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Moon Over Miami

Before we continue onto Miami, I interrupt my regular post to say just how happy I am that DOMA is no more. If you're like me, your life tenants, if you will, are formed by your experiences. At one time in my life, I would more than likely have been on the other side of this case, however, having a gay son tends to make a person see things in a different light. In politics it's called flip-flopping, in the real world it is simply changing ones mind based on new evidence. No one can convince me that the love Matt and Tom feel for one another is not as valid as what I feel for Bruce. End of story. Let all discrimination end now!

So, off my high horse, and into the Beemer. Like most folks, after leaving LCS we got on the Turnpike, however, that didn't last very long at all. Before getting off though, we made a quick stop at one of the renovated rest areas--very nice from the outside, and just as nice inside:
 They have modern green and white chairs, and the whole things looks very cheery indeed.

Hopping back off, we made our way onto US 1 in Boca Raton. My goodness that stretch of the road is lovely, as well it should be, for a city with a median household income of more than $67,000! I took this little part from the Wikipedia entry about how IBM played an important role in the city. What the heck, you probably won't look at it, so I'll tell you that it was here that IBM made the first personal computer. Now you know.  The Art Deco influence is not just seen in Miami. Need an office space?
The traffic was light, the sky was blue, and it was a very nice way to use up the time until Matt's arrival. Nice digs below:
Fort Lauderdale is a place we are pretty familiar with as Bruce built a Seasons 52 there nearly nine years ago. It's a lovely city, not soon forgotten. And growing apparently, as evidenced by this crazy stretch of road, making me so very grateful that Bruce was doing the driving!
For sure, this chicken would have been in panic mode wondering where the heck the road was! Eventually we came to a town called Sunny Isles Beach, which from what we could see on US1, is mostly made up of brand new high rise condominiums. One of many.
The town bills itself as Florida's Riviera. I've never been to the French Riviera, however if it is anything like this place, it must be good.

Matt called after landing, got through immigration quickly, and sorted out the hotel room after a 15 minute conversation at the reception desk. We were getting closer, in fact, only North Miami Beach separated us from our son. We did take a moment to notice Haulover Beach on our way--remember that name, we'll re-visit it in another post.

Ta-Da! We handed over the keys to the valet, and up to the 6th floor in the Chateau tower.
Oh my, what a place. I've been to Las Vegas before, so I've seen glitzy, but I haven't really ever been this close to it. During our drive I mentioned to Bruce that while traveling for work,  Matt has been to some of the finest hotels in the world. Once he had the room situated he'd called us back to warn us that the Fontainebleau was like no other hotel he'd ever been to before. That's saying a lot! The view towards Collins Avenue:
Those would be yachts docked in the Intercoastal Waterway belonging to the hotel. If you are so inclined, and have mega-bucks, they are available for rentals. Just saying...

After a reunion, we figured out a place to eat nearby. Having just handed over our keys, we decided to walk, which was both good and bad. 11 blocks gives a person lots of up close and personal with the surroundings which included multiple small art-deco buildings.
I was no match for those two! You can probably tell Bruce is on the phone which was a bit of a nuisance. I'm accustomed to it, but really, why did the air conditioning have to go out in an Olive Garden on a Saturday night with a full house? Bruce is not the kind of person who can just say, I'm sorry, I'm busy right now. Anyway, we made our way to The Palms, a hotel much tamer than the one we left. Lovely both inside and out, including this scene by the pool area:
Me, I just wanted to see the beach:
Our outdoor seating at Essensia was beautiful, albeit somewhat warm, and eventually the mosquitoes started coming out. The above clouds could have told us that much. It was here that we discovered that the bill came with an 18% tip included in the total. I mention that because most everywhere we went did the same. According to Nancy, or at least this is what she thinks, they do that because of the large number of international travelers who visit the area and are not used to tipping. Consider it a heads up because Bruce nearly double tipped!

Remembering that Matt was on a different time zone, we didn't linger. Our next stop was not nearly as glamorous--Walgreens, for a few toiletries. While leaving there, crossing a short bridge, I noticed the MOON over Miami Beach. Big and bright.
I was to later learn it was the night before the "super moon," although it looked pretty super to me on Saturday night. That was not the only bold lighting we saw on Saturday. My, oh my. The lobby of the hotel was hopping. Here's the bar which is pretty much one and the same with the lobby:
Matt was tired, Bruce was still dealing with the ac problem, leaving me with time on my hands. I plopped down in the lobby to watch the parade.
Did I mention the music was pumping? See that purply color on the left. That's the two story club entrance. I have led a very sheltered life because I could not imagine a club opening at 11 and staying open until 5AM. According to the lobby helper, for lack of a better term, most Miami Beach clubs stay open all night. What is 5AM? Part of the night? Never have I seen so many scantily dressed girls in one place. Taxis dropped them off in droves. There was a lot of this going on as well:
The shoes on display were amazing. I felt sort of dorky sitting there in my Keds. :) The helper told me what I was seeing was pretty tame compared to what would be happening in the next few hours. So, if you're looking to do it up big in Miami Beach, apparently this is the place to go.
We crept into the room so as not to wake Matthew, however, he was pretty well worn out and sleeping like a baby. We were too, soon thereafter.
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