Travel: Miami

Like last winter, I jetted off to Miami to get a break from the cold and snow. But this time, I was meeting Clara. Clara and I had been talking and practicing Spanish online for 6 or 7 months and decided to spend a week together in Miami.

The first few days went well. We got a lot of sightseeing in, starting with driving out to beautiful Key Biscayne and spending the afternoon on the beach.

The next day we drove around Miami and visited Calle Ocho and Little Havana. We stopped by a cigar making shop and watched a guy rolling Cuban style cigars from tobacco leaves. I didn’t know this but cigars are a little like wine, they have to age a while before they are ready. The guys there said they usually age for 30 days before they are ready to be smoked. Finally, we capped the day with an authentic Cuban lunch at El Pub.

Later in the day, we had an appointment to visit the Telemundo studios. We got a tour of some TV sets, met a couple soap actors and watched a soap opera scene being taped live. It’s pretty cool to be able to see the shows on Telemundo now and say that I’ve stood on that set.

Clara at the BB&T Center

The next day we drove up to Sunrise and watched the Florida Panthers play the Nashville Predators. The arena was one of the nicer ones I’ve been to. And to make the vacation really good, the Predators beat the Panthers in an exciting game.

Me at South Miami Hospital

Now we get to where trouble happened. The following day I woke up not feeling well but we eventually got out of the hotel and went to South Beach. We spent the afternoon walking around the South Beach neighborhood, seeing all the art deco hotels and then finally lounging on the beach the rest of the day.

After we got back to the hotel, I started feeling worse. Long story short, I spent the rest of our vacation in the hospital with kidney stones and an emergency procedure before being allowed to fly back home. What luck.

Not the best end to a vacation but this trip was when I started to fall in love with Miami. Thoughts of relocating here permanently started to pop into my head on nearly a daily basis.