Thursday, December 3, 2009

Botswana, Oh, NO! South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida

I can't wait to get back to Botswana. I ended up taking public transport to JFK International Airport in New York. When JFK was original built in 1948 it was the state of the art airport. Now it looks more like a third world airport.

I got to the airport early, but did not mind as I am reading Sarah Palin's new book “Going Rogue", I am about one fourth through the book a very easy read, I am not sure who wrote it but clearly it was not Sarah Palin, unless someone different is doing all of her live appearances, the quality of the writing can not be Sarah’s. The only negative I have about the book is the title, rather then “Going Rogue” she should have called it, “Sour Grapes” as Sarah blames everything that goes wrong in her life on someone else. In her entire life she NEVER made a mistake or even made a bad decision.

I was very engrossed in the book. I was reading about how Sarah was about to resign from a paid committee post because she felt she could not get people to make the changes needed. Rather then fight to fix things she thought quitting was best move. I thought I heard my name being paged. "LifeOfDUG please pick up a white courtesy phone". How could that be no one knew I was at JFK. I ignored the page, but then heard it again. So I put down the book and found a courtesy phone.

On the other end of the phone was Margarite. She had flown over with her uncle who had some United Nations work (parties to attend) in New York.

Margarite had decided to surprise me and take me to South Beach, Florida for the weekend. I headed over to general aviation to find Margarite’s Uncle's private jet. Instead of a 3 day trip home I had a 3 hour trip to South Beach.

Margarite found out from the village elders when I was returning and then planned this surprise. We had gone to South Beach last year and we both enjoyed it. Margarite thought we should do it again.

Margarite booked us at the same hotel as last year the Sagamore it is an artist hotel with unique art throughout the building and grounds, this year Margarite got us a beautiful suite I have no idea the cost, but was glad I was not paying.

Thursday, Margarite arranged dinner at The Restaurant at Setai it was a great unique experience. This restaurant normally has an Asian experience though the chef has a French bias add in thanksgiving and wow, this creative chef did wonders. From the coconut lobster bisque to the traditional turkey main course everything was great.

Friday besides a short run to work off Thursday’s dinner I never left the pool area. As I continued to read Sarah Palin’s book, I got a lot of comments from other guest at the hotel “Did you really pay money for that book!”, “You are a brave sole reading that book in public!” The temperature is a little cool for this time of year it stayed in the low 70's most of the day.

Friday night we hit a Tapas Bar, Tapas & Tintos for dinner on Espanola Way. The resturant was fine but nothing to write home about.

Saturday another cool day at the pool, Margarite was knitting wool caps for her nephew and nieces. It seemed every kid at the pool was fascinated. Margarite ended up giving knitting lessons to several of the children.

We never left the pool that day, except for dinner on Lincoln Avenue.

Sunday before we hit the pool we visited the Holocaust Memorial and the Miami Botanical Gardens. The memorial was a beautiful reminder of an awful time in history. For Margarite and I it brought back memories of visiting the Jewish ghettos when we visited Prague and Budapest a few years back.

For dinner we hit The Vix at the Hotel Victor. Dinner and the service were great I highly recommend Vix at the Hotel Victor.

Monday I did an easy 8 mile run then another tough day at the pool. I finished reading, “Sour Grapes” I mean “Going Rogue”, so I bought another book “To Big to Fail”, this is a great read and I highly recommend it.

We decided to have dinner at the Barton G. You may remember last year we had Thanksgiving dinner at this restaurant. Before dinner we did a quick walk through the Delano Hotel. Sitting in the lobby minding her own business was Alli Ludwick. Alli is the only daughter of Big Bill Ludwick. You may remember Big Bill Ludwick from when he and I played some poker back in Botswana.

Alli would not give us a straight answer as to why she was sitting in the Delano but we did convince her to join us for dinner.

Alli is the star miler at the University of Miami or at least that is what Big Bill tells us. Alli, very humble, unlike her father, did tell us she is on the track team but that was it.

The Barton G was outstanding as usual all the meals were over the top.

Even though Alli has been at school for 3 months, this was her first trip to South Beach. At this point we found out why Alli was at the Delano, she was suppose to meet at blind date there, but when we showed up she decided to blow her date off and join us.

After dinner we gave Alli a tour of the Art Deco section of South Beach and then we toured some of the clubs on Ocean Drive we finished back at our hotel. It was great to see Alli what a great surprise.

Tuesday is our last day in South Beach so I was at the pool at 7:00 am.
Around 8:00 am Georges and his 5 year old daughter Alana showed up. At this point the hotel was empty and we had the pool to ourselves.

Georges and his family were from Sweden. Over the last few days we had grown friendly with Georges’s family. So you may see an excursion to Sweden when we go to Greenland next summer.

The plan was for Margarite to drop me back at JFK and then I have my three day trip back to Botswana. Before we took off I checked my email and saw my brother Ross and nephew Austin were heading back to Colorado for some skiing.

I have no money and had not played any poker for a week, but I was hooked on skiing. So I begged Margarite to fly me to Breckenridge instead of JFK. After much begging and whining she gave in and dropped me off at the Fort Collins, Colorado Airport.

Will, I ever get home to Botswana?


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Dug, admit it, you're just looking at the pictures in Going Rogue.