Miami Without the Vice

Trip Start Apr 30, 2013
Trip End Jun 19, 2013

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Where I stayed
Homewood Suites Miami-Airport / Blue Lagoon
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
Miami Seaquarium
Read my review - 3/5 stars
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Miami
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, May 2, 2013

We had a 4.5 hour flight from Honolulu to LAX. The stopover really only gave us enough time to go from one gate to the next before beginning what was meant to be a 5.5 hour flight to Miami. Storms in the Gulf of Mexico meant the pilots had to fly over the Florida panhandle and south along the Florida east coast, over the Bahamas and approach Miami from the south; adding 1 hour to our flight. There was a lot of turbulence as we came in to land.

We spent most of our two days in Miami recovering from the nearly 22 hours of flying in the past few days and although we were certainly tired, we had no jet-lag. However, we did get time to visit the Miami Seaquarium and Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. We will probably spend more time in Miami on our way back from the Florida Keys.

Miami Seaquarium

The crowd when we were there was largely school groups (it was a school day and during school hours). The Miami Seaquarium has been around since 1955 and, in places, it looks like it. Their aquarium tanks are the old-fashioned sort and not very appealing after you have been to a modern aquarium. Most of their efforts seems to go into their shows. We attended two: an orca and dolphin show and a seal show.

The orca and dolphin show was their main attraction. The orca certainly got the school children excited. They had the orca, dolphins and humans in the water at the same time. They claim to be the only aquatic show that does this. It was quite exciting. The seal show was aimed at younger children and probably of little interest to anyone over 10 years of age.

The TV show "Flipper" was filmed at the Miami Seaquarium evidently.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

To quote from their official guide booklet:

Vizcaya, the winter home of International Harvester vice president James Deering ... Built between 1914 and 1916, Vizcaya was designed in the style of Italian Renaissance and Baroque vilas Deering had visited.

The mansion was interesting enough, if a little quirky. Bedrooms were on a disconnected 2nd floor. So to go between 2 bedrooms, you would need to go down to the 1st floor and then back up again.

The real attraction is the gardens. They were spectacular and extensive (although they were not as extensive as they used to be evidently). I won't try to describe them (I'll let you look at the pictures), except to say that it did feel more like we were in Italy than Florida.
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Dale on

I googled the Vizcaya Gardens, they look beautiful. Do you think you might retire to Florida in a couple years? And when you get a moment, can you check your Gmail?

bn2010usa on

They are amazing. I'll get to putting some photos up soon. (I have replied to the e-mail).

Stephen on

It's a pity we're so far away from the rest of the world, but then I think it makes it a bit more special. It somehow makes it more significant when you have to work so hard to get there.

bn2010usa on

You're getting quite philosophical there Steve. Do I detect a wistfulness, wishing you were still on your holiday?

It would certainly change things if we could travel cheaply and easily to the rest of the world. We have found holidaying in the US to be quite cheap, compared to Australia. I suspect it is only the cost of the airfares and the bother you have to go to that stops Australians travelling overseas in huge numbers.

bn2010usa on

We certainly have moved on (we are at Disney World, Orlando ATM). Sorry, I've been a bit slow getting the blog done. I'm certainly not going to do an entry for each day, but do plan to do one for each location.

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