Wednesday, 31 December 2014


You may have noticed that I mentioned being in Miami.  We're spending Christmas and New Year with a very old friend (a.k.a. The Lost  American or "TLA").  "We" in this instance being me, DH, and DH's best friend (a.k.a. his Brother From Another Mother or "BFAM").  If you remember my wedding photos, TLA is the lone male in the girlfriends of the bride picture.  The last time we were here was September 2006.

TLA is a wonderful host, driving us everywhere, cooking like a chef every night and putting up with his home being invaded by us all.  We've been on multiple shopping trips:  Dolphin Mall, the Eden Plaza, even Michaels yesterday so that I could buy a little something by Lionbrand Yarns (2 balls of yarn in Tardis blue so that I can make a present).

The first Sunday we were here, TLA took us to the farmers market at Pinecrest.  My first ever, official farmers market.  It reminded me of the markets we go to in Normandy, except that everyone was speaking in a mixture of Spanish and English instead of 90% French.

We had a lovely Christmas, put on the Santa hats and played with TLA's two dogs:

TLA, DH, BFAM and I.

 The big meal was Christmas Eve: Cuban style pork, marinated in Mojo marinade (sour orange juice, onion purée, garlic purée and coriander leaves, recipe here:  Say hello to piggy...

And cooked:

The marinade made the best crackling ever!

Saturday, we drove down to the Florida Keys and spent the day at Key Largo.  The Keys aren't as I'd imagined them. I was expecting something along the lines of Australian seaside villages, where you have a strip of shops/restaurants, etc, on one side of the main road and parking/the beach/the harbour on the other.  Instead, the main road runs through the middle of the island and there is little/no public access to the waterfront.  The properties all have private moorings and/or beaches so if you are staying in a hotel, you're fine, but if you are a day-tripper, there are only a couple of places to go.  We went to the Key Largo National Park, which has a lovely couple of beaches. 

And went paddling, since I was too disorganised to remember to pack my bathers.

I spotted the perfect private landing across the bay

Beautiful, isn't it?  There are mangroves too

But sadly no fishing from this beach.

Sunday, we went to the Sun Life Stadium to watch Miami Dolphins versus the New York Jets.  Beforehand, we joined in the tailgate party in the car park.

(TLA's brother, BFAM, DH and TLA.)

Only my husband would wear a New York Patriots shirt to an unrelated match.

(Love the mad boy.)

Of course I took my knitting to the match, but I only knitted during the first half - it was far too hot and sticky to continue.

No, I have not renounced the Pats - I didn't bring a hat to Miami and was desperate to keep the sun out of my eyes.  Anyway, we were supporting the Fish. 

 I managed to photograh the record breaking touchdown (a 97 yard dash).

Sadly, the Dolphins lost.

Today, we went to the beach as the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne.  It was a beautiful place to spend the day. We were not far from the Cape Florida Lighthouse.

Unlike Miami Beach, this beach was beautiful and unspoiled. It was not crowded in the slightest. You can see Miami in the distance.

From the sand dunes it looked like ghost city, floating above the horizon.

 I swam, sunbathed and lazed in the sun; a very relaxing day out.

 Key Biscayne is beautiful, wild AND civilised at the same time.  (Maybe 20 minutes walk from the village).  You could certainly fish from the beach we were on, in fact I saw fish while I was swimming.  I would love to go back.

- Pam

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