I ended up staying in Miami for just over a week and in that time I don't think I looked at a clock or calendar more than five times. It's truly a crazy place, and one I definitely recommend if you really want to forget about real life. (Ex-colleagues please don't judge me for that Oxford comma, I've been gone from Adfero for almost three weeks so cut me some slack.)
I met some great people and we generally just hung out at the beach under a blazing sun and 30F temperatures all day every day - bar one near-tropical thunderstorm - then went to a few places for dinner and drinks in the evening. The great thing about it is that you can easily walk around and get everything you need, which is, from what's experienced, quite unusual for most US cities bar NYC. One thing though - Miami sure is pricey. One place charged us $14 for one cocktail and in another we paid $35 for two tiny drinks. I'm not cheap but it would have to be straight tequila to be good value for money at that price. Not that I drink tequila. Well sometimes I do, if certain ex-workmates show me the order in which a tequila slammer needs to be done.
We found ways around it though, namely buying mini bottles of bizarrely flavoured liquor (in the UK there is two or three flavours of Bacardi, here there are about 20) and pouring them into sodas. Don't judge us!
The pic below is of my cocktail, called a Miami Vice. Because the bar is in Miami. it's called Miami Vice. Right? Everyone with me?
We also went to Gloria Estefan's restaurant for some Cuban food. It was average. And for days I couldn't get the song out of my head which she sang with that cartoon cat in the video, but then I realised that was Paula Abdul (the singer, not the cat).
One day, a friend and I took a boat trip around the small islands between the city of Miami and Miami Beach. It was hilarious - it's the equivalent of taking a bus tour of the stars' homes and you feel like such a tourist. In the middle of the ocean is Star Island, where numerous celebrities have homes. But, I doubt they actually live there, given the frequency of annoying boats such as ours getting up real close to their driveways (by driveway I mean harbour where a bloody massive speedboat is docked). As we passed each house, the boat driver would play a snippet of a relevant song or theme tune, so as you pass Ricky Martin's house you got Livin' La Vida Loca blared in your ears. It's not a song I enjoy at the best of times but I definitely let out a little giggle when his annoying voice hit the airwaves.
Regardless, there are some seriously awesome houses on the island. The most expensive - apparently worth $46 million - is owned by the kingpin of Teva Pharmaceutical. So if you think about the US healthcare system and look at his house, it makes sense he'd be one of the richest guys for miles. If every time I went to the doctor I knew I was paying for this guy to live here, I'd be pretty pissed off.
Anyway - here are some pics of the celebs' homes...
Ricky Martin's - he was clearly a fan of The Crystal Maze as he's tried to replicate the dome on his roof
Shakira, if anyone gives a s*** about her awful music. i've always thought she sounds like a goat when she sings. But then again so does Stevie Nicks and I love her.
Sylvester Stallone (yawn)
And here are a few more of Downtown Miami, a nice neighbourhood called Coral Gables and a few more of Star Island. I'm not in any of them because it's now 100% official - I can't keep my eyes open in any picture ever.