Violet (Danette Lee) and I have been friends long before friendship had a definition. Our lives are so similar that it’s almost frightening at times to reflect on how similar our lives are. We grew up in the same neighborhood, when to the same grammar school, middle school and high school. Violet and I planned a semi Solo Excursion to Miami, Fl. Violet arrived at my home a few day early, we spent lots to time talking about everything from A to B. On the morning of our excursion we rose early, we were both excited to begin our excursion. After we rented a vehicle just large enough for the two of us and our over packed luggage we headed for the highway.
Leaving on Interstate-75 on a Thursday afternoon before rush hour was perfect. We had very little traffic and lots of time to relax and enjoy the ride. We slept for a few hours at the half way point and awoke to and finish the rest of the drive. As we approached the skyline of the city the excitement became pulsating. Miami is called an Alpha-World City, ranked 7th in 2010 in terms of Finance, Commerce, Fashion, Culture and Education. Forbes magazine calls Miami “America’s Cleanest City”, for its quality of air, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets.
Miami is noted as the only major city in the United States conceived by a woman, Julia Tuttle. Which in my mind are just one more reason to vast in the sunshine of this dynamic city.
We didn’t mind that our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, we were anxious to explore the city. After walking only a few blocks from our hotel, we realized we were on a few steps from the Bayside Market . It’s a tourist area with restaurants and shops on the Biscayne Bay. In the distance is magical view of South Beach. Although most of the shops and restaurants can be found in any mall, there were a few names we didn’t recognize like Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. We laughed and wondered if Forest Gump had visited the restaurant. The scenery and the atmosphere instantly made you relax and yearn for more. We walked along the bay and inhaled the fresh air while enjoying this beautiful day in this beautiful city. We booked a short boat ride for the next day to South Beach, after all that was one of the main reason we selected Miami.
As we walked back to the hotel obvious the local drivers weren’t focused on the tourist. Each of them seemed as eager to leave their offices after a long week. We arrived back at the hotel, checked into our guest room, showered and headed to dinner. Dining at the hotel restaurant gave us a few hours to unwind and let the elation subside as we envisioned the cruise we had scheduled for the following day.
South Beach began as farmland in 1870, the Lum brothers Henry and Charles purchased 165 acers to be used for coconut farming. Charles built the first house on South Beach in 1886, eight years later the brothers left the Island leaving John Collins in control of the plantation. In 1912 the Lum brother purchased an additional 400 acers. Carl Fisher a successful entrepreneur who sold his business to Union Carbide envisioned the beach as a successful community independent from Miami. In 1913 Fisher armed with his vision and a $50,000 loan, began construction on what was called the Collins Bridge, it linked the mainland, Miami to the South Beach. In the 1920’s South Beach began to thrive and several millionaires like, Henry Firestone, Warren G Harding, J.C. Penney and Rockwell LaGorce built homes on the beach.
Our short cruise was spent riding the waves over to South Beach, we shared with other tourist and locals. All of us eager to become beachcombers for the day. Presently Miami/South Beach are major culture hubs for Entertainers, Restaurants, High-End Shops and fabulous Nightlife. One of the most exciting elements of the cruise was passing Star Island. It’s a small manmade exclusive Island just South of Biscayne Bay. Residence have included Sean Combs, Gloria Estefan and Rosie O’Donnell. There is nothing modest about the homes rather the mansions that line Biscayne Bay. I guess there’s nothing modest about the level of income it takes to own a mansion on Star Island.
Violet and I walked along the beach and surrendered all of our cares to the sunshine of South Beach. We spent time sitting on the beach watching the waves and enjoying the feel of the sand under our feet. We called that our free pedicure. We watched swimmers of all ages relish in the sun and waves. We even spotted a man with a giger counter searching for lost treasures on the shore. After taking a few of hours to eat lunch at the Porch Front Cafe it was time to head back to the mainland. We reached the bay and the excitement of the loomed on. We agreed that watching the sun set on by bay would be included in our scrapbook titled Magical Miami Memories.
We decided to plan an annual excursion every year to celebrate our friendship. We haven’t selected a location for our next excursion yet but it’s guaranteed to be as exciting as the first Semi-Solo Excursion.
If you’re interested in taking an excursion to Miami and creating your own magic, feel free contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org