Miami Beach welcome sign on, I think, the 79th Street NE Causeway, 6:39 p.m., March 18, 2021
Just FYI, we exited the District of Columbia via the 14th Street bridge and precisely noon on March 17, 2021.
My first blog entry from my new Miami Beach-based life.
To be clear, I cannot write a lengthy and image-filled entry right now. I have a lot going on this weekend as I try to settle in even while I have a sort of mini-vacation here involving Andrea -- without whom I could not have made this move -- and also Gary, who is flying down today from D.C., and Tim, who is down here looking at various real estate properties.
We are supposed to have a group dinner tonight at Spiga.
So, in lieu of a detailed entry, here are the highlights from the past four days ...
The Amtrak auto train journey down here -- or rather, from Lorton, Va., to Sanford, Fla. -- was a long-ass one with some delays and decreasingly comfortable as time went on. And the young guy who worked in the cafe car was an arrogant dick to the point I almost feel like complaining about him. But I won't.
The train ride lasted about 18-1/2 hours rather than the scheduled 17, primarily because of a computer switching problem outside DeLand that added 45 minutes and then an impossibly long wait to detrain at Sanford that added another 45 minutes.
The drive from Sanford down to Miami -- via Rt 46 to I-95 near Mims and thence down I-95 -- with a detour for lunch in Jupiter -- was difficult in that there was heavy, stop-and-go traffic. But Andrea got both of us and all my stuff here safely.
Miami Beach is presently in a sort of orgiastic, frenzied spring break with a fuck Covid attitude, although some of the young people are incongruously masked up.
It's as though I moved into the French Quarter at the height of Mardi Gras. For any D.C. reader, it's like Adams Morgan (not in the time of Covid) on the most frenzied Friday or Saturnalian Saturday night, except moved to a tropical seaside location.
The move-in was stressful because I am basically at ground zero of this young American Dionysian revelry, and the building into which I moved is old and there was no ready-made access or deliery way. It involved multiple "steps" in terms of moving all my large plastic bins of stuff plus other items we had to carry. And I'm not young, nor am I in especially good shape at 51.
But we moved me in -- and, again, I could not have done it without Andrea's help.
The apartment is fine and on the quiet side of the building, overlooking a small courtyard (southview) with tropical vegetation, hemmed in by a nearby building with coral or peach-colored spanish roof tiles. I am very glad I got a furnished unit.
I had one minor glitch with the living room a/c this morning in that it was set to "heat" mode and started smoking, and the smoke detector went off. A call to the maintenance man, who only speaks Spanish but his son translated, revealed the problem, and now it is fine.
The Florida Broadband technician fellow who came yesterday was wonderful in that he set up not only my internet but spent, like 45 minutes helping set up my digital antenna and, because the apartment comes with a large Samsung TV, the internet-based Samsung Plus channels. Alas, of my three networks I've watched so much of in the past several years -- Cozi TV, MeTV, and Antenna TV -- I can only get one of them (Cozi TV) on channel 6.2. However, I do not need cable.
Yesterday, Andrea and I took a walking food tour of Little Havana. And I even bought a white Guayabera shirt, 100% linen, made by Cubavera. To clarify, my wardrobe is SO not Miami Beach appropriate. It's more appropriate for Cleveland or Buffalo on a gray, chilly day.
OK, I really need to wrap up this entry. I have a lot to do today including, right now, getting lunch and going into the ocean. Gary is supposed to get here around 4:30 p.m., and our dinner with him and Tim is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Gary is actually staying here tonight and then in a hotel for a few days.
Things shoiuld start to get into a regular schedule / groove in my new Miami Beach life by about Tuesday.
And that's about when my next planned entry will be.