S: SOUTH BEACH MIAMI OCTOBER 2009
BC: South Beach, also nicknamed SoBe, is a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach, Florida. It is the area south of Indian Creek and encompasses roughly 23 of the southernmost blocks of the main barrier island that separates the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. This area was the first section of Miami Beach to be developed, starting in the 1910s, thanks to the development efforts of Carl G. Fisher, the Lummus Brothers, John S. Collins, and others. This area has gone through a number of changes over the years, artificial and natural, including a booming regional economy, increased tourism, and the 1926 hurricane, which destroyed much of the area. Created by Karalee Gonzales | This is one of the Star Island homes that we just viewed from the bridge.
FC: SOUTH BEACH MIAMI, FLORIDA OCTOBER 17-18, 2009
1: BJ and I left the Port of Miami, after our Bahama Cruise, at the same time Byron and Heather left but we took a taxi to South Beach Miami while they went to Miami International Airport to fly back to Oklahoma City.
2: We took the taxi from the Port of Miami to our hotel on Ocean Drive, Hotel Victor. We arrived there just before 8:30 am.
3: Our taxi driver was in a Chevy Tahoe which was nice but he was listening to a radio station in Creole... in other words we didn';t understand it.
4: HOTEL VICTOR | This hotel is $349 per night... thankfully I used rovia.com and got it for $149.
6: This is the Versace Mansion 1116 Ocean Drive Miami, FL 33139 We didn't tour it but we enjoyed looking at it and the grounds (through the landscape). It's simply breath-taking. It takes up about one entire block and it's amazing that as busy as Ocean Drive is that Versace was murdered there on those steps.
7: Versace Mansion
8: We left our hotel by 9:30 am and began walking South on Ocean Drive admiring the sights. | Mango's is the name of the club above on the left. It was very Hispanic themed.
9: BJ wanted to make sure that we got some good "life in Miami" photos to show his 'single' friends. The architecture was so fantastic and there were people everywhere. Never a dull moment in Miami. The street vendors didn't hassle you either. They just were there if you wanted something. Every hotel had its own restaurant and they were the ones that hassled you. At 9:30 in the morning they all thought we should eat breakfast and we told them we'd already eaten so they offered us lunch. Really???
10: NIKKI BEACH is a famous HOT SPOT for South Beach .and is located at One Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Kourtney & Khloe Kardashian had a condo on the top floor of the building right North of Nikki Beach. You could see this area from their balcony on the show Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami. This is where we got into trouble. We stopped in for some brunch and ended up with an $89.00 tab. We had Lobster Sushi, two sandwiches and water. Whew!!!
11: Our server showed us the fresh food of the day. Each item was priced individually like a trout was $35 or 32 oz Prime Rib bone-in was $65 or a whole salmon filet for $75 if we wanted to "eat lite" as she put it or we could enjoy a lobster to share for $120. We said we'll have a sandwich. You see where that got us too.
12: We didn't mind acting like senior citizens on tour in Miami so we jumped the bus and went around town. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about many diverse aspects of Miami. We visited Little Havanna which is a noted center of social, cultural and political activity in Miami. It's also known for its landmarks, including Calle Ocho, Walkway of the Stars and Domino Park just to name a few. It is undoubtedly the best known neighborhood for Cuban exiles in the world. On a side note, you must be 55 years old to play dominoes. We also saw Al Capone's hotel suite where he paid $3,000 a night.
13: The Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel was built in 1926. Some claim that the hotel is haunted. At one time the pool was the largest in the world. This hotel was the setting for the movie Bad Boys and television shows like Miami Vice and CSI: Miami.
14: The CLEVELANDER | We loved the CLEVELANDER. The wait staff was excellent. They were so friendly. We shared hometown stories with two different girls. One from Texas and one from Chicago.
15: The Emcee for the evening was a young lady that was Awesome at getting the party started. She even came back and visited with BJ and I for a while and asked where we were from and what we were celebrating. I can't believe I didn't video her, not once, but twice she gave a shout out for "BJ & Karalee, my friends from Oklahoma City that are in town celebrating their seventh wedding anniversary and wanted to spend it with us here at the CLEVELANDER! You guys make some noise." So BJ and I would whoop and holler as loud as we could like we were semi-famous. We had such a great time . We walked from our hotel and had planned on visiting that place we passed earlier, Mango's. But after walking by here, we stopped for a few minutes and that ended up lasting six hours. There was amazing entertainment too. There were show girls that could dance and one girl on carpenter's stilts that danced like you wouldn't believe. Very talented.
16: Here's the Emcee on the left and the girl on stilts to the right. | Below are the showgirls in their extravagant outfits.
17: Above is a German man we met that was vacationing in Miami to avoid the winter in his own country. Below is a girl from the Dominican Republic visiting with us.
18: We had so much fun in South Beach Miami. We want to visit again and definitely spend more time sightseeing. We never did make it to the actual beach
19: We saw crazy things, fun things and beautiful things. It's a very diverse culture in Miami, Florida. We loved it.
20: Star Island is an artificial island located in Biscayne Bay, within the city of Miami Beach, Florida. It was created by Carl Fisher, co-founder of Miami Beach, and completed in 1922 by the Army Corps of Engineers by dredging sand. There are 35 home sites on the island. Star Island has a guard house at the entrance to give the illusion that it's an exclusive, private area but anyone may visit after stopping by the guard house. It has been home to many wealthy celebrities since it's founding and has even been the location for several blockbuster hits including Scarface (house shown) and Bad Boys, starring Will Smith.