Jim and I woke up, threw together a suitcase full of clothes, said goodbye to my folks, brought Jill out to the car, and began our trip across the state.
The ride was fairly uneventful (if you've driven 'Alligator Alley' you CERTAINLY understand what I mean). We drove for just about 2 1/2 hours, arriving at our hotel at about 1pm and found out it was a tad too early for check in. Even though we were early, they were kind enough to park our car and held onto our luggage until our room was ready. The hotel was VERY nice.
I love a good lobby. Since we had about an hour to kill, we decided to have lunch out at the bar by the pool. By the time we were done, (it took our amazingly slow waitress forever to bring us the check) it was time to check in. We went up to the room and were very happy with it. The hotel was right on the ocean, and we had a room with a great view which also overlooked the pool area. We were happy. :-)
You'll see pictures of all this when I get around to posting them...settle down.
We weren't unpacked for 2 minutes and we were already in our bathing suits and headed to the beach!
By the way - I forgot to pack t-shirts for the weekend excursion. Thankfully, I remembered to pack some short-sleeved button down shirts, but the only t-shirt I had was the one I was wearing at the time. I was PISSED. That is so unlike me. I'm usually a total freak about packing and remembering everything because I'm constantly checking and re-checking what I've packed. Apparently I'm slipping. Anyway...Jim assured me it wasn't a big deal, which was true, so we were able to continue the vacation. . :-)
From the beach, we called my best friend from growing up (who lives 5 minutes from the hotel we were staying at) and told him we had arrived. He said he'd give us a call later and we'd meet up at some point.
Jim and I swam for a while, taking great pleasure in the fact that the water was very nice and there lots of fun waves to play in, when all of a sudden (cue: dramatic music) I was stung by a jellyfish!
Say what?!?! Yes, it's true. Clearly I'm fine, but it was a tad scary.
I was standing in a shallow area, waiting for a big wave to come in (yay for riding waves!!), and I felt something slimy on my leg. I thought I was imagining it, but then I saw the little bugger floating by me and I could feel a slimy patch of grossness on my bathing suit.
Get your minds out of the gutter.
It kind of felt like I'd been slimed by that gross thing in Ghostbusters. Yuck.
I didn't feel any pain at all, but I was kind of concerned. I wasn't sure if it just 'bumped into me' or it had stung me. What the hell do I know about jellyfish?!?!? I have NO idea what happens when you get a jellyfish sting. Do they always sting? Can you just bump into one without being stung?
Anywhoo...I casually mentioned the incident to Jim and he asked me if I was OK. I said I was feeling totally fine, (which I was) but I was still a little freaked out. After a minute or so, I started feeling a weird 'irritating' feeling on the back of my right knee. It felt like a scratch, but since we were in the water, I couldn't really see what was going on. We decided to get out of the water and take a peek. Once we were out, I started to notice it a bit more and we could see that it was getting red. After a brief discussion about what to do, ("I am NOT going to the emergency room! How embarrassing.") we decided to ask the lifeguard about it. I explained the situation to him and he pretty much said I was fine. If anything really bad was going to happen to me as a result of the sting, it would have happened right away...you know, chest pains, shortness of breath, or collapsing. Excellent.
Hearing that news was a relief. At this point, however, it felt like I'd been stung by a bee and it looked similar to a bee sting as well. It wasn't painful, but it was irritating. Kind of how it felt when I got my tattoo. Anyway...within five minutes of chatting with Mr. Baywatch (no, he wasn't cute) the pain was gone and even though it looked red and puffy, I had survived my first jellyfish sting.
We decided to hang on the beach for a while, (one the sand, not the water) then we went back to the room, showered, changed, and went exploring. We walked all over South Beach and eventually heard from my friend at about 6pm. (3 1/2 hours after our initial call, letting him know we'd arrived). We made arrangements to meet him at 7pm at Score, a gay bar on Lincoln Road, for a drink and then grab some dinner. He arrived at about 7:30 and it was SO nice to see him. We haven't seen him since last Christmas and he looked great. We had a couple of drinks there with him, then we headed to Jerry's Famous Deli on Collins Ave. We were looking for something quick, cheap and yummy (much like myself) and this place turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. Even though it was diner-type food, it was SOOO good. I highly recommend it if you're ever in South Beach looking for great food without having to pay a ton of money. We finished dinner, and then went to a bar called Palace on Ocean Drive (I didn't love this place, but it was right on the main strip and was fairly decent). We had a few drinks there and them moved onto a bar/dance club called Twist (located on Washington Ave). Twist was my favorite of all the places we went. It had several bars, spread over two stories and a bunch of different places you could dance, if you were so inclined. It had a great mix of people (and a great mix of music) and it was a friendly and fun looking crowd. One of the bars was outside and that area also was home to several attractive men dancing around in their scanties...for a price, of course. When we arrived, the upstairs and the outside area weren't open yet, but they shortly opened after we got there (which was around 11pm). My friend brought us there, but then quickly departed because he was meeting someone for a 'date' at midnight.
Jim and I walked around for a bit, but didn't stay too long. After an hour or so (if that) we hopped into a cab and headed back to the hotel and called it a day.
Stay tuned tomorrow for 'South Beach: Day Two'.
And yes, I'm not lying...the sweater has officially arrived...this is day 15 people.