Today is a travel day. We leave Virgin Gorda for Miami, specifically South Beach. We are saying goodbye to the marine life and idyllic quietness of the island for the hustle and congestion of city life.
When we check in at Air Sunshine for our 10:30 am flight, I mention our 1:10 pm connecting flight to Miami and I’m assured that we are on the first of four flights to San Juan today. A plane comes in at 10:10 and we notice that our luggage is not on the cart that goes out to the plane. Okay. We still have time so we wait. Another flight comes and goes and then another comes and 6 of our travel companions fly away on that one. We end up on the last flight with 2 of our friends, C&T, and leave at 11:15, due to arrive in San Juan at noon. As we are walking to the plane, the Air Sunshine fellow says that he will have someone in San Juan to help us get to our American Airlines flight. That’s nice of him.
We arrive in San Juan and no Air Sunshine person to meet us. Guess we are on our own. Our friends breeze through customs (they’re American and got to go in a different line up) and we take forever. As we run down the stairs outside of customs, there they are with our luggage all ready for us to run by and grab it. THANKS C&T!!!
We run through the terminal to the American Airlines check-in counter and because we do not have checked bags, the agent issues us boarding cards and tells us we must run. Both she and the fellow at security are very helpful and friendly in assisting us get to our connecting flight. We are almost the last ones on the plane and once seated and buckled in we breathe a sigh of relief.
Unfortunately, with all the running and rushing, we have no time to pick up lunch and board on the plane with just two small granola bars as sustenance for the almost 3 hour flight.
The Miami Airport is easy to navigate and we make our way to the Metrobus terminal to catch Airport Flyer, number 150, to South Beach. Instead of a $40 taxi fare, we pay $5.30 for the express bus.
We are staying at The Colony Hotel on Ocean Drive. Our room is funky with bright yellow walls with green decor highlights and a dark blue tiled bathroom. Our room is an “ocean view” room over looking Ocean Drive (and is not too noisy) so we can watch the activity down on the street.
First impressions of South Beach. It is a bit weird. A lot of the people here smoke. I have not seen that in many years. But just how weird is it? Well all week K, one of our dive buddies, has been bugging me because I wore my bathing suit to lunch one afternoon on Virgin Gorda, but on a main street in Miami Beach we just saw a girl in a string bikini, for all intents and purposes naked, looking over a menu and waiting to be seated at a reasonably fancy restaurant. Souped up cars and motorbikes. Odd fashion statements. Humungous drinks. Car stereos turned up to ear splitting volumes.
A successful journey from Virgin Gorda to South Beach and now we will explore the environs around Miami for a few days.