Santa Claus is comin’ to town

Ok….today we drove into Miami…or rather into Miami Beach as we learned today. Apparently, those are two different cities. The things you learn…and people say that the US has no history. Hah!

It was rather jaw-dropping I have to admit. When we were approaching Downtown Miami and then Miami Beach, we hopped on and off various bridges with an awe-inspiring sky line meets Atlantic Ocean view. I was speechless and totally busy just watching the sun sparkling on the clear blue water with a myriad of boats, both of the sailing and the motor persuasion, bopping lazily on the water. So. Beautiful. 

After trying to locate the Miami Duck Tours office without success (it is a tad hidden) during our drive-by, we decided on parking into a nearby garage and explore the vicinity where we presumed the office to be by foot. I know, I know, a totally un-american way. What can I say though, we succeeded. And booked the tour for noon…which left us two hours to kill.

As the weather was AMAZING, we decided to take a looong stroll around the place, up and down Lincoln Mall, ultimately to the beach. After the obligatory Grande Chai Tea Latte, with soy milk, naturally, for me and a muffin and water for Melanie (she is so not a coffee person and doesn’t like chai….ah well), we saw parrots in their nests in the palms. Rather interesting, I only know them from avaries in zoos…not in the wild. Took a few pictures, but as the sun was standing almost in its highest point, I have to work on the exposure at home, thank God for RAW pictures.

Oh, right. The reason for today’s blog title. Today was the traditional ‘tree Lighting’ in Miami. It was a tad bizarre to saw city workers putting up Christmas lights, i.e. light chains, garlands and Christmas stars on palm trees and lamp posts. I…dunno. Too contintental European I reckon, to me, Christmas decoration goes hand in hand with cold weather and snow…well, not always snow, but definitely not shorts and t-shirt. It was bizarre…in a quirky kind of way.

The beach was awesome. Seriously. I had to really restrain myself to not just get rid of my shoes and socks, roll up my pants and charge SQUEALING into the water. Perfect sand, sparkling blue water, sunshine… man, I’m telling you, here I thought not being a beach person, frankly, I think I could turn into one.

The Duck Tour itself was a blast. We always planned taking one, but never managed to before, neither in London nor in Philadelphia. This time around, we did…and it was great. I took a few pictures which will have me sitting at home and tweaking them with Lightroom 2. Some real decent stuff among them, right now, I decided to simply upload the jpgs to my Gallery site so I have something to show and re-upload when I edited them. Let’s hope I get around to it.

The rest of the day we spent first at Dolphin Mall, then at Miami International Mall doing some basic shopping…and some trinkets for Christmas for various family members. Just the ‘add to the gift wrapped thing’ novelty variety.

Tomorrow, we’ll check out of the hotel at around 7 AM-ish to head to Key West. There’s a glass bottom boat tour waiting for us in Key Largo though. So…more news tomorrow 🙂

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