Monday, 11 February 2013

Miami nice

We arrived back in the UK today after a week in sunny Miami Beach, Florida.  After spending a week plastered in sunscreen and surrounded by palm trees in 80 degree temperatures, it was with sinking heart that I heard the pilot announce that the weather in the UK was one degree above freezing and that snow was falling.  Groan.

We had a fantastic time, and were so relaxed by the last night that we could hardly stir from the sofas on our hotel's rooftop terrace.  We had loads of lovely meals, went all over on the good bus and train system, swam in our hotel roof pool almost every morning, paddled on the beach, shopped, and generally kept pinching ourselves to think that it was actually February.  I can now see why northerners become snow birds and go south for the winter. We've never done it before but definitely plan to do it again!

We were staying right in South Beach in an old Art Deco hotel, and took three different tours of the Art Deco architecture because we like it so much.  This isn't our hotel, but is a picture of two of the classic hotels on Ocean Drive.  We were lucky that South Beach was fairly quiet for most of the week we were there, several people told us that it would be a lot busier in a few weeks.

Here is DH on the beach.  We didn't actually swim in the ocean as it was fairly breezy most days, but we did go paddling and walking along it several times.

This was our hotel rooftop pool, not that big but bathtub-warm and generally fairly private.

Palm trees were everywhere, and tropical flowering plants.

We visited beautiful Vizcaya Mansion, in southern Miami, a Florida Gilded Age take on a European mansion and gardens.

And we visited the Knitted Garden, an excellent wool shop in Coral Gables.  DH rested on the (husband creche) sofa while I fondled much yarn, and came away with three skeins of Madeleine Tosh   Merino Light (fingering) in colour Volga, a sort of mottled denim.  That is for my Unexpected Journey KAL on Ravelry.  I'm starting late, as the KAL is on Clue 2 already, but I hope to catch up this week.

Holiday knitting was the Featherduster shawl in Debbie Bliss Angel Print, where I am now on repeat 4 of 6.  When I had more time to be stationary, in our hotel room or at the airport, I was working on the Quilt Sampler mitten.  This is a really cute pattern and quite fun to do.  However, in two smooth fingering yarns, it isn't going to be very warm.  I will see where the third row of quilt blocks falls on my hand, and I might turn it into fingerless mitts, or convertible mitts.

I looked in every magazine store that we came to, hoping to find quilting or knitting magazines, but was surprised by an almost complete absence. Every other part of America that I've been to, the magazine racks are groaning with craft magazines.  In Miami Beach and at the airport, there were only gardening magazines and interior decorating magazines.  No craft magazines despite all sorts of other esoteric specialist mags on sale for bodybuilders or deep see fishing.  I would have thought the snowbirds would be doing lots of hobbies, but perhaps not in Miami?

It's really nice that we've still got a week of holiday, so we have lots of time to get over jet lag (I am so tired at the moment, after only a few hours of dozing on the plane), do laundry etc.  I'm also hoping to get the front of my Alice Starmore machine knitted Marina Vest started - I finished the back just before we left.  I also finished the Advent Calendar 2010 lace scarf before we left, and need to block it and take some pics.

My holiday reading, which I am only halfway through, is My Life in France by Julia Childs, which I am finding very entertaining and it is making me feel that I should make more of an effort to be a better cook.  We watched Julie and Julia on telly the week before we left, then I saw this book in a discount bookstore and bought it on impulse.  I don't remember ever seeing Julia Childs on TV or reading one of her cookbooks, but I am enjoying the book so much that I think I will have to delve into her bibliography.

Good to be back.


Mizmiffy said...

Wow looks like you and DH had a wonderful time! Shame to be back to reality!

Daisy said...

It looks lovely, although funny about the lack of craft magazines everywhere!

Sandra said...

Probably not a lot of need for quilts or knitted items in Miami perhaps? I find the same thing in northern (tropical) Australia, where their 'winter' weather is more like our summer weather down here in Sydney.

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