Saturday, August 22, 2009

Leaving Town

Hello! I have left the 305 for the weekend and am heading up north. I'll be posting on our travel site since I have nothing South Florida related to write about (except that the Marlins are playing tonight - but not in South Florida) but will be back soon with some new 305 stories and photos!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Out of office

So I just wanted to let all of you know that as of tomorrow, I will be going out of the country to Italy, so I won't be posting here for a few weeks. El Capitan will be taking over for a bit.



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pinecrest Gardens

As you may have well figured out by now, I have lately been on a mission to find low-cost things to do here in Miami. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most important is that I am going to Italy in the next few days for two weeks and I am trying to save my money for that. So El Hombre, who sadly has to stay behind and find his own misadventures, and I have been taking advantage of all the free parks, gardens, fests, etc. On our way back from Fairchild one day, we passed by the Pinecrest Gardens and decided to put that on our list of things to do.

The Pinecrest Gardens, located on 57th Ave., is the former location of Parrot Jungle Island, or whatever they decide to call themselves this month. After PJ moved, The city of Pinecrest took it over, maintained and restored some areas, and made it free to the public.

As you walk in, you have a choice of windy paths through lushly landscaped plants. It's much less manicured looking than Fairchild, not to say that it's overgrown, because it's not. As it formerly had "jungle" in it's name, it's intended to look as such. You can still see remnants of it's former owners, in the signs, bowls and play areas for children. Which, as we were winding through the plants, and looking at the fish and turtles, we overheard some teenagers making out in a hidden bowl (ah.. young love.. because it was really hot to be all smooching up on someone) and the joyful shrieks of children playing in the "water park" area. We sat and watched the kids for a bit, me reminiscing about how great it was to run through sprinklers with my friends and family in the summer, how that was the ultimate awesomeness for any little kid.

Then as we winded around we found a lookout of the park, a concession stand, some swings (my fav), a playground and a petting zoo. The petting zoo had a few pigs and goats. And was kind of disappointing. But overall it's a nice way to spend an afternoon.











Friday, August 7, 2009

Miami Beach Beer Boots

The other night I was watching a baseball game at Finnegan's on Lincoln Road with a friend and we started to get hungry and wander Lincoln for a bite to eat. It was REALLY busy for a Sunday night and we walked up and down and finally came back and settled on the wonderful Hofbräu Beerhall. I think it's on the corner of Lincoln and Jefferson - not exactly sure. This is a great place to go and people watch. The food is really good if you're into sausages, potatoes and sauerkraut. And they have a good selection of beers. Some of them come on the small side (a half liter) while others are on the larger side (enourmous mugs of frosty ale and boots filled to the brim! Someone told me they were two gallon boots? I'm not sure but they're huge!). Everytime I've been here it's been on the quiet side, but this past weekend it was loud and fantastic.
The group at the table next to us, after they had finished their boots, started to try them on. It was hilarious, although the server did not think putting the glass boots on their feet was all that funny. They were all encouraging me to try a boot but I had to decline. It was getting late and work beckoned the next day. There was an Englishman drinking a boot alone. He was wearing a Decendents shirt, which drew my attention to him, since I rarely see them in Miami and used to listen to them all the time back in the early days. Most of my photos from the evening came out a bit dark but I managed to get a couple:
The English Descendents man with boot.
Our neighbor avec le boot (you can see the glass if you look really closely).
Looking through my mug and the lights of Lincoln Road.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Stumbled upon this...

There are many things I love about Miami, and one of my favorite things about this (or any other city for that matter) is stumbling upon little local spots off the beaten path. On our way to Fairchild, we passed this little market on 57th, and I pointed it out as a place to check out on our way home.

The little fruit market in question is the Pinecrest Wayside Market. It's across the street from the canal, and just down the street from the old Parrot Jungle, and it reminds me alot of Robert is Here, only much smaller. It's an open-air sort of market with fruits, veggies, sauces and shakes. But what struck me was not so much the produce, but the ambiance. There were several people there, just sitting out with each other, enjoying a shake or a mango or a sandwich, just relaxing. Taking in the whole scene, spending time with each other. You don't always find that in the City of Miami. That's more of a vibe you catch in the keys or South Dade. Even when people are sitting outside, or at a park, there's an underlying since of urgency that I didn't catch here.

I didn't try any of the shakes because after walking around in the heat all I wanted was water, but I intend to check them out next time.

In the meantime, here's some photos:

Marlins Fun!

Friday night I went to the Marlins/Cubs game. I had forgotten how much fun the games are - especially when the weather is tolerable and you are not sweating to death. Thankfully, in a few years, we won't have to face the wrath of the South Florida sun in order to enjoy our baseball games :) The Marlins played the Cubs which usually draws a big crowd. There was even an appearance by the dreaded goat to jinx the Cubs. I think there were only a few Marlin fans in the section I was sitting in. I was surrounded by Cubs fans who ended up being pretty cool. It was a fun night had by all, especially since the Marlins won! I am thinking about buying season tickets for next year (I say that every year but this time I am serious). I took a bunch of photos and have some hilarious ones of the Mermaids in awkward positions (check them out below) and a video of the hefty Manatees.

Friends and enemies.
Billy the Marlin and Lil' Billy.

The Mermaids.

The Mermaids part two - frozen in time.

This guy was awesome. He walked around all night with cotton candy on his head.

Hanley Ramirez - he didn't have the best of nights.

Dan Uggla.

Billy the Marlin with a birthday friend. See all the Cubs fans around me? They were everywhere!

I never get tired of seeing/hearing his name - Milton Bradley. His parents had to have known.

This guy was sitting in front of me. His shirt said "Relax - The Land of Fish and Chicks." Classy!

Cody Ross - crazy outfielder.

Jorge Cantu.

The Manatees. Oh my.


Yay - Marlins win!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fairchild Tropical Gardens

If you read the Miami on the Cheap blog, you probably know that Sundays are free at Fairchild Tropical Gardens during August. Not surprising since it's 'bout hotter than hades outside.
Last year, El Hombre and I tried to take advantage, but we got poured upon, and really didn't see much. Fortunately this time we had much better weather.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Fairchild, It is an 83-acre garden in Old Coral Gables. It's been open since 1938 and it features many tropical plants, to include succulents, palms, fruit trees and much much more. You can take a tram tour (which we did last time) which gives a great history of the gardens, as well as what is going on in terms of plantings, etc. The park also has a rainforest, sunken gardens, a succulent/cactus garden and a section for Asian plants. It's way to big, and much to hot to walk the whole park, but it is most definitely worth a visit. In fact, walking around the park makes me envious of all the time Maria got to spend there, and I can see how she was inspired to pen Volunteering at Fairchild

I took tons and tons of photos, so if you are interested, please feel free to peruse my flicker slideshow below. Oh yeah, and if you do take advantage of the free day at Fairchild, remember these things: Take plenty of water, wear comfy shoes, try to go early (I think they open at 9 a.m., and support the gardens, even if it's only a few dollars. All of us non-profits are suffering right now)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New blog alert

Hello lovely blogosphere!

I just wanted to let you know that I have started a second Misadventures blog, called Misadventures Abroad. This blog is going to be more about travel experiences, and I have invited another friend of mine to join on, along with me and El Capitan.

Hope you enjoy!


Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove is really trying to push itself out there as a place to go at night. From billboards to block parties, they are trying to get a crowd out other than the Thursday night college drunkfest kids, and I have to say, it's commendable.

Both this past Saturday, and the Saturday before, El Hombre and I have ended up at the Commodore Plaza block party. It's actually pretty interesting, and I think the Grove should extend these summer block parties into the fall when the nights are a bit cooler (although has anyone noticed that night time has been fantastic lately?)

We actually ended up at the block party last night by accident. We had read on the Miami on the Cheap blog about the art stroll in Mayfair Plaza and decided to check that out. It was ok. There was a blues band that was kind of interesting, and the people walking around were also kind of interesting. It's nice to walk around, but if you want to look at art, it's not terribly competitive, at least not yet.

While we were there we strolled over to Commodore Plaza (which, if you are not familiar with the names in the grove, it's the street that Mr. Moes and Green Street are located. Last week they had Spam Allstars, and this week they had some other band that I didn't know, but they weren't bad.

When you go, the street is shut down, the shops are open a bit later, and there are some artists, street performers and a psychic. It's a nice alternative to places like Lincoln Road or Mary Brickell because it's not so packed, and you can still sit outside and enjoy a drink and a bite to eat. You also can be more relaxed in dress than going out in either other place. People in the Grove are generally there to chill out and enjoy the experience. It's not showy nor is it a meat market.

Also I should point out now that RedKiwi in the Grove is super delicious. Frozen Yogurt with fresh fruit toppings? Yum.