Ok blog followers,
This update will be a long one, don’t start if you are in a hurry.
Feb 28 – Wed
On Wednesday, we left the very nice anchorage at The Miami Marine Stadium and traveled a short 7 miles to our next port The Sunset Harbour Yacht Club on Miami Beach.
The ride to Sunset Harbour was very nice, very slow, and included 4 bridges. We did a slow ride past the Miami river front. We had to call for opening of 1 of the 4 bridges.
We arrived at The Sunset Harbour Yacht Club early in the day, about 10am.
The marina is beautiful and once again has a LOT of very large beautiful boats.
Shortly after arrival, tie up , checking in, & the safe arrival celebration beers (now a tradition), we walked to a place called the Miami Beach Lincoln Road Mall. A pedestrian only , 2 mile section of Miami Beach, lined with shops, restaurants, and bars.
We walked the mall & stopped for a mid afternoon lunch at Groovy’s Pizza Bar (a cheap lunch).
After lunch, we hosed off the boat, took a short siesta, then headed out for a pre-dinner walk (whew, this furious pace is killing us). We took an Uber to the Miami Beach Boardwalk and walked about 2 miles from the north beach area to the mid beach area.
The ocean side boardwalk is a combination of Wood Board & Paver Bricks, and is lined with resort hotels along the beach.
After the walk along the beach boardwalk, our plan was to walk back to the Lincoln Road Mall to have dinner. The walk from the boardwalk to the Lincoln Mall took us thru the downtown area of Miami Beach. It was very touristy here.
Then out of the sun setting sky it was like Santa Claus appeared – What to my wondering eyes did appear – The Sagamore !
For those of you who knew me when I was younger, you may recall that me & Dave Noffert (my pal of 40 years, & now a very successful dentist in Metamora Michigan) were the best Desk Clerks in all of Royal Oak at The Sagamore Motor Lodge.
After calming down from the excitement of the Sagamore, we continued to the Lincoln Road Mall. We strolled another 2 miles down Lincoln Road searching for that magical restaurant. But to our surprise, nothing really clicked for us. Lots of Cuban, lots of pizza, lots of Hispanic music.
So we turned to google and found a place called The Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, well off the path of Lincoln Mall. When we arrived, we were asked if we had reservations. I said no, and that we had just got into town and stumbled on the place. We waited at the bar over 45 minutes for a table and met a wonderful bartender named Roberto. Roberto later gave us a free round due to the delay in gettin a table. The place specialized in fried chicken and had a special plate with ; fried chicken, waffles, and watermelon. We were coached to treat the chicken with hot sauce, cover the waffles with bourbon maple syrup, and eat the watermelon in the 3rd bite as a chaser.
The variations in taste from bite to bite were incredible !
After dinner we went back to the boat, and watched what is now almost a nightly event of watching Shameless on Netflicks. It was a very packed fun day & night in Miami Beach.
Thursday – Mar 1
Thursday morning we started the day with breakfast at a place called The Sunset Juice Café. We had some form of Cuban ham-egg-cheese sandwiches, they were very good.
We then did a little restocking at the Publix grocery store.
After shopping we spent some time at a local park next to the marina on the bay. It was a very nice laid-back environment.
The afternoon was again another boring “85f degree Pool Day” (how’s that snow up there in Michigan). The pool here at The Sunset Harbour Yacht Club is very nice. We swam some laps, took some siesta’s at the pool, and had a beer-free afternoon !
After the pool we took showers and headed out on the town for the Spraggs last night.
We started with drinks at a place called The Purdy Lounge. It was really a nightclub acting as a watering hole during the day. My crew was initially apprehensive about the digs but warmed up to the place after reading the google ratings and having a few 2 for 1 happy hour drinks.
After The Purdy Lounge, we again went off the beaten path to a Taco place that is supposed to be the locals hangout. The venue was called The Bodega Taqueria y Tequila.
It was basically an Airstream trailer butted up to a building with a hole. The trailer was the working kitchen, and there was bench seating in the building so you could enjoy the tacos with some of your closest Miami Beach friends. I must admit, the food was pretty darned good. We later found out that there was also another large room/lounge/bar in the back of the building behind the freezer doors (strange but cool place).
Next stop was after dinner drinks at a local bar called The Abbey Brewing Company. It was just “one more beer & zen we go home”.
We came home to the boat, the Spraggs packed, and it was a relatively early bed time prepping for the Spraggs 6am departure from Gettin’ Looped.
Friday – Mar 2
This was the very sad day that we would say farewell to the Spraggs after 1 month of Looping with Jonell & I.
It was a wonderful month with great friends, congrats on their retirement !
I asked Rick & Linda to send me a note on their favorite memories. I wanted just a few quick thoughts. I received a large amount of feedback. They have come as close to experiencing The Loop as you can without actually doing The Loop. The only real difference between what they experienced & our Loop is a LOT LESS daily drinking and more work task days. Other than that, they came pretty close to Living the Loop.
Linda’s Favorite Memories –
Key West – Duvall St & partying with Schellers & Murphs.
Key West – Watching Jerry at The Drag Show
Marathon – Meeting many of the Looper Pals.
Marathon – Dinner at the Lobster/Steak House w/ Rula Bula, Craic & Ramble On
Marathon – Looper Pool Days at Faro Blanco.
Marathon – Looper Dennis Hahn playing harmonica with the local musician @ the pool.
Islamorada – Meeting our Looper God-Parents Dave/Michele Sylver.
Islamorada – Dinner with Just Us & Rula Bula at The Oceanview Café.
Islamorada – Hanging out on Just Us at night, watching Dave Sylver sing & dance.
Islamorada – Lunch @ Lorelei’s & our very wet salty dinghy ride back (my hair, my hair).
Islamorada – Beach day at Marker 88 restaurant (one of the favorite days & best beach)
Tavernier – Winn-Dixie shopping trip with Jonell & Jeanne.
Tavernier – The Uber driver Norm & “The Norm Jokes”
Key Largo – The Anchorage Marina pool and talking with the snow-bird senior citizens.
Key Largo – The Black Siren restaurant
Miami – Overnight anchoring @ Miami Stadium, views of Miami & the hot dog dinner.
Miami – The beautiful Sunset Harbor Marina & pool.
> The boat rides between marinas, seeing the dolphins jump & come right up to the boat.
> The sunsets
> Getting me hooked on Shameless !
Rick’s Favorite Memories –
Key West – Bagatelle Lobster Mac & Cheese
Key West – My morning Cuban coffee runs.
Marathon – Meeting all the Looper Pals & the awesome Fara Blanco Pool & Restaurant.
Islamorada – Best view & best beach/lagoon on the adventure (Marker 88).
Islamorada – The adventurous dinghy ride to Lorelei’s.
Tavernier – Long walks to breakfast/dinner & an “OK” movie night.
Tavernier – Creepy walk to showers/bathrooms at night
Key Largo – Started out sketchy, but actually liked it, nice pool, beautiful bay, Black Siren.
Miami Stadium – Breathtaking view of downtown Miami, especially at night.
Miami – Sunset Harbour with massive yachts, wonder what these people do for a living ?
> By far the nicest most exotic vacation we have ever experienced.
> Great Food
> Extraordinary views
> Off shore boat rides
> Dolphin & Manatee up close
> Tropical waters & beaches fit for postcards
> Being able to spend all the time with such great friends, memories of a lifetime.
Farewell Rick & Linda.
See you back in Michigan in Sept (Dan’s Wedding).
Congrats & enjoy retirement !