Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Florida Trip - Day 2: Key West

Day 3 - I woke up in Key West. :)

Same as the second day, I woke up with the excitement of swimming.
We stayed in the Key West Marriot Beachside Hotel and they had nice pool filled with sea water (well, I knew that because the water in the pool tasted salty...) And as you can see in the picture below, right beyond the pool in the view came the sea. The view is  gorgeous, isn't it?


After the morning exercise, we took the hotel shuttle bus to downtown Key West, where all the fun things take place.

Right after we reached downtown, we went straight to a restaurant for the energy spent in swimming. We to a waterfront seafood restaurant called Conch Republic Seafood Company. The food over there  was fine but it was not in my recommendation list. And right outside the restaurant, we saw fish that just got caught from of sea.

I am not sure if you know this already. Key West is where the writer Ernest Hemingway wrote his great work Old Man and The Sea and where he spent the rest of his life in. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is right in downtown Key West, which attracts hundreds of fans of Hemingway or literature lovers visit. However, I passed without visiting the museum this time. Even though I do reading every day, literature is not my favor type of books at this point. I did not visit a museum of literature, but I appreciated all the marvelous work the best writers have contributed to our society.

While I was exploring downtown Key West...

Ride a book  on the Duval St in Key West

Huge cookies

Cock - A symbol of Key West
A toy shop

Interesting wooden architecture
A huge sculpture in front of a cultural museum
Live music performance you can find anywhere in downtown

An open restaurant bar along on the ocean
Triple scoops ice cream
A street show

Key West Aquarium

Bake grouper with Dijon mustard sauce 

Raw oysters
Caesar salad with snapper 
At night, we chose a hidden restaurant right on the main street Duval Street, which was called smokin' tuna saloon. The food was good and the price was affordable.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Florida Trip - Day 2: Miami

South Beach, Miami

Since we stayed the South Beach, there were beautiful beaches right outside our hotel.

I woke up at 8 o'clock in the morning while the rest of the city, including my girl friends, were still sleeping (and probably recovering from hangover.) It was a great day in Florida. So I swam in the hotel pools for approximately half an hour. While the pool assistant handed a towel to me, I asked him about the direction to the beach. I knew the beach should not be too far away, but, to my surprise, the assistant told me that I would be right on the beach when I just got out of the hotel via its back door!

They say early bird eats the worm.
I say early girl gets the whole pool! :)
While the whole hotel were still dreaming in their beds, I was having a great time swimming by myself. What a spoil!

What a nice view on the beach:


I was doing selfie and giving myself a sunbathing.

Around 10am, my girls finally woke up and found me on the beach. As we walked out the beach to
the street, the beach was still quiet and looked peaceful.  

Right outside the beach, there are a lot of interesting architectures in the South Beach bay area.

After we took a shower and got ready for the second half day in Miami, we took a taxi (the fare was around $20) to the Bayside marketplace, which was recommended by the receptionist on the other day when we arrived.

Take a look at the beautiful skyline:

The Bayside Marketplace is really a busy place and it definitely attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every day. You can walk around in the market to find your favorite souvenirs; or you can take a boat trip on the water to enjoy the skyline in more detail; you can pick a restaurant or bar in the water front to feed your stomach while looking around what is going on in this amazing place; or you can visit the galleries and buy a masterpiece of art. The only thing you won't do here - you won't get bored! ;)

Here are some of the pictures we took in Bayside Marketplace:


The place we picked to feed ourselves was called Tradewinds Bar and Grill, a waterfront seafood restaurant. They had a lot of interesting dishes in the menu. And after "careful consideration" and "fierce discussion", we decided what we ordered. And the Crab Pot is highly recommended.

After the wonderful lunch we had, we took a bus (the fare was $2.25 per person) back to the National Hotel and took our luggage and backpacks back. Then we were on our way to Key West!

The departing time of the Greyhound bus to Key West was 5:45PM. We spent approximately 4 hours on the road and it was almost 10PM when we reached Key West.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Florida Trip: Day 1 - Arriving in Miami

Day 1 - Departing from New York City to Miami
In case you haven't known yet, I am a tax consultant. Every April 15 is my "deadline". And before that, it is called the "busy season" and my working hours can get as many as 15 hours per day. Therefore, I usually plan a trip after the tax deadline to give myself a break, recharge my body and to live a bit.

This year, I chose Miami and Key West in Florida as the destinations. And luckily, I also had great company traveling with me - they were two of my good friends.

We planned the trip somehow short - just five days. However, we did not waste too much of our treasure vacation time on the way departing and arriving. Instead, we booked a flight that departed on Friday evening and arrived in Miami at night of the same day. And we left Miami at 5pm and reached home around 9pm. For us, it was perfect timing.
The bikini I got for the trip.
Top: Vitoria Secret
Bottom: Kenneth Cole REACTION

This was how I entertained myself on the plane:
Read a bit, music a bit, ice cream a bit.
When the plan took off, we were lucky enough to take an overview of half of Manhattan in the sky.

After we reached Miami, we took a taxi to National Hotel where we spent the night. The hotel was located in South Beach. The fare was around $40. I had been to a lot of big cities in the US and quite a few of them disappointed me at night as they were dead quiet. Therefore, my expectation on Miami at night was dark, quiet and no one would dare to walk on the street. However, to my surprise, as our taxi drove into South Beach, I felt the excitement that came from the crowd. The streets were bright and loud! People were all over the street - they were coming back from the beach and dinner, heading to the night clubs, or just walking around on the street and chilling. Ladies dressed sexy to impress as well as to enjoy the heat wave. Guys showed off their fancy sports cars. All I saw and felt on the first night in Miami made me even more excited.

There was a grand piano in the hotel lobby.
Tasted ice cream from Miami

This was just the beginning. Much more excitement happened on the 2nd day of the trip......