to the next island. Fine by me.
I took my sandwich from the Miami Beach Deli Market and walked over to the docks to eat. I was impressed that they had a full coffee station at the establishment. But I would wait for my coffee fix until later in the afternoon.
The Trolley Ride
Online I found out that there’s a free trolley that goes up and down along the main Miami beaches. Determined to find the nearest stop, I traveled up a few blocks toward that area. Apple Maps told me it was between Alton Rd and Lenox Ave. So I halted there.
Soon, a bus pulled up. I jumped on and asked the bus driver if they were headed to Lincoln Ave. He said yes, but gestured for me to pay. Yeah, no thanks. I asked him about the free trolley. “That’s across the street,” he said. I quickly hopped off the bus and proceeded to cross the street whereupon I found the trolley stop easily enough. It was a fun little ride up several blocks north to the beach.
Trolley rides are always interesting. Because they’re free, all kinds of fascinating (and sometimes disturbing) characters get on board. Thankfully, today it was just normal people.
Cappuccino and the Beach
I hopped off the trolley after several blocks, now much closer to my destination. I was still on the docks side of Miami Beach, however, so I turned due West to get to those famous sandy beaches. I found myself suddenly amidst a huge outdoor shopping mall along Lincoln Ave. Dodging an assortment of tourists and locals became my main concern as I sauntered through the jungle of eateries and clothing stores.
When I finally arrived at the beach on the West side of the island, I was thoroughly impressed. The sand was white and perfect. The water was fine, and it wasn’t very crowded. But I realized there weren’t any restrooms to change in, so I had to go back to the street shops to search for one.
I walked into a tourist shop that promptly redirected me to a pizza joint. After changing, I grabbed a cappuccino from the place. The Italian guy at the counter said he couldn’t do anything iced. As it was in the 80s outside, I took it upon myself to grab some ice from the soda fountain and dumped it in my cappuccino. It was perfect.
I was out at the beach for over an hour and a half, sometimes reading, sometimes just tanning. I heard the lifeguard blow his whistle once at a family of swimmers, but neither I nor they knew why. So, as people usually do, we ignored the lifeguard altogether.
The trip ended with me walking back to the shopping area and catching another Uber back to the airport.
If you, Readers, ever visit Miami, I hope you get to experience the same kinds of wonderful things that this beach town has to offer. My first trip there was a success.
Any travel tips or general comments? Please, comment below!