Still in Florida, but leaving the family behind, it was time to get my shades on, find my teeny bikini and start my search for Horatio Caine.
I had maxed myself out on CSI episodes and could not have been more prepared for any mysterious murders that may have cropped up during my Miami stay.
If he could have seen the way I climbed out of my Grandma's pick up van, stumbled over the kerb, snapped my sandal, flashed my knickers and burst open my suitcase as I arrived, Horatio would have known he had a trusty companion in his midst.
I rocked up at the Days Inn Hotel, adjusting my skirt and slightly limping from the fall, where four boys lay in wait for me. And by lay in wait I mean sprawled out amongst dirty clothes and empty beer cans whilst nursing hangovers.
I was reuniting with some of the guys from camp. They had opted for a 2 person room for 4 of them and me. This is a good money saver, albeit not technically allowed, so there are risks to consider. Of course there are hotel rules and consequences of being caught, but no there's also the danger of co-existing in a room, littered with half eaten chinese food and 4 "I washed my clothes month" kind of guys. It's a dangerous job people but needs must when you're aiming for minimal spend and maximum fun.
As LA's cooler younger brother, I couldn't wait to grab the beach bag and head down to see just whether Miami lived up to Will Smith's promise that "Yo ain't no city in the world like this."
South Beach is a stretch of lush golden sand and sparkling blue sea that holds every Miami stereotype in one sun kissed bundle. There's the surfer dudes catching the waves and the model babes slapping on the oil, hippy musicians playing on the sidewalk and the city's elite hitting the designer boutiques. Sitting on South Beach is like watching some amped up and much sexier version of Corrie. Eyes peeled for Ken Barlow's six pack.
Staying near to South Beach can be pretty costly which is why we had opted to stay further inland. The bus to South Beach was easy to catch and took us across town in no time.
When travelling I always avoid taking taxis. Wherever you are in the world, one of the best ways to see a place and get a taste for its true culture is to board that bus. It may seem scary but if you ask for help you'll be fine, and it's often a lot cheaper. If you get lost who cares? You're exploring and that's what traveling is all about.
After South Beach, Ocean Drive is the next place to be scratched off the list. The quirky buildings offer excitement and a bit of glamour even if all you can afford to do is gaze through the windows and wish you were rich. Known as the start of the Art Deco district, Ocean Drive holds some of the world's most photographed houses including the Versace mansion-very posh!
My trip in Miami was short and sweet. It gave me enough time to do a few Baywatch runs down the beach, hit the malls for yet more shopping and enjoy some beachside boogies. Although there's a lot more things that could be done in Miami, after a few days in the sunshine and glamour I was all set. I had seen all I wanted and know what I had always thought...Miami is pretty cool. You were right Will.
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