Sunday, 2 June 2013

Bienvenido Miami

As the title says, welcome.

I chose Bienvenido because I recently visited the city of Miami which is supposedly in a primarily English speaking country right?

Wrong. Be prepared, if you're an English speaking tourist traveling to Miami, prepared to communicate freely in your native language, beware. Miami is about 70% Spanish speakers.

To top it off, due to my complexion (medium brown) being of mainly East Indian descent everyone assumed I also spoke Spanish, and so I was greeted and spoken to, which I remember very little of from high school lessons.
The other tourists also assumed I was a local because I guess I seemed comfortable and relaxed and untouristlike(no fanny pack/backpack).

Before we get any further I'm from Trinidad and Tobago.
A decade or 2 ago we weren't that well known but wherever I travel now, I'm identified by our unmistakable accent. 
Described by others as musical and soothing, and also voted 10th sexiest accent by travel CNN. 

Note their description...sounds about right.

So my first real trip to Miami, having been to the big apple many times I expected Miami to have a familiar feel. 

Boy was I wrong, from the moment I landed I was bombarded by Cuban and Puerto Rican accents.

Then the public transport was another issue. Miami is NOT walkable for a shopping spree or even sightseeing. After a first very tiring day of public transport I rented a car for the remainder of my trip. 

It wasn't too problematic driving on the right side of the road, having driven on the left for the last 9 years of my life. 
What was problematic was all the big scary ramps and freeways and missing turnoffs and having to pay tolls. I loved the absence of traffic though (yes I'm referring to our poorly managed traffic situation back home).

The shopping was vastly different from that of NYC, rather than street shopping everything was mostly in gigantic shopping malls with loads of outlet stores.

I'm talking malls with 200+ stores that take u over a day to walk through. It's amazing but my feet were killing me at the end of the day.

I like to look good, I wish more people did...but looking good empties your wallet quite quickly in Trinidad for only moderate quality stuff.

Now thanks to awesome shopping malls in Miami, my favourite being Aventura mall, I look hella sexy for half the price I would've paid for the cheap stuff back home.

I had to take a breather from shopping though so the day before Memorial day (May 26th) I visited the famed Vizcaya gardens and museum.

The gardens themselves was nothing too spectacular. Nice place for a picnic but the intriguing part was the museum which was actually 'Vizcaya Villa', owned and built by James Deering in the early 20th century. He actually made his wealth from modern farming equipment.
It was designed by Paul Chalfin who really should get most of the credit for this beauty.

It's a shame James Deering never married to share this beautiful mansion with a family. He mainly entertained guests and had over a dozen guestrooms from what I saw.

I would love to share the interior with you but they prohibited photography inside, said it was to preserve the integrity of the artwork but both you and I know it's so that we'd actually go there to see it in person, and it's definitely worth it.

Well that was a long welcome post!

So did this convince you to visit Miami?

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