WHERE & WHEN: Miami and south Florida
WHERE DID WE STAY? Hotel Circa 39 in south beach. This was more or less a free stay, so no complaints. A trip “won” by slightly fraudulent means.
BEST MEAL? Mojitos on Collins avenue. Does that count? If not, chocolate-covered Key Lime Pie on a stick in Key West.
WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS: Half-naked sun-worshipers showing off on Ocean Ave (on foot or in ridiculously jacked SUVs). Locals and tourists alike. I’ve never seen so much ass in my life.
NATURAL HIGH: Everglades wetlands, including alligator sightings (too-close for my mother’s comfort). Also, the gorgeous drive to Key West along sapphire coasts.
BIZARRO MOMENT: Hearing the roar of a giant cruise-ship in Key West beckoning hordes of passengers home. Being greeted in Spanish first, most of the time.
HOW COULD THERE POSSIBLY BE SO MANY: Dark-skinned white people.
DON’T MISS: Miami Art Museum in downtown Cultural Centre Plaza with excellent contemporary exhibits; Opa-Locka City Hall, affectionately called “little Baghdad” for its architecture.
RISKIEST MOMENT: Playing an ill-advised game of “roll down Ken’s car window” when passing by groups of thugs in little Haiti (courtesy of Ken’s co-workers Bill and John).
EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS? Most definitely. We had low expectations of Florida, home of the world’s retirees and retro tack.

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