I grew up in Miami. A hot tropical place with palm trees and beaches and bugs and very high humidity. Christmas in Miami is a bit odd and surreal. I say this because when you look at all the Christmas storybooks and images there is always snow and cold and reindeer and coats and furry hats, none of which you will find in Miami. The Christmas trees go up with their twinkling lights and fake snow skirts and look completely out of place, so does Santa Claus with his red fur lined coat and hat, the man must be suffocating to death. As a child I would get up on Christmas morning and put on a sweater and wool hat and scarf (yes, I had them) and since the air conditioning was blaring I felt like those storybook Christmases, then I would go outside to play with my new toys and run back in to change into shorts and a t-shirt. Reality check. When we were married we moved up North to New Jersey and have spent every Christmas here ever since. Not because we didn't want to go home for Christmas, it was because where I worked which was a very small firm my boss would take the week off and I had to hold down the fort so I could never have Christmas week. I no longer work there so this year we decided it was time to go home for Christmas and spend it with the family and since Max is a part of the family he would come along which meant driving from South Orange, New Jersey to Miami, Florida: 1280.64 miles or 19 hours or so on I-95 if everything goes perfectly well. We left on Friday evening at around 7:00 PM, stopped in Richmond, Virginia somewhere around midnight and found a pet friendly Comfort Inn, got up at 6:00 AM on Saturday morning and arrived at my brother's house in Miami close to midnight thanks to a bumper to bumper traffic jam through two thirds of South Carolina's 198 miles and a massive accident that closed the Palmetto expressway in Miami and stuck us there for 40 minutes when we thought we had finally hit home. Thankfully my brother had had the where withal to go buy Cuban sandwiches for us at La Carreta
and just like that we were home for the holidays. Miami, better known as Cuba North! Here's a little triptych.
Max eyeing the pool at my brother's house.
The stunningly gorgeous Perez Art Museum! Finally!
The stunningly gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay from the Perez Art Museum.
Cielito Lindo. The building where Cubans were processed when we arrived during the freedom flights.
Lunch at PAMM!
EL MAGO DE LAS FRITAS!!!!! Worth the trip alone!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy Wine! A converted gas station selling wine and serving tapas, yes it's true.
Christmas Eve at my BFF's from childhood. (This is an absolute terrible picture of me but the humidity was high, my hair yucky, a strange pose but who cares, it's Christmas and she looks awesome!)
Christmas morning with my brother, sister-in law, niece and nephew!
Christmas Day ducky face selfies with the cousins and Frank having a Cuban!
Dinner at "El Carajo" with the cousins, yet another converted gas station! I'm not even going to get into trying to explain the name!
And then, just like that, we're home! Happy New Year!