welcome to miami, part two

Unfortunately, none of what happened in this video occurred during this trip.

Renée set up renting a car so we could drive to Key West on Saturday. Both of us wanted to experience driving on the Overseas Highway. We also discussed how, technically, it isn’t quite an overseas highway.

I read Freedom in the courtyard until the car was ready. I honestly don’t like the Nissan Versa. I hoped the car they gave us wouldn’t be one.



The ride down was atrocious. I was under the impression that the entire highway had been widened to four lanes, but there was a substantial two-lane section that nearly was at a standstill. At one point, Renée’s navigation app told her to turn off U.S. 1 and take a back road. At first, we thought it would bypass whatever the clog was further down the key.

Then we realized it essentially was sending us back the way we came. We lost our spot in the jam for nothing.

We went from planning to spend a part of the day in Key West to getting there shortly before sunset.

“At least I get to take a photo during the golden hour,” I said as we cruised down Roosevelt Boulevard.


Cue more ’80s music.

Since we were running out of daylight, I requested a shot at the Southernmost Point. It was the only touristy thing I wanted to do on the trip. We waited in the most orderly unsupervised line as everyone traded phones to get shots.


You can tell I’m on vacation because my shirt isn’t tucked in.

Afterward, we had Thai food that was so insultingly mediocre, I refuse to name the place.

We didn’t get back until well after 2 a.m. On my ride back I also wound up in traffic. I still don’t understand.

On Sunday, we returned the car by way of a long drive along the island in a quest for gas for less than $3 a gallon. Afterward, we had brunch at CVI.CHE 105 with Kris. Once again, I had a giant bowl of octopus bits and other cephalopods, crustaceans and bivalves. It was absolutely delicious.

There were plans to hang out with some other people that fell through so I suggested that we return to RedBar, because RedBar. I can’t wait to go back for a third time. And fourth.

While having insanely potent drinks, I would up playing an intense game of Jenga with a dudebro that I wound up losing. I owed the guy a shot for losing, and not long after, he passed out. In the bar.

I kind wish I had a Sharpie on me.

The next day was our last full day. Our recovery from the night before was part of the reason we didn’t leave the room until about 4 p.m. I still wasn’t 100 percent when we ate more Peruvian food at Chalan on the  Beach. Once again, I had the fruits of the sea.

A short nap after that restored me and we set out for the beach one last time.


Last night in South Beach.

While we sat on that beach, a remarkable thing happened. I looked up at Renée’s face and could almost feel my writer’s block falling away. It was a beautiful moment. I was elated. I was inspired. I wanted to start writing right that very second. This trip precisely was what I needed.

We had our last dish of the trip was at Cheeseburger Baby. I didn’t have a cheeseburger, but Renée did. At some point, we lost our condiments. We both saw the waitress put them in our bag but they were nowhere to be found when we got back to our room. It was delicious all the same.

We swore we’d call it a night early, because our flight was early. It didn’t happen, partially since the hotel had a laundry facility and we didn’t want to travel home with sweaty clothes. We wound up taking what should count as a nap.

On the trip back home, I lost my license in the airport. I dropped it sometime after the TSA checkpoint when we were herded through like so much cattle. I hope some 19-year-old enjoys all the drinks.

I’m still in a state of relaxation from the trip. I’ve been so wound up and mentally battered and bruised for days, months and years, and finally feeling like myself again is just incredible.

Can someone remind me why I don’t like going on vacation?


Vacation mode.

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