The benefits of having a plan

The benefits of having a plan


We had no intention of being caught out like we were yesterday and made sure we had plenty of addresses and note of parking places before we drove out this morning.


Well, it’s a dark and rather unobtrusive welcome, wouldn’t you say?  I don’t suppose I’d have noticed it at all had we not been stuck in traffic by that particular junction yesterday so this morning, I had my camera ready.


In not time at all, we’d parked the car in the multi storey and were walking towards Ocean Drive.


Where, of course, there were plenty of parking spots this morning!  Never mind.


It was a beautiful morning, just right for walking and enjoying the fresh air.


Oh, and taking a closer look at the architecture, of course.  We loved the way the Hotel Avalon parked a cute car outside, too.


Walking on the beach side of the road to avoid the breakfast solicitations from every hotel we passed, it also gave us a better view of the buildings too.


We really enjoyed simply strolling around, spotting quirky features there amidst the stylish hotels.


Love the colour pops!


But hey, there’s a beach here too!  We turned right and wandered down there, marvelling at the miles and miles of clean, well maintained sand, even if all those vehicles had compressed the beach to an almost concrete-like firmness.


I guess it makes an easier commute than Ocean Drive?


I considered dipping a toe in the water, and walked down to the softer, sandier stretch a little lower down, stopping to admire the brightly coloured lifeguard station as I did.


But as I did, I noticed the lifeguard feeding the birds.  Guess which direction I chose to run in?


We’ve seen signs like this all over the world and count ourselves lucky not to have to worry about hurricanes and things generally.


The Victor Hotel caught our eye, causing us to overlook the stunning Casa Casuarina next door!


Perhaps we should have joined a walking tour?  No, really, we’ve had enough of that kind of thing during the last couple of weeks!


Anyway, as people queued to take their photograph in front of the sign, we enjoyed a bite to eat at the Breakwater Hotel opposite, wondering what it’d be like to stay here.  The answer was all around us – noisy!


We had one or two bits and pieces still on our list, so dropped into a supermarket and marvelled at the quantities of beer and snacks people had in their trolleys as we paid for our shopping.  As we left, I turned around and spotted the answer – the Superbowl.


Our day ended in Little Havana.


We’re unfamiliar with Cuban food, though have really enjoyed a couple of meals on previous visits elsewhere in the US (here and here) and thought that this would be a great place to have dinner.


La Carreta wasn’t billed as fine dining, but seemed to offer good, reliable choices and had reasonable Trip Adviser reviews, so we headed there.


The mojitos were great!  (Plural: Happy Hour = 2 for 1, and guess who was the designated driver?  Clue: not me!)


But the Cuban sampler dish was a disappointment.  With plain white rice in the centre, then from the top, fried plantain (the best), yuca (like eating wallpaper paste), carnitas (pulled pork but without sauce), a croquette (rather dull), tamale (ditto) and piccalilli beef (like my Mum’s minced beef in gravy).  No spice.  No interest.  No seasoning.  Unlike any Cuban/Latin food we’ve had anywhere and certainly not in the same league as the delicious offerings in Rosa Mexicano the other night.  Poor choice – our fault.


But hey, we can’t end on a dull note. 


There was another Calle Ocho address on my list!


The Jeni’s of Miami!  Delicious ice cream that more than made up for the “first course”.


Next door, there was quite a party going on!


Watching the trails of aircraft taking off from the nearby airport form kisses in the sky, it was time to make our way back.  We have fun planned for tomorrow, involving about an hour’s drive, much chatter and even more laughter, of that I am sure.

An early night is required!

Finishing as we began

Finishing as we began

Living the Dream?

Living the Dream?