I was sad to leave but glad to get out of that bloody hostel.
I slept in, hungover and eventually got up went to breakfast at Juice ad Guava as I’d seen the scrambled eggs with goats cheese on the menu a day or tow before and had been craving it ever since! Plus a juice kick for my hangover.
Mae and I lost each other and by the time we found each other it was almost time to leave! We walked back along the beach grabbed my bags and I taxi’d to the airport.
Sooo many people trying to clear security, took an hour, it was ridiculous.
I flew via Minneapolis and had just enough time there to watch the half time show of the Super Bowl!
We took a bus for about 4-5hours to Key West from Miami.
I slept most of the way but woke up for the bridges. There’s 70miles of them and it’s the only place in the world where you have the Atlantic Ocean on your left and the Gulf Ocean on your right. You literally drive across bridges from ocean to ocean, it’s gorgeous.
In Key West we had planned to snorkel but with all the trips out being 3 hours and we only had 5 to explore we decided to hang about and go parasailing instead.
First we went to try one of the specialties of the island, conch fritters. Conch are the snails from the gorgeous shells you find on the beaches that sound like the ocean. They didn’t taste like anytging really. just batter and deep fried fritters. I’d like to have tried them fried simply go get the actual taste. We also had tuna tataki.
Parasailing was awesome! $35 each, plus tips, for a tandem. The guys on the boat were funny and we saw dolphins playing in the bay before we got to the open ocean.
We went got dunked in the ocean then were up in the air the next 15mins. It was stunning, views right over the island at the southernmost tip of the USA, only 90miles from Cuba. The sun was bright and shining and it was gorgeous up there.
On arrival we found a place with .50c oysters! I was in love! We also got a key lime colada. Yum! Lovely staff and great live music.
After that we walked Duval Street, I’ve heard it called the Duval Crawl coz you’re crawling by the time you get to the end of it from having drinks at the pubs that litter the sidewalks.
Down the very end is the southernmost point of the USA. Here you are only 90miles from Cuba and closer to Cuba than to Miami.
Being in Key West we had to try Key Lime pie! Unfortunately being lactose intolerant I could only have a bite but that one bite was delicious!
We had a few cocktails before the bus back, I finished my book. It was fantastic, about a guy with asperges and his struggle to find a wife when the women he was after was under his nose the whole time. It’s called ‘The Rosie Project’ and is written by a Melbourne author who plays on the social awkwardness of the main character.
It was then a rush after we were dropped off to get pretty and ready for the limo to pick us up and transport is to Story.
I was a bit pissed, we’d paid for the limo transfer and entrance with a promo guy (who later asked me out on a date) who had organised a VIP table and drinks. We had to wait for ages for the bottles of Grey to arrive so impatient me went and ordered two shots for $25.
The promo guy showed up and started giving us preferential treatment. I still wanted to leave so eventually he gave up and we grabbed a cab to Ocean Drive and went to line up for Clevelander but we were intercepted and taken to a rooftop party.
We met a lovely guy called Jerry who bought us drinks and I got him hooked on my current fave, Ciroc coconut with fresh lime and soda.
I got called to dance in VIP and met some nice guys. They told me this amazing story which was reinforced by other tales I had heard recently.
In a nutshell, the local girls in Miami will dance and play with the guy then as they go to leave the club together she will ask for money! Mind blown! Evidently a regular occurrence.
So after that one if the funniest events happened. I decided to walk home (read stumble) but of course, I wanted pizza! So I stopped for my pizza, had a great chat with the other customers then BAM!!! I fell. I fell so damn hard. BUT I saved my pizza! Very important. There was a collective gasp as I smashed my knees into the concrete at 4am, but a round of applause as I quickly stood up and proclaimed my pizza safe.
After that I waved down a cab to take me back to the hostel, seemed like a safer option!
End of Topdeck Tour. Today was supposedly day nine on tour but we didn’t actually do anything so I wouldn’t include it.
I slept in and made it just in time to say goodbye to everyone.
After that I checked out and Brendan, Mae and I cabbed to South Beach to check into our hostels.
I stayed at SoBe or South Beach Hostel as I couldn’t get in the one Mae was in. It was only about $100 for four nights and while I’m not really used to a hostel it did the trick. I found it to be a little further away from the action than the South Beach Miami International Hotel but it was just a short cab ride away when it was dark at night.
I have two suggestions:
One, install private lights for each bed. When you come in at night and everyone is asleep it makes things very difficult and a little lamp on each bed would make things sooo much better.
Two, provide better options for holding things in the shower, like in a gym where you can keep you gear in the cubicle with you. Here you had to hang anything outside.
Three, okay so turns out I have three suggestions. Thirdly power points in locked areas would be great or beside the beds so you can charge your phone or other devices at night without the worry of having it ‘go missing.’
That arvo we all went shopping and went for lunch at Yuca.
I randomly found out that my mate, Wes from Straya was in Miami so got in contact with him and he organised the tickets to the Miami Heat game that night!
I tried my first Five Guys burger! Finally! Only been meaning to for about 8 months or so. It was delicious. I ate it in a rush in the dark back seat of the taxi on the way to the game but I was happy.
Heat Game was awesome, they lost but because it was a tight game most of the way through it was an awesome atmosphere even up in the nosebleeds!
Thoroughly recommend going to as many pro sport games as you can if you are travelling in North America, you can’t beat em.
On the way back I found this Great Wall mural for Atlantis Uni. My pics do it no justice but I love the way they utilised the light in the picture.
We taxi’d back and said out goodbyes to Brendan and Wes, then bed for an early night.
Then I went to the Aventure Mall… I didn’t mean to buy anything… But I ended up with:
– exercise bra
– exercise tights
– play suit
– mini skirt
I sunbathed and read until dinner, which was included and was Cuban.. The pork was nice but that was about it.
Back at the hotel it was our last night on tour and we had organised to take the under 21s out to an underage club. Except $56 per taxi x3 later the club was shut and there were no others in the area. Pissed off we taxi’d back to the hotel and had a room party!
I woke up early and headed down the beach to meet my new friend, Jacob and watch the sunrise.
It was spectacular. One of the best things I did on this trip. Gorgeous sunrise and great company. We walked along the beach and sat and chatted for a bit then he had to head to Orlando for uni.
I went back for breakfast and to do my work emails – I’m still kind of on call.
Afterwards we packed up and left early. Stopping at a health food store and an organic cafe (at my suggestion as I wanted an acai bowl) – the Green Room. I had a delicious wrap and couldn’t eat it all!
We drove to Miami and checked into our hotel. Unfortunately it was ages from South Beach.
We went as a tour group into South Beach and ate at Nexxt – amazing!! Gets it’s own blog. In fact I’m going there again for dinner tonight.
After dinner we wandered around but eventually ended up at my old fave, Mango’s and then at Cleveland.
I met some lovely guys in a bucks party from NYC and our whole tour group went back to their condo for drinks and to chill. It was a fun night and congrats to James who gets married today!
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