The Magic City

Our new plan (due to flight cancellations) meant flying from San José, Costa Rica over Miami to Atlanta for a 3.5 hour stop and then back to Miami. On our first plane for the day, I got to sit next to a real cutie…

Flight friend
Flight friend

We then landed in Atlanta airport, the busiest airport in the world! The lines were phenomenal, and we were lucky to have our 3-hour layover just to clear the security, as many travellers around us missed their connecting flights because of the wait at the security section. Adding to the delays, the train system was down between terminals, resulting in a very long walk (even with a few travelators assisting the journey) to the gates…

World's Busiest Airport
World’s Busiest Airport

We were lucky enough to have just over an hour up our sleeves to get to our gate. The plane was completely full, but we left on time and arrived in Miami just before midnight. Our airbnb apartment was in a hotel-type condominium on Miami beach with a 24-hour concierge to check us in, which was very convenient for us. The next morning (or midday rather), we stepped outside and found ourselves right on Miami Beach.

We walked along the coastal footpath thinking we’d find a place to sit and eat but were surprised to find a lack of restaurants on the beachfront. Eventually, we made it to the town centre of South Beach and the hustle and bustle of people. A man on the side of the street informed us there was free ice-creams being offered, complimentary of Shaquille O’Neal (famous basketballer). So, we joined the gathering crowd, enjoyed our ice creams and before we knew it, we were given a Bluetooth speaker each from ‘Shaq’ who was promoting his new gig as a DJ…

Later we found the shopping mall, ate lunch, bought a few groceries and then retired for the day at our apartment. On Saturday we enjoyed a lazy day by the pool…

swim time
Kadin swimming in the pool – Very deep water!

Sunday saw us catching the free beach trolley to South Beach for some retail therapy. Kadin needed to buy some new jandals (flip flops -or ‘thongs’ for our Aussie audience) as his broke walking the streets of San Jose. I was in search of some more togs (swimwear) and there were plenty of swimwear shops in South Beach. The struggle was to find swimwear that didn’t resemble thongs (not talking about the Aussie flip flops this time). It was an unusual place to shop as many people walked around in their swimwear attire (with so much skin on show) and then at the beach people were walking along with all their shopping bags in their hands. Once we had managed our purchases, we too finished our day at the beachside. Around 5pm we watched the five cruise ships leave the harbour.

Monday morning was check-out day but with an evening flight, we had most of the day to spare. So, we booked an excursion to the Everglades. The tour company (miamitourcompany.com) picked us up from our accommodation and conveniently stored our luggage in the bus hold throughout the excursion. We were driven out to the Everglade Park, taken for a 45minute whiz around in the fan propelled boat, provided with an alligator show and then transported back to Miami. The fan-boat ride through the everglades was amazing. We were seated in the back row, nearest to the massive fans and driver. The best part was speeding across the vast expanse of water over the grasses, especially when the driver would do drifts…

We got quite close to the alligators and saw many awesome water birds. Taking the photos was quite tricky because we were mostly moving at speed! But here are our wildlife highlights…

We were dropped off at Bayside Marketplace in Miami with our backpacks (as this was the closet stop to the airport). We walked through the mall looking like true backpackers for a moment and then found a cheap but delicious lunch in the food court area. Finally, we caught an uber to the airport through the busy traffic of Miami and proceeded through the equally busy airport ready for our late-night flight to Ecuador.

Have fun at work!

Gemma

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