Today we're taking a trip! All the way out to Miami's South Beach! Let's go!
Our RV site isn't super close to anything. It's kind-of in the middle of lots of things, but close to none. After an hour drive, we crossed over the mainland to the bridge that is taking us to the island that South Beach is on.
Welcome to Miami Beach!
Or a much more colorful version of the sign.
South Beach, as you'd expect, is on the southern side of the island. We're not going there just yet. After researching, and from our observations driving today, that area of the island is slammed with cars. Instead we took off north to the Mid-Beach area to the Indian Beach Park area.
Here they had a large parking lot, though every spot was taken, with multiple cars circling the lot waiting for someone to pull out. Luckily for us, it only took 10 minutes or so to get a spot, and I was able to squeeze The Beast between the lines. Parking is $20 for the day, so we can stay here as long as we like.
Look at that beautiful white sand and turquoise water.
We found a spot to put our stuff and the kids started on their sandcastles.
Which require water of course.
Ian said he found something weird and blue on the beach. I told him to bring it up to show me.
What is that? It's a weird blue thing.
It looked like plastic or trash. And it's got a balloon shape to it. I'm not used to seeing that color in nature. What could it be? I even tried to pick it up by the balloony part, and I felt it move! It's alive?
Well as some of you surely already know, and are telling me through your screen, that's a Portuguese Man o' War. It's not related to the jellyfish, but like the jellyfish it can deliver a painful sting, enough to kill a fish. You don't want to touch these toxic tentacles! Whew! Dodged a bullet on that one.
After an hour and a half playing in the sand, and making sure to avoid stepping on any man o' war, we continued the next part of our day. We're going for a long walk, down to the South Beach.
We took all our beach gear back to the car, waving off people who saw us returning and wanted our spot. The kids saw a playground nearby, so we gave them a few minutes to run around before we took off.
Back in Colorado Springs they loved the giant spinning Christmas tree. Today though this tree is not as fast, there was a bit more resistance to spinning it.
I do love the themed playground equipment. They went down the lighthouse slide.
Rode a couple friendly dolphins.
And even found a jet ski!
With lots of water and snacks in our backpacks, we took off south on the 3.2 mile walk to get to South Beach. There were police cars randomly along the pathway, and they were much more concentrated once we got even closer.
Loving all the tropical palm trees and wide pathways.
Closer to South Beach, we found a nice big field. Under the shade of a tree, everyone enjoyed a treat.
The style and vibe of this whole area really reminds me of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and the tv show Burn Notice.
After a long walk on a hot day, we promised the kids that if we saw an ice cream shop, we'd get them a treat. We saw one, close to the beach on Ocean Drive, but while we were waiting in line, Theresa looked it up and saw it got poor reviews. There's another place a street over called Midtown Creamery that received excellent review, so we headed over to that instead.
They have these awesome bowls ($13.99) you could get it in too.
Instead they each got a single scoop. Alli got a bowl for hers and they offered her gummy bears on top. Ian wanted some too, so they gave him a small cup for them at no extra charge.
Mmm, ice cream. We walked down the crowded streets, both people and cars, to get back to the strand and the sand.
Where we played a little bit of beach volleyball! There's nets and lines already set up here!
We bumped around, and now we can say we played volleyball in the South Beach.
Alli with the big hops, spiking that volleyball over the net.
Well maybe with a little bit of help.
And Ian too.
Time to walk back to the car! In the end, we put in 7.95 miles of walking today.
So, would we go back to Miami's South Beach?
Despite all the good things I wrote about it above, it was super sketchy. There was a police presence, but that didn't seem to do much. Loud yelling and cursing groups walking around. A guy running and screaming at a girl for stealing his phone. More than one person offering to sell us drugs, "Weed, or if you want something a little harder". The group of guys rolling joints and smoking weed in front of the ice cream shop. The reeking stench of weed as you walk by groups of people on the sidewalks. People who seemed to be on drugs and whacked out of their minds. Oh and this news article that came out the next day. Yeah, I don't think we're going to head back there again.