3-Days in Coral Gables and a 10-Day Caribbean Cruise
December 30, 2006 to January 12, 2007
is a wonderful, small, elegant community south of Miami. We stayed at the Hyatt close to the main shopping and restaurant district for three nights. It's considered one of the "high rent" districts of Miami, and the per capita income is one of the highest in the county.
Traveling from the west coast to Miami takes up most of one day, and our arrival in Miami after 4PM didn't leave much time except to look for a restaurant for dinner after checking into our hotel. We ate at Houston's, a rather large establishment where one can watch the chefs cook or create your meal. The cook working the grill had everything from steaks, bbq ribs to chicken cooking at the same time. They even have sushi at this restaurant which seems a favorite for many. My roommate, Bill, and I both had the prime rib (1st time) French dip sandwich with fries and a plate of sushi with beer.
Houston's Restaurant, Coral Gables.
The following morning, Bill learned he didn't pack enough heart medication, so he had to call his son in California to have his doctor send the prescription to the local Walgreens to have it filled. Since he was busy with that for the rest of the morning, I walked from our hotel to downtown Miami, about a ten mile walk. I had lunch at a Sub restaurant, then took the Metrorail train back to Coral Gables with a transfer to the #42 bus back to the hotel area. By the time I walked back to the hotel, I had blisters on my feet. OUCH~! That evening, Bill and I had dinner at a all-you-can eat sushi restaurant for $17 pp. It was not only good food, but a bargain in Coral Gables.
The following day, Bill and I took the public transportation to downtown Miami, then transferred to the Metromover, an automated, free car on elevated roads that has two different routes around downtown Miami. We then took "S" bus from the main terminal to South Beach to stroll around the beach and Art Deco district where one feels we have traveled to the 1930's era. They had blocked off the street from 14th Street to 5th Street to make it a pedestrian mall. The place was crowded with people from all over the world. Bill and I stopped at a new (just opened the week before) frozen fresh fruit concession, and I ordered the banana-flavored one. It was refreshing on this hot day.
At 3:30PM, we met others in our wine group at the daiquiri bar in Bayside to go on a sail boat for a 2-hour cruise in the bay. I met George and Sylvia from New York at the daiquiri bar, the couple I met on a Bali trip two years ago. They were on standby for the cruise, but heard about this bay cruise from the travel company owner, and they also have family in Miami where they have been visiting for about one week. The Caribbean cruise was fully booked, but they showed up at the dock before sailing time, and to their good luck, somebody canceled, and they were able to cruise with us to the Caribbean. It was a fun bay cruise to be able to see the Miami skyline from the water. They're building so many condos in Miami, it's a wonder for me, at least, why people would even consider living in hurricane country. (This from somebody that lives in earthquake country.)
Sherri at the helm.
We transferred to our ship, the Regatta (of Oceania Cruises), the following day by bus at 12:15PM. It's a smaller ship with 640 passengers and about 400 staff from 47 countries.
The Regatta @ Virgin Gorda.