Hit and Miss

November 21, 2015

It was a day of travel, so no big stories to tell. And because it was travel, it was a day of hits and misses…

MISS: As in miss-communication on departure time. Janet was on track to be on time, but it was the wrong time she was on track to be. Or something like that. Jim called, she rushed over.. in green polka dot PJs. She drove us to the airport in those.

Maybe that was a hit, after all. No pictures, but it was pretty funny.

HIT: For mysterious airlines reasons, we were upgraded to First Class.  Unfortunately, it was only  the Sacramento to LAX portion of our travel day. But, hey: FIRST CLASS.


HIT: The view flying out of LAX was unusually stunning, mostly because we circumnavigated Palos Verdes, something I don’t get a chance to do often. I was on the wrong side of the plane for the really good views, but still managed this interesting one with Catalina in the background.


MISS: The flight from LAX to Miami was four uneventful hours that went by very quickly. Which was nice. But did you know that on a transcontinental flight they don’t serve meals anymore? Kind of ridiculous. The flight attendant even balked when I asked for a water refill. Said she, “They don’t give us enough water sometimes; I have to be careful that we don’t run out.”


She did agree to another half glass. I’m serious. Water. They were rationing me.

HIT, I guess: By the time they came around a second time, she felt confident the supply would last, so she gave me two glasses. Two separate glasses. I am not kidding.

Air travel’s gotten really weird.

HIT: In the new experience category… we landed in Miami. The Miami airport is enormous. We heard more Spanish than English. I did not realize Spanish was that predominant.

HIT: What we lacked in flight features, we more than made up for in our rental car. We’d reserved a Toyota Corolla or similar and got this:


It took us several miles to figure out how to roll up the windows, and a few more to get the rest of our bearings, but it’s a fun car to drive around in. Plus: RED JEEP.

HIT: Arrived in the South Beach portion of Miami–about 8-9 miles from the airport. Immediately found ourselves in the heart of art-decosville. We pulled right up to the Chesterfield Hotel on Collins, in the heart of the historic art deco district, left our car with the valet, and entered the lobby. Whoa. Loud music thumping away, glitz in all directions. Hilarious.

The bell cap took us to our room–good thing, it was wendy and complicated. Threw our stuff down and headed out to explore… it was about 10:00 pm, east coast time, by the time we hit the streets.

HIT:  South Beach. We headed down Collins a bit…


…then meandered down to Ocean. We wandered through club after club after club, seeing as how the sidewalk passes through the open-to-the-street edge of all of them. The air was warm and humid, the music was loud, the fashion served the mating rituals of 20-somethings. Not mine, but what a scene! Glad to see it.  We’re told it’s just for tourists, that no locals hang out here. Still, nice to have a picture in my mind of that place where kids go on college breaks.


HIT: We were hungry (no food on transcontinental flights anymore, remember?). We found a restaurant on the corner of Collins and about 12th called the Naked Taco. It served up some Mexican cuisine with a Miami twist. We were told the chef (Ralph Pagano) has won some contests on cooking shows, maybe even has a show on a food network, perhaps. Whatever, we had good dishes:


Key West Shrimp, toasted coconut, lime, sriracha aioli, on corn tortilla taco

Mango, chicken, avocado crema, cilantro taco

Chipotle BBQ brisket, crispy onion, jalepeno cilantro crema taco

Elote: grilled street corn, queso fresco and chipotle

Watermelon, tomato, pickled onion, lime, avocado, queso fresco salad

Pineapple lime grilled chicken w/ crispy plantain fries

Churros with chocolate sauce, dulce de leche, and a sweat cream sauce 

Here are the churros…



Welcome to Florida.