Magic City - Miami

So...Almost the end of my American trip account... I must mention that Miami was indeed the closest American city that reminded me of home in India all thanks to the scorching sun, the drenching humidity, the salty sea spray, the colourful houses... It's just like summer in Vizag. Also, what does Miami have to offer apart from the trademark Miami experience of the golden beaches, the deep blue sea, the tiny glimpse into the lives of the rich and mighty (hint: JLo), and lots and lots and lots of SUN (God, I missed you!)? Possibly the best coffee in the world!!! I swear I'm in love with Cuban coffee... Sweet, creamy, aromatic, DELICIOUS!

South Beach
Anyway, coming back to my American diaries... Last place I checked out from was the beautiful Golden Gate city of San Francisco. The last day, as I mentioned in my post, was spent with my best friend at downtown (one of the crappiest places in S.F. mind you). Not sure why we chose this part of the city out of all the amazing points we could go to, but we did anyway, and true as they say, it's the company that matters, it sure didn't make a difference we were in such a shady area. We had an inexplicably great time catching up on old times, drinking coffee, snitching-bitching (that's what bffs are for), laughing all the way... The last time I had seen her was during her wedding in 2012... So yeah, we had a lot to share and make up for the 3.5 long years of gap. 5 hours went by in a blink of an eye... Well, the time to say good bye comes eventually... And so was it the time to say good bye to my bff as well as S.F. for now... We took the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) underground subway service, that was the fastest means to get to the San Francisco international Airport and cheap as chips.

Once at the Airport, I waited for my flight back to my first port of entry, Miami, via Vegas. Okay, not expecting anything nice ever happening to me again, I have decided to just go with the flow now... So,I got to Vegas fine (also made a new friend along the way), but the flight from Las Vegas to Miami was missed... Like mishaps never left my comfortable sides, it struck again... You may call it destiny, or just my misadventurous luck... The terminals were needed to be changed, the shuttle was needed to be caught, the bags were needed to be picked up at one terminal and dropped off at The other, all the while with a horrendously long TSA queue that needed to be crossed. So, in all, my 2 hours layover fell short. I made it to the right terminal a little too late as the desk refused to take my bag, they have a strict 45 mins deadline policy, and I was late by 15 mins... The lady at the desk told me that I would need to call up and rebook a new ticket and that I couldn't possibly make it even if I made a run for it.  She gave me my boarding pass, but since didn't accept my bag, I couldn't see how the security would let me in. Neither could they send my luggage over later as they are not allowed to part the passengers with their luggages, there were no vacant seats available on any other flights leaving for Miami that night, and the next available flight was in 19-20 hours for which I may need to rebook and repurchase a ticket... Golly! What to do now?!? Well, I tried my luck anyway, took my boarding pass, walked up to the TSA, but seeing that they would not even let me in, I returned to the counter area, sat down on a chair, and took a deep breath. I started looking up for the next flight instead, but the prices were tear-jerking 😂 lol... So in the end, feeling a little defeated, I went back to the Frontier counter with the hopes that they may be able to give me an advice, if not a solution. The funny thing is that I was really calm all the while, it really impressed me that I had not yet flipped out or lost my cool. Seeing me return the lady at the desk smugly said, "I told you so!" in her charming black-woman fashion (I gotta say, it's honestly really charming). I very politely told her that I didn't even bother getting through the TSA but I wondered if there was any other option she could check for me, or the next flight available with Frontiers. There wasn't any reason why I wanted to fly with them only, it's just a little easier to get things done during such situations as you already are their customer and they feel a small sense of responsibility and service towards you. And God bless them as they were really helpful since the main supervisor changed my tickets to the next available one at NO EXTRA COST!

Now, it did come with a catch, I had to wait a whole extra day now, which meant that I had to spend a night at Vegas, and spend another 10 hours in Denver the next night so that I reach Miami about 15 hours after my departure from Vegas. Huff... Fun fun... Well, although it was for the next day, at least I didn't have to pay extra or for a whole new flight, and I got another day in Vegas baby 😉

However, I did need to sleep somewhere. So I looked up cheap hotels and found a very good deal on Now, generally hotels can be cheap if you book in advance, or expensive if you just turn up and demand a room. I went online and looked for my best option and Lo! I got a room right by the Strip at a nice little hotel, Super 8, for 80% discount at just $45 a night, with complimentary breakfast and airport shuttle service. No kidding! Much better than booking a whole new flight for 100s of dollars. And so, I got to the hotel for some decent shut eye.

Next day, I had more than 6 hours to spare between the time I got up, showered, had breakfast, packed up, checked out, and the time I needed to get my shuttle to the Airport. So, what did I do? Went on yet another tour of the Vegas Strip obviously... Boy will I miss this crazy place... From here on, my trip has been all relaxed and smooth... Well, mostly... The worst was over ha ha. At Denver, I had the luxury of choosing a corner, a seat or a small patch from the vast Airport floor to sleep on. I really didn't know how the night was going to fare...

Until a wanderer came and asked me if the gate I was sitting at was the gate to S.F. I wasn't sure so I asked him to refer to the information board instead, confirming that it was, he sat right down on the floor next to me. A middle aged man with unkempt beard and long mane. He seemed a little different, kind of eccentric to be honest, or perhaps drunk. He took his coat and shoes off, lying on the floor very nonchalantly.  He was easy at chatting. At first I wasn't very keen on making small talks with a stranger, especially when we were stranded in the middle of the night at a very sparsely populated Airport with very few security and airport personals patrolling. I found his too curious and at times invasive. He asked me many questions, precautiously I answered politely to all his questions, but slowly I warmed up to him, since he is was actually very interesting to talk to. And we spoke more and more and eventually chatted the whole night away even though it was apparent we were desperately fighting the urge to fall asleep. Turns out, he is the New York Times bestselling Brooklyn based author of the book "December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died", Keith Elliot Greenberg, also the producer of the world-wide famous TV show "America's most wanted". Such a down to earth man of such high esteems. How a man of such calibre was so easy to talk to was beyond me... Quite remarkable! We spoke of many things, including life and the universe, sharing views on politics, philosophy, even some of our life experiences. Turned out, we are quite alike in our common interests. He writes about criminals and interviews them, which is such thrill-read for me. I was more than enthralled by his accounts of the interviews, his experiences, his stories... Boy am I glad I missed that flight from Vegas the night before ha ha! We are still in touch occasionally via facebook, which truely is both a pleasure and an honour to have. We finally got some sleep at 5 in the morning (LOL), Keith was immobile on the floor, while I was dribbling on my seat senseless XD. In the morning, the gate was starting to get busy, and at about 6:35AM he bid farewell when his time came to leave (which was a good 3.5 hours before mine). I slept through a whole take off in the background, I was that tired. And so, here ends my very own celebrity encounter :)

Next came the vibrant city of Miami... Honestly, there is nothing about Miami more enticing than the South beach, the blazing sun all year round, and the fun and colourful, mostly hispanic, culture (Oh! And I also do have a thing for latinos ;p). I must admit, I did get more of the experience during my first entry to the city, at the beginning of my trip, when my host and friend took me to the South Beach, around the main city, and even to an awesome cuban coffee place. The remaining days on my trip in Miami were mostly spent indoors relaxing with 4 beautiful dogs of my host and her housemate. To be honest, I ain't complaining since it was an opportunity for me to finally unwind and rest in the sun after 2 and half weeks of frenzy. Besides, it also rained and my friend was quite busy with homework, test and illness. So yeah, all's SUPER that ends well... On my final day of return, I had the whole day to spare until 7 PM to explore the city around the airport, so I took a bus to the South Beach again for a few more hours of sun before I have to return to the gloomy skies of UK (lol! Partially kidding).... 

Anyway, my accounts of Miami can be summed up in the following pictures...

Welcome to the beach
South beach life ;)


Beach scene
Back of my girl's house
Miami skyline from the south beach
Miami skyline from the south beach
Miami skyline from the south beach
Blue is my favourite colour
Famous Miami colourful look-out hut
South beach hues
Date palms of Miami
Silly americans
When in Miami, Miami Vice (3 pints of strawberry daiquiri and Piña colada... Yummmm)!
Little friend
South beach sand
City of Miami
The lovely colourful guard houses
Funky van by a club
I hope you enjoyed reading my accounts of America... Thank you for the time to share my journey... More such journeys to come, more things to learn, more friends to make... 

Until then,

Here are some beach bums... Me and My beautiful host...