The Beach

What a Wonder-ful view in South Beach

One of my (former) favorite talking points is that as a Native Floridian I had never been to South Beach – Miami, FL. I know… can you believe it? Finding a way to deal with the 8 hour drive back from Key West to Orlando, an overnight stay in South Beach was definitely in order. It was hard to leave Key West after only  48 hours there, but knowing we had another exciting destination to get to  really helped.

After about three hours of driving on US-1,we started to enter Miami territory. In that moment, I felt ashamed for having not ventured here sooner. As we neared the massive port of Miami, an abrupt, high pitched squeal burst from my lips. There among the cruise ships sat a vessel that is responsible for many fond memories: the Disney Wonder. My husband and I were delighted to see her.

As impressive of a metropolis as Miami is, I couldn’t get to Ocean Drive fast enough. And sure enough, the moment the wheels of my beloved Blue Jean Baby hit the pavement of Ocean Drive, the windows went down and a huge smile crossed my face. The colors, the energy… to be on an avenue lined with countless cafes and historic hotels that all face a gorgeous beach is a true delight. We soon found our hotel, an art deco beauty right on Ocean Drive. 


Being in South Beach for the very first time was exciting enough, but to top it all off we were upgraded from a standard view to an ocean view! I had never stayed in a hotel built in the late 1930’s before. Our room, although slightly small compared to today’s standards, was lovely and the view… spectacular! After spending some time on the beach, splashing in the water, then grabbing a late lunch, we went back to our room to rest. We knew that we needed to save our energy for the night ahead.


The early evening arrived and we watched as patrons of the beach now migrated to the avenue, finding their way into cafes and bars. Then, out of the corner of my eye, on the brilliant blue ocean, I saw a massive white Royal Caribbean cruise ship. As it made its way out onto the open waters, an excited thought hit me.

With perfect timing, there it came into view, moving from the channel into the open water, following the ship ahead. The Disney Wonder sailed right before us. I stood at the window entranced. The soft white robe felt luxurious around me and the view took my breath away. An overwhelming sense of gratitude washed over me.


As the Disney Wonder sailed further away from shore, I sat back down on the cushy, king sized bed, never breaking my stare. I fell further in love with ThisFlorida Life. After two days in Key West, my first few hours in Miami had already been fascinating. What would the night bring?








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