16 May 09 - Miami, Florida
Bienvenido a Miami. Welcome to Miami. The home of boobs, breasts and bosoms (and botox and big lips and the beach)!! Even the store mannequins have double-Ds which would rival Pammy's! What a crazy kaleidoscope of people inhabit this OTT city! A perfect place to sit back, relax and catch up with a couple of our favourite people, Al and Aly (aka The A-Team).
So, like every great beach holiday, we are all siesta-ing on a splendid Miami afternoon in the beautiful apartment near South Beach (or 'SoBe' as Aly told me it is affectionately called) that The A-Team have so kindly let us crash in (thanks again, guys!). It is just perfect! The boys need their rest - they are getting inked again very soon! But first, let me go back to the beginning…
Tim and I arrived here, secretly, three days ago. Of course, Al and Aly thought we wouldn't be arriving until a day later. Anyway, as many good surprise visits go, they involve a bit of waiting around. When we arrived at the apartment, the reception lady told us that they weren't in their room, but, if we wanted, she would let us wait up there for them. We were a bit bummed that we couldn't surprise them straight away, but we figured they wouldn't be too long, so up we went. After an hour of waiting (which involved us sitting by the window and staring at every single person that came walking past to see if it were them), we started getting a little antsy. Even the 1001 channels on the TV couldn't keep us occupied; or our tummies fed. After 3 hours, by which time which I started making up songs and dances and just going plain kooky, we decided we needed some food. To reception's delight (Im sure) we asked them to order us a couple of burgers and fries, which we waited in the lobby to collect, all the while thinking that maybe, just maybe, we would see Al and Aly stroll in. But no.
After 4 and a half hours, I let out a massive scream that I had seen them on the corner with their towels and that they were heading back. Ah, they had been at the beach all day! Tim and I assumed our positions in the corridor ready to surprise them as they opened the door…only, they never came up. We kept listening out for the lift to 'ding' but no. Nothing. We must have looked so funny giggling to ourselves and hiding behind the wall eagerly waiting to jump out. How sad.
Feeling dejected and just downright bored, we returned to the window and kept a look out once more. THEN, about 15 minutes later, there they were! Their towels were no longer in tow and in their place were shopping bags! Ok - they had gone to get some groceries. Once again, Tim and I took our places and got excited all over again. The unmistakable 'ding' went off and then, finally, in they came! "SURPRISE!!!!" It was fabulous! The initial look of shock turned to squeals (mainly just Aly squealed) and we all hugged and jumped around not knowing what else to do. It was really special and lots of fun.
So, there we were. Happy and far too excited about catching up and consuming some alcoholic beverages to rest or do anything else, so we went out for drinks and got our first taste of the expensiveness and pretentiousness that is Miami. Even a stop at Mongo's for a dance was an experience, being told that we couldn't stand in the club listening to the music unless we had a new drink in our hand every new song. Excuse me? The only way I'm keeping up with that rule is if I'm downing shots and it's way to early for that. So, in rebellion of that pathetic rule, I just didn't drink (Id already had a few cocktails before and anything but beer at this place was seriously testing the budget) and Aly sipped her beer for over four or so songs. Hah! Even the boys weren't drinking fast enough to keep up with the so-called rule. The place ended up playing some salsa-esque music much to the delight of some 40-plus somethings who had come dressed like hookers shaking their thang and trying to score. It was very bizarre but so funny to watch and we all had a great laugh.
The next day after a delicious sleep-in and some peanut butter M&Ms, we went to Jerry's Famous Diner for lunch. With its huge menu, literally, you could essentially order anything you could possibly want. With our tummies full, we did what we came here to do. Relax. We plonked ourselves down on SoBe and lazed the day away. It was complete bliss and the perfect places to people-watch. I don't want to be harsh, but there are so many freaks living in this city. Whether it was a pacing 70 year-old 'gentleman' in a G-string, a crazy musician who giggled to herself whilst she changed into her swimming outfit (some rather strange white fishnet tights - what the…??!!) or the group of African American girls who came dolled up from head to toe, bling and all, with their LVs and Fendis in hand (but didn't find it necessary to set foot in the water, of course - they were awesome!), we saw it all. But I wouldn't dare change it. It's what makes Miami so…special. And its what gave us so much entertainment all day. A quick word about the water: it was the warmest water I had ever swum in, hands down. It was warm to the point that you needed time out of it to cool off. It was fabulous.
There was no better to way to end this perfect day (and it indeed was) than with oysters, cocktails and Cubans at the Crab Shack…and some wine and a bottle of rum back at the apartment (note: the bottle of rum was drunk solely by the boys and finished, may I say. They were very merry. Very, very merry.)
The boys' birthday is soon approaching - four days from now! And with their fabulous mum's instructions to organise a day's outing as an early birthday present, Aly was quick on the task and arranged for us all to go on a jet skiing tour of the star's homes. It was so great and a real treat. The boys were generous enough to even give us gals some steering-time. Some of the houses were just plain ridiculous, like Ozzy Osborne's gothic castle complete with robotic shark in the font yard's pond. It's yet to be finished, apparently. The 'best-taste' award goes to Anna Kournikova for her gorgeous ivy-covered, Mediterranean style pad. Whilst, the 'biggest' honour go to Mr Viagra - its not surprising, is it? He even bought the block next to the one on which his home is built just to make a carpark for all his guests. Topping $100 million dollars, it's the largest and most expensive home on the water. Gotta love those pharmaceutical companies (sorry Jess - but I know you're out of that business now anyways! Haha). (p.s. thank you, Jeanette for a wonderful day). That night, we continued our birthday celebrations at a nearby sushi joint, which was very welcomed - we have been craving some Japanese fare since we left home!
We have taken it pretty easy today. We strolled up and down Lincoln Road this morning, ducking into a few stores to find the perfect bridesmaid's dress for the A-Team's wedding, which Im sure was super exciting for the boys. No luck, though. After lunch we took a leisurely stroll past SoBe and then back past Versace's former home where he was shot dead (its sickening to me that this is now a restaurant, which also gives tours of his home for a ridiculous price) and then finished the afternoon off with cocktails at The Tides. I had been eyeing this place off ever since we walked past it on the first night, just wishing we could stop and just pretend for a moment, that we were a part of the A-list. Its flash beyond words, but we wanted to treat ourselves, seeing as it was our last afternoon in this crazy place. So we did. Sipping our delicious drinks, I couldn't help but hear that Hungry Jack's commercial in the back of mind - "oooo, I feel like Im part of the 'in' crowd".
As stated above, the boys are getting inked again. Ala is getting the Libra constellation (Aly's birth sign) on his back and Tim is getting his Demon finished. After that? Well, we're not sure yet, but I'm sure it'll involve some food and drinks somewhere. And no, if you're wondering, they are not going to Miami Ink to get the work done. The place wanted $500US just to sit down and don't even think you've got a chance of getting worked on by one of the famous guys - you'll have to hand over a lot more than that!
Sadly, tonight is our last night here and we are off to Mexico tomorrow. Yep, we are still going. The hype about this swine flu is just that, we think - hype. Our friend, Ricardo who lives in Mexico City says things are fine and that it has simply been blown out of proportion. Well, we will see. Aly was gorgeous enough to organise some Tamiflu for us, so we have started taking it as a preventative measure. We will be FINE! Adios!