Aug 10, 2008






Habla Espanol or the sightseeing tour that never was


Since we had gone to bed rather early the day before and our body was still running on European time, we woke up VERY early. We both stayed in bed for some time chatting before we decided to welcome the sun out on the balcony.

Tom made some coffee, using the coffee maker provided by the hotel and we had some cookies to go with it while we sat on the balcony looking out onto the sea. It was very relaxing sitting there, sipping some coffee, nibbling away while the sun slowly made her appearance. What a way to start the day! After taking a  shower we went down to the restaurant to have some breakfast. Not an easy thing to do if the staff speaks just a little English. Habla Espanol? – No!
We understood it was a buffet and were led to a table. The breakfast itself consisted of different kinds of cereal and fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, sausage patties, breakfast potatoes and you could even order custom made omelettes, IF you were able to do so in broken Spanish! Plus they had French Toast and pancakes and different kinds of yoghurt.
We indulged in our first breakfast on American soil because we needed a good breakfast since we were booked on a 5 hour sightseeing tour in Miami. The reservation was made with hotel pickup and after a short break on our balcony we were waiting in front of the hotel about 15 minutes prior to the time given on the reservation. There were a lot of other people waiting for tours as well, so we sat there watching life around us.
People were picked up by several companies, just ours didn’t show up. After 75 minutes we gave up and decided to go to the address mentioned on the reservation. We went to the garage where we had parked our car and drove towards the Bayside center again. There we started our quest of finding the company. Finally we found the address, but the booth there belonged to another company – ours just picked up people there. We needed to call the company. None of us did bring the cell phone, so next up searching for a pay phone. While doing that some ladies approached us trying to sell a time share. We told them we were not interested and why we were there and one of them offered to lend us her phone to call the company and get things straightened out.

So we call and the lady at the other end of the line tells me she doesn’t know who we are, we are not on any lists and all of that in very broken English – Habla Espanol? NOOOO!!!!! She finally offers to put us on a tour for the next day. Nice try, but we are driving to Key West the next day. Now the lady gets angry and tells us something we absolutely don’t catch. Then the nice time share lady talks to her but no luck there either. After the call we thanked the time share lady, handed her some money for the nice offer of letting us use her phone, but we were really annoyed with the sightseeing company. Since you had to pay beforehand I was sure never to see my money again.

We had not done too much research on sights in Miami so we decided to ride the Monorail and have a look around this way. Well, there was not much to look at, so we went back to pick up the car and drive around for some time. So we just drove wherever we wanted for some time until some darker clouds rolled in and we decided to do some shopping and head back to the hotel. We stopped at a Publix, shopped a little and picked up some food for a picnic dinner before we went back to our hotel.
We made it to the room just in time for the rain to set in, heavy rain!! We watched the storm for a while from the balcony, no wonder we couldn’t fly into Miami the day before, the wind gusts were amazing, the pool area of the hotel looked like a war zone. After about 2 hours everything was over and life on the beach got back to normal.
Since there was nothing planned we decided to check out the beach. No swimming, just dipping in the toes. It was real good fun to walk along the beach with the waves trying to sneak up on us. We walked quite a long way – or so we thought – and picked up a few shells. We spent about 2 hours on the beach before we headed back to the room and out on the balcony again.

A little later we had our picnic dinner looking out onto the ocean – yeah, that’s vacation to me! We spent the rest of the evening on the balcony and in the room. There was just one problem to be solved. How to fit ALL our luggage into the trunk of the car. Tom came up with a brilliant idea. Pack one suitcase into the other and save some space. Good idea, just required some massive repacking and that’s how we spent our evening. Finally we finished packing and were sad to have to say goodbye to our “room with a view”, but happy to be on our way to Key West the next day.