Never really planned on a hot summer Florida trip. Originally I was supposed to be on an Alaska cruise with my dear friend Brenda. She had to cancel so with that I needed to use the airline ticket that I had purchased to Vancouver. Where to go? Since I hope to one day move to Florida, I thought why not go during the hottest month, see how it is, can you handle it ? South Beach is always a fun place so a plan was put in motion. I get a wonderful email alert that airfare from Baltimore is going on sale for $97 round-trip. I call my mom and ask if she would like to come for a week. I booked us at the Posh Hostel and it’s coed. Mom says that’s okay by her, my friend Kelly says I can come too so she gets booked than my friends Vivian & Marnie decide they can come four nights during the stay. My friend Pat lives in South Beach so that’s another one added to our little summer soiree. Hostel link: http://www.poshsouthbeach.com/ It says open to any free spirited traveler. Well that’s me! Think I am going to fit in here nicely. Oh, I am also going to visit Key West. I have never been but my sisters and quite a few friends love it tremendously so it is about time for me to investigate what all the fuss is about.
Did I mention it is Tarzan hot in South Beach? It is. No matter we will sweat and have fun, if we can’t get the fun part going we still will indeed sweat!
The Posh Hostel has a free shuttle. (later I will do a review) I came in on the day that the shuttle only comes every two hours and wouldn’t you know it I arrive about 15 minutes after it has left! Okay should I get taxi or suck it up? I decide to wait. I had cowboy boots on and I truly wanted to take them off and throw them. Those buggers didn’t touch my feet the rest of the trip. What was I thinking?
I finally make it to the hostel, check-in and begin to explore. I’ve stayed in a lot of hostels and this place is surely one of the best! You get a free-shuttle to & from the airport, a free happy hour (HOUR) all you can drink each day next door at the Whitelaw Lounge plus breakfast, nothing fancy but enough to start your day. There is also a gorgeous rooftop pool. It really is posh! The price FANTASTIC and if you don’t believe me start researching the cost of hotels. I am a budget traveler.
My first bed is on top and I have a British guy under me, actually I had two British men! One on top, one below. (ha ha get your mind out of the gutter)
We have lucked out! I’ve never been to Argentina nor Brazil but they came to us. Our hostel had a lot of visitors from these areas. Beautiful FUN people with hearts of gold and a passion for life. Each night at the happy hour was a blast. Actually they started the happy hour at the hostel first than we moved on the the Whitelaw Lounge. FUN, FUN & more FUN! We also met people from US as well. All great gals!
Argentina and Brazil is definitely on my list now!
South Beach is a free-spirited place, you see all kinds of people all kinds of things. It’s the salt & pepper that make South Beach unique.
PLACES TO VISIT, THINGS TO DO:
Pat invited us for a cookout at her condo. Her pool area had just been renovated and was now open. It was a gorgeous! Who did we run into there visiting her friends? The manager of Posh! Small world indeed. We had a very nice time and a sunset to die for, thank you very much Pat!
Scenes from the day….
Villa Vizcaya & Gardens
Most of my travel is about chasing art & history. I love culture. A beach vacation is something I rarely get but do enjoy once in awhile. The culture bug in me needed a fix so we decided on Villa Vizcaya & Gardens. Not the kind of place you ever expect to find in Miami. Pat has visited several times and helped us with the transportation there which was a bus and train. It was pretty darn easy so if you don’t have a rental car you can still visit this villa. This mansion belonged to James Deering. Villa Vizcaya looks like a palace straight out of Italy. It has the original antiques and furniture. You may have seen Villa Vizcaya in settings for movies but didn’t realize it. Tony Rome, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Any Given Sunday, Bad Boys II, Airport 77, Haunts of the Very Rich, The Money Pit and Iron Man 3. The music video for The Cover Girls “Promise Me” was filmed at Vizcay. There was also a music video by New Edition filmed there as well.
I would love to see it here at night I bet it is absolutely gorgeous. What a home! You could not take pictures inside the house or I would have a lot more. Do visit the cafe! We had some fantastic Sangria and the food was good as well.
Scenes from the day….
While at the hostel, I meet a young German who I think is 20 years old. It was kind of funny he could drink in Germany but couldn’t in America. He was having a hard wrapping his mind around that rule. We had discussions about young people binge drinking once they are able. For him, it is not like that and getting drunk is never the purpose. He was staying one night at the hostel before heading to another destination when his parents arrived from Germany the next day. He wanted to hang out with us so we went to the beach. A hurricane may be coming and the previous storms have brought tons of seaweed. I had my chair in the water and each time a wave left me I was filled with green twigs and berries! You had to go out a good distance to get past the seaweed. That was my last beach.
Later we head to happy hour, Monica the beautiful girl from Brazil and the rest of the gals took the German guy under their wing.
Happy Hour = Happy :)
Scenes from happy….
Another activity we did in South Beach was to attend the drag queen show at The Palace. What a hoot! My mom had already left to go home and I really wish I could have taken her to this show. The photos speak for themselves!
scenes from the drag queen show at the Palace….
I had three nights booked for Key West. Monica had rented a car for the day and drove to Key West and when she got back to the hostel she showed me her photos. Now I was really excited to go because the photos were gorgeous! We booked a bus to get us there and back and we stayed at Angelina’s Guest House which was TERRIFIC! I highly recommend this place. The owners were wonderful.
I’m here to tell you it was hotter in Key West than in South Beach. Much hotter if you can imagine. A lady on the bus did warn us! She was right! Now with three days I believe we packed in a nice mixture of seeing things, bar life and Margarittaville.
Key West is closer to Cuba than Miami. (I am truly yearning to visit Cuba one day) It’s tropical, the houses are beautiful and the people are very friendly. You hear people visit and decide to stay for life. I get that now. It’s very laid back and moves on it’s own terms. That is a winning lifestyle if you ask me. Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost and Jimmy Buffet are some of the famous people who made homes here. ONE HUMAN FAMILY is the motto of the community.
So here is a glimpse of my trip to Key West. Next time I will stay a week.
Ernest Hemingway House – do go !!!
I loved the six-toed cats, the house and the gardens. I like the kitten house that is a replica of the home. Very cool !
The Harry S. Truman Little White House was a neat activity. I went here alone and had a GREAT guide. President Truman spent about a 100+ days at this house. It has the furniture and look of the times when he was here. Welcome to the 1950’s! You could not take picture inside. This is all I could get from the outside.
Little White House
I think the Mallory Square sunset is worth trying once. Next time I will bring my own chair. I think Kelly & Pat were shopping when I went here.
The star of Key West is the rooster. Chickens are indeed everywhere and I personally love them. I ate with them, drank with them and walked with them. There are people who want the chickens gone but I am with the “if you don’t like it than leave” group.
Here are some photos of my buddies:
Now where would we be without the Key West Nightlife (or Day Life) ?
People like to party!
Walk, walk and walk more and take in the sights and people.
I spent a good bit of time at the B&B as well. Lovely tranquil setting. Much ado about nothing.
Also important–get your tourist photo at this spot :) The line moved quick. It’s all in good fun!
.Y’all come Back Now Ya Hear?
My FL Key West Hotel review – Angelina Guest House
My hostel in South Beach, Miami FL