Things I learned about Miami Beach...
It rains. Hard. Nearly every single day. I learned to appreciate the rain (mostly for the rainbows), and especially looked forward to the thunderstorms at night. This trip was meant to be a breather for me after a hectic, rollercoaster few months, and somehow the rain and rainbows gave me a lot of cleansing inspiration. Not everything is roses in life, but everything happens for a reason. Rainbows will always come.
The men are shameless. A cute guy came to sit next to me on the beach and chatted me up. He seemed decent. After a while we went for a swim. He was promptly shut down when he tried to untie my bikini, and proceeded to shove me into an oncoming wave and ran for the beach. I, thinking he's heading for my beach bag which holds my wallet, iPod, camera, and Droid, take off running after him. The dirtbag avoided my towel and headed down the beach to seek more cooperative prey, while I was pretty jaded for the rest of my trip... basically raising an eyebrow at any guy who so much as smiled at me.
To get noticed you have to blend in. I'm not a hugely self-confident person... but I guess being out of my element on unfamiliar turf gives me a bit of anonymity and courage. After getting odd looks my first couple days wearing cutoffs and flipflops, I strutted some not-so-me outfits. And ya know what, people were nicer, complimentary, and (most importantly for me) I didn't feel like the outcast.
As illustrated in the point above, full-length mirrors are fantastic. I took this vacation solo, and had no one to take photos of me. This enormo mirror on the closet door proved to be a perfect place to take phone pix of my outfits. Not that I'm always taking photos of my clothes (really it's usually a beat pair of all stars and a tshirt) but... I need one. I have one mirror in my whole apartment, and it's the tiny one over the sink. I have balanced on the edge of the tub and opened the medicine cabinet to aim the mirror at my lower half... however, if you knew how very graceful I am (read: I'm the cool kid that falls up the stairs) you would agree that that's an accident waiting to happen. And so, I need a giant mirror- stat.
Eating alone isn't crazy scary... (but still not something I want to do forever). I ate lunch on Ocean Drive every day after the beach. Eating at sidewalk cafes was definitely a little more comfortable than eating at a fancy steakhouse solo (which I did my last night there). Sometimes it's hard not to feel sorry for yourself, because despite going into the situation all confident and independent-woman-hear-me-roar, you get so much damn pity from everyone. The hostess ("oh, just one?"), the busboy clearing the extra place setting, the waiter checking on you way more than he would have if you had a companion.
No matter where I go in the world, I always miss New York. When I was taking off from LGA, I had a window seat. The view of the city was incredible. First we flew over Queens, then the Bronx, flying over a packed Yankee Stadium, then circled around to fly over the Hudson, giving me a full-length au revoir to Manhattan. I was so looking forward to my vacation, but was already a little homesick. My first day on the beach a guy comes and sits practically on top of me, with an enormous boombox. At first I was bent, like, this beach is huge, man! Personal space, please! Then he bumps Empire State of Mind and I immediately was cool with the guy. Then my last night in the steakhouse by myself, taking the last sip of my wine, Sinatra comes on singing New York, New York. It was perfect. My city was calling me home.