Miami: For the Hispanics & Urban Metropolis

miami florida travel blogging travel dejavu

Miami suntan & shopping: Wayfarer’s equatorial paradise

 

In my 18th birthday, my sister presented me with a trip to Miami. As my passport was about to expire and you’re not allowed in the US with a passport with less than 6 months of validity, we delayed our trip. Two years later, in the week of my 20th birthday, we were finally going to Miami.

We went via Madrid and the adventure began right in Porto, when our flight to Madrid was with a delay of 1h30 so we were worried we wouldn’t catch the flight to Miami. We arrived at 3:30pm, local time in Madrid and the flight to Miami was scheduled to 4:30pm and the boarding started at 3:50pm. As soon as the doors of the airplane opened, we started running but it didn’t matter because we still had a bus to catch to the terminal and we had a 30min walk to our gate. When we finally arrived at the gate, they were already calling us for the last time and we were the last ones boarding.

The flight was 10 hours long and I fell asleep twice but it didn’t last more than 5 minutes because some annoying guy who had traveled with us since Porto thought it was nice of him to wish a good flight whenever he passed by. After that I couldn’t sleep due to the excitement you feel whenever you travel to a new place. I was constantly looking at my screen seeing how far we had traveled, the miles we still had to go, how much time was left but it seemed like we were stuck in the same place and that time had stopped. When we finally arrived in Miami, I was concerned about my luggage. I didn’t know if 1 hour was enough to send from one plane to another so when I saw it, I admit, I jumped like a crazy kid who was given her favorite toy.

hotel miami florida travel dejavu

I should’ve known people in Miami speak both English and Spanish due to its location (it’s near the Caribbean and even Mexico where Spanish is the mother tongue) so I got surprised when many security and police said they only spoke Spanish. Since my sister is fluent in Spanish and I’m better speaking English, we didn’t have trouble asking for tips. When we arrived at our hotel, The Shore Club in Miami Beach, we left our luggage and went sightseeing. We strolled by Collins Avenue, excited and saying “OMG, I can’t believe we are actually here”. We walked 5 blocks when fatigue and sleep invaded us.

The next day, we woke up early. We went to the concierge and then we left to have breakfast. After that, we had to catch one of those Hop On Hop Off Buses and went sightseeing Miami Beach. In Miami Beach is located the Art Deco District, the Holocaust Memorial and the most fancy hotels. There’s also Oceans Drive and Lincoln Road, the most popular streets in Miami Beach with lots of restaurants and night life.

hardrock cafe miami florida travel blogging travel dejavu

The bus stopped at BaySide, near the Port of Miami. There you have the Hard Rock Cafe, the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, surrounded by the sea and near the BaySide you have the American Airlines Arena. I wish I had seen a basketball game but all NBA games were either in the day I’d leave or in other cities. We caught another bus and went visit the historic city of Miami.

miami design district travel dejavu
In this loop, you have Miami Design District, with all designers’ stores and architecture, Midtown which became the new Downtown Miami and Wynwood. Wynwood is the most beautiful area of Upper Miami. In every block, in every corner, you have amazing paintings worth seeing. Everything in this area is about art. You even have Wynwood Walls.

wynwood miami florida travel dejavu

Some kind of open air museum with painted walls and doors. So I seriously recommend to visit Wynwood on foot because it’s the only way you have to discover all the little but amazing things there to see. We went back to the hotel and enjoyed the beach, white sand and turquoise blue sea. At night, we had dinner in Oceans Drive and enjoyed the music.

The next day, my birthday, we went to the best districts of Miami: Coconut Grove, Coral Gables and Little Havana. In Coconut Grove, you have the Coco Walk and the avenues to stroll by a little while. In Coral Gables, the millionaire district, you have the

coconut grove miami florida travel dejavu

Biltmore Hotel and the Venetian Pool. In Little Havana you have a walking tour to know the area and experience like a real Cuban. When we returned, we decided to explore Lincoln Road and I was eager to find Ralph Lauren’s daughter candy shop. It is known as Dylan’s Candy Bar and it’s considered the Chocolate Factory of the U.S. with all kinds of chocolate (Red Velvet, Bacon, Birthday Cake, Pretzels) and gums. Here I had one of the most awkward yet funny situations of my trip. The cashier, a guy not much older than me, began flirting. At first I felt bothered but then it became amusing because he was trying really hard to make an impression. So he first offered me a bag of candies and in exchange for my number he’d make a discount. Now I feel bad because he made me the discount but never got my number!!  😆

On our third day, we rent a car and went on a road trip to Key West. The landscape is truly worth seeing and probably the one thing that makes this trip magical. The route to Key West was built over the sea and you drive through the Mexican Gulf and many islands, all known as Keys. On our way we stopped at Islamorada and Sugarloaf Key. I recommend you to visit these Keys because you have a completely different view from the ones during the route. In Key West, I should visit the Sunset Pier and the main avenue. It’s a picturesque avenue with a typical architecture of coastal cities. And everything is adequate. Even the Hard Rock Cafe and Starbucks Coffee have an architecture that matches the rest of the avenue. Key West is the Southernmost Point in the U.S. and you have a monument pointing that. You also have two beaches that are considered the best ones in South Florida. In my opinion, Miami Beach is better but the funny thing about these is that you walk miles and miles and the sea level is always the same. On your way back to Miami, drive slowly because you have hidden but marvelous places to enjoy the sea and take incredible pictures.

On our final days, we went to the Everglades and Sawgrass Mills. The Everglades were really surprising. I always thought it was a natural reservation but never thought that Indian tribes have lived there. So the first half of our trip consisted in visiting the Miccosukee Village and the alligator show. The second half was the airboat. I learnt a lot about alligators and the Indian tribes.

everglades miami florida travel dejavu
What fascinated me the most was realizing Indians were equally or more evolved than us even though they don’t have access to many technologies as we do. Furthermore, we were told some tribes raise alligators as some kind of pet because they keep other alligators off the territory except their family.

About Sawgrass Mills… Well, I warn you… You need at least one day to explore the outlet and you should take your luggage with you because you’ll be leaving it with a lot of bags!!!!  😀

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Ana Ascenção

Living in Oporto, Portugal. Med student. Globetrotter and wanderer. Check my travel Instagram: girlgoneinternational_

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