Bye Bye Mexico! Hello U-S-A!!!!!!
Trip Start Jan 13, 2010
91Trip End Dec 20, 2010
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After spending five and a half months travelling across South and Central America we decided that it would a pleasant change of scenery to spend three months travelling across the US and Canada before spending our final three months or so in South East Asia. As much as we adored our travelling through Latin America we were looking forward to a more relaxed and well truth be told easier travelling experience for a little while. As much as we got by with our pigeon Spanish in Latin America we were looking forward to being able to speak English again for a little while.
If truth be told we were pretty sad to be leaving Mexico, a country full of life, history, gorgeous food and the nicest people. We had such an amazing six weeks there that we could have happily spend more time there. However, we were excited to be starting a new part of our adventure - a major road trip driving across the US and into Canada.
We arrived into Miami at just after 9pm on Thursday evening to rain and a massive thunder and lightning storm, totally not what we had expected. Hopefully not an omen for the next part of our year adventure, fingers crossed.
We got a taxi from the airport to take us to Motel Blu which we had booked for four nights. Located in a not so nice district of the city, it was a basic hotel room which was clean and to be honest was the cheapest hotel we could find at $42 a night. Although not located in the best of areas there were plenty of buses to all the major tourist areas of the city and it only cost $2 dollars to travel on any bus across the city so we were pretty happy with our accommodation choice.
We spent our first day in Miami at in the massive Aventura Mall. A bus picked us up right outside the hotel and after an anxious hour bus journey due to the receptionist at the hotel telling us it would only take twenty minutes we ended up outside one of the biggest shopping mall I have ever seen. It is true what they say about everything in America being big.
Like little ants we busily got on with our mission and our purpose for visiting the mall which was to try and get our wee laptop fixed. Unfortunately our little Dell Mini died in Cuba and we needed to get it fixed and to also buy some essential supplies for our road trip including a sat nav for our soon to be picked up rental car, a mobile phone and some new shoes for driving (as we only had flip flops). We spent a large part of our day in a massive Best Buy shop which is basically a cross between a giant Dixons and HMV back home and where we could find the majority of what we needed. In the end we couldn't get our laptop fixed as its still under warranty and needs to go back to dell so we also ended up buying a new mini laptop for our travels.
Just before leaving the Best Buy place the heavens decided to open up to a torrential downpour with thunder and lightning. Apparently at this time of year in Miami there is usually a massive tropical rain shower in the afternoon. Luckily we managed to miss the rain for a bit and a few hundred dollars poorer than when we started, we headed back to our little motel room for the night to play with all our new toys.
On Saturday we headed straight for the famous Miami Beach to explore the touristy part of the city. Miami Beach is a pretty cool place to be and be seen. Lots of cool bars and restaurants line the famous Ocean Drive which is full of funky art deco buildings. We spent the day wandering around and had lunch on Lincoln St which is full of shops and cool restaurants. I had the biggest salad ever and Mark his first pizza in the states (which actually wasn’t all that nice). We enjoyed our day chilling out people watching and basically baking ourselves it was so hot.
The next day we headed off to Miami airport by taking a local bus to go and collect our rental car. We have decided to drive across America rather than using public transport this way we can come and go as we please and will hopefully get to see the real America. We were pretty apprehensive about getting the car and driving on the wrong side of the road. We had no problems at all collecting the car and by mid-afternoon we were driving away in a humongous Hyundai Sonata saloon car which frankly is nearly the same size as our one bedroom flat in London (ok, slight exaggeration, but it is huge compared to cars back home). I christened the car "Snowflake" as she is white and Mark christened it “Blanco Hombre” but regardless it is a pretty nice, automatic car which Mark managed to drive back to the hotel in one piece. We spent the rest of our day planning the next leg of our road trip. We are so excited.