We took a taxi to South Beach ($32 flat rate). We haved resevations at the Century Hotel
(1st and Ocean Drive). When we arrived it was already dark outside and the Deco style hotel was lit up with a neon glow. The hotel was very nice and had a chic feel about it. Our room was smaller, but was very comfortable. Nice big bed with a pillow top, large flat screen TV with many channels, stereo, fridge and very modern bath.
We were soon out and about exploring the town. Although it was 70 degrees, there did not seem to be any humidity. I was comfortable in a long sleeve shirt. We stopped at CVS for supplies, snacks and suntan lotion (since ours was confiscated at the airport). We hopped onto the South Beach Local
bus ($.25) at 2nd and Washington and headed up to Espaniola Way
. Nice little street with several restaurants and shops. The developer created the feeling of a spanish village with the cobblestone and architecture. We strolled through and headed a few blocks north to the Lincoln Road Mall. Lincoln is a pretty wide street and runs East/West with several blocks that are pedestrian only.
It was filled with things to see and the more we walked the more crowded it was. All the places to eat were overflowing and we were getting pretty hungry. We saw the glow of a blue overhead sign reading 'La Rancho Grande'
half a block off of Lincoln. We sat outside and ordered the Papardilla (?). The waitress soon showed up and filled the connecting table with food. It could have easily fed four or more... good deal for $25. Good thing we have a fridge back at the hotel. It was a really nice night. We grabbed the bus back to get some sleep.
It is cold and snowing at home so we decided to leave the hectic holiday season and cold weather for some sun and sand. Our US Air flight was late at AVP and we ended up missing our connection in Philly. After a three hour layover, we were in the air again and arrived in Miami at 6pm instead of 3pm.