I'd been to Anna Maria Island to see my parents with Lucia and we took a quick trip to Miami so she could compare the beach with the ones she knows so well in Rio.
We stayed at the Marlin Hotel in South Beach.
I'm told it's the original boutique hotel in SOBE and was started by Chris Blackwell (of Island Records fame) who converted his residence and recording studio into a hotel.
The property has changed hands but the studio still exists on the ground floor and remains a fixture in the music world. A wall at the reception on the second floor bears testimony to the seminal albums recorded here over the years and though that in itself would be the main focus for popularity at a lesser establishment, the musical pedigree plays a minor supporting role to the Marlin's appeal.
More about the studio here.
When you check in you're given an Ipad which controls everything from TV, to lights to the "vibe" ( a combination of presets for mood lighting, volume of ipod music etc .)
Quite fun but I was convinced I'd give back the wrong Ipad at check out.
Its all very laid back.
So much so it took some time to find anyone at check in.
This was repeated at check out.
Ordinarily this would annoy but the friendliness of everyone makes you forget minor issues.
The hotel is uber cool but doesn't take itself too seriously. Everyone's keen to chat and quick to smile.
Everyone that is except a grim looking Morrisey type chap who seemed rather angst ridden about something.
The bar boasts a "mixologist" hailing from Sao Paulo ( Brazilians are everywhere these days), who enthusiastically extolled the merits of his improbable concoctions.
I was skeptical.
Lucia was right and I was wrong.
It makes you wonder why it isn't sold out and over run with the fashionistas infesting Collins street but many of the spots they frequent specialize in a down their nose clip board Nazi vibe.
The Marlin is confident and hence easy going.
End of plug.
Cool restaurants, 1930s, architecture and various varieties of street life.
Its also very gay, so if that bugs you, you'd be better off elsewhere.
The main purpose of this brief trip was to allow Lucia to compare this famous beach,
Not terribly fair as Rio was in full summer swing in December.
Miami beach had a certain charm empty as it was at dusk the day we pitched up.
That's it for today.
I have a back log of stuff to post, not least of which is the radical turn my life has taken recently.
Its all good and I've never been happier.
I'll tell all later.
Stay well everyone and check back soon.
I promise to resume posting more regularly.