WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE USA WOULD BE A SUCH CULTURE SHOCK!
28.05.2017 - 30.05.2017
I have been a little slack with the blogs since we arrived in the USA, due to many reasons which I'm sure you are not really interested in.
I am going to try and do a bit of a catch up now that I have some free time while spending time with Dolly's rellies and our travelling has slowed down a little.
DAY 112 SUNDAY 28TH MAY
WOW, how much of a culture shock was it arriving in Miami after being in the quite conservative Central America & Cuba. We are in Miami for Memorial long weekend and the freaks have come out to play. The sights on the streets of South Beach are boggling to say the very least. It doesn't matter what size you are, as it seems totally acceptable to walk the streets in your string bikini anytime day or night. And when I say size doesn't matter, I mean it. If you are a size 26 (XXXXXXXXL) and are happy to wear a size 12 bikini then you will blend in quite well with the pedestrian traffic. Although, I must say we only witnessed females in this state of undress. The men by their sides were fully clothed, except they all do like to wear their jeans with the belt sitting just under their arse cheeks, revealing full view of their designer underwear - not a good look. But hey good on them, and they strutted around the place like they were beauty queens, if you have the guts why not! Unfortunately, I did not get any photos of these sights as we were too gob smacked.
Not only were the fashions a culture shock for us, but after travelling through CM, the prices of food and drink in the US seem to be over the top. We were used to paying US$1-1.50 maybe up to US$2 for a beer and now the price of a beer was like US$6-7 & 8! Cocktails ran from US$15 to $60, yes, I'm serious US$60 for one drink. Considering the price of alcohol is pretty cheap here in the US there was just no rhyme or reason why the price of cocktails is sooo over the top. But this is Miami!
So, our hotel was much nicer than I expected. We had 3 single beds so that was a bit of treat also. Again the price is a shock of the room compared to what we have been paying the last 4 months is a little hard to get used to, but it will get easier the longer we stay in the US and get used to the prices here.
We have just 3 days / 4 nights here in Miami and I have pre-booked some day tours to do while we are here.
Today we did a 90 minute open top bus tour and 90 minute boat tour. Although these were only actually 3 hours in total, it took the whole day to do them. We were collected at the hotel at 9.45am and it was after 4pm when we finally walked back in the front door of the hotel.
Due to road closures in South Beach because of the long weekend the bus tour was changed slightly and we were driven through Winwood - a suburb where graffiti is legal and most of the building walls are covered with beautiful pictures.
We had a stop in Little Havana which because we had just come from Cuba knew it was nothing like the real Havana. We did learn however that 75% of residents in Miami are Cuban, and going by the neighbour hoods we drove through the Cubans that live here are the rich ones who managed to get out of their home country.
Lunch stop before we continued on the second half of the tour, which was a boat tour of the rich and famous. I tell you there is a LOT of money in Miami!
The weather was beautiful, hot and sunny.
Just after dark we went for a short walk to South Beach, and obviously the crowds had gone home.
DAY 113 MONDAY 29TH MAY
Happy Birthday O!
Today our tour was a bus ride down the Florida Keys where we spent a very hot day in Key West. We were collected at 7.45am and returned after 8.50pm so it was a full and exhausting day, even though most of it was spent sitting in a coach.
I was all excited about tasting a key lime pie, but when we saw them in a bakery and were advised the price was US$36 I quickly lost my appetite for the overpriced dessert.
It was very hot as we walked around, but the town beach still did not look good enough to entice us in. After photos at the most southern point where if we looked hard enough we would be able to see Cuba which was just 90 miles across the water.
DAY 114 TUESDAY 30TH MAY
Our tour today was a trip to a gator park and a short ride on an airboat through the everglades. It was a bit disappointing as the boat was much larger than I imaged and the ride was only about 20 minutes. However, we did see an alligator in the wild and the boat pilot was a bit of a hoon and did spin the airboat out sideways a couple of times.
After the short everglades experience there was a short gator show with a very enthusiastic ranger, who was very paranoid about anyone coming within 3 feet of the fenced off gators.
For a couple of extra dollars we got to hold a baby gator, with it's mouth taped up. It was not a snake but still a bit cool.
Later in the day we went for a walk along the famous Ocean Drive, which is lined with overpriced restaurants and bars, which are in Art Deco Style buildings. This street reminded me of Napier in New Zealand which is also full of art deco buildings, but I must say Napier is not so tacky as Ocean Drive.
Along here the drinks were way over our price range so we just walked the length of the street, saw a few 'beautiful people' and a couple of fancy cars and then headed back to our hotel stopping at Subway for dinner. Anyone who knows me well enough would know I would usually boycott Subway at all costs, but it seems this is the only place we can afford to eat at in South Beach, so a crappy sandwich is a crappy sandwich.
So that was our few days in Miami. Weather was hot and sunny. Tomorrow we fly to New Orleans.