Second on our list was Miami and it came much later in our travel plans. We knew that we wanted to do Cuba and we wanted a long holiday, but did not want to spend the three weeks we had in one country. So Mexico came next as an option. When we were looking for flights we came across Geneva – Cancun for 300 CHF so we instantly took it. Havana – Geneva came immediately after. It took us another two months until we had time again to focus on our transportation between Mexico and Cuba.
Because of art deco, Dan really wanted to go to Miami so we added three nights in Miami as a connection between Mexico and Cuba. We found an old hotel in South Beach, The Clay Hotel, quite charming and full of history. We even saw the hotel in many design books about Miami and felt good to be in there. It is not the most modern as it has been there for a while, but it is well positioned and quite close to the beach. Really bad, practically nonexistent breakfast though – I would advise against taking it. Situated in between a Mexican and a Cuban restaurant, we saw the hotel as a sign that this was the perfect middle point of our trip.
Miami is huge and spread a lot which is not a feature I particularly like about cities in general. The South Beach area is nice, but extremely touristy and people bug you on the streets to go to their restaurant. I did not find this very appealing and it was also quite annoying to walk on the sidewalk with all the restaurants. We watched a few food documentaries and found a really nice ceviche place called My Ceviche. It wasn’t better than the ones in Mexico, but both the ceviche and the tacos were good. To be honest, you can’t really have much else in Miami, but a lot of tacos, hamburgers or steaks. Food is something I really don’t like in the US. It is not particularly tasty and feels like it is always the same in the end. And coffee sucks.
Architecture is beautiful. The city has a charm of its own with all the art deco buildings around and gives you a feeling of calm grandeur. Colours are pale and display a range of pink, blue, green, turquoise, yellow and even purple colours. The sea is also nice and has quite a wide beach side so you are not too close to your neighbour. We were talking and dreaming a lot about how to decorate and redecorate and tried to imagine stories of these glorious times.
The part I like the most in Miami was Wynwood with all its colourful walls. The area is famous for these walls and the many art galleries it displays. You should go there after 11am as they don’t open before. We walked for many hours and entered in lots of galleries. We felt very inspired and returned from there with many ideas and plans for next projects. We walked for 20 minutes or so until the design district, where all luxury brands have a shop. We returned to South Beach with an Uber and what is cool in Miami is that they have a version to share, where you can share a car with other people and it gets really cheap.
We have also taken a day to visit the Everglades to see alligators in their own environment. The trip until there lasted around 45 minutes and we got the chance to see pretty much the whole Miami while travelling there in an organised tour. We then spent an hour on a boat in the Everglades to look for alligators. Apart from the 5 or 6 alligators we were lucky to see, we have seen lots of beautiful birds and iguanas. I think it is worth going there for a visit, especially if you have seen any of the Gator Shows on TV. Spectacular!
We did not have much more time for anything else and the weather was quite bad. After Mexico, Miami felt super cold and we even had occasional rain. Local people told us we were actually extremely lucky with the weather. Had we flown there from Switzerland, I might have thought so too. We did not party in Miami and I don’t really regret it. We enjoyed the city differently, and I must say, it is not necessarily a destination where I would like to go again soon just to visit. Would not mind a business trip there though.
Photos by moi with my phone