South Florida – A Travelogue

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Got back over a week ago from a trip to South Florida. I made this more of a work-related visit to network with some contacts, but want to make certain that I got to see various parts of Southern Florida. From Fort Lauderdale to Miami/Miami Beach to the Florida Keys, I’m enamored with the beach and all of its seascape. Actually, I’m beginning to feel that I’m regressing to when I was a baby  and my parents had just moved to Southern California from New York. My mother has a few photos of me  (as a baby) lying on the beaches of Newport Beach, and the  trips that my parents and I took to the beach….  now it’s beginning to make sense! There seems to have been a deep-rooted infinity I’ve had to being near the ocean. It never became accessible for me as a young adult being wrapped up living in the city as an art student and creating my vision. Here I am decades later, much wiser and following my heart towards happiness. All this seems more amplified with my travels this year.

This visit had me meeting some down to earth people. Larry – “Mayor of Haulover Beach” (a clothing optional beach in Miami Beach) who is a retiree and a very cool guy who doesn’t bat an eyelash at anyone! We spoke for a while about life on the beach and personal politics, then it was time to jump into the warm Atlantic waters!

Then there is the Bahamian/Key West native (whose name escapes me..arggh!) who I spoke with near the Bahama Village in Key West. He began to tell me how Key West used to be populated by Cubans, until they got pushed out and the Bahamians came in and are now trying to be bought out by “white folks”. He lives in his late father’s home which he tells me is almost 100 years old. He shows me coins from his wallet that go back almost 100 years. And says he’s not leaving his home and can’t be bought like some of his former neighbors.  A strong-willed soul who I would like to visit with again and to share the portrait I took of him.

I covered over 500 driving miles, which was a challenge for me as I dislike driving long distances, but I did the best I could especially driving back from the Keys late at night under a Full Moon. Very surreal knowing that on either side of me was the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.  That 7 mile bridge across the ocean is incredible!

A social cultural mix for me on this trip. From the Latin cosmopolitan fare of Miami, to the up and coming Wynwood Arts District (similar to the Downtown LA art district) to the flashy of South Beach (imagine all rolled up into one: Santa Monica/Hollywood/Beverly Hills/European Riviera). Pretty intense, but I take these things with a grain of salt. Weather was fairly suited to meet the lifestyle of Southern Florida. Muy Calienté!  😉

So here I share another travelogue this time of my South Florida experience, which coincided on my birthday with sand, surf, and sun!