South Miami

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After two weeks we are getting ready to leave one of the most comfortable RV Parks that we have stayed at, Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial Park & Campground, in Miami.  The sites were spacious and we were surrounded by avocado and live oak trees.  I tried to get Joe to like avocados since you could pick them off the ground or from the trees.  There are 240 sites sitting on 275 acres of preserved woodlands. There is also a nice paved 2.5 mile bike trail around a small lake.  The CG was set up different than we have seen before.  There were 11 pods with 20 sites in each pod.  The pods are in a circle with an inner and outer circle.  Because of this set-up the outer sites are given a lot of extra space.  We were told that they are booked from Jan 1st to mid-March with snowbirds.  We could understand why.  CG was located close to shopping, beaches, attractions and was secured by a fence around the entire park.  Lovely park and we would love to come back and stay sometime for maybe a month.

                

While staying at the CG we explored the surrounding areas.  Just driving around the area close to the CG we had a few eye openers.  Our son Zach told us we were too sheltered in the small town we lived in.  He probably is right. Almost all the houses in the area are fenced and locked in or had bars on their windows.  Most of the companies in the areas have security fences around them with guards to let employees in.  We even saw a Catholic church that was behind a locked fence.  In the shopping areas at the intersections individuals are at each corner or in the middle of the road selling things.  When the stoplight turns red they approach your car selling flowers, oranges, candy or have signs on cans saying they are collecting money for the vets or the food shelves.  We saw a one legged man pushing himself in a wheelchair approaching car windows as cars stopped for the light holding a can to the window. You just can’t look at them and hope the light changes soon.  We also saw people that have pulled off the road, opened the car trunk, maybe set up a table or put a blanket on the ground and are selling personal belongings; clothes, glassware, misc stuff. 

One day we drove out in the “country” where the vegetable fields were.  We saw fields of young tomato plants, strawberry fields, zucchini or squash fields and green bean fields where a few hundred people were picking beans.   We stopped at one of several vegetable stands to pick up a few oranges.  It isn’t orange season yet so they weren’t the best tasting.  Can’t wait for the fresh vegetables and fruit to come into season.

On a Sunday we decided to drive to the beach in Key Biscayne and to check out the Art Deco Historic District in Miami Beach.  Mistake on both.  Beaches were packed with families wanting to enjoy the beautiful 80 degree weather and we couldn’t even turn onto Ocean Drive where the Art Deco district is because of traffic.  We turned around and went home and decided to try again during the week.

Our trip to the beach during the week was a wise choice.  Weather was beautiful and not a sole on the beach except us and a fisherman.  We set our chairs up, took a book out and expected to enjoy a peaceful day at the beach.  I always like to include in the blog a little about the interesting people we meet along our travels.  Some we actually have the opportunity to meet and talk to and some we just see from afar.  This was the case of the “water goddess”.  As we were sitting a young woman (clad only in a very tiny thong bikini) and her very large white dog came jogging down the beach.  Now we are on a very long, almost deserted beach and she decided to stop right in front of us and go into the water.  She walked out into the water about waist deep, spread her arms out like a cross and fell on her back in the water three times.  Then she went in a little deeper and with a rosary in her hand, facing the sun and arms outstreached towards the sun she started to pray/chant in something other than English.  She did this for a considerable amount of time and then again with her arms stretched in the cross position, fell back in the water three times.  She stood back up and with her arms stretched towards the sun again started chanting.  While this was going on her dog stayed on the beach close to her.  What was interesting to watch, other than her, was the men that started to gather.  One sat on the beach a few yards from us.  A few just stood under the trees or stopped by the fisherman, who was also enjoying the show.  We figured she was a regular and I have to say and Joe would agree she was something to look at in her tiny bikini.  She did this ritual for about 45 minutes, came out of the water and she and the dog jogged back down the beach.  Boy, did we wander what her story was.  Once she left so did the men.  So came the name “water goddess”.

     

After our time on the beach we decided to attempt the Art Deco District in Miami Beach once more.  Traffic again was bad but doable.  It really should be something you see on foot more than it was riding in our truck but parking was non-existent for us.  So we just took the mile or so drive down Ocean Dr past all of the outdoor restaurants and shops.    It is very much a party atmosphere area with music and a lot of young people.  It is one area where we didn’t see many LOL and LOM.

One of the things we don’t like about the area is the toll roads.  We had no idea there were so many toll roads in the southern part of Florida.  Taking our 4 axle vehicles on the toll roads was not cheap and some of the highways have a scanning system where they scan your license plate and bill you.  Can’t wait to get that bill!   After driving several days using the tolls we finally got smart (it takes us awhile) and set our GPS to stay off the tolls.  It might take us a little longer and we might go through a lot of stoplights but just maybe we saved a little money by staying off the tolls. 

So again we are moving on.  Our next stop is the Keys.  We have been told by everyone (and I do mean everyone) not to stay in Key West.  They say it’s a place we have to see but not to stay.  So we are going to heed everyone’s advice and stay somewhere on the Keys and just drive to Key West one day.  We are looking forward to visit the Keys.

Today as every day as we visit a new area of the country we are thankful for all of our blessings.  We are so blessed with having each other and having the opportunity to see so much.  We are so blessed for our family and miss them every day.

Appreciate every day for whatever it brings you even the small things!

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