Getting Jiggy With It

Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
Trip End May 31, 2012

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Where I stayed
South Beach International Hostel

Flag of United States  , Florida
Monday, July 23, 2012

Miami Beach the city of art deco, heat and that latin feeling. It lives up to everything that we see in the movies and a little more.  The air is alive with the smells, sounds and tastes of this vibrant culture.  There is a nice mix of tourists and locals, who all seem to mix amicably in the exciting atmosphere.

My hostel is set right in the heart of the art deco district on South Beach on the corner of 9th and Washington.  The Miami Beach International Hostel is only two blocks from in the infamous Ocean Drive and did I ever misjudge my choice of hostels!  It was a relentless express way of alcohol mixed with young'uns which could have easily been my children!  There capacity to party seems to last 6 days straight and the 7th being a night off.  Was I like this when I was their age?  Not sure I can remember back that far! ;)

Still the old man was accepted into their throng, even if I couldn’t keep up with them and my excuse was mostly that I couldn’t afford too.  At U$16 for Rum & Coca in club I was out of budget on one drink!  Apparently this wasn’t even the most expensive place.  A nightclub where the rich and famous hang-out called Meastro was charging U$36 for a Yeagermeister! Ouch...

All was good and my days consisted of a little shopping, a walking tour of the Art Deco District, a trip to the Cinema to see Batman and a transvestite show on Ocean Drive.

The walking tour was quite interesting, who new that Miami Beach is a separate city to Miami...?  The art deco buildings nearly didn't survive a couple of economic crisis, the depression, world war 2 and hungry developers but its good to see they have been saved.  The neighbourhood is so full of character.  It gives it a rather unique feel.

During the tour I met the lovely Celine (from France).  She was out visiting a friend and I joined them for a Miami Salsa class that night.  It was great fun.  However my Jinga dance shoes did finally give up the ghost, which meant I had to subject myself to some shoe shopping the following day - deep joy.
Ocean drive is much shorter than I expected, but the fancy cars that cruised up and down it were prolific.  I actually saw a Lambougini traffic jam (3 in a row).  I've never seen that before  in real life - amazing.  Everyone was super fit, dressed to impressed and had a one of those fancy cars.  BUt it didn't feel to fake, everyone was really friendly.

My nights consisted of getting a few hours sleep (on the nights I wasn’t out partying) and then waking up 6 or 7 times during the rest of the nights to be greated by various drunken revelers and complete strangers popping back for a spot of 'how’s your father’.

On one three night stretch, with two different lodgers in the bunk above me, I had three nights of jiggy.  Night three I’d had enough and hollered up, "If I wanted to be rocked to sleep at night, I’da gone for a cruise".   They left quite quickly after that.  Based on the wet clothes in the bathroom in the morning I guess it was the beach they went too.  Still carma has a way of winning out and after they did return for sleep, the fella started snoring really loudly!  Fortunately it was gone my getting up time, so I sat there quietly for a while and tittered to myself, as she grumbled that she couldn’t wake him and he wouldn’t shut up...

Still Miami Beach is everything they say it is and I’ll be sure to  be going back... for no other reason that my flight back to the UK goes from there!

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