Anniversary Cruise - Day 1
We started off on our third vacation in the last 3 weeks today, this one being a cruise commemorating our 15th wedding anniversary, which is coming up on December 19. We're leaving tomorrow on the Norwegian Jewel for a 5-night cruise to Cozumel, where we've been twice before, and Grand Cayman, where we've never been. We decided to drive down to Miami today rather than getting up at the crack of dawn tomorrow. That way we get to start our vacation a day earlier, we don't have to rush, and we have a cushion just in case anything happens (flat tire, locking your keys in the car and waiting 2 hours for a fucking locksmith as the ship is filling up, no of course I've never done that). Some random things from day 1.
- Last year we finally got tired of the sluggishness and grainy quality of the pictures our Pentax Optio was taking, so we bought our first SLR, the Nikon D40. Now this is a great camera and it takes great pictures. In fact, many of you know that we had our original stolen in London this year and bought a second one as soon as we got back. The one drawback is the size. It's not the kind of camera you can strap on and forget about. We decided we needed a pocket-sized camera to get the shots when we didn't want to lug the Nikon around. After much research we decided on the Sony Cybershot DSCW55. Out of all the sub-$200 cameras we researched, this one got universally great reviews for features, price and picture quality. We went to Circuit City to get it and found this, the DSCW80 as an open-box special for $119 instead of the normal $199! The picture above was taken with our new camera.
- We went to the Bayside Marketplace to do a little shopping and eat dinner. It's in a great location, smack in the middle of Downtown Miami, on the bay, next to the Arena where the Heat play and in front of the Port of Miami. So we're looking for a place to park, it's $20 to park in the damn garage!, This is just for the privilege of shopping in the fine stores of Bayside, such as Brookstone, Claire's and FYE, among others. After aborting the approach to the garage with sticker shock, we find a sign pointing to self-metered parking. We get down there and find a spot and it's a $10 flat rate. It's pretty bad when you feel like $10 is a bargain to park at what's basically a mall.
- Driving in downtown Miami sucks. Leaving Bayside, I head back west toward 95, as we're the next exit north. I find the onramp, and see our exit is next, a left-exit, all the way across the road, blocked by a fucking cement median. So I head north and look for an exit where I can turn around. I get off on 112 West, which goes to the airport. This is good because our hotel is next to the airport. Well, it's not so good because you can't get back on 95 South from this goddamn exit. So we head west all the way down some scary-looking streets to 57 ave, only to find that the entire fucking airport lies between us and our hotel, and there's no going through. We head back east, and get back to the original 95N exit we started from. At this point tempers are flaring and I head West again, this time farther south of the airport. Finally, we get to our hotel, about 90 minutes after leaving Bayside. This should have been a 15-minute trip. And the shitty thing was, we knew exactly where we were in relation to the hotel the entire time, but the fucked-up streets in Miami wouldn't take us where we needed to go. And let's not even get started on the damn toll-roads that they spring on you just before the toll plaza.
- Overall, outside of a tense few minutes, we've had a very nice day. We'll be getting to the port tomorrow at around 11, and we should be setting sail about 4.