July 4 fell on a Wednesday this year, so we (naturally) took Thursday and Friday off too. After suffering through a really gross heatwave that had taken over NYC for x2+ weeks straight we were off to the beach to get the right kind of sunshine. Wednesday we landed at Miami International Airport and picked up our Mustang (Sally) convertible and checked out Little Havana. Holiday happiness struck when our cocktails arrived and lasted for the next five days.
Thursday we started our four hour drive from Miami to Key West. Our first stop was at the Coopertown Air Boats where we were doing burnouts on the everglades before stopping to spot some alligators (which were surprisingly super chill). After this, it was back in the Mustang to continue our journey. Next stop was at the first island, Key Largo, for some lunch by the water. After that it it was straight through to Key West, driving through Tavernier, Islamorada, Layton, Marathon, Big Pine Key, Summerland Key Cudjoe Key, Sugarloaf Key, Boca Chica Key (my favourite) and Stock Island. Driving down the Seven Mile Bridge was a highlight – driving on one strip of road, with the ocean surrounding you.
Key West was quaint with lots of chickens and roosters roaming the streets. We checked out the Southernmost Point in the USA and Ernest Hemingway’s house (with the cats that have 6 toes on every foot), had some great seafood and cocktails and stayed in a really gorgeous boutique hotel.
Friday was a gorgeous blue-sky day and after having as many coconuts as we could, we packed up and started the drive back to Miami. On the way to returning Sally we stopped at a place called 1800 Lucky – it’s described as “Miami’s First Ever Food Hall” (groundbreaking) but we’d probably call it something closer to the “Night Noodle Markets” in Melbourne. After this, we took a walk down to South Beach to check out the nightlife (it was packed, being the 4th July) and watched the fireworks on the beach.
We were staying at the Palms Resort & Spa and decided to take advantage of their delicious home-grown menu (they had a food garden outside where they grow a lot of their own ingredients) before hiring a boat and heading to the Miami Sand Bar. The World Cup was playing on a huge floating TV and they had floating bars and kitchens that would take your order and then deliver the food / drinks via kayak delivery. In the afternoon we headed back to the resort for some more holiday cocktails and then we had the tough decision of whether we’d lie by the pool or lie on the beach. We decided to stay by the pool that afternoon and keep the beach for Sunday.
Sunday was our beach day and it was magic. We were well sunkissed by the time we had to packup and head to the airport on Sunday night. The last photo is a pic of an ice-cream vending machine at Miami International Airport. cos #Murica.