We escape the clutches of the Greyhound Miami station and make our way out into the sticky heat of Latino country. First stop, our host Michelle and her crazy dogs Ruby and Milue. Michelle is a very happy, bubbly character with lots of couch surfing stories and she’s a huge fan of Family Guy!
The next morning we experience our first Latin American dining experience. Everyone around us is Cuban and only a couple of waitresses can speak English… the Cuban coffee is amazing and our breakfasts only come to $4 each. That’ll do!
Miami Beach – It’s a nice cloudy, windy afternoon so where better to go than Miami Beach? A failed bus journey Downtown and we decide on getting to the beach by taxi. Our host Michelle gave us information about the beach the night before and she told us that the 13th – 15th Street strip of the beach was the gay district. Our Taxi driver parks us up on 5th Street so as soon as we set foot on the sand Ben is revving to have a jog up the strip to his home turf… but even the throng of rainbow flags and “Cooeeeee” is too much for him and we continue onwards until we feel safe to lie down and enjoy the breezy weather. Sand is blowing everywhere as the wind picks up and I’m almost in tears with the dread of getting sand in my precious, precious bandages… but luckily Ben, Ollie and I decide to take shelter down wind from Andrew and all is well again.
Whilst taking in the sound of waves and watching Ben gaze longingly back towards the rainbow flags I spot some type of gull hovering menacingly in the air for some time before suddenly diving straight down into the sea at impressive speed, to arise only seconds later with it’s flapping prize… I couldn’t help but compare this hawk eyed creature to our dear Ollie and his technique for preying on tipsy girls!
Ocean Drive – A long stroll down Ocean Drive, the scent of overpriced fish suppers wafting through the air, we all spot a couple of very large cocktails being served outside a quaint little restaurant.. 10 minutes later and Ollie and I have a pair of 30oz Long Island Ice Tea cocktails laying in front of us. Intelligently Ben thinks to enquire the price of each of these cocktails … $25… The smile on our faces drop in sync with Andrew and Bens arising smiles… beers for them. After 60oz of LIIT I’m feeling pretty hammered! On to the next haunt.
Irish bar – The Playwright - Starving and drunk I’ve lost all sense of decorum and make a bee line for the bars stash of olives and help myself. Ollie, Andrew and Ben shaking their heads at the sight of a ravenous, olive munching Ricky Gervais. I must have bared a great resemblance to a greedy hamster. We decide to hit the pool table and finish off a few beer pitchers.
Kicking out time and I’m about ready to take shelter at the nearest bus stop for a nights sleep. Ollie and Ben are fairing well and our good man Andrew has found himself with Ollie’s newly topped up phone in hand. Half hour later and Andrew is beaming after having a catch up with his American lil darling Leanne. A hail of the taxi and a drunken nap on my part and we find ourselves on Michelle’s doorstep in no time.
We attempt a quiet approach and entrance into the house. Ollie gently inserts the key into the key hole… FAIL! Milue and Ruby spring to life and go crazy! Off to bed to enjoy a good nights sleep… cue Andrew’s fervent decision.
Ben wakes up in the morning to find out the shocking news from Ollie. About 4am Andrew decided to skip Key West and instead go walkabout all the way back to Atlanta to meet Leanne. No worries though, it’s only an 18hr journey on the greyhound and he won’t miss much in Key West…will he?