Trip Start Jun 12, 2012
64Trip End Oct 18, 2012
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After spending the night in Key Largo, it was time to head back to Fort Lauderdale and return the rental car. We didn't sleep too well because the airconditioning wasn't really working and I wasn't feeling 100% anyways. Bidding farewell to the Florida Keys, we jumped onto Highway 1 to travel north along the same route as we came down. It took around 2 hours to bypass Miami and drop the car off. When we returned the sun was pretty hot and we were glad to have a lift home from Enterprise.
Back at the house, there was nobody about so we decided just to work out the plans for our last few days on holidays. Kai returned around 4pm with the munchkin and had a nice casserole for dinner. We were trying to decide how many days to spend in Miami Beach and downtown Miami
In the morning, Kai was nice enough to drop us off at the Tri-Rail railway station so that we could catch the train in. The train was more like an Amtrak than a passenger train and it took 45 minutes to get down to the metrorail interchange. All in all it took 90 minutes from home to downtown. There were a few shady characters hanging around the train station so we walked quickly out and down to the Miami-Dade Cultural Center which houses the state library, art gallery and museum. Given that they are in the same plaza, they aren't very big so we just decided to take a look at the museum. They had a few interesting exhibits: guayaberas which are multi-pocketted local shirts and teen Miami which had a look at growing up in Miami. I had never seen a guayabera before and they had a few different styles, but apparently they're more popular with tourists now than anybody else. Upstairs had a history of Florida, but it wasn't as interesting.
It was time for lunch so we walked down Flagler Street which is the main strip, but we were surprised how empty the place was. The only shops were luggage, electronic and souvenir shops. Thankfully we found a old food court and the food was good and cheap. There is a metromover rubbertire monorail that loops around the downtown area, but we decided just to walk the extra 10 minutes down to the waterfront. There is a nice green park there with a few stages and a memorial to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
Walking north along Bayfront Park we came across the Hard Rock Cafe and Bayside Marketplace which had a lot of tacky souvenir shops including one with just about any stuffed horned animal you could think of
There wasn't much else to take a look at downtown, so we hopped on the metromover to do an elevated loop of the city. It is free and automated, so its quite smooth running. We hopped off after a complete loop and walked into Macys so that I could buy some jeans. I never really had a good fitting pair of pants because I have small hips and long legs, so it was helpful to have Steffie along to help me out. In the end I got 2 pairs for $80 so I couldn't complain.
With nothing else to do, it was time to head for home and we caught the metrorail and tri-rail trains back. Kai was nice enough to pick us up and I went for a swim in the pool to cool off. It definitely pays to have a pool here, even if it is a lot of work!
Next stop, Miami Beach!