|Jane Bailey and family explore South Beach|
|Exploring South Beach with the Baileys|
The Baileys (the British family from the cruise ship) had most of the day to spend in Miami before their flight back to the U.K., so we suggested they store their luggage in our hotel room while they roamed and explored the area. You have to understand that Anne had cancelled and rebooked our Essex House three times to get a better rate. (Obviously, the hotel already knew we were cheap.) When we checked in with the Baileys (and all their luggage), the hotel staff probably thought we were taking in boarders -- or, at the very least, charging them a storage fee for their luggage! At any rate, we shared an afternoon of laughter with this fun family.
|Art Deco dominates the South Beach area|
We took an Art Deco walking tour to learn more about this intriguing architectural style that incorporates a basic nautical look (portholes, waves, fountains, etc.) with Egyptian and Mayan motifs. It turned out that our hotel was a stopping point on the tour, and a perfect example of classic Art Deco.
|Versace Mansion where Gianni Versace was murdered|
In many ways, South Beach is a typical beach town loaded with hotels, fun restaurants, shops, and lively nightlife. However, now that we had a better appreciation for the architecture, we could see that the Art Deco style really sets this town apart. That plus an undercurrent of something that feels dangerous (or maybe we have just watched too many episodes of CSI: Miami and Miami Vice!).
|Gloria Estefan's Hotel (The Gardoza Hotel)|
|Winterhaven Hotel where Al Capone used to spend his winters|
We had an uneventful flight home -- that is if you don’t count the loudmouth punk kid who was kicked off the plane in Miami for bad boisterous behavior, and the passenger who required a doctor’s care during the flight! At any rate, it’s good to be back home again.
|Bayside Marketplace and Marina|