|Drag at South Beach|
While I may not have slept very well while on my business trip to Miami (I truly despise hotels and never get much sleep while in one, no matter how luxurious), I did have a good time.
After arriving in Miami on Friday afternoon, my coworkers and I spent the afternoon preparing for Saturday's event. Once released, three of my lady coworkers (ranging in age from mid-20's to early-60's) and I headed to South Beach in search of fun. After visiting the beach, where the surf was exceptionally rough, so our youngest adventurer (also the niece of my rock, K) could dip her feet in the very warm waters of the South Atlantic, we made our way along Ocean Avenue where countless waitstaff at lots of restaurants and clubs attempted to lure us for dinner and drinks. And while we saw many tourists taking advantage of truly gigantic Margaritas; Mai-Tais and other exotic drinks, we kept on walking until we found The Palace Bar. The Palace not only had an affordable dinner menu but also advertised a Drag Show from 6 to 10 PM. The ladies were intrigued and I found myself very comfortable among the gay restaurant's patrons (many of whom were incredibly hot).
We settled in at a sidewalk table as our adorable waiter kept plying us with pitchers of a delicious German beer (we drank four but he only charged us for three) while a bevy of beautiful 'ladies' kept us entertained for over three hours. We dished; we laughed (a lot); we ate and drank and had an all-around great time. Uncle P even got 'molested' by the drag queen in the picture above. The show was fantastic and the performers even made their way onto Ocean Drive where they often stopped traffic to perform in the middle of the street. So much fun!
The next night (after a successful work event) the same four (plus one who had heard stories of our grand adventure), made our way to the Bayside Market, where we had an amazing Italian meal a Lombardi's and did some shopping. It was a less exciting, though equally enjoyable evening for all of us. We ended the evening with a ride back to our hotel (the gorgeous Hyatt Regency Miami) on the Monkey Shuttle; a free, open-air electric shuttle that allowed for delicious wind in our hair and a very amusing and knowledgeable driver who worked only for tips.
My only previous stop in Miami was for dinner on my way to Key West with college friends while on Spring Break in the mid-80's. I remember it being seedy and a bit scary. My, how times have changed.
I do hope to return to Miami someday on a proper vacation, without the restrictions of traveling for business. I have been on many business trips for the Day Job to cities which I have truly enjoyed (Chicago among the best of them) but I can honestly say that Miami will remain one of my all-time favorites.
I'll be back tomorrow with a Retro Review of Snow White and the Huntsman.