And we’re off – Miami here we come!

It was my job as Aunty Shellenski to get Archie off to day care this morning, then I swapped travel stories with a cool Uber driver before checking in – all before 9.30am!  I can’t quite believe that the day has arrived.  We’ve been so long in the planning of this trip, that it seemed easy to wish away the days, but now that it’s here, I want time to slow right down – otherwise we’ll pass ourselves over the Pacific and be home before we’ve even left!

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I’ve chosen to fly with Air NZ this time, so that means flying through Auckland.  I’ve never been to NZ before, but it is definitely on my list and next time I plan to see more than the airport!

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As some/most of you will know I am a pretty good sleeper and managed to get in a few zzzzz in before landing in LA.

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A quick turn around there before heading to Dallas where I stayed the night.  I collected my bag from the conveyor belt and headed outside where I could see my hotel in the distance – across the other side of the multi story car park.  I asked an official looking chap if it was possible to walk there and he gave very precise instructions of how I would do just that.  So after pushing 2 cases (1 small and 1 large) through a car park and up and down numerous steps I found myself at the front of the hotel – giving way to he shuttle bus that had just picked up people from my plane.

Needless to say I caught the shuttle bus back to the airport the next morning (at the crack) for an early flight to Miami – my final destination to meet Marie.

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ML & I had timed out flights perfectly and as I sat in the foyer trying to get my portable wifi to work in order to contact her, she appeared.

We’re staying at the Shelley Hotel for one obvious reason, but also because she it was a cute art deco building, had two double beds and was relatively cheap…. it also had paper-thin walls, ear shattering music playing in the foyer & no lift – we were on the 3rd floor.

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So in hindsight, perhaps not the most salubrious place to have stayed, but it was for one night and the beds were super comfy.  I walked into the bathroom and noticed 2 lots of Bvlgari toiletries on the bench, complete with a compact mirror and hair brushes.  I thought this is pretty bloody fancy for the Shelley Hotel and said so to ML…. she laughed as she told me that she’d just put them there from her Business Class plane gift!  And to think I was nearly going to take them with me!

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And right next door was this place which we’re going to try for breakfast…

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On our arrival we wandered down to the street that runs along the beach for a quick look and a quick bevvie.  ML had her first ever Corona – I know you’re thinking what I was thinking – where the hell has she been?  But she’s never been big beer drinker, so fair enough.

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3/4s of the way through this one she stated that she probably shouldn’t drink anymore beer.

Now those of you who have been to Miami Beach before will understand that here anything goes as far as dress sense / fashion / or lack there of….  In fact, the less you wear, the better apparently.  Showing off your curves is also popular and more power to them – there has clearly been no body shaming here in Florida and it is both glorious and eye popping to witness such confidence.  I tried to get some photos, but it was just too obvious… and I don’t want to shame anybody – except this girl and that is only for her choice of skin coloured bike shorts.  This is not ok – no matter where you live.

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As luck would have it, my cousin Peter (pronounced Peeterrr in the US), his lovely wife Kay and their adorable children, Noah and Wes are travelling in the USA as well at the moment and had arrived in Florida on the same day – so we caught up with them for the arvo/evening.

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We wondered the beach – and immediately jumped to help a distraught chap try to find his wedding ring in the sand.  He had been playing ball with his buddy and it slipped right off.  So if you see a gold band with “a 1 carat diamond, no wait – 1.5 carat diamond” on Craigslist, then that could be it!  We searched around for a bit, but to no avail, so we bid them good luck and slowly backed away before we were enlisted to find him a metal detector.

This is Pete & Noah doing a bit of looking…

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We wandered around looking at the art deco architecture…

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And the groovy cars.  Mostly people are driving Porches, Ferraris and other random convertible name brands, but there were a few lovely old ones like this parked around….

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We Ubered down to a shopping/cafe strip that Pete & Kay had seen earlier in the day and was a little quieter and more our scene for a drink and dinner, then strolled back to our hotels to walk dinner off.

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Pete & Wes chatting about how many days it would take him to walk a million steps.  Wes wasn’t convinced that his dad would know the maths to help him work it out.

It was lovely to catch up and get a few travel tips from these seasoned travellers. Looking forward to catching up with them again in New York.

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