Welcome to Miami – Bienvenido a Miami

Back on American soil. Getting here was…different. Definitely saw a more of water in a coastal region than before..and I have to admit that flying over the Everglades and then seeing tons of palms lining the streets from above was…odd. The only palms I have ever seen were in botanical gardens. So..these are…’wild’ palms then. Wonder if they are tame or drop coconuts on unsuspecting strangers.

The flight itself actually wasn’t that bad…other than taking 10 hours 20 minutes. But…they heavily boozed you up if you wanted to. Just after the start the first cart came around. Considering those were apperitifs I figured I’d try my luck with a Gin Tonic…well, I got one, with a heavy emphasis on the ‘Gin’ part. Woooowheee. On an almost empty stomach I decided on the spot to stay alcohol free for the rest of the flight. Wouldn’t do to snicker at the immigration officer after all.

They kept us watered nicely throughout the flight, grub was decent, too, I have to admit though that I was a tad set back at the inflight entertainment. With US Airways in spring, I didn’t expect much. Cheap flight, so yeah, projected movies on a screen. But with that Lufthansa flight, three CRTs (yes, no TFTs) dropped out of the cabin ceiling for us for the inflight movies. Ummmm. When I started flying into D.C: 10 years ago, United already sported TFTs in the back of the seat in front of you, even on economy flighs. I understand Lufthansa finally decided to upgrade the older flights to a personal video and audio device in economy as well, but I thought they were done doing so already on our leg. Apparently not. Let’s see what the flight back will be like.

The movies were ok, Mamma Mia (actually had fun with this movie, might find its way into our collection) and Meet Dave (which we found ok, had a few good laughs, still it was…hmmmm, we’ll see). Getting through immigration and customs was a breeze, although the customs officer told us that we might run into problems next year, depending on the officer, when we wouldn’t have moved over for good by then. Seriously, it’s not like the economical situation of either Germany or the US would allow for a swift and easy immigration right now, talk about job security and market situation in general, plus Melanie and I haven’t finished our various certifications yet. Fall 2010 is what we are aiming for. But seriously, never, ever, before have I entered the US THAT fast. Wheeeee.

After flagging down the Hertz shuttle, we quickly got our rental. A compact this time, a red Ford Focus, again with a huge trunk. And  NeverLost in it. Ummm. We did bring our own satnav, so we will ignore that thing, what ticks me off a bit is that you can’t remove it without force and the car thus quite easily sticks out as a rental…not that the barcodes on the windscreen and the trunk’d be a dead giveaway either. Ah well. But, seriously, what DO you have to do to get an upgrade???

Prestige cars available at Hertz. Ummm. Yeah, apart from the usual collection of Humvees and other oversized monsters along that line….they had TONS of Hertz-yellow ‘vettes. Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez. Pity I didn’t have the time to take a pic of that row, it was a sight to behold. Maybe on the way back.

Getting to the hotel though was a tad of a nightmare as the only possible way for the two first approaches would have been crossing 8 lanes from the left most part of the road to the right most part for an exit…which at rush hour traffic around 6 pm was not feasible…so we took two turns, 30 minutes instead of 10 and finally arrived, knackered.

So, yeah, even though it is too early, we are calling it a day at 8 pm. I plundered the vending machines for water and let’s see if we can hunt down breakfast tomorrow morning….and the Miami Duck tour.

Note to self: Need to work on my Spanish if I want to survive here I guess. Wonder if it is the same in California.

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