We took our time in the morning and woke up slowly. After showers we decided that we should start the day with coffee, obviously. We looked up coffee shops in the area and found one near the grocery store. We started walking and were immediately feeling the intense heat of the day. It was about a ten minute walk until we stepped into the Art Cafe. We each ordered a breakfast sandwich and a chocolate croissant. Rob got an iced coffee and I ordered an iced mocha. Everything was delicious and left us satisfied. We stopped at Winn-Dixie on our way back to the apartment and picked up bacon, eggs, coffee, and trail mix for the next couple of days. We planned to cook breakfast the remainder of the vacation but buy lunch and dinner while we were out exploring. The walk back to the apartment was quick in the hot sun. The air conditioning was a welcome reprieve as we dropped off the groceries before setting back out.
Before we left again, we put on plenty of sunscreen and packed towels and a few other items. We opted to walk to the beach, because it was pretty close. We were about halfway when we began to regret that decision. We felt like we were melting into the pavement it was so hot! We were used to the constant breeze in Aruba, which was non-existent in Sunny Isles. So although the temperature was approximately the same, we just couldn't stay cool.
Finally at the beach at Haulover Park, we found a spot to set down our belongings and all of our clothes, and went straight into the water. Though the water was warm, it was bliss. We paddled around and just generally enjoyed the relaxation of floating around with nothing at all to do all day. After a while, we decided to take back to the sand, and work on getting rid of some tan lines. We lasted a whole 15 minutes, at best, before we had to get back in the water. The heat was just so intense! The tide had gone out a bit since our arrival, and we saw a few other people far out from the shore, clearly standing. So we made our way out to the "Swim Area" marker, just because. We could walk most of the way there, about 100ft from the shoreline. We loved the beautiful sandy bottom and the crystal clear-blue waters here.
After getting out and back in the water another round, we finally decided to check out some more of the area. We made our way to the showers to wash off the salt and sand, and put our clothes back on. Then we walked down the sidewalk through the park, southbound. We stole into the shade whenever we could find it. Eventually, we made it to a large parking lot that had a bus stop, and we agreed it would be much better to take a ride. Our pace was quite slow on foot. Plus, the bus had air conditioning. Bonus! We got on just in time, because it started to rain pretty heavy once the bus started rolling towards South Beach. So lucky.
We rode the bus down to about the 20-streets by the time it stopped raining. We hopped off and checked out what was nearby to satisfy our newly-developed hunger. At 16th Street, we found the Liquor Lounge, which had seats outside, but under a roof, which was exactly what we were in the mood for. In case more rains came, we'd be covered, but we got to people-watch. We ordered a round of drinks and a pizza to split. I got a mojito. My favorite! There was a two-for-one on Long Island Iced Tea, so I got one, then another. They hit the spot, and then some. The pizza was better than we'd hoped for, so that was a nice surprise, too!
After lunch, we wandered around a bit, just looking at all the sights and fancy cars. Bentleys and Rolls-Royces became mundane, there were so many of them around. Eventually, we hailed a ride through Uber to take us to the mainland for our next meal. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to us before we began this leg of the journey, there was construction on the bridge. This caused a huge amount of traffic. So we were averaging about a city block per 10 minutes or so. Our driver spoke only very limited English, so I tried my best to communicate with him in Spanish, but I'm a little rusty. So we couldn't say much. But he was very friendly, and he tried his best. Eventually, we broke through to the other side of the bridg. From there, it was smooth sailing into the heart of Little Havana.
He dropped us off and we said our thanks. We walked around a couple blocks trying to find a good spot to grab a seat for some food. We found El Pub Restaurant and grabbed a table under the awning on the sidewalk. A few minutes later, we noticed some extremely dark clouds rolling in fast. The skies opened up again and dumped so much rain. It was a really impressive storm, and it brought a very welcome cooling effect. We watched from the shelter of the restaurant while we sipped sangria and patiently waited our much anticipated Cubano sandwiches. This was the main event of the trip, in a way. When we saw that return flights from Aruba to Boston had a layover in Miami, we decided to do an extended layover so we could get Cubans.
The Cubano sandwiches were tasty but not quite as delicious as we anticipated. They were pretty good, but didn't blow my head off. The ingredients were great but the bread that was used could have been better. We enjoyed our meal while watching the intense rain storm. We were happy that we chose one of the tables further undercover as we had contemplated sitting right next to the sidewalk. Once we were finished eating we waited for a break in the rain storm to continue walking down Calle Ocho and explore more of Little Havana. We stumbled upon La Colada that specializes in Cuban coffees. I ordered a capablanca. I ordered a tres leches. Our coffees each came with little cookie. I highly recommend checking out this coffee shop if you are in the area. Everything was so delicious and the owners were very friendly and chatty.
After our coffees we began walking again towards the heart of Miami. We didn't really have a destination in mind but were just planning to see where our feet took us. It was still drizzling outside but eventually the rain started to pick up a bit. At this point we decided to call it a day and get an Uber to take us home. We relaxed for a bit on our balcony until the coffee buzz wore off and we drifted off to sleep.
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.