South Florida is a special place, and Miami is its capital. But everything here – from culture to fashion and food – seems to revolve around one location: South Beach. And a major event like New Year’s Eve only makes it all more interesting.
After a hectic morning and afternoon, things finally settled down yesterday as we moved to another hotel. The place we slept Saturday night turned out to have some serious issues with cleanliness (that’s putting it mildly), so we left after managing to snag one of the only hotel rooms left in South Beach on New Year’s Eve, the Avalon on Ocean Drive. It’s very, very clean here, which pleases me to no end! 😀
Last night we met up with our neighbors from Washington (they have a condo here) and their friends from Scotland to celebrate the stroke of midnight. Needless to say, Miami Beach can move at a frenetic pace on a night like December 31, and it took us a while to find a place to eat. Throngs of people mobbed the restaurant where we made a 9 p.m. reservation, and after standing at the front door for 20 minutes and overhearing people saying they had been waiting for two hours for their own reservations, we left. Luckily, we found a great spot on Ocean Drive where we enjoyed good food, great company and spectacular people watching.
In the course of one evening, I witnessed every emotional state that humans are capable of, from rampant joy to pride, impatience, drunken anger and even fear.
(We were walking on the sidewalk at about 1 a.m. this morning when a taxicab full of drag queens hit the back of an SUV. The drag queens scattered with amazing efficiency, considering they were in 6” heels, but not before getting in a shouting match with the somewhat intoxicated passenger of the SUV. The cab driver remained mostly silent, while nearby, the passengers of another car that may have been involved in the collision pulled over and started pouring out the alcohol they had in the car while their friend peed on the sidewalk. Add in the fact that it all happened next to the grocery store where my friends spotted Queen Latifah earlier in the day and I’m pretty sure it was a classic Miami Beach moment, and, thankfully, no one was injured, though the tall drag queen’s wig was a little off kilter as she scurried out of the backseat.)
One thing that Shawn noticed yesterday is how nice people are in South Beach. And I have to agree that people are pretty relaxed. I’m looking forward to having some of that rub off on me today.
Shawn’s family flies in this evening, and then we all ship out tomorrow afternoon. Until then, I’ll keep my eyes open, because this place really is the prime location for people watching.