... an extra day in Miami?!

Trip Start Sep 03, 2011
Trip End Jun 04, 2012

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Where I stayed
Miami, Fa, USA

Flag of Uruguay  ,
Thursday, November 17, 2011

Well, it was bad news for my family.

I was stuck in Miami. Due to a 3 1/2 hour delay in JFK we missed our fight to Uruguay. We boarded the plane at JFK ready to depart at 5.30pm when American Airlines informed us that there was a delay due to a maintenance repair and that it would take an hour, then it turned into 2 hours because we had to wait for the maintenance report to be sent to the pilot, then it was another 1/2 hour wait in a queue to take off. We eventually took off just after 9.00pm. Our connecting flight to Montevideo was due to depart at 11.04 pm, JFK to Miami is about a 2 1/2 hr flight. We weren't going to make. There had been mention of the flights being held for us, so I am thinking great chances here of a win win situation here, they delay the other flights I make it on time to see my family, we miss the flights I have to stay overnight, spend the day in Miami waiting for the next flight out the following night at 11.04pm, hotel and food paid for .... hmmm fingers crossed Miami.

On the flight I made friends with a lovely Italian, elderly lady from Montevideo who had been visiting her sister in NYC. When we arrived we were informed the flights could not be held, we were stuck in Miami! We were directed to the re-ticketing desk and as you would expect some passengers were NOT happy. Then to top off the evening some guys jumped the queue with some other guys in their travel "delegation" and those feisty South Americans happily and loudly voiced their displeasure at this unfairness, I thought the airport police would be called plus it didn't help that the American Airlines re-ticketing staff were inefficient in informing people of their choices, so it got tense. We ended up with vouchers for 2 nights at the Hotel ChateauBleu so we could check out late for our flight. My new Italian/Uruguayan friend Nicky and I made plans to meet at 8.30am or shortly after and go exploring after our free brekky (we also got vouchers for lunch and dinner).

In the morning all of us that had been shuttled to the hotel were in agreeance that the Hotel ChateauBleu was not the Hilton (it reminded me of the Econlodge in New Haven) but hey, I was happy I got an extra day in Miami!!! After brekky Nicky and I headed into Miami Beach by taxi. We were dropped off at the corner of 7th. Avenue and Ocean Drive. Ocean Drive is the strip of road that runs parallel to Miami beach. We checked out the beach, white sand, beach umbrellas, people still out sun-baking, blue skies and life guard stations. Yes another Gold Coast/Sunshine Coast resort type city but full of Hispanic people who kept speaking Spanish to me which was
way cool, but all I could do was just smile and hope that they weren't expecting me to reply.

Miami Beach is on a barrier island that separates the bay of Biscayne and the Atlantic Ocean. It is accessible from downtown Miami by a series of causeways. Miami Beach on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island and has been a resort beach since the early 20th century so it has a lot of gorgeous and cute art deco style buildings some in various degrees of renovation and repair. They were built from 1923 and 1943. Miami Beach is the most southern of the beaches on the set of barrier islands in the bay.

Back to the adventures of Nicky and Tina on Ocean drive, Miami beach we continued south on the strip looking for a cafe area that Nicky saw on a travel show, but we ended up looking out into the channel that brought the ships into the Port of Miami. It was quite the site but we were hot and sweaty, thirsty and did I mention we were still in the clothes we were wearing the day before .... stinky! So our next task was the obligatory Miami Beach t-shirt hunt so we had something clean to change into, Walgren's offered an array of reasonably priced souvenirs, we will take 2 t-shirts for $16.00 thanks plus a few extras thanks. Next task, something to drink, it's hot, I'm still full from breakfast but Nicky is hungry. We get reeled into a place called Ocean 7
(as it is on the cnr of 7 th ave and Ocean dr), I have a refreshing mango smoothy type non alcoholic drink and some dipping crumbed cheese sticks and fries, Nicky has a pasta dish.

There are still plenty of tourists, not wall to wall but enough to have to dodge along
with the young and attractive Latinos that restaurant owners send onto the footpath to secure patronage to their tables already taking up most of the footpath space. They offer drinks and menus of all price ranges for any time of the day. To avoid the obstacle course we cross the road to continue our journey to the Lincoln Road Mall, moreshops? Miami beach is also full of .. You guessed it souvenir shops and shops to help make you look like "Miamish" and glitzy - plenty of bikinis and see through beaded and bedazzled numbers for the Miami beach and nightlife, just what I was after, NOT! Do you think we could find a department store for normal shopping though? We finally spotted a lady with a Macy's bag then tried to spot a local to tell us which way to Macy's, it was around the corner after all that. So after use of a restroom and a purchase of clean underwear we headed back to the hotel. We felt like we had been there for a week instead of the 6 hours of real time. Thanks Miami, glad I could add you to my list of visited cities but so happy to be movin' on.

The next three hours were spent showering, resting and reassuring my family that I would be on that flight to Montevideo. Nicky left earlier to ensure that she had her special aisle seat had been organized. At 8pm I am ready to leave the hotel  with clean underwear and a new Miami beach t-shirt, but of course the hotel shuttle is late and  I end up at the wrong gate (because my boarding pass has the old gate listed) but by 9.30pm I had some dinner from Wendy's in my hand, found Nicky and the gate, phew!

We were in the air by 11.30pm and on our way to Montevideo. My seat was towards the back and one of those 3 middle seats in the middle of the aisle, luckily the seat in the middle was free, we had room, yay! Only problem was that I had the one fruity seat whose reclining button was BROKEN! So after 9 1/2 hours of sitting up straight and not much sleep I arrived in Montevideo safely. 45 minutes after landing I was through immigration and customs into the arms of Andrew and Campbell. I have to say, the whole detour though its purpose was of an unfortunate circumstance but had been a nice break and gave me a bit of time out and helped me to more fully appreciate my family.

As for Montevideo, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I am pleasantly surprised to find a relaxed, stylish if not a little worn yet historic city. Once again I am surprised by the ethnic diversity and variety, there are those of Italian, Spanish, Portugese and indigenous descent with a variety of other nationalities to add to the mix like Scottish grandfathers.

I will continue my Montevideo post in the next one with an update on the boys wrestling match with the locals and Campbell's exams so I can post his one finally. I had finished this last night and was sorely ticked off when it did not publish or save to draft.
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mcgown on

Sorry about the paragraph spacing and other grammatical issues and photos. iPads are great but you have limited functions at times. I am still having scheduling issues with the other computer, kids and a husband and not enough hours!!!

mcgown on

Fixed the spacing hopefully and the grammar issues should be at a minimum. Working on photos now.

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