But I feel like it's time, I need to post about the second leg of our Florida trip so that I can start posting about what's been going on.
To be honest, I kind of fell in love with Fort Lauderdale. It was tropical and warm and touristy, but you could find nice quiet streets to walk on and the beach wasn't too full. It went so comfortable and welcoming! I kind of feared going to Miami, especially since our hostel was located directly on Miami Beach, just images of thousands of tourists surrounding us. And that's kind of what happened.
View of Miami from aboard a cruise ship.
But it wasn't that bad! After the initial shock of leaving our hostel at 3PM and being blasted in the face with "EVERYONE OVER 21...... SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS!" we kind of got over it. Seeing as we were tourists ourselves, we decided to go all out and bought Go! Miami cards for $150, which actually turned out to be quite a good investment! The card included entries to tons of museums, different types of tours (on land and sea), entries to amusements parks, zoos, and discounts. I think in the end we saved about $100 in total and got to see a lot of Florida ;)
Left: Miami Beach, standing in front of our hostel.
Right: The diner featured in Will Smith's music video ;)
On our first full day in Miami, we decided to hop on the tourist bus, thinking that would be our best and cheapest way to get around town that day. We ended up hopping off at a place called Jungle Island, which was basically just a zoo. But I got to chill with some tiny little monkeys running around "free", as in we actually joined them in their cage. I <3 monkeys. We also took a short boat cruise that promised to show us the bay, but did not mention that the point was to gawk at celeb houses. Oh well. I now know what my life goals are. Our last stop was Little Havanna, where we had some extremely good but insanely filling Cuban food, and walked for what seemed like a thousand miles before we actually found a cab to take us back to Miami Beach.
1st row: I love flamingos. Mainly because they're pink, like the cockatoo in the left pic who loved getting scratched.
2nd row: The little tiny monkey I hung out with! Also not sure whether that sign is meant to make me feel somehow safe...
3rd row: The coolest sign in Little Havana. Also some awesome food. I only managed to eat two of my fried chicken things.
Some celeb's home on Star Island. Cool, huh?
On our third day we got up super early and hopped on a bus that took us on a 5 hour long ride down to Key West for the day!
Seven Mile Bridge. I think. Well one of the many bridges on the way to the Keys.
In Key West we got on another hop-on-hop-off tram tour that took us around the island, stopping off at random locations, including Hemingway's house. I think we did what any English student would do: viewed the house from the outside, snapped a picture, and left. I would have felt like a failure an English student had we not seen it, but the student part of me kicked in and refused to pay the $15 entry or whatever to get in and stare at the same walls some old dude used to stare at. Eh.
Hemingway's favorite bar, which to be honest was the worst experience of our trip in terms of service, food, drinks and atmosphere. Is that their "thing"?
All those people paid to go see Hemingway's house. I wish I could have seen the cats though.
I think this sign perfectly conveys the laid back mentality of Key West.
Left: I want to live on a street as colorful as this.
Right: This bar was located where Sloppy Joe's originally stood. 100 x better than the actual "Sloppy Joe's". Yes those are bras. No mine is not there.
How could you not love this place?
On our last day in Miami we decided to take it easy. We rented bikes (also included in our Go! Miami) cards, rode around town, went shopping, had good food, went to the beach... chilled. My only regret is that I wish I would have recognized more places from Dexter and CSI: Miami. Oh well, next time!
This time I will leave you with two photos of Joel looking extremely happy about his food. Maybe his company too.. Who knows.